If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


February Interviews













2/5 Heather Weidner, Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
2/12 Rhys Bowen, Above The Bay of Angels
2/19 Elizabeth Penney, Hems & Homicide
2/26 Annette Dashofy, Under The Radar


Saturday Guest Bloggers:
2/1 Valerie Burns
2/8 Jeannette de Beauvoir
2/15 Kathryn Lane

WWK Bloggers: 2/22 Kait Carson, 1/28 & 1/29 Special Interviews with Agatha Nominees by Paula Gail Benson

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WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."


Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.


Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, will be released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here on April 29th.


Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!


KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.


Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.


Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.



Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

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Saturday, June 2, 2018

On Navigating the Murky Middle by Joanne Guidoccio



I love beginnings—in life and on the page. Anything and everything is possible whenever a blank slate appears before me. That momentum can last for days, weeks, months, and sometimes even longer.

At least, that’s what I like to think whenever I begin a new writing project.

A linear pantser, I write brief character sketches, plot the first three chapters and the last, and then let the words flow. At some point, usually around Page 80, I encounter the murky middle, that nebulous place where I find it difficult to continue or sustain the tension of the novel. In short, I’m lost with no clear trail or direction in sight.

In the early days of my writing career, I struggled to regain my motivation, wondering if I should abandon the novel. Thankfully, I have discovered three strategies that have lifted me out of the abyss.

Professional Development

During my teaching years, I would sign up for summer in-service at different universities throughout the province of Ontario. These courses would last anywhere from three days to four weeks. Afterward, I would feel refreshed and ready to tackle a new semester in the fall.

While experiencing my second prolonged drought, I searched for the right course/workshop that could propel me over the writing hump. Online courses offered through Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, Savvy Authors, and Ed2Go have worked best for me. Lasting anywhere from one to four weeks, these courses succeed in inspiring and motivating me to return to the page. The key is to complete all the recommended exercises and actively participate in discussions.

Cross-Reading

In Think, legal analyst and author Lisa Bloom urges us to select books that challenge our points of view. Her argument: Our brains need a varied diet of books to stay sharp.

An avid reader of mysteries and women’s fiction, I decided to explore historical fiction written by a male author. During a cold, blustery winter, I spent the entire month of February reading the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett. The three tomes—Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, Edge of Eternity—follow dramatic events in the lives of five interrelated families (American, Russian, German, English, and Welsh) and sprawl over nearly 3,000 pages.  After that month-long reading marathon, I was ready to return to the calmer, less complicated world of my WIP.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

This is the Red Bull solution that has helped me avoid two murky middles. In 2016 and 2017, I joined millions of authors worldwide and made the commitment to write 50K words during November. Inspired and motivated by the online community and local meet-ups, I wrote at least 1,667 words each day and completed very rough first drafts of two novels: A Different Kind of Reunion and No More Secrets. Whenever I encountered a roadblock, I typed INSERT CHAPTER and continued writing. My well-honed left brain appreciated the badges, and I wanted to wear the Winner T-shirt!

Trailer – A Different Kind of Reunion

Giveaway:
Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
Bio

A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne Guidoccio writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.





16 comments:

KM Rockwood said...

Great suggestions! I think many of us suffer from the "murky middle" problem.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I agree with Kathleen on the murky middle. I throw in a subplot and amp up the pace.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks KM! I find it a common problem among writers and feel reassured when others share their "murky middle" stories. :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

I've also added a sub-plot and additional characters to a couple of my books. Thanks for dropping by, Margaret :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks for hosting me, Elaine :)

Warren Bull said...

Good idea for avoiding the mid manuscript sag.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks Warren!

carla said...

Middles can be HAAARRDD. One writer called said it was "like driving through Texas." It goes forever and you don't think you'll ever get there.

Gloria Alden said...

Good ideas on that middle problem where I am now. I'm a reader, too. Last year I read 97 books and most of them were mysteries except for the ones picked by the two book clubs I belong, too. I've put your name on my list of TBO books to read.

Shari Randall said...

Thank you for these great ideas, Joanne! I've never done Nano, but now you've got me thinking about it.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Carla, Love the comparison! For me, driving through parts of Northern Ontario approximates that "murky middle" feeling. :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Gloria, 97 Books...that's impressive! I read between 50 and 60 books a year.Thanks for the support. :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Good to see you here, Shari. I didn't think I'd ever do Nano. But now, I'm hooked. :)

Grace Topping said...

Thanks for visiting us at WWK. It was the Ed2Go course on How to Write a Mystery that got me started. I don’t think I would have come up with a finished manuscript without having taken it.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Grace, Always a pleasure to visit WWK. I've taken several courses with Ed2Go and highly recommend them. Only 6 weeks in length and chock full of wonderful content and advice.

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