Hurry – only a few hours left… Goodreads Giveaway – Enter to win a free paperback.

 Click here to enter the Goodreads Dream Brother Giveaway.

Ten paperbacks are available.

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“Meth, memories, and monsters.”

 

dreambrothernewbookcover-cropped

San Francisco, California. Fifty hills surrounded by the cold waters of the ocean and the bay. City of rebellion and revolution. Smothered by fog daily.

This is the place where Jacob Gavel grew up, the place he ran away from at twenty, and the place he never thought he’d come back to.

The city’s in the middle of its second financial renaissance. A century and a half earlier, gold nuggets. In the year 2000, silicon microchips. The dot-com boom created hundreds of new companies, swollen with capital and potential, profitable only in theory, run by young professionals with a lot of disposable income.

After Jacob, a fledgling sculptor, leaves a failed marriage and flees New York City, he returns home, welcomed by his mentally ill mother, subordinate father, and successful sister. As he settles in, he discovers a family secret. He had a twin brother who died in the womb right next to him. When the shock wears off, his reality becomes clear. He’s alone, broke, and unemployed. In an attempt to rebuild his life, he takes a low-paying job as a mental health case manager, but with all the tech money flooding the city, his childhood friend, Paul, has a better idea.

His fresh start spoils. Events trigger his dreams, and his dreams resurrect childhood memories, propelling him forward on a sleep-deprived, speed-fueled mission to find recognition, love, and revenge.

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Kurt Vonnegut: Creative Writing 101

Kurt Vonnegut: Creative Writing 101

 

kurt-vonnegut-quotes

 

“Kurt Vonnegut created some of the most outrageously memorable novels of our time, such as Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast Of Champions, and Slaughterhouse Five. His work is a mesh of contradictions: both science fiction and literary, dark and funny, classic and counter-culture, warm-blooded and very cool. And it’s all completely unique.”

With his customary wisdom and wit, Vonnegut put forth 8 basics of what he calls Creative Writing 101:

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

 

Goodreads Giveaway – Enter to win a free paperback.

 Click here to enter the Goodreads Dream Brother Giveaway.

Ten paperbacks are available.

Goodreads-Logo


“Meth, memories, and monsters.”

 

dreambrothernewbookcover-cropped

San Francisco, California. Fifty hills surrounded by the cold waters of the ocean and the bay. City of rebellion and revolution. Smothered by fog daily.

This is the place where Jacob Gavel grew up, the place he ran away from at twenty, and the place he never thought he’d come back to.

The city’s in the middle of its second financial renaissance. A century and a half earlier, gold nuggets. In the year 2000, silicon microchips. The dot-com boom created hundreds of new companies, swollen with capital and potential, profitable only in theory, run by young professionals with a lot of disposable income.

After Jacob, a fledgling sculptor, leaves a failed marriage and flees New York City, he returns home, welcomed by his mentally ill mother, subordinate father, and successful sister. As he settles in, he discovers a family secret. He had a twin brother who died in the womb right next to him. When the shock wears off, his reality becomes clear. He’s alone, broke, and unemployed. In an attempt to rebuild his life, he takes a low-paying job as a mental health case manager, but with all the tech money flooding the city, his childhood friend, Paul, has a better idea.

His fresh start spoils. Events trigger his dreams, and his dreams resurrect childhood memories, propelling him forward on a sleep-deprived, speed-fueled mission to find recognition, love, and revenge.

Elmore Leonard: 10 Rules

Elmore Leonard: 10 Rules

 

 

Among all the lists of writing rules and advice, this one ranks high, in my opinion. Simple, yet so important.


 

  1.  Never open a book with weather.
  2.  Avoid prologues.
  3.  Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
  4.  Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
  5.  Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
  6.  Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
  7.  Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8.  Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9.  Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
  10.  Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

 * Excerpted from the New York Times article, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle”


 

Some of you might agree with these, some might not. Feel free to add links to additional lists/tips in the comment section below.

Let the discussion begin…