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Comet Dust and the Gender Divide

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Book Cover Appeal: Men and Women are NOT Alike
Most of us are vaguely aware of this fact, but I was gobsmacked by it over the weekend.

Anyone who has followed my writing for a while knows how I like to experiment with book covers and titles. Hence, my new novel was called Days of Darknessfor barely a week. The new title is Comet Dust. 
You'll recognize the same 'Brunette in the Wind' from the original Days of Darkness cover. Over the weekend, I came up with an alternative cover, 'Purple Starry Head'.  
The two covers are designed to give off different vibes.  In the aftermath of a comet hitting the Earth, Brunette in the Wind plays off of the ongoing chaos and decline of civilization. On the other hand, Purple Starry Head captures the main character's determination to hold onto her dreams and work for a brighter future.
Anyway, I conducted a very scientific poll to gather input. It consisted of me emailing family members and asking random people on the internet…

Common Newbie Writer Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

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C. D. Verhoff Fiction Writer
1. Starting with a prologue.
General rule of thumb, ask yourself if the story makes sense without the prologue. If it does, get rid of it and work the information into later chapters. When your book contains a prologue, in essence, you’re starting the story twice. It’s difficult enough to hook the reader once, so don’t risk having to do it a second time.
2. Opening with a dream scene.  

This is the equivalent to playing a trick on your audiences. “Ha, ha! I made you think this exciting scene was really happening, but it was only a dream. Fooled ya!” Readers will not be amused.
3. Avoiding the word “said”.
It’s the dialogue word of choice, so apply liberally. Professional fiction writers refer to it as an invisible word. The mind overlooks it, which keeps the attention on the events of the story, not the prose. That’s a good thing. Dialogue tags such as he replied, she grumbled, he sighed, she retorted and he quipped are fine, but use them judiciously. On the o…

Useless Facts You Might Not Know

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Knowing my love of useless information, a friend sent me a list of strange facts. Just so ya know--I have not verified their authenticity.
1.Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it will digest itself. 2.The dot over the letter "i" is called a tittle. 3.A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top. 4.A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate. 5.Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying. 6.A 2 X 4 is really 1-1/2" by 3-1/2" (actually, this is a pretty useful fact if you're in the building business). 7. During the chariot scene in "Ben Hur," a small red car can be seen in the distance (and Heston's wearing a watch). 8.On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily. (Perhaps this explains a few things!) 9.Sherlock Holmes NEVER said, "Elementary, my dear Watson." (Tell me this ain&…

Stupid Stuff We Ponder

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These not-so-deep questions have been floating around cyberspace a while now. My sister just emailed me a boatload. These are my favorite of the bunch.

PONDERISMS
If you throw a cat out of a moving car, does it become kitty litter? 

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

If you choke a smurf, what color does he turn?

Why is it so hard to remember how to spell mnemonic?

Can you cry under water? 

Did Noah's ark have termites?

If a pig loses his voice is he disgruntled?

do radioactive cats have 18 half-lives?

If you swear with sign language, will mother make you wash your hands with soap?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered? 

Why do you have to "put your two cents in", but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? And, where is that extra penny going?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity? 

What disease did cured ham actually have?…