Saturday, November 17, 2018

Creating Romantic Tension & Conflict in a Novel - Part 3 Response to the First Kiss

by Elva Cobb Martin

 The hero's and heroine's response/reaction scene(s) to the first kiss is important in keeping the romantic tension or conflict going strong. Here is the hero's response/reaction to the first kiss. Find that kiss covered in my previous blog here:  http://bit.ly/2DtS999





Ethan entered his priest chamber next to the chapel with a grin still on his lips. He sat on the simple chair at the small desk and shook his head in wonder. There was so much to process his mind seemed to balk. Marisol dancing the flamenco. So talented. So beautiful. Who was she really? Where did she come from? Obviously from an estate similar to this one with those special horses like the one that followed her in the dance. Marisol with tears gushing from her eyes but never really telling him why. Did she dance for him or the viceroy? Her soft lips had responded to his kiss. He closed his eyes savoring the memory and felt like shouting. Or praying. Thanking God. Could he experience wonderful love again? Was God that good? Suddenly, he was very tired. He flung off the robe and lay on the cot. No disloyal thoughts of Olivia entered his mind. Only Marisol, her face, her beauty, her energy, the love he saw in her eyes tonight flowed over him, filling, healing broken places he’d forgotten were there. He slept more soundly than he’d slept in more months than he could remember.

                                                             ***

How's that for a hero blown away by the first kiss?

In reading a romance we want to see, feel, and rejoice in the lovers' bliss at finding love, the most powerful, life-giving force in the world.  In writing a romance we then want to show how how things can, and most often do, foul up and put that love at great risk. That brings the romantic conflict. Don't miss my next blog.

Would love your comments and please do share this blog on your social media by clicking on the small icons below.

Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed, safe Thanksgiving holy day with your family and friends,

Elva

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Creating Romantic Tension & Conflict in a Novel - Part 2 The First Kiss

by Elva Cobb Martin

The first kiss between my hero and heroine is a vital scene in a romance novel. I work on this scene diligently, refining, adding the five senses, and other details to make the scene come alive.

The follow up, reaction/response, scenes to the kiss from the POV of both hero and heroine are also important in a romance. 

Here's an excerpt of the first kiss from my current wip, Marisol. It takes place in Chapter 10 --but remember we've had at least two "almost" kisses before this to show the mutual attraction of the h/h.

We pick up the story after Marisol has danced the flamenco with an Andalusian stallion accompanying her. She has unfortunately attracted the powerful Viceroy of Grenada who thinks she danced it for him. In reality she danced it for the hero, Ethan.


Ethan caught up with her at the stairs as she started up. “Marisol, wait I want to talk to you.”
She didn’t look back but nodded and he followed up two more flights to a secluded landing near the chapel. When they were alone and no sound of the dance below reached their ears, she turned to face him. Shock rolled over him to see tears overflowing her lovely eyes. She lowered her head from his intense stare.
“What is wrong?” He took her by the shoulders and forced her to look up. “Did that man, that viceroy or whatever he was, say or do something untoward to you?” Heat flushed through him at the thought.
                                               ***
Through her tears she couldn’t control, Marisol looked at Captain Ethan Beckett, currently Father Garcia in his brown robe that hardly hid his muscular form or camouflaged his strong tanned hands now gripping her. His manly scent laced with spice enveloped her. She blinked, but still the salty flow gushed out. She couldn’t speak, at least not what her heart wanted to admit—that the Flamenco dance was done for him, with only him in her heart, and that she hated he was not her partner on the dance floor moments earlier. But it had gone awry. The Viceroy of Granada, a man her aunt had told her was the most powerful man on the Spanish Main, had somehow thought her flamboyant dance was especially for him. She had attracted a man she never dreamed of attracting, and she had no idea how to deal with the situation. Worst of all, he reminded her of Diego Vargas.
Finally, she found her voice, though hoarse. “No, he didn’t do anything…to me.” She looked into Ethan’s intense gray eyes, filled with compassion for her—was it compassion or something else? 
A sudden desire possessed her to speak the truth to this man she so admired and respected. “I did the Flamenco for you, Ethan, only you, not this, this viceroy, who seems to think I danced for him.” Had she spoken the words or only thought them?
Something like a light came on in his gray eyes. He drew her to him and raised her chin with his thumb. He perused her face, setting her heart afire. When he kissed away the tears, she began to tremble. Slowly, like a sleepwalker, he bent and touched her lips with his own. Her eyes closed of their own accord. The next instant he crushed her to him and his lips possessed hers with desire and urgency. Never had she known such a kiss. Fireworks exploded in her mind and body. Just as suddenly he pulled away from her and held her at arm’s length. Had he not gripped her shoulders tightly, her knees would have folded. He spoke one word.
“Marisol.” He started to release her but caught her before she fell. “I should not have done that. I would never take advantage of you. Will you forgive me?”
Her whispered words surprised him. 
“I don’t regret it.”
“You don’t?” Now a smile tugged at the corners of his thin lips that had so recently set hers aflame.
She leaned against the wall, took a deep breath and dared to look into his grey eyes,  smoldering in intensity. “Do you?”
A grin lit up his tanned face, parted his beard and revealed even white teeth. “Well, I daresay there’s not another priest on the Spanish Main who would be here, not only not regretting it, but wishing to do it again.” He reached for her.
She laughed and pushed him away. “I must go check on Samuel.”Thank God for simple tasks that could suspend the crackling tension between them. She started to move around him. He encircled her again in his arms and leaned to whisper in her ear. “I will not forget this, or you, Marisol. One day…” He hesitated and drew in a ragged breath. “But for now we must be very careful that no hint of what has happened here today is revealed on our faces or by our words.” He lifted her chin. “Do you understand?”
“Yes.” She saw his eyes move to her lips, and she ducked under his arm and started back down the stairs. She held onto the railing, not yet trusting her legs to hold her. His whispered goodbye followed her.      
                                                                             ***
                                                       



Thanks for stopping by. Do you have any refining comments on this scene? I'd love to have them. Please do share this blog on your social media by clicking on the small icons below.
Blessings,
Elva

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI



Friday, November 2, 2018

Creating Romantic Tension & Conflict in a Novel - Part 1 First "Almost" Kiss

by Elva Cobb Martin


Most of us read romance novels to follow the romantic  tension and conflict progressing between hero and heroine. We might race over a lot of description of setting, clothing, and weather, to get to these compelling scenes. 

I work hard on description, secondary characters, plot and sub plot, but I spend lots of quality time writing, refining, the romantic tension and conflict scenes between the h/h because they are vital to keep reader interest.

Kisses and "almost" kisses make up vital scenes in a romance.

Below is an excerpt of that magic "almost first kiss" in my current wip, Marisol, which is part of an historical romantic series set in Charles Town and on the Spanish Main. Keep in mind, this scene might be further refined. In fact, I'd love your refining thoughts if you'd share them in the comments.

The hero is disguised as a priest and H/H are in Cartagena on the Spanish Main to seek the hero's captured sister. Marisol has just returned from horseback riding and dancing the flamenco with the trained Andalusian stallion on her aunt's estate. I am giving the romantic scene and the hero's response to the almost first kiss. We need a response/reaction scene from sometimes both h/h 's POV, but definitely from one.


On the way back to her room Marisol met Ethan in the hall. 
He pulled her into a secluded corner before speaking. “I haven’t been able to find out anything in the taverns, Marisol. Have you spoken to your aunt?” His brows knit and his breath fanned her face as he spoke in  a low voice. 
Her heartbeat skyrocketed at his touch on her arm, and she breathed in his manly scent that seemed so right. Even in his priest robe, he was the most handsome man she had known.  Suppressing that thought, she met his startling gray eyes. “Yes, Aunt Lucia is working on it. And she’s planning a celebration here to commemorate my arrival, sir. We will meet quite a few people, the kind who could have an educated tutor like your sister for their children.”
His countenance lifted. “Yes, that sounds like a good opportunity to ask a few discreet questions.” His eyes moved over her face and settled on her lips. For a moment she couldn’t breathe. Then he dropped his hand from her arm and walked away.
                                           ***
Ethan entered his priest’s room next to the chapel. He jerked the sash away, dropped off the robe, and flung himself on the narrow cot. What was he thinking? He must not let his heart get involved with his former governess. He tried to convince himself it was because Marisol was different since they had arrived at her aunt’s. She had a new peace and confidence. Where had she been this morning? Her cheeks were rosy, her lips…. He banged the headboard with his fist, then sat up. He must concentrate on the main issue. Was his captured sister in Cartagena? The coming celebration might be of help. He stood and paced the room. 

So there is my "almost first kiss" and the hero's reaction.

Thanks for stopping by. Do you have any refining comments on these two scenes? I'd love to have your comments. Please do share this blog on your social media by clicking on the small icons below.

Blessings,
Elva


Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI















Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Editing Your Novel - Part 3 Misused, Overused, & Sticky Words

By Elva Cobb Martin

Editing a novel is a big job, but don't let it stress you. We've got a lot more help available today than a quill! 

In Part 1 we first strongly suggested you spend quality time planning your novel and finish your first draft before doing a lot of editing. And we reviewed the 10-Part steps to planning your novel that I've covered in earlier blogs starting in July, 2017. Go here to find the first step to planning your novel: http://bit.ly/2zPmZa1

In Part 2 we talked about a great editing program and covered ProWritingAid's "The Writing Style Report." This edit highlights several areas of writing that should be revised to improve readability, including passive voice, overuse of adverbs, repeated sentence starts, hidden verbs, unneeded words, and much more. And I gave examples from my wip.

Today, we continue with some of the great edits Pro-WritingAid.com will do for your manuscript.

The Grammar Report 
This works like the spelling and grammar checks in a word processor but does more. It makes sure the structure, punctuation and tense are correct. It will also check misuse of words like "adverse" for "averse" or "clinch" for "clench."

The Overused Word Report --covers a lot.
Overused words fall into five main categories:
1) Too Wishy-Washy
2) Telling Rather than Showing
3) Weak words/verbs dependent on intensifiers vs. stronger                     words/verbs.
       Examples: very hot vs. suffocating, 
                       walked vs. strode, marched, scrambled, tottered
                        strong voice vs. husky, strident, guttural
4) Non-Specific words 
5) Awkward Sentences

The Sticky Sentence Report--this is a fun one.
A sticky sentence is one that is full of glue words like in, of, on, the, at, if, that, then, over, in order, what, some.
   Example: John walked over into the backyard of the school in order to see if there was a new bicycle that he could use in his class.  (27 words)
   Corrected: John checked the school backyard for a new bicycle to use in class. (14 words)

Example from my historical romance wip, Marisol.


Cloaked in the early morning shadows of the cemetery, Marisol watched Captain Becket place flowers on his wife’s grave. He had finally returned from his long trip to England the night before, and the welcome sight of him caused her heart to hammer so hard she feared he might hear. His bronzed face, thick arms and chest befitted a seaman’s demeanor. Nothing remained to hint he’d once been the minister of the small rock church beyond the graveyard. How had a man of the clergy become what some might call a pirate?  
Ethan turned and she shrank behind a monument.
“Marisol.” His deep voice rooted her bare feet in the dew-laden grass.
He strode toward her. His heavy booted step, and the jangling of his sword and pistols startled birds into flight. He stopped a yard from her. “I’m glad you followed me. “I have some good news to tell you.”

Trembling, she looked up into his bearded face and startling grey eyes. 

First sentence corrected: How had a pastor become a pirate?
Second sentence corrected: "I have good news." 

Thanks for stopping by. Are these editing tips helping you? Please share on your social media by clicking on the small icons below.
  
Blessings,
Elva Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI



Monday, October 15, 2018

Editing Your Novel - Part 2 A Great Editing Software

by Elva Cobb Martin


Editing a novel is a big undertaking. I highly recommend ProWritingAid, a world-class editing software, that really tackles this job with gusto. It's like having your favorite editor standing over your shoulder pointing out things you need to change, and giving you options. This program can work right in your Microsoft documents. At the end of this blog I will give you a discount link to this software, if you decide you're interested.

Today I want to start giving you a list of the 20-plus major items this software will help edit in your novel. I'll even give you examples from my own novel as I edited using the program.

First, the Writing Style Report: This highlights several areas of writing that should be revised to improve readability, including passive voice, overuse of adverbs, repeated sentence starts, hidden verbs, unneeded words, and much more. Isn't that a bunch of things that need checking? And this is just the Style Report.

Here's a sample with the editing marks of the Writing Style Report from the first draft of my work-in-progress (wip) Marisol, a Christian historical romance.

In his merchant office above the dock, Ethan checked off all the cargo goods on his accounting sheet that Tim had left for him. The sugar, tobacco, cacao and casks of rum from Jamaica had been delivered to the buyers and at a good price. He’d made a neat profit on this merchant trip. Not to mention the gold they had plundered from the captured Spanish galleon carrying Marisol and the other indentured servants. He still had quite a few pieces of eight and nuggets to add to his strongbox besides the coin he paid for Marisol’s indenture paper. As usual, when the Spaniards ran up the white flag and surrendered under his cannons, he ordered the crew to take the gold and let the ship go free. They had been surprised to find indentured servants aboard.

While Ethan worked with the figures in his accounting book, and stashed the gold in his secret place, one thought kept fluttering across his mind. What kind of woman would have the courage or the know-how to stop a snake with only her boot? What other secrets did this woman have under that mane of shining black hair?

(Now I see I need to change the passive voice in the two purple sentences.)

Here's another sample showing unneeded words:

Ethan needed to go before recollections of his happy years with Olivia at the little church brought the familiar pain and drought to his soul. He picked up the reins. “Sir, I need to be getting home before dark. I do wish you and your family my very best. And do drop by to see the new governess I found for our Joshua. I believe you’ll like her.

You can check out ProWritingAid.com and get a free sample of your work edited. 

Here's a link for a discount, I think will still work, if you decide you would like to purchase the software: https://prowritingaid.com/en/App/Purchase?rf=10&mafid=647213

Thanks for stopping by. I'll continue these editing tips next time. Please share this blog on your social media by clicking on the small icons below.

Blessings.
Elva




Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI





Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Editing Your Novel - Part 1 Finish First Draft

by Elva Cobb Martin
Good editing is like going through a gate to an exciting, better book. Here I am entering a Georgetown,SC, rice plantation. I refused to let the rain hinder my tour or photos.
How do you write your novel? Where does editing come in?

For me, the real editing begins after the first draft. 

I write the first draft mainly to get the plot points down, tell the story, hit the major scenes I've already planned. I work hard and fast getting my opening set up, hitting important scenes in the middle, and writing the major ending scenes, including the black moment and the HEA. 

If I try to do a lot of editing in the first draft, I may never get to THE END. I know folks, like me earlier, who struggle years trying to write that "novel." But it takes so long if you try editing as you go along, for example, editing what you wrote yesterday before going on today. Trust me, that's going up the ladder backwards. 

When I finish that first draft, I might have 45,000-50,000 words, but will need 60,000-80,000 words for the final draft, according to what a publisher I've queried might ask for.

Reviewing, here's what works for me in novel writing to finish that first draft:

1) I spend quality time planning that first draft. Planning your novel is described in my 10-part series earlier in this blog. Find Part 1 here http://bit.ly/2zPmZa1

Here's the list of the other 9 parts in the archives:

Part 2 -  Premise
Part 3 -  Pitches and Book Tags
Part 4 -  Characterization Special -Dancing Horse & Heroine
Part 5 -  Deep Heroine Characterization
Part 6 -  Hero Characterization
Part 7 -  Secondary Characters
Part 8 -  Outlining
Part 9 -  Choosing the best opening scene
Part 10 - The Fiction Proposal

So don't fudge on your novel planning. It will help that first draft be a fast birthing! I've learned since writing that series that making a time line of historical events to cover my historical series will be a great help. 

So you finished your first draft! Congratulations!

It's a wonderful accomplished feeling to finish the first draft.
Can't you hear the success bells ringing when any one asks, "How is your novel coming along?"  And you can answer. "Fine, I've finished the first draft."

Celebrate every goal reached!

So once I finish the first draft, it's time to go back through and add all the spit and polish, including great sun rises and sun sets if on a sailing vessel like I often spend time. 

Three vital questions I ask myself to begin editing after finishing the first draft: 

1) Do I need to add more scenes to reach my word count or       add more detail in scenes to make more vivid?

b) Am I staying in Deep POV and not head hopping? For my 4-Part series on DPOV click here for Part 1:  http://bit.ly/2EyAtdK.

c)  Am I using the five senses, strong verbs, strong adjectives?

Hey, thanks for stopping by. Hope this has helped you today.
I will go in much more detail about editing a first draft in Part 2 next week. Please leave a comment if this has helped and share on your social media by clicking on the icons below.

Blessings on your writing,
Elva Martin


Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    

 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI








Friday, September 21, 2018

Guest Blog "Writers' Police Academy"

By Guest Blogger Fran Stickland Anderson


Writers' Police Academy - Crime and Suspense

Just arrived home from a conference for writers of suspense and police procedurals, the Writers’ Police Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The academy is a hands-on opportunity for authors who want to experience for themselves the field of law enforcement with some firefighter, first responder, and sometimes a dive team thrown in for good measure. There won't be many pictures to prove my participation because photography and videos are not allowed in many of the classes  to protect those officers whose identity in undercover work might be compromised.

I did take the photo here of my husband and me in some tactical gear. David participated in a timed session of putting on and taking off the gear, which was cumbersome and heavier than expected and consisted of half pants, a bulletproof vest, and a weapon belt.

 I loaded and fired a Glock at an indoor range, participated in a simulated shooter incident training, learned the proper defense and arrest tactics of using a baton to gain control of a situation, sketched the face of a wanted criminal, watched a burn house demonstration, a dive team demonstration, and much more. My main observation was that my mind could learn just about anything, but my body reflexes were slow at getting the lesson. Not sure anyone there would want me as their partner on the street. Law enforcement training involves three areas of preparation: mental, physical and emotional, because all reflexes must work in tandem. Life and death decisions are made in nanoseconds.

As a writer, it is important to write as real as possible, even for a world of make believe. Readers learn a lot about the world around them when books accurately reflect life.

A well-written, well-researched story will convey an officer’s biological need to help others, his/her desire to fix other’s problems, the courage to take and maintain control of a situation, his inability to turn off the adrenaline produced from engaging in confrontational circumstances, and his persistent observation of the immediate world around him, unable to shut down that training even in his personal time.

The Academy’s trainers consisted of actual police officers, detectives, a forensic artist, a former undercover agent, a former prosecutor, martial arts expert, interrogation expert, representatives from SIRCHIE, manufacturer of investigative-related solutions, and much more. My husband (he’s a writer too) and I were up at 5:30, at breakfast by 6:30 and on the bus by 7:15. We rode to an international police training facility and participated in classes from testifying in a court of law and the world of undercover to hands-on physical training and microscopic murder weapons. Between 4:00 and 4:30 we boarded the buses back to the hotel where we attended another class between 4:30 and 6:00. Each evening between 8:00 and 10:00 the entire group would gather for one more session.

We met many accomplished authors, learned more than we will ever be able to retain, and arrived at the end of each long day thoroughly exhausted. To close the conference Saturday evening, Jeffrey Deaver, the keynote speaker, who also attended the academy classes along with the rest of us, encouraged us by sharing the early publishing struggles of now-famous and prolific writers.

I would encourage anyone who is serious about writing material that contains elements of law enforcement to attend the annual Writers’ Police Academy to help authenticate their manuscript. Getting the details right makes for a more believable read.

Getting the correct details of any situation in life is important as well before making a judgement (which can be considered merely an opinion or a sensible conclusion according to Oxford Dictionaries).

I always like to leave you with an encouraging word from the one book that has it all, romance, intrigue, murder, deception, crime, and investigative wisdom….the Bible.

“…then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly.”
                                                  ***
HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS GUEST BLOG by Fran. If so, please do share by clicking on the small icons below.

Blessings,
Elva Marttin
Fran Strickland Anderson
Fran Strickland Anderson is president of the ACFW South Carolina Chapter and is also a member of the Foothills Writer’s Guild and Blue Ridge Writers. She is a contributor to several of the Moments series books published by Grace Publishing and the First Draft Society’s Inklings series. Her current work-in-progress is a redemptive suspense novel entitled Roots That Run Deep. Fran is married to David, is mother of Jake, and resides in upstate South Carolina where she works full time as an assistant city manager. Her blog, Scattering Words and Sowing Seeds (scatteringwordsandsowingseeds.blogspot.com), seeks to entertain, encourage, and inspire both writers and non-writers as they navigate life’s challenges. Most of her stories are still waiting to be told.

Scattering Words and Sowing Seeds
Sharing words that entertain, encourage and inspire!

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