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

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

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

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Friday, July 19, 2019

Five Writing Numbers by Warren Bull

Five Writing Numbers

Image by Amador Louveiro on Upsplash

Although there are no absolute rules in writing and I have never seen the process accurately reduced to an equation, I have developed a number of relevant numbers that help me evaluate written work.
One. A writer has one chance to engage a reader, an agent, an editor or a publisher. I cringe when I hear a writer say, “Oh, I deal with that in the next chapter (page or paragraph.)  The audience may not read that far if they don’t have a reason to continue reading right now.  Gonna’ bring in the fireworks or send a man into the room carrying a gun? Do it now.
Two. If I see two !s on page one, I am not likely to read the page at all. I have read too many examples of a writer trying to use punctuation to express emotion. I hesitate when I see one ! on page one. Vivid writing does not need any. Well, okay, one if you absolutely must. !s make me think people are shouting. I have never read a story where !s have a positive effect.
Three is about the absolute number of characters readers can keep in their minds in the opening of a story. Two human and a pet can work. When the number of characters exceeds the number of pages, the audience has already lost track. Reading will soon be replaced by something more engaging like clipping fingernails. Do you remember meeting your significant other’s family at a holiday? What I recall is that after two minutes, I knew none of the names. I did not remember if the person talking with me admired General Lee or General Grant. I could not tell if the person in the corner was eyeing me with lust, disgust or was so nearsighted that I was out of their visual field.
Four. There are four things a writer should do that will not guarantee that their work will get accepted. First, read the submission guidelines carefully. Second, comply with the submission guide. I have attended writing conferences that have small groups of writers presenting a selection of their work to an agent in hopes the agent will ask for a larger sample and possibly consider representing the writers. Every time at least one writer in the group presented something different from the guidelines. And none of those authors was asked to send in more of their work. Third, respond to requests quickly. Fourth, respond to requests politely.
Five. The reason writers should do four the things that do not guarantee acceptance, is that, if they do, their submission will move from immediate filing in the circular file receptacle on the floor that is  known as the trash can, to a pile that could be labeled, “maybe.”


Margaret S. Hamilton said...

thoughtful blog. Thank you!

E. B. Davis said...

Wise advice, Warren.

KM Rockwood said...

Great hints, Warren. The writing may be the important thing, but there are basic guidelines most of us must follow.

Susan Oleksiw said...

Spot on, Warren. I was just reading a story that introduced three characters in the first half page and I've had to go back to look repeatedly to figure out who's who and where am I in the story. Number four is also very needed.