Tag Archives: Messenger

Merry Christmas Day 13 & 14 & 15

Merry Christmas day 13

Life has a way of throwing curveballs. We never really know what to expect. And that can be pretty darn crummy. Another thing that is crummy is when you can figure out  what is going to happen in the novel from page two or three. There’s no reason to read a book when you already know the ending from the beginning.

Look carefully at your  novel. Is it too easy to see who done it? Wha? You’re not writing a mystery novel? Well, you sorta are. All novels should have something that  has to be figured out. Giving that surprise away too soon, or writing poorly so there is no surprise, or just plain being lazy in your writing leaves the reader wanting more.

How can you change up your book so there are plenty of curveballs? Plenty of surprises?

Merry Christmas day 14

For me the name of the character is really important. My editor at St. Martin’s Press said, “Carol! I cannot believe you named your characters after your daughters.”

Well, I do. My daughters. Or other family members.  Or people I love. Or people I hate. They all wind up in my books. (I joke I should have given them each three names not just a first and middle name.)

In my newest novel, MESSENGER, I used all of my grandmother’s sisters and brothers names. That’s a family of 10. Because I love my extended family, the book became that much more  important to me.

So who would you write about?


How did that person change you?

How is that person complex?

We all know we can’t use our relatives exactly the way they are, but what are 15 things you would write about this person?  What are 15 things you would keep the same about their personality? Their mannerisms? Their speech? Their loves and hates?

I always, or almost always, have Nana smoking, drinking beer, cleaning house, wearing polyester, and laughing. Those are just a few of the things Nanny did.She died almost 25 years ago.  I miss her. When I write about her, she lives again for me.

Merry Christmas day 15

I just saw a post on Twitter about not using adjectives. And I have to admit that I am one of those people who is trying to trim my overuse of them. Or at least I’m trying to do as Lance Larsen says and turn them on ears. (We’ll talk more of this next year.)

Anyone can talk about the Christmas season in cliché ways. It’s snowy. Glittery. Cold. But using adjectives in new and different ways will make your prose sing. It will make the reader stop and pay attention. Yes! That’s what we want!

Take one chapter of your novel and mark  all the adjectives. Now go through and look at the ones that you can cut.  Which ones you can change and make more special? How can you use them in unique ways?

Ack! It must be the season. I used the word special. I really don’t like that word.


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Filed under Ann Dee, Character, Life, Revision, Uncategorized, Voice

Monday Morning: A Few Things I’ve Learned and Morning Announcements


  1. Spicy titles do not draw more readers.
  2. Pancreatitis hurts like a big dog and the pain lingers for days. This is the first morning I haven’t awakened feeling ill. Of course, I have a bill coming.
  3. Health care woulda been nice.
  4. Writing is hard.
  5. Good writing is harder.
  6. Not all publishing houses are the same.
  7. There are terrific editors everywhere.
  8. Writing with a friend is fun. But still hard.
  9. Growing old has it’s benefits.
  10. I am not a naturally organized person and therefore when I try to organize it takes me forever.



Kyra and I are giving a presentation in August at the Provo Library (August 22, 2017 at 7 pee em). We’ve written books that are sorta related: Kyra’s novel is REAPER, about a girl who dies and must help three souls pass from life to the other side in order to see her father ho has gone on before her. My book, MESSENGER,  is about a teen who’s family (on the matriarchal side) receive Gifts from and for the Dead. Both books are all about family.

All this Dead talk, we should have a party  featuring a rollerskating Reaper and Cheri and me singing (Don’t Fear) The Reaper. Oh, wait. That happened at a WIFYR already.

Here are our plans:

Drawings for three people to have their cards read.

Drawings for three creative energy necklaces.

Singing and Dancing. Well, karaoke singing. Songs will include DOA, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, The Dance and I’m Already There. (Am I the only one excited about this?) (My ex would be super-excited about the country songs.)

Reading and talking and teasing and hopefully a little laughing.

Book signing with books from The King’s English.



Rules of engagement announced tomorrow!

WIFYR 2018 DATES: June 11-15, 2018


check out these songs!


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