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Tips on how to find your love of writing again

There can be a variety of reasons writers lose their love of writing. Maybe it’s an illness, a critique, or simply the busyness of life, but writers often lose their love of writing and desperately want to find it again. Writing is therapy for many people. It’s a way for them to escape from the stresses of life, but also to express their creativity. In many cases, writing is more for the writer than it is for the reader, even though the reader is a very important component of the writing process.

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How to improve dialogue and capture your readers’ attention

For some writers, dialogue is their biggest challenge, not necessarily because they don’t know what they want their characters to say, but because they don’t know how to present that dialogue well.

Today I thought I’d jump off a topic our own Kelly Barr touched on a couple of weeks ago on the blog when she wrote about the difference between action beats and dialogue tags.

As a new fiction writer, I am among those writers who sometimes don’t do the best job of presenting dialogue in my stories.

One of the traps that we new writers fall into is adding descriptive words to replace “said” after every part of dialogue. Instead of simply writing “said”, writers often try to break up that monotony by replacing “said” with terms like “exclaimed,” “declared” or “shouted.” Sometimes these replacements work, but sometimes, if read in successive dialogue exchanges, these descriptive words can be completely awkward.

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A New Chapter Excerpt

I am in the middle of writing book three of my Spencer Valley Chronicles series, A New Chapter. I decided I would share an excerpt from the book for today’s post.

A little bit about the book:

When single mom Liz Cranmer needs support she finds it in Spencer’s 53-year old library director Ginny Jefferies, who also happens to be the mother-in-law of Liz’s sister.

Ginny’s own grandchildren live several states away (for now anyhow) and she needs to distract herself from her mundane, lonely life, made even lonelier by a workaholic husband.

Liz’s life is hectic, especially since she’s just had a baby, is trying to recover from a dark time in her past, including dating an abusive boyfriend and struggling with alcohol addiction, and has decided to go back to college to get a degree in social work.

Can she and Ginny navigate the tough times in their lives together?

And how will Spencer Valley Police Officer fit in to Liz’s chaos? If at all?

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Writing as therapy

Covid hit me hard in mid-November, sending me to the hospital for four and a half days and leaving me with the most intense brain fog and other weird symptoms, even now a month and a half later.

It was probably only two weeks that I was unable to write, either on my blog, or in my current work in progress, but it felt much longer. Even when I did start to write again, the words in my head were jumbled and I knew they made little to no sense. It was important for me to start to write again, though, not only for my mental well-being but also for my spiritual well-being. There is something about being able to put thoughts to paper that connects me with others and with God.

Covid left me with an insane internal trembling/quiver that is hard to explain and doctors don’t know how to help yet. Others who have had COVID are reporting this symptom as well. A couple nights after I came home from the hospital, I sat on my bed and asked my son to hand me my laptop. I wanted to write a blog post to update a few blogging friends but was afraid the trembling would be too distracting for me. As I began to form words, though, typing slowly along, the tremor seemed to subside, almost as if the mere act of writing was a type of therapy for me.

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A little excerpt from The Next Chapter

Today I thought I would share a little of what I am working on these days. This chapter introduces readers of my Spencer Valley Chronicles series to Ginny Jefferies, the town librarian. This is a work in progress so there will most likely be some errors, from spelling to punctuation to maybe even a few wrong names used, but hopefully not too bad.

If you like what you read here, this third book in the series will be released sometime in the spring of 2022. The first two books in the series are available on Amazon and can be found HERE.

I share a chapter from this story every Friday on my blog (sometimes on Thursdays too) and after I share the last chapter, I publish it as a book on Amazon, currently through Kindle Unlimited, but soon through other services.

Chapter 2 – Ginny

Spencer Valley Library Director Ginny Jefferies unlocked the back door of the library early Monday morning, quickly slipped inside, and slammed the door behind her.
She patted down the strands of her dirty blond, shoulder length hair that had blown out of place during her dash, breathing hard. Getting to her job was like an undercover assignment these days. She was seriously getting too old for this.
There were hours posted on the front door of the library, but people rarely read them.
Why should they?
It was a public library after all.
Wasn’t it always open?

Continue reading “A little excerpt from The Next Chapter”