Grace's Mosaic Moments

Sunday, March 31, 2013


My regular blog readers will recall my rant about "How Not to Write a Book," which was inspired by my efforts to insert a character from Tarleton's Wife and O'Rourke's Heiress into a book that was already written with a different hero. Why? Because I created Jack Harding nearly twenty years ago, let him almost get hanged, let him be disappointed in love, and never gave him the "happily ever after" ending he deserved. Part of the problem was that I never could find the right woman for Jack. And then one day I realized I already had her, except she was the heroine of a book languishing on the back burner because it never felt quite right. So all I had to do was switch heroes, right? 

Wrong. I had to delete the original hero and at least half his friends. I also had to delete my heroine's Abenaki half-brother, a character I absolutely loved - which was the problem, because he outshone the hero and might even have drawn attention from Jack as well. (It's always important to keep that spotlight shining on the hero and heroine.)

And then I had to go through and revise word by word to make Jack sound like Jack and not like the original hero. And make my heroine sound as if she were talking to Jack, not the previous hero. And then I had to write the last half of the book from scratch to accommodate all the changes made in the first half. Sigh!

So it took a while - frankly, just about as much time as writing the book from scratch, and with a lot more hair-tearing. But Rogue's Destiny is finally live on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords, with, hopefully, other e-reader formats available in two-three weeks.

Warning:  Although the story of Rogue's Destiny stands alone, it contains major spoilers for the previous books in the Regency Warrior series: The Sometime Bride, Tarleton's Wife, and O'Rourke's Heiress.

After suffering a broken heart and barely escaping the hangman, Jack Harding escapes his past by becoming the head of a private army and spending his leisure moments as a Devil's Disciple, a group of rakes who model themselves on the old Hellfire Club. But, to his surprise, he discovers that beneath the cold steel of a mercenary lurks the heart of a knight errant. When he meets a young woman from Quebec, alone at an inn on the road to London, he is enchanted, and shocked to find the young Canadian not eager to play by the rules of the Devil's Disciples.

Victoire du Bois, daughter of a Canadian courier de bois and granddaughter of an exiled English nobleman, has come to live with her lofty-titled relatives in England. But when they fail to meet her in Plymouth, she begins to wonder if they truly welcome the arrival of the young woman who is destined to inherit a large trust fund they might prefer to keep in the immediate family. A series of attempts on her life confirm her doubts, leaving Victoire with nowhere to turn but to the rake she nearly shot at an inn on the road from Plymouth.

Amazon Link to Rogue's Destiny

Smashwords link to Rogue's Destiny

Reminder: a 20% free read is available on Smashwords

Thanks for stopping by.

Next week: Dictionary for Writers, Part 5 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Legoland Wind-up

Way back when—and, no, I won't name the year—my husband and I stopped at Cypress Gardens on our honeymoon. What a contrast from our wedding in New Haven when it was snowing so hard some of the guests couldn't even get there. Or the chilling cold at Colonial Williamsburg as we watched New Years' Eve fireworks, including eighteenth-century-style set pieces. But Cypress Gardens? It was glorious. Warmth and beauty - not only from the gorgeous plantings and flowers, but from the elaborately garbed young women in antebellum gowns. And I'm delighted to report that Legoland has kept some of the magic of Cypress Gardens. No, the water show on the lake was but a pale imitation of the acrobatic grace of the performers in the "good old days," but the portion of the Gardens left intact for present-day visitors to enjoy is truly wonderful. A world away from the rides, Lego skyscrapers, and Darth Vader. I was so busy enjoying the peaceful ambiance I didn't take as many pictures as I should have. But I hope you enjoy the ones below.

On the way to the lake

Antebellum greeter to the Gardens - made of Legos

The classic post-card view of Cypress Gardens- except the girls used to be real!

A forest of cypress knees
A meandering stream

The banyan tree below was planted at approximately the same time—about ninety years ago—as the many banyans at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. And although the trees there are large, they are nothing compared to this one, leading me to believe that the salt breezes in Sarasota may have kept the banyans there from developing to their full potential. Or else banyans truly thrive in the soil on Central Florida's "ridge," where so many oranges are grown. Experiencing this one, which I could only photograph one half at a time, was like standing in a cathedral. Truly amazing.

 it's all one, which just kept putting down aerial shoots

From the sublime . . . back to more Legoland 

Yes, it's really made of Legos

Cassidy at the helm

Hailey, docking, as the sun hangs low

And a fond farewell to Legoland Florida

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Special note:   Airborne - The Hanover Restoration, a Steampunk Romance, will be FREE on Tuesday, March 26, 2013.  A young woman is caught up in the effort to restore a Hanover, also young and female, to the British throne a decade after the Duke of Wellington seized the government.
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Thanks for stopping by.

Coming soon: A surprise, followed by Dictionary for Writers, Part 5

Click here for a list of Grace's books as Blair Bancroft

Sunday, March 17, 2013


In Part 4 of “Dictionary for Writers,” I an continuing definitions of the criteria which editors, agents, and contest judges look for in a fiction manuscript, particularly in romance novels.

Conflict.  As both editor and contest judge, I see manuscripts where the author has mistaken petty bickering for true conflict. It just ain’t so! To dredge up a few clichés, Conflict should put the hero and heroine between the devil and the deep blue sea. Between a rock and a hard place.  It should appear as if there is no possible way these two are ever going to get together. Their differences might include: family feud, à la Romeo & Juliet; the threat of severe illness; religious conflict; multiple divorces; differences in class & upbringing (more clearly applicable in historical novels but not unknown in the present day). Whatever you choose, the conflict should be serious.

There are two kinds of conflict: Internal and External.  For Internal Conflict readers need to see inside the Hero's or Heroine’s heads. Their internal thoughts are called Introspection. These thoughts are usually presented in third person, reserving first person thoughts (in italics) for special emphasis.  Internal Conflict is where an author reveals his/her main character’s angst or joy, their most personal plots and plans. External Conflict consists of all the forces ranged against them (as individuals and/or as a couple): angry parents, society’s condemnation, a job on the brink, someone wants to kill them, they have to rescue a child, keep a bomb from going off, etc.

Even if you are writing a simple novella of 20,000 words or less, you have to find a place to fit in both Internal and External Conflict. Without conflict, as I have emphasized before, you have nothing but "Boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married & live happily ever after. The end." Which takes up not quite the width of one line.  Oops.

Note: I have also run into books where the supposed Conflict consists of the hero or heroine continually referring to some dramatic incident in the past that changed their lives, yet at no time does either one reveal what this incident was. Don’t do it!  This makes your book a wall-banger (or a “move immediately to Archives”). Important incidents in the h/h’s past are Conflicts the reader needs to know about.

Dialogue. Oh, how authors love dialogue! It’s so easy to let the words spew forth. And don’t all those how-to books tell you to spark up your novel with dialogue! So you jump right in, creating dialogue like mad. Totally ignoring Who, What, Where, When & Why. You haven’t identified your characters. You haven’t described them, or their setting. You haven’t given us Whiff One of what they’re talking about.  They are, in fact, talking heads indulging in a mystery conversation against a blank background. You do not want to do this.

Yes, you can begin a book with dialogue, but you need to get the necessary facts in place. Identify the people talking, give some idea of where they are and whatever background is necessary to understand what they’re talking about - whether it’s just sniping about a friend, arguing over an inheritance, or plotting a terrorist attack. Don’t be lazy. Add actions and colorful descriptions along with the dialogue. Allow your readers to see the scene as you see it. Something human, alive, comic, dramatic, heart-wrenching, or terrifying. Don’t leave readers floundering, wondering about all the things you should have told them along with the clever dialogue you wrote.

Note: Women’s Coffee-klatch dialogue or Men’s Night Out dialogue, which might very well be clever or make a lot of noise, is not legitimate unless it tells the reader something they need to know. Unless it moves the story forward. Never write Dialogue simply for the sake of livening up your narrative.  Instead, make your narrative colorful enough that readers don’t miss the easy-reading, quick snap of Dialogue.

Narration.  This is the tough one. Narration paints the canvas of your book.  Narration allows readers to see inside the Hero’s and Heroine’s heads. And inside the heads of other characters who are allowed a Point of View. Narration describes your characters, their looks, their likes and dislikes. Narration tells us where they live and work, how they view the world, the people in it, and that special new person they just met (or perhaps have known since the cradle). Narration adds color, richness, depth. Narration lets readers experience the emotions of your main characters, get right inside their heads and feel what they feel. Narration gives us action. At the movies the action is acted out on the screen, but an author has to find a way to describe that car chase, gun battle, swim meet, or sex scene in words vivid enough to paint the picture for people who have only words to go on. It’s a challenge, a true challenge. Here lies the hard work of writing. Don’t give it short shrift.

Note: I have seen instances where authors mistook the advice to add details to their books for advice to add irrelevant details. This problem is difficult to describe, but if you mention a man sitting next to you on a bar stool, then that reference should have meaning - the man is about to speak, or he’s an eavesdropper who later causes trouble. He needs to have a function & not simply be mentioned for no reason except you read somewhere you should add details and that’s the only one you could think of. How about the noise, the smoke, the smell of beer? The general atmosphere of Friday after work, the heavy beat of Saturday night, or a more peaceful weeknight when only the regulars are present? Details are for ambiance, to add color to your tale, not for adding a passing reference to someone of no importance to the story. Yes, you can describe what the POV character is wearing. If it’s a guy, he can notice females passing by. But there always has to be a reason for the details you add, not just, “Oh, wow, I’m supposed to write something besides dialogue.”

Example of a narrative opening that reveals a remarkable amount in one short opening paragraph:

Early on a sparkling summer evening, Lord Reginald Beauhampton stepped onto the terrace of Lord and Lady Mythe’s Surrey home and gazed out over the green expanse of lawn. With a grin, he dashed all the way to the white stone steps, before he reminded himself he was not supposed to do that.

[Excerpt from His Secret Heroine by Delle Jacobs, now available from Amazon]

In just two sentences we learn: 1) it is summer; 2) the hero’s name; 3)setting - the terrace of the Mythe’s home in Surrey; 4)Lord Reginald is a lively character, good-natured but non-conforming.

Addendum:  To add to previous posts on Point of View, Ms Jacobs reports: “I wrote that first chapter five times and still couldn’t get it. Then I realized it needed to be in Reggie’s POV. And then suddenly it jumped to life and so did Reggie.”

Plot.  An author can do the most amazing things with plots—and every book requires one, even in books where it appears the only plot is, the more sex the merrier.  It is possible to do almost anything with a plot, if you can find a way to explain the improbabilities. You box yourself in only when you allow your plot to do something legally impossible; for example, allow a bastard son to inherit a British title.  Or when you fail to explain, in the most clear and plausible terms you can find, why the highly improbable is possible. It’s called “suspended disbelief.” If you work at justifying your plot as it unfolds, readers will accept it. If you throw the improbable at them without set-up or explanation, again, your book becomes a wall-banger. And, worst of all, it’s doubtful readers will buy your second book - or the one thereafter.

Another example of a no-no: your hero and heroine are not likable - they do things that make them look more like villains than the type of people readers were expecting when they bought your book.  Again, if you can justify this, if you can find a really good reason for them to act this way, then, fine, that adds drama to the book. But they must redeem themselves before the end. Even in Mysteries or Thrillers with little or no romance, the main character must be someone readers can root for - not someone who is mean, greedy, scornful, heedless, etc. With the possible exception of literary fiction, readers must be able to care about, even identify with, the main character of the book they are reading. And if that character does something that turns them off, bye-bye, book customer. Bye-bye, dollars and cents.

Whether you spend weeks plotting every nuance before you start writing, or you’re an “out of the mist” author who wakes up wondering what your fingers are going to record today, you must find a way to make your plot believable.

To prove my point - in more elegant language - below is the definition of “plot” from Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.

“the plan or pattern of events or the main story of a literary work . . . comprising the gradual unfolding of a causally connected series of motivated incidents: narrative structure . . .”   

Please note the word “motivated.” I’ll say no more.

Style.  There are varying definitions of style. I think of it as an author's approach to the craft of writing. For example, one author may be depended upon to present the intricacies of a complex plot, another may emphasize action, and yet another can be counted on to provide page after page of graphic sex. Some authors “tell” the story—the author standing on the outside narrating what is happening. Others “show” the story, letting readers see what is happening through the eyes of the main characters. (FYI, "Show" is the preferred approach for Romance.) For a bit more about “Show vs. Tell,” see Edit the Blasted Book, Part 4

An author may tend to use too many words, detracting from the story’s impact. Others use too few, requiring extensive revision to write in the color the story lacks. Whatever your personal approach to writing, analyze your weaknesses - names, spelling, punctuation, research, plotting? - and make a conscious effort to improve. For example, search an old phone book for names, check the Internet, movie credits, etc. Create lists of names - computer or hardcopy - so they are never a problem again. Buy a grammar bookand take the time to study it. Self- edit. Take out all those extra words that obscure your point. Add the color and drama you left out when you did a fast draft of that dialogue in Chapter 3. Don’t forget to run Spell Check.Can't self-edit? Find someone to do it for you. A good editor is worth his/her weight in gold.

Whatever the problem, capitalize on your strong points & don't accept your weaknesses. Use them as footholds to climb up to something better.

Voice. Voice is the way you put your words together. The thing that makes those words, sentences, and paragraphs uniquely yours. Voice should jump out and grab a reader, keep them turning pages. Voice, when well used, is a thing of beauty - even if you’re writing Horror instead of Romance. It’s the quality that sends chills up people’s spines, whether the author is talking about an evil spirit or falling in love. It’s what makes both Stephen King and Nora Roberts household names. Some authors were born with voice; others have to develop it the hard way. But voice is what makes the story uniquely yours. Your big solo, sung with the finest quality you have to offer.

Never, ever, try to write in someone else’s voice. Let your own voice be heard. And if it’s a bit ragged at first, keep trying. Yes, there are certain conventions each genre must follow, but don’t be afraid to push the boundaries. A unique thought, a new idea—a fresh voice—makes agents and editors sit up and take notice.

Presentation.  The “nuts and bolts” of your manuscript - grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Yes, they count. They are vital to the impression you make. As I have stated in previous blogs, most editors were English majors. You want them to be absorbed in your manuscript, not wincing over the errors. Example: if an editor has two manuscripts of equal quality to choose from, but one will require hours of editing time and more hours of a copy editor’s time, and the other will require only minimal editing and copy editing, which one will she choose? In these tough economic times, the answer should be obvious. In any time, for that matter. When an editor chooses to publish a book, he/she is setting up a relationship which may last for years. Why should any editor choose to work for years with someone who cares so little for his/her craft that they present a book which has been carelessly written and even more carelessly self-edited?

Thanks for stopping by.


Next blogs: LEGOLAND 3, followed by Dictionary 5 - Fiction genres, primarily Romance


Sunday, March 10, 2013


WARNING:  If you plan to visit Legoland Florida, food is hard to find past the area near the entrance. The only other food I found was a "restaurant" overlooking the lake, which featured pre-made sandwiches & ice cream. Since we were too busy seeing the park to stop to eat—and my family closed the place out 45 minutes after official closing time!—we were all starved. And restaurants don't exactly litter Rte. 27 either - we felt fortunate to finally find a Sonny's, else we might have wasted away before we made it all the way back to Orlando.

Entrance to the Lego version of Star Wars - with glare affecting my centering, alas

The Millennium Falcon

The Millennium Falcon, airborne 

Note the amazing detail - and all done in Legos.

And no, I have no idea how the Falcon levitated.  It was a case of "Press a button" & up she went! Can't find her? 
That's the MF, with her sides glowing blue. 

Everybody's favorite robot

My apologies for ruining this photo of Darth Vader  (my family insisted)

Unexpected backdrop - note Lego giraffe
And many more remarkable details at Legoland's Star Wars


On to a some of our most famous cities & sights.
Lego ferry circling the Statue of Liberty

A "Vegas" geyser

The Lego version of the Kennedy Space Center - 
and a good way to end this week's visit to
Legoland Florida. (One more 
installment to come.)

Thanks for stopping by.
Next blog:  Dictionary for Writers, Part 4


Sunday, March 3, 2013


The following list contains the salient points most frequently found in contests sponsored by chapters of the Romance Writers of America. But, with the exception of the emphasis on romance, they apply to almost every work of fiction. Hopefully, authors of other genres will also find these definitions helpful.

Opening. A writer needs to grab a reader’s interest from the opening sentence and hang on tight. If left to my personal preference, I’d like to open with an atmospheric description, be just a little obscure, develop a bit of mystery . . . Well, too bad - forgetaboutit! It’s not quite as bad as “Wham, bang, thank-you, ma’am,” but readers expect to be “hooked” into the story from the first sentence and held captive right through those very first pages, preferably with a real zinger of a hook at the end of Chapter One.  Although a bit wordy by 21st century standards, the most frequently quoted “grabber” is from Charles Dickens’s The Tale of Two Cities:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

So take your time with that first paragraph. Or if you’re eager to plunge ahead, go back and edit it later. Polish it ‘til it shines. Do the same for the paragraphs that follow.  Those first few pages are “make or break.”

Example of a  classic “setting the scene” opening, superbly done, but no longer the recommended method for starting any but traditional Regency romance:

“The schoolroom in the Parsonage at Heythram was not a large apartment, but on a bleak January day, in a household where the consumption of coals was a consideration, this was not felt by its occupants to be a disadvantage. Quite a modest fire in the high, barred grate made it unnecessary for all but one of the four young ladies present to huddle shawls round their shoulders. . . .”
[Opening lines from Arabella by Georgette Heyer]
Examples of modern-day opening “hook”:

“It wasn’t every day a guy saw a headless beaver marching down the side of a road, not even in Dean Robillard’s larger-than-life world.”
[Opening line of Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips]

“The heavily shadowed gallery of the museum was filled with many strange and disturbing artifacts. None of the antiquities, however, was as shocking as the woman lying in a dark pool of blood on the cold marble floor.”
[Opening lines from The Third Circle by Amanda Quick]

“Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening. Private balls were never more than middling amusements for spinsters, and Miss Tarabotti was not the kind of spinster who could garner even that much pleasure from the event. To put the pudding in the puff: she had retreated to the library, her favorite sanctuary in any house, only to happen upon an unexpected vampire.”
[Opening lines from Soulless, the successful Book One of the highly popular "Parasol Protectorate" series, by Gail Carriger]

Setting.  The fashion of describing the setting before beginning the actual story may have gone out of fashion, but it is still vital to give readers as many clues as possible about the setting of your book, not only in the opening scene but in the changing scenes that follow. If you are writing an Historical, it’s easy enough to insert a Location & Date line—London 1889, for example.  But even with that done, you have to give your readers some details of the setting: a nobleman’s house, gaming house, Hyde Park, brothel,  tavern, theater, one of London’s many upscale men’s clubs, etc. . . .

In the course of editing and contest judging, I have seen entries where I couldn’t even tell what country we were in or whether the characters were in a city, suburb, small town, or on a ranch. Castle, house, condo, bar, sporting event . . .? Yes, you need to jump right into your story, but never forget your readers know only what you tell them. Don’t make your characters talking heads against a blank canvas—stick figures mouthing words, leaving readers with nothing concrete beyond the dialogue. They cannot visualize a scene unless you paint the details for them.

Possible Setting Details: Location & era - indicate by some means, close to the beginning, whether you book is contemporary, Victorian, Steampunk, Regency, Viking, Roman, Futuristic, Fantasy, etc. Landscape details - weather, endless vistas, sea, mountains, crowded slum, train, subway, street scenes, ranch, farm, space launch, etc.  Household decorations - furniture, paintings, wallpaper, fireplaces, kitchen smells, colorful cars, animals, etc. You've built your own world, you say? Then make it clear - throw in a clue right up front that your work is Fantasy, Steampunk, Futuristic, or other venue created by your imagination. Don't credit your readers with the ability to read your mind. Tell them what they need to know.

Think of the famous paintings you have seen - then picture them set against a stark white background. Or the last professional play you saw - would it have been as good with no scenery, no backdrop to the drama being performed? Think of George Clooney or the giant Avatar mouthing words against a blue screen . . . weird, right? (Well, I would probably take Clooney any way I could get him, but . . .)

No matter how clever the dialogue, how fast the action, your characters should not be performing against a blank canvas. They are not “in the cloud.” They are “real” and can only be enhanced by delineating the world in which they live.

Characterization. As I have said in previous blogs, to me Characterization is the most important aspect of writing fiction. [Please see my 3-part series, “How to Develop Your Characters,” October & November 2012.]

Each person must be identified and described as they are introduced, including secondary characters. No, not the tweeny who does no more than scream in Chapter 13, but every character of significance must be recognized with a well-thought-out description. (Obviously longer for main characters than less important secondary characters.) The identifications add clarity; the descriptions add color—three-dimensions, if you will. You are creating the characters
who must catch your readers’ interest, the people who will move your book forward. The people readers will love, hate, laugh at, laugh with, cry over, depending on what you tell them. Only you can show your readers what these people are like. Only you can bring them to life. Your characters are your “movers and shakers,” even if one or two are sniveling cowards. They must insinuate their way into readers’ hearts and make them care.

Readers also want to know what the most important characters wear, just as they want to know your characters’ quirks, faults, and idiosyncrasies, as well as their more sterling (or villainous) qualities. Whether your characters do something good or bad, be sure you have set up the possibility for this action; i.e., that it arises out of the character you have already shown your readers and is not something new that suddenly strikes out of the blue. Or, if your character must do something that doesn’t make sense, be sure you give your readers excellent motivation for this deviation from the norm.  An author can sell almost anything to his readers if he provides the right motivation for his characters’ actions, but that motivation has to be clearly stated, not left to the reader’s imagination.
And keep in mind that if you are tempted to have either one of your two main characters do something illegal, make sure you have a very good reason for it. Readers want to love the hero and heroine; they don’t want them to have feet of clay. Yes, they can both be stupid, particularly in their relationship with each other, but they’re not supposed to do something that might hurt other people, show greed, prejudice, or other negative traits. And if they do, it has to be clear that they are destined to learn from these mistakes by the end of the book. In romance, readers want characters they can admire and identify with, not characters who are being mean to their spouses, their relatives, their children, etc.  Then again, secondary characters can be as venal and downright nasty as you want!

Point of View. Point of View comes in three flavors - first, second, and third. Huh, you say—you never thought of it that way before? Okay, let’s start with First.

First person. Writing in first person means you write solely from one person’s point of view. Your main character writes as “I.” No one else in the book has a point of view. Of course, just to make life difficult, modern usage has amended that. There are now books which allow for two first-person views in the same book. For example, there’s a section with the heroine tells the story, using “I,” followed by a section where the hero offers his point of view, using “I.” Unless these switches are extremely well-dilineated, they can be confusing. (One simple method to keep things straight is similar to a Location & Date line. Simply put the name of the person with the new POV on a separate line before their section.)

There are also books where one character (in romance, usually the heroine) writes as “I” and a second character (usually the hero) is portrayed in third person (“He” or “She”). I can’t exactly recommend it, but since I’ve done it myself in Orange Blossoms & Mayhem, I can’t sneer at it either. Romance readers really do like to see inside the hero’s head, as well as the heroine’s.

In practice, many mysteries are written in first person, while romance readers tend to prefer third person. I personally find it easier to be humorous in first, so I’d like to see romance readers be a bit more tolerant.

Second person.  Second person (“You”) usually turns up only in introspection, with one of the characters scolding her/himself with something like, You dumb idiot, you ought to have known better! Both second and first person thoughts, when inserted in a third-person narrative, need to be italicized.

Third person. The most common type of narrative. (“He” “She”) The hero, heroine, villain, and perhaps a few other important secondary characters, all get a point of view. It is, however, absolutely essential that you do not jump from one character’s head to the other, a sin called “head-hopping.” The preferred method is to stick to one character’s point of view throughout an entire scene. If you absolutely must switch within a scene, then try to balance the two points of views. (I violated this "rule" just yesterday, by the way.) Obviously, each author develops his/her own style, but readers truly hate writing that jumps back and forth from one POV to another, sometimes within the space of a paragraph. It’s simply too confusing. Beginners are advised to stick to the POV of the hero, heroine, and possibly a villain, if applicable.

Tense.  This is a new one. Books have been written in past tense for as long as there have been books. But times they are a-changing. Some books, particularly those for Young Adults, are now being written in present tense. Reading it is a little disconcerting at first, but I found I adjusted rapidly, and a well-written present-tense flows well.  Until the author forgets and throws in a bit of past tense here and there (as I’ve seen in contests I’ve judged). Writing in present tense is definitely an innovation worth consideration.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Coming soon: Dictionary for Writers, Part 4 - Dialogue, Narration, Conflict, Plot, Style, Voice, Presentation. Also - Legoland, Part 2