All posts tagged: writing fiction

Why I’m on the fence about the critically-acclaimed INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget. ~ALWAYS WITH A BOOK | Leslie Lindsay~ Spotlight: Historical Fiction I  might be an outlier on this one. It seems everyone either loves ADDIE LARUE, or they could do without. I’m in the ‘without’ category, and I don’t say that to be lightly. Really, I wanted to love this story, it just didn’t strike like I hoped.  Quick Take: France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. New York City, 2014: But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. Quick Thoughts: I was all-in with …

Write On, Wednesday: Bestselling, Edgar-nominated Lisa Scottoline on her new fiction, MOST WANTED, Kamikaze-style writing, rejection letters, her beloved pets, writing with her daughter, & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay This gal has got a lot of shelf space. I know because I was just in my local bookstore and saw for myself just how prolific she’s been. Writing since 1994, and she hasn’t stopped since. What’s more, she’s incredibly energetic and quite the um…storyteller. I know because I saw her speak in St. Louis when her book, DON’T GO (2013) came out. And then there’s her fierce love for pets, all things Italian, and her cozy farmhouse. Any idea who I’m talking about? If you guessed New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning author Lisa Scottoline then you’d be spot-on. In her newest book, Scottoline delivers a gripping brew of domestic suspense exploring hot-button issues of infertility and criminal law in her brand-new domestic thriller MOST WANTED (just released yesterday, April 12th!). Christine Nilsson, a reading teacher and her husband, Marcus desperately want to become parents. After years of trying to conceive, the couple discover Marcus is infertile. Working with a highly skilled and respected fertility specialist, Christine conceives with the …

Write On, Wednesday: A Day Late and a Dollar Short…but I have a Sandwich!

By Leslie Lindsay It’s Thursday, I know. Yesterday came and went in a blur and well, I didn’t get to my blog. Plus, the very busy and very kind Thomas Christopher Greene, author of 4–most recently THE HEADMASTER’S WIFE–was also living life in the blur and was unable to appear on the blog as promised. But never fear-for he plans to make an appearance next Wednesday, October 1st! Oh gosh–the cover of his book even *looks* like October! You’re in for a treat. Also, be on the look-out for interviews from Darcie Chan and her Mill River series. In the meantime, I am happy to announce that I’ve completed, revised, and polished my most recent manuscript and will soon be in the process of submitting to literary agents. Yahoo! Fingers crossed someone loves the book and concept as much as I do. For more information on what I’ve been working on tirelessly for the last year, check out “Zombie Road” right here on the blog. Okay. And for today, my 9 year old loves to …

Fiction Friday: Calling You

By Leslie Lindsay Well, I survived the apocolypse so I guess I owe you a “Fiction Friday” post.  This is from  my novel-in-progress.  Our protagonist, married mom of two Annie calls her ex-boyfriend’s mother.  [Remember, this is a work of fiction. It is not intended to represent anyone living or dead.  All names and instances are used ficticiously.  It is an orginial work, please do not beg, borrow, or steal.]  Thanks…and enjoy!           “The long electronic beep jolted me into action, “Hello…um…hi…Jillian.  Mrs. Kesselhoff.  This is Annie Munroe.  Kelley!  Annie Kelley.  I dated your son, Steve several years ago.”  My voice trailed off, a nervous giggle erupting.  “More than several years ago, actually….”  I sighed, chewed on the inside of my cheek.  What was I doing?  I was just about to hang up when I heard her voice.           “Annie.  Yes, I remember you,” Her voice moist, soft and gentle despite the rattle in her throat.            I gripped the phone tighter, my palms growing sweaty. I pictured a mound of papers on her cluttered kitchen …

Write on Wednesday: Agents, Agents–Here’s my Story!

By Leslie Lindsay  I have been busy writing today ..so busy I almost forgot to pound out a blog post!  Yesterday, I was waaay too busy volunteering in my kindergartner’s library and managing all of the day-to-day things that a 2nd grader and her little sister have going to write something for “The Teacher is Talking.”  Oops–guess I get a failing grade for that.  Alas, I am back.  And since I am working at shaping my novel for an agent’s eyes, I thought I’d let you in a little on that process.  First of all: it’s hard.  Second of all: it’s not easy.  Redundant?  Yep.  After I did all of my “mom duties” for the day, I told my hubby over the phone, “Yep, gonna head to Caribou to work on my novel.”  He replied, “Well, it seems like an ideal day to do that…it’s dreary and you’ll be able to hole-up in a cozy coffee shop.” He makes it sound like a vacation.  And in some sense, he’s right:  I do like to write.  And I do like coffee shops.  …

Write on, Wednesday: Naming Your Characters

By Leslie Lindsay A topic we love to discuss around my house is that of names.  It started even before we had children.  What names mean, what their connotations are, family names, you (ha) name it–we talked about it.  So, one would think that when it came time for me to write novels, the names would just pour out of me as if I were a walking-talking Beyond Jennifer and Jason.  Alas, it does not.  (image source, Amazon.com 9.19.12) How difficult can it be to name your character?  Pick a name you like of the right gender and move on, right?  Not so fast.  When selecting the name of a charcter you have spent time, effort, and and hours crafting one must really be diligent on how they come about the name of a much-loved (or hated) character.  I have a character I working with right now.  I call him Steve.  Where did this name come from?  Have I ever known any real-life Steves?  Well, kind of.  There was a boy who lived in my …

Write on, Wednesday: The Art of War for Writers

By Leslie Lindsay The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell (Dec 9, 2009) (retrieved from Amazon.com on 8.8.12) We writers are an odd group.  I don’t mean that in a bad way.  I know because we work really hard at nothing all day.  No, no…that came out wrong, too.  It seems so easy to be a writer, but alas it is not.  You see, to be  a good writer, one must really have the drive.  One must really have patience, creativity, observation skills out the waazoo…and have thick skin.  Really thick rhino skin.  About 10 days ago, I was really struggling with my writing.  I was cruising through my manuscript on my laptop nodding here and there and thinking, “Hummm…not bad.”  And then I got to a place where I thought the whole darn thing just sucked.  I wanted to stuff it all and move on with my life.  After all, I was packing on pounds from writing at my favorite coffee shop (I swear just smelling coffee and carbs …

Write on, Wednesday! Writin’ by the Lake

By Leslie Lindsay (image retrieved from the Madison Visitors Center website 6.21.12)   I am having an absolute ball here in Madison, WI at the “Write-by-the-Lake” retreat hosted by the University of Wisconsin.  Here’s how life doesn’t get much better:  writing instruction, good group of peers who also like to write, good shopping, a nice location, yummy things to eat, and some time alone.  Here are the downsides: I miss my dog. And my family.  That’s why I just spent the afternoon doing a little shopping for them…arrowheads and university tee shirts and books…now if I could only find something for the hound).    Another downside to all of this learning and time alone:  I perseverate.  A lot.  As our instructor, Kathy Steffen says, “I am throwing you all of this information like a fireman with a hose.”  It’s a lot.  I think I have acquired something like 22 hand-outs/worksheets since the first day of class.  Have I looked at them again?  Well…not exactly.  (But shhhh….don’t tell Kathy Steffen).  In fact, there is a little something to …

Write on, Wednesday: Glimpse of Next Project

By Leslie Lindsay He propped his left arm up on the car door, resting it on the open window, his right hand draped languidly over the avocado green steering wheel.  Slouched down in the driver’s seat, the torn vinyl upholstery gaping in places, filling the openings with yellowed foam, he sucked in a deep breath, blew it out of his tighten lips as though he were smoking.  Grandma wouldn’t allow that in the car, not with us kids inside, anyway.  He cocked the bill of his baseball hat over his face slightly.  His bright blue, nearly translucent eyes squinted and looked up at the gray sky as the old car rumbled along the country road, “The fog’ll burn off,” he told us with utmost certainty.  I nodded, my chin quivered.  I hoped he was right.  Not only did I want a sunny day, I needed one. It was the middle of a nasty divorce for my parents.  They spat words at each other as if the other person was the devil incarnate.  My brother—a year …

Write on, Wednesday: Fiction Primer

By Leslie Lindsay I never really thought I would have much interest in writing fiction.  I had always seen myself as the self-help, parenting, fact-based sort of writer with a slight bent towards memoir/life lessons.  But then I subscribed to Writer’s Digest and began wandering over to the columns geared toward fiction writing.  Character development, story escalation, discovery…well, it all seemed rooted in psychology.  Since I am a former child/adolescent psych R.N., my metamorphsis to “writer” seemed quite natural. After slaving away for weeks, months even on the revisions of my 16 chapter non-fiction book in Childhood Apraxia, I am ready to take a break from all of that, uh…monotony.  Back to fiction!  But I am a little rusty and I need a bit of a refresher, and perhaps you do, too. According to a semi-recent edition of Writer’s Digest (sorry, clipped this piece out, no date to go by), here are the 5 key points for shaping your story: 1–Orientation.  Meet the protagonist.  What’s his life like?  What does he have?  Is he about to …