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Category Archives: plot and structure
November 14, 2011 by Mara Purl
“Who done it?” Why do we get so caught up in solving mysteries? I have several readers—whose names I shall not divulge—who regularly e-mail me demanding to know who killed Chris, and whether she’s really dead, and when the crime will be solved! And I thought I was the only one who couldn’t sleep at night wondering about the characters of Milford-Haven!
My accomplished friend Margaret Coel has equally marvelous stories about the obsessive nature of readers and how involved they become with her characters. At our event last weekend, she recounted some of the “helpful suggestions” she receives regarding her two protagonists, and how their life-dilemmas might be solved.… Read more
November 1, 2011 by Mara Purl
Perhaps cracking the cover on an unknown book is something like opening the door to strange children on Halloween. “Trick or Treat” they cry. We consider it mostly an idle threat, because we know if we’ve opened the door at all, we’re going to deliver a treat, and therefore not expect to be tricked. And perhaps this is analogous to shelling out our twenty-five dollars for a hardcover book: we expect to receive a treat and we don’t expect to be tricked.
But what’s the point of fiction? Is it to trick the reader into thinking that the characters they’re reading about and the circumstances in which they find themselves are real?… Read more
October 3, 2011 by Mara Purl
It was a spectacular California early October Autumn day on the Central Coast: blue sky painted with whisps of cloud, sparkling water tracing the carved coastline, and just enough of a bite in the air to break out a jacket. Actually, this was a dress-up day, so the jacket was a pale silk leopard print, the skirt was leather and the shoes were high heels. Why the fancy duds? Today was High Tea in Santa Barbara, something I’d been looking forward to, something we’d planned for months.
There was an interesting twist in this plotline, however. The charity we’d been working with supports families to prevent homelessness and welfare dependency, especially in a tough economy.… Read more
August 27, 2011 by Mara Purl
Writers have a quasi glamorous reputation in the world. We’re seen by some as being eccentric but disciplined; reclusive but willing to take center stage when necessary. The comment I hear most often is how “creative” I am. It’s as though some sort of magic is involved by which we writers make prose and poetry flow through our fingertips onto keyboards or pads of paper.
The truth is probably as unglamorous as it can be. Why? Because half or two-thirds or three-quarters of what we do is edit and re-write. Believe me, it’s a ruthless process for most of us, one that leads to expressions like “kill your darlings” (your most perfectly wrought sentences).… Read more
August 12, 2011 by Mara Purl
What’s a nice lady like me doing on a blog visit to the site called The Lady Killers? Especially since the sub-title of the blog is “An unsuitable blog for women”? Well, the answer is I just couldn’t resist an invitation from the Top Mystery Blog 2010 Award Winner.
With 200 hits a day, 1,400 a week, 4,800 a month, 57, 600 per year, it’s obvious how they got their high Google ranking. How did they achieve such success? Well, maybe because their blog is a sophisticated blend of posts offered by fourteen mystery writers who take turns either creating their own offerings, or inviting guests to do so.… Read more
August 10, 2011 by Mara Purl
Perhaps invention and reinvention is a perpetual state of affairs for authors, We’re always working on something: outlining or polishing, restructuring or fine tuning. And not only do we do this with our projects. We tend to do with ourselves too.
Such is the intriguing mix of information on Works In Progress, a blog posted by Betty & Friends. Actually, the blog host is Betty Carlton, and it’s her generosity that caused her to create her world of Betty and Friends.
Betty spent a full career in the insurance business, then at the eleventh was laid off. But, rather than retire, she reinvented herself as an author.… Read more
August 3, 2011 by Mara Purl
What fun to be featured today as a guest of Www.RomanceJunkies.com. Though they chose a tongue-in-cheek name, their elegant site reveals a multitude of cross-connected authors and readers actively engaged in every aspect of Romance Fiction.
Founded in 2003 by Kat Brown, the site now has 60 reviewers, scores of author links, ten categories, and 2,500 loyal followers who communicate with one another on a regular basis through forums, and 1 million hits per month.
A key part of the site is the Romance Junkies Blog, where I’m the featured guest today, www.RomanceJunkies.com/RJBlog/?p=1150, as are my new books When Hummers Dream (free e-book this month) and What the Heart Knows (hardcover next month).… Read more