Three Links 7/3/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by Dina Dee from Pixabay

Three Links 7/3/2020

Loleta Abi


1. “Over the years, I’ve done a lot of posts on dialogue, in part because when I went searching for a deeper understanding on the topic, I didn’t find a lot of material. One of the recurring things I did find though, was about writing indirect dialogue. And this is absolutely one of the best places to start, when learning how to craft better dialogue. Dialogue should always be saying and doing more than what’s on the page.

Almost always, anyway.

Naturally, this means incorporating indirection.

Which plays closely into subtext.

But a few times I’ve been asked, when is it okay to use direct dialogue? For this post, I have at least four answers.” Nice insight into direct and indirect dialogue!

2. “I’ve been writing consistently since I was twelve, which means I’ve now been writing for the (amazingly long very short?) period of twenty-two years. In that time, almost as much about my writing has changed as has remained the same.

This is something I’ve been casually pondering for a while now. Then, last week, I received the following email from David Hall:

Down the street I can see 70 years coming toward me. A few more months and it will be impossible to avoid. Have you ever discussed age and how it affects the material we write?

For starters, let me say that this one of my favorite types of email to receive—those sent to me by older writers who are either just starting out or are still going strong. With this year’s birthday, I will reach the moment in my life where fifty is as near to me in the future as twenty is in the past”

3. “I’m sympathetic regarding what a pain it is to create a proposal. When I was writing books, I felt grumpy when I had to do a proposal. That’s when I dipped into what I call Authors’ Magical Thinking.

That’s when we let our imaginations drift into a fantasy land in which we can take shortcuts because we’re “special” and don’t have to travel the long hard road everyone else does. Employing Authors’ Magical Thinking, we’re confident we can still arrive at the desired destination, riding a unicorn and wearing a gold crown upon our carefully coiffed head, greeting our fans with a regal wave.

When it came to proposals, my magical thinking went like this: It seemed as if I was trying to convince a publisher to like me. “Either you like me or you don’t; either my idea makes sense to you when I describe it in a few sentences or it doesn’t. Why do I have to agonize over all these details: title, subtitle, hook, description, audience, word count, comparative titles, bio, sales history, chapter summaries–even sample chapters, for Pete’s sake. If I wanted to be a salesperson, I’d apply for the job!”

Yeah, Authors’ Magical Thinking.” I wish we didn’t have to do querying or proposals either but how can we convince others to give our books a try if we can’t explain them properly?

Research & Fun Bits:

1. “The sleepy town of Bad Kreuznach, Germany found itself at the center of one of the most bizarre, high-profile murder mysteries in the country’s history — the search for a serial killer the police called The Woman Without a Face.

The police found no fingerprints. No witnesses. No description. But they did have a trail of DNA that stretched back 15 years and across three countries. A case so bizarre that the mystery woman — aka The Phantom of Heilbronn — wasn’t only an elusive female serial killer but a cop-killer, as well.

On May 23, 1993 in the quite town of Idar-Oberstein, Germany, a neighbor knocked at the door of Lieselotte Schlenger. No one answered. She knocked again and again. Still no answer. Finally, she phoned the police. When they arrived, they found Lieselotte on the living room floor. Someone had strangled her to death using wire from the floral bouquet. Police interviewed dozens of potential witnesses, but no one heard or saw a thing. The only clue to the killer’s identity were trace amounts of DNA found on the lip of a teacup. Police couldn’t match the DNA to a suspect. They did, however, determine the sample came from a woman.

Fast forward eight years.

In March 2001, in Freiburg, a southwestern town in Germany miles away from Idar-Oberstein, a 61-year-old antique dealer, Jozef Walzenbach, was found strangled to”

2. “Our next stop was only about half an hour’s drive from the Templar Church, and the road took us through the silent green of Bodmin Moor. With a long drive still ahead, I restrained myself, albeit barely, from turning aside at every interesting signpost, but I was determined to see one of Cornwall’s finest burial chambers… Trethevy Quoit.

The name, Trethevy, is thought to derive from the old Cornish for ‘place of the graves’. The locals call it the Giant’s House and there are tales of giants playing games with the stones. It has another name too, King Arthur’s Quoit, though I have been unable to find any reason why the legendary monarch should be associated with the place. The area, though, is rich in Arthurian sites, from his birthplace at Tintagel, just a few miles to the west, to King Arthur’s Hall and his Bed on Bodmin Moor… and Dozmary Pool, where the Lady of the Lake gave him Excalibur and to where it was returned on his death.”

3. “In the early morning hours, in a hotel, I was preparing to be on faculty at an important conference when I discovered that an elf had snuck into my makeup bag and stolen my Lancôme foundation. For those who don’t wear cosmetics, foundation is a substance that takes your skin from “ready to read a book in the privacy of your home” to “ready to appear before important people” within moments. Because of the elf, I had the moments but not the foundation. I rarely wear foundation, so I wasn’t surprised that the elf made off with it. I always pack tubes of red lipstick in various conveyances, however, so they are too numerous and substantial for the elf to carry them all away.

Horrified, I realized I could not recover from this theft in time to appear flawless by conference time. There was no store open at that hour, not even one that carried the most inferior foundation. For a split second, I wondered if I could text the director, “I’m sorry, but an elf stole my foundation so I can’t appear today,” and go home. No. No, I did not text her that.

Instead, I summoned courage and applied the rest of my “face” before heading out for the event. Here is what did NOT happen as a result of my lack of foundation:”

Some Things More Serious:

1. “I want to welcome a new member of the U. L. S., the Underground Library Society, Michelle Saul, an excellent writer, a former student of mine, and someone I am proud to call friend. This is her choice of book to become and to save, if we lived in a world as in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in which books are forbidden.

Michelle’s post:

I have always though that the preservation of the written word is one of the most important things in the world. As a lover of books for as long as I can remember, some of my earliest and fondest memories are of my mother, my Aunt Mary, and my nana reading books to me. Blue Bug and Word Bird were just the start of a life long love of books. As I’ve gotten older and have discovered more books and authors, my love for books has only grown stronger with each passing year. So the thought of a world without books and reading is a horrifies me!

I’ve given a lot of thought as to what book I would memorize should the need ever arise and I’m sure for anyone who knows me, they would be surprised to find that my choice isn’t Harry Potter. Though I have loved Harry Potter for over half of my life and have learned many lessons from it over my lifetime, the book I’m choosing I feel embodies the true spirit of memorizing stories and telling them.

That book would be Ireland by Frank Delaney.”

2. “Different stories have different goals. Some care more about making us think, and others care more about making us feel. Some focus more on the plot, and others focus more on the characters. And so on.

Sometimes those goals are driven by our genre. For example, the romance genre usually strives to make readers connect and care about the characters on a personal level. Readers want to root for them to find and deserve their Happily Ever After, so a strong emotion and character focus is key.

Given that I’m a romance author, that’s one of the reasons I greatly respect and appreciate what Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of the famed Emotion Thesaurus have done for the craft of writing. While their Writers Helping Writersblog includes plenty of information about plotting, they’ve focused on characters and emotions more than many other resources.

So when Angela offered to share her insights into applying what she’s learned about characters to crafting a deeper, more powerful relationship (specifically with romances), you can bet that I jumped at the chance. Especially, as she’s sharing fantastic examples so we can understand how we can apply her insights too.”


Teaser Fiction & Poetry:




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “The Old Woman & the Mad Horse – Case File for: The Big Three Mining Investigation by Cage Dunn and Rose Brimson
The tension starts on the first page and doesn’t let up until nearly the end. Hella Solaris is an investigator for a shadowy organization opposing a mega-corporation’s efforts to gain technological domination of the earth’s population. Her intent to step back from active service in a small rural community is thwarted, first by the presence of an angry horse, and then by a criminal element who wants to drive her away, and finally, by discoveries and developments that entangle the personal with the professional.

This is a thriller of sorts, but much of the action is internal. Hella gathers information, processes information, formulates theories, has “aha” moments and “oh shit” moments, weighs priorities and calculates risks. The point of view is close third person. Very close; for most of the book the reader is inside Hella’s head, seeing what she sees—often on the screens of various electronic devices—following her thoughts, experiencing her emotions. The pace is dizzying and there are opportunities to lose the thread, especially when tech-related acronyms and initialisms abound. I ended up reading the book twice, to make sure I picked up on all the crucial details.”

2. “Abigail Bender lost her only love at Gettysburg in 1863. One hundred and fifty years later Kaitlyn Novacs, teetering on the edge of a breakdown after the loss of her one love, encounters Abigail’s spirit in a quaint Canadian inn. There’s a connection between these women, Kaitlyn feels it the first moment she sees the ghost but refuses to admit it. She is forced to accept how closely her fate mirrors the ghost’s when through Abigail’s window she witnesses the ghost’s life and death. Still, there’s a secret Abigail withholds from Kaitlyn. Will discovering that secret come too late to save Kaitlyn from Abigail’s fate?”


2 responses to “Three Links 7/3/2020 Loleta Abi”

    1. You’re welcome, Reena!

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