Tidbits and Nuggets for Writers

The blogosphere holds a wealth of information available to writers at all levels. If you’re like me, half of the GB’s on your computer are taken up by saved bookmarks and links.

Whether it’s an article, book, or a single sentence, finding the answer to that one nagging question feels like gold. I call these treasured finds – tidbits and nuggets – a quick and dirty reference source for writing.

 Here are a few of my favorites:

K.M. Weiland on the Most Common Writing Mistakes: Are Your Verbs Showing or Telling?

Telling is summarizing. Telling gives the readers the bare facts, with little to no illustration.”

Showing is elaborating. Showing gives the readers the details of a scene, including what the character(s) are seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, thinking, and feeling emotionally.”

Slushpile Avalanche on Denoting Scene Breaks:

“In fiction, scene breaks should never be subtle… When it comes time to make that break, simply insert a # or a *.”

 Deena Nataf on being – Scared to Write What You Really Think? Why it Will Make You a Better Writer – Write to Done

“Staying neutral to avoid offending anyone will result in words without substance. Not being neutral doesn’t mean you have to be controversial; it means having your own opinion and expressing it.”

Writer’s Path: Ryan Lantz and guest author Jacqui Murray – How To Characterize Love In Your Writing:

“Love is about emotion. That’s where you write it…The reaction of your characters must be in-character.”

Allison Beckert from her blog, Art of Stories on The Relationship Arc

“Writing a relationship functions the same way as any story; it requires its own rising action, climax, and resolution.”

John J Kelley from Writer Unboxed:  The Care and Feeding of Relationships.

“For each relationship of my protagonist, I stripped out each scene in which he engaged the other character and then read them independently, isolated from the distracting swirl of the rest of the story. In doing so, I could see gaps clearly, places where emotional leaps felt too broad or moved too fast.”

I use physical notebooks and desktops apps like the ones below. Whichever method you choose, having these at my fingertips makes writing easier.

5 Ways to Create a Reference Library to Have at Your Fingertips.
  1.   WORD– Open a document and each time you come across a tidbit or nugget, add the topic and link to the document.
  2.  ONE NOTE – in the same way.
  3.  EXCEL – make a spreadsheet of the author, topic, link, and tidbit.
  4.  POCKET – and create a list of favorite articles.
  5.  EVERNOTE – a central collection of notes.

Do you have something similar? How do you collect your favorite tidbits and nuggets on writing?  I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.


Looks Like a Princess to Me

This was a draft from an old prompt. Don’t remember why I didn’t get around to posting this, but here it is. Enjoy.

Panicked, the man ran from rack to rack.
“Can I help you, Sir?” The clerk asked.
“I only looked away for a minute.”
“You’ve lost something?”
The man frantically wiped aside clothes on the nearby racks, looking underneath one. “Jackson!”
The clerk’s hands fluttered against her chest. “Oh my; shall I call security?”
“Jackson, I swear to God, when I get my hands on you.”
“I’m sure he’s close by, but threatening him won’t make him come out of hiding,” the clerk said, in a strained, high voice.
A look of confusion crossed the clerk’s face. “You said, Jackson. Aren’t we looking for a boy?”
The man rolled his eyes. “It’s a gender neutral name,” he said, moving to the next rack. “Haven’t you heard the latest, gender terms are offensive.”
“Offensive?” The clerk moved with him, scanning the area for a wandering child. “To whom?”
“Not to me,” he said, stopping abruptly, “It’s a family name.” A smile spread across his face. The clerk followed his gaze.
The child stood on the dressing stage in front of a large mirror. Tiny hands clutched her frilly pink dress, and dark brown curls bounced with each twirl.images
“She looks like a princess to me; all girl,” he said.

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I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and  Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Books That Stay With You

Usually, I post my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. You can find them easy enough by clicking on the tab at the top of this page. However, once in a while a book comes along that deserves a stand-out review.

41Rgnm19FlL._AC_US320_QL65_ Kill Someone by Luke Smitherd, is one of those books. Although, typically not her genre,  my sister, Jean Cogdell @ Jeanswriting.com, recommended and shared her copy. “You have to read this book,” she said.

It wasn’t a hard sell, for those of you who’ve read many of my stories, the title grabbed me immediately.

This book captured my attention from the first page. I couldn’t put it down. I often said rhetoric is easy, “I’d never….” You fill in the blank. The truth is no one knows what they would do in any given circumstance. When the rubber meets the road, things take on a whole new meaning. Now, imagine being presented with two options, one horrifying and the other worse. What would you do if you, plain, old ordinary you had to kill a random stranger in order to save the lives of five others? Of course, the choice is never that simple. There are always caveats.

This is the predicament the protagonist, Chris Summer faces when two strangers show up on his doorstep in the wee hours of the morning. The minute he opened the door, his life changed. You’ve heard the old saying, “nothing is free.” Well, nothing means nothing, including our decisions. Chris discovers this the hard way.

The author takes us on the journey with Chris and, I gotta tell you, I felt the struggle Chris felt. You cannot read this book without asking every other page, “What would I do? Could I?”

The characters are extremely well-developed. The sinister man in white, the scary, silent man in black, and Chris. With each sentence, you feel his breathless sense of hopelessness, panic, the sweat on his brow and the sleepless nights. You feel his struggles in every one of his decisions, and you don’t know which way you want him to go – either option sends a chill down your spine.

I didn’t see the ending coming As the author tied up loose ends, I found myself, once again, saying – “Well, damn.”

If you like psychological thrillers, Kill Someone is the book that will stay with you for a long time. It’s worth noting, this story has gotten the author noticed. Huffington Post said, “Luke Smitherd: A Writer To Look Out For In 2017.”

I give this book five stars.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

April Fools’ Day

Happy April Fools’ Day! This day in history and a few fun quotes.

“Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever. – Charles Lamb, cited in Wordsworth Book of Humorous Quotations.”

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

May the Road Rise Up to Meet You

imagesTo My Irish Readers  images


May you always have,

A sunbeam to warm you

Good Luck to charm you,

imagesimagesAnd a sheltering angel

So, nothing can harm you.

Laughter to cheer you, 

Faithful friends near you

And, whenever you pray,

Heaven to hear you.

May the Road Rise Up to Meet You, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields, And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”  An Irish Blessing. Click to Tweet