Thursday, November 3, 2016

My 10 seconds on COLD CASE

"I saw you on Cold Case last night."
I spent five hours in cool comfort on a hot Wednesday in September 2009 playing Sam Tasker, a homeless man who witnessed a crime, on Season 7, Episode 7 (Read Between the Lines) of the popular CBS drama Cold Case. When the show aired, I was on-screen for about ten seconds with one of the stars walking right by me. In background acting terms, that's major screen time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Use what you know

For years, writing teachers said, "Write what you know." However, after writing six successful mystery novels, I discovered that you can USE what you know but don't be limited to the exact memories. Use your own life but alter it to work dramatically.

As an example, I am currently writing MYSTERY IN A PINK HOTEL, a mystery.

Kate, the protagonist, is upset because her boyfriend, a Tampa police detective named Marc, is having dinner with his ex-wife, an actress named Monet Swann.

Kate, a smart freelance writer, is based on my wife, Lori.
Monet is based on a flamboyant actress I was married to for three months, back in 1979. Marc is me if I were brave, smart and a policeman.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

4 tips for better writing

Four tips on being a better writer

1. Don’t judge the first draft.
No matter what you’re writing, the first draft, or what I call the Secret Draft, should be about getting the ideas on the page. Don’t let your inner editor to stop you. That’s what revisions are for.

2. Keep it simple.
It’s easy for your message to be buried in the language. Don’t write like you think a writer would write. Write like you. If it can be simpler, make it simpler.

3. Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly.
Regardless of what you’re writing, verbs are your power words. Make them do your heavy lifting, and keep the lightweight descriptors like adjectives and adverbs scarce. Adverbs are the crab grass of writing.

4. Always get an outside edit.
Whether it’s a novel or a blog post, sometimes we are trapped in our own ideas, and the grand vision clouds our ability to see the actual words on the page. So work your vision and polish it up as much as you can … but then, get feedback from someone else whose editorial judgment you respect.

----- (From NOVEL SECRETS available in paperback and Kindle form.)