More Genre Clichés

Multi-genre author Staci Troilo has some great advice for authors on what NOT to write about! A fun and informative post. She nailed it!!

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers! Last time, we talked about clichés in horror and how to fix them. This time, we’re going to look at stereotypes in two more genres and ways to turn them around.

Mystery

  • Title of the book is “the character in the place (often vantage point)” i.e. The Woman in the Window
    • Solution: Find something more appealing to name your book. Often a word or line in the text will pop.
  • Bad guy sees the voyeur investigating what they saw
    • Solution: This is overdone. If you want to have a voyeur, don’t let the villain see the voyeur. Let the voyeur approach the villain. Maybe the voyeur is worse than the villain and blackmails him or becomes inspired by him and becomes a supervillain.
  • Washed up grizzled alcoholic detective who lost someone and comes out of retirement to solve the crime even though competent cops can’t
    • Solution:…

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Twitter: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Check out this post by best-selling author, Mae Clair, with helpful tips for Twitter:

Story Empire

Hello, SEers! It’s a Mae Day on Story Empire, and the topic is Twitter. We all have social media platforms we favor. For me (outside of blogging) it’s all about Tweeting. Strangely, when I first ventured into the realm of social media almost ten years ago, I was certain I would detest Twitter. Not so.

Which brings me to this quick overview of the good, the bad, and the ugly. See if you agree.

Two Head Of Lama, Closeup Portrait, White

THE GOOD

Twitter delivers news as it happens, enabling a user to follow a thread as it unfolds in real time. I like that. And not all news is bad news. There’s a lot of silliness out there, too. A few years ago, I remember watching two escaped llamas lead police officers on a merry chase through a downtown city. Tell me THAT wasn’t fun to watch in real time!

There are a lot of connections…

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Poetry – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry by Balroop Singh

On a lovely summer day, immerse yourself in the exquisite poetry of Ballroom Singh. Here’s a book to start with:

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This week as I sat in the peace of the back garden and enjoyed the last of the sunshine for a while, I enjoyed reading and rereading the poems in the latest collection of Balroop Singh –  Slivers:Chiseled Poetry.

About the collection

When I stumbled upon haiku – a Japanese form of poetry, I scoffed it away, thinking it to be too short and easy to write. My hubris got a setback when I was challenged to write it! My earlier efforts show how I struggled with the syllables that could convey a meaningful message. Slowly I discovered this art form, which I revere now. I’ve taken some liberties with the rules though.

The poetry in this collection is not traditional haiku and tanka but inspired from them.This collection focuses on micro-poetry, inspired from haiku, senryu, tanka and acrostic poems. Brevity and discipline is the hallmark of these poems.

My…

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Welcome to Day 11 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @MauraBeth2014 #TheEdgeOfFear @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC

#RRBC founder and president, Nonnie Jules, was kind enough to interview me for her series, 12 Days of Authors. Check it out here, and follow her blog. Hope you follow mine, too!

Watch Nonnie Write!

12 Days of Authors Maura Beth Brennan

GIVEAWAY:

At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!

***

On the 11th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…

AUTHOR, MAURA BETH BRENNAN!

Author bio:

I grew up in the 50’s in what, I think, would now be called an “exburb.” We were really far out from everything and from other kids, and so I learned early on to use my imagination. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school, married young, had a daughter, got a divorce, remarried and eventually got a job writing job descriptions and other materials for the Department of Defense. I had gone…

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A new painting

Writer Robbie Cheadle introduces us to a wonderful artist, Smitha Vishmanath and her painting of the sun rising over a snowy scene. Refreshing in all this heat! Bonus – a link to a gallery of more paintings to brighten your Sunday:

Robbie's inspiration

My blogging friend, Smitha Vishwanath, started painting at the beginning of the pandemic last year. I have been watching her improve and stretch her creative wings with oil paints and watercolours and I am amazed by her progress and talent.

A couple of months ago, one of her paintings caught my eye and I bought it from her. Smitha was very obliging and arranged for the painting to be couriered to South Africa from Mumbai in India.

This painting of a group of barren trees in the snow really spoke to me.

I chose this painting as I love the contrast of the stark and bare trees in their snowy setting with the rising sun. The darkness of the tree trunks and branches and the bluey greys of the snow and shadows make the gorgeous brightness of the yellowy sun creeping up into the sky all the more warm…

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Developing Your Villain

Love creating villains for your readers to root against? Read this post from best-selling author, Staci Troilo, about adding depth to your characters.

Story Empire

Caricature by J.J., SVG file by Gustavb, Re-png’d by VirtualRash  Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Ciao, SEers! I’ve been talking to you about some of my favorite character types the last couple of times I was with you. We’ve already gone over sidekicks and red herrings (if you missed them). Today, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I, the writer who delights in killing so many of her characters in so many different ways, is talking to you about the villain.

I feel like I could write a book on the subject. Many writers already have. Today, however, I want to focus on three points: power, motivation, and success.

Power

A villain needs to be a worth adversary for your hero. By worthy, I mean he needs to be slightly more powerful. Yes, more powerful. Not equal, not less. More.

If he’s too strong, he’ll never be beaten. Too weak…

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The other sister

Check out this fun and informative post by writer C.S. Boyack

Story Empire

Hi gang, Craig with you again today. We’re going to talk about something that could really help in your stories. I’m going to use the analogy of two sisters.

We all know Suspense. She’s pretty, gets invited to parties, and can carry a story all by herself. Readers are drawn to her like bees to honey. “Any more at home like her?” Funny you should ask. She has a sister.

This sister can really fill in the gaps in your tale, but she’s hard to get close to. She takes a bit of practice. Her name is Tension.

Tension

Your first attempts to talk with her might feel clumsy and forced, but it’s worth struggling through. She’s a powerful friend if you take the time.

She works like this: Things shouldn’t be comfortable for your main characters. Suspense can make them flip the pages, but if everything between the turning points…

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Welcome to Day 1 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors (June) Series! @Sharrislaughter #OurLadyOfVictory @RRBC_Org #RRBC

Here’s an author with an impressive history of activism and community involvement as well as fabulous books – Shirley Harris-Slaughter:

Watch Nonnie Write!

12 Days of Authors Shirley

GIVEAWAY:

At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!

***

On the 1st day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…

AUTHOR, SHIRLEY HARRIS-SLAUGHTER!

Author bio:

Shirley Harris-Slaughter is someone who means what she says and writes it down if she is inclined to. That is how she became the author of Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community which was written to address a need to preserve Catholic history in her local community.

“During my graduate studies I prepared an Applied Research Project to address the deplorable condition of our train station, in downtown Detroit…

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Book Reviews by Mae Clair: The Edge of Fear by Maura Beth Brennan #domesticthriller @maurabeth2014

The excellent author and book reviewer has given my book, The Edge of Fear, a five-star review and included it in her blog today! Here it is:

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Striped kitten lying on open book, eyeglasses resting on pages. Book and kitten on white blanket

It’s pool weather, which means I’ve been doing a lot of reading. It won’t happen often, but, yes this is my third book review post this week. My husband and I are traveling this weekend, leaving Friday to attend a family wedding. I won’t be visible after tomorrow until some time next week, so decided to share this today.

I always love when I discover the work of an author I haven’t read before and it resonates strongly with me. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing my review for The Edge of Fear by Maura Beth Brennan. Not only is this a fabulous story, but the character relationships alone kept me flipping pages!

BOOK BLURB:

When youhave everything you always wanted, you have everything to lose.

After years of struggling to overcome her tragic childhood, Hattie has the life of her dreams—a husband, a baby daughter, a beautiful home…

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