Procrastination, a Writer’s Tool

Procrastination is my middle name. Okay, not really. Some people would say I have writer’s block. I disagree. Procrastination is a writer’s tool. Or it can be. Writer’s Block vs Tool About a year ago I wrote a post about writer’s block and how its individual. Each writer who experiences it gets their own individual flavor. I thought that procrastination was a symptom of writer’s block. That’s one way to describe it, but I think it’s a negative way to describe it. Wrong Turn Writing is part cerebral and part dreaming. One part can freeze up while the other part keeps marching onward. The words pile up on the page and are a cerebral work or fragments of dream-like images that have no interconnectedness. You read back the words and don’t have any idea where you were headed. When this happens to me, it’s a sign that I’ve turned down a one-way, dead-end street. Most of the time I don’t recognize it. There are no street signs that warn me. That’s when procrastination is a tool. Procrastination is my writing tool, whether or not I want it to be. Procrastination  If you do a Google search, “Is Procrastination bad” you’ll […]

Do You Know Why These First Lines Work?

Last week I posted a list of first lines and asked if you’d buy the books based on those first sentences. The first words and paragraphs of a story can bring the story to life or let bring it down. Do you know why these first lines work? Or don’t? Whether you’re a reader or a writer, it’s helpful to know when the first sentences are successful. Rapture in Death-does it work?  The alley was dark and stank of piss and vomit. It was home for quick-footed rats and the bony, hungry-eyed felines who hunted them. J.D. Robb, Rapture in Death Oh, boy, does it work! It engages your senses and makes you feel something. Maybe you recoil a bit. Or you feel a little squeamish about the smell or those quick-footed rats. The bony, hungry-eyed felines evokes a specific picture. Your imagination puts you in that alley because of those words. The words give you a feel for who the narrator is. The word piss and vomit. Not pee or urine, but piss. Not emesis or throw up, but vomit.  Each word works on at least two levels. And it sets up a question in the reader’s mind. Who […]

Female Serial Killers Aren’t a Type

Serial killers have fascinated the public for a very long time. Rumor and speculation and myth inflate and conflate the details. Even the definition of a serial killer is up for debate. But one thing is certain, there is no template that produces serial killers of any specific gender, race, or nationality. A short review of history shows that even female serial killers aren’t a type.  The Definition The FBI defined serial murder as: The unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events. This differs from a spree murder because there is a “cooling-off” period. A cooling-off period is a period of days between murders. A spree killing does not have a cooling-off period. The time period also differentiates serial murder and mass murder.  How Many Serial Killers? The FBI estimates that approximately one percent of all murders in the United States are serial killings. That would amount to twenty-five to fifty serial killers operating in any year. That’s only in the United States. I haven’t found an estimate for how many exist worldwide.  The History of Serial Killing It’s likely that serial killing has been around as long as mankind has been. And the first serial […]