Just Writer Things

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What happens to books when we aren’t reading them?  Do the characters lives go on without us?  Does the hero slip away into the nearest tavern to soak away his responsibility in a foaming mug?  Does the damsel in distress decide to make the best of her situation until the cover opens once more?  Does the princess remain locked in the tower, or asleep, and does the little mermaid cast herself against the rocks in desperation?  Maybe everyone falls back into place like Buzz and Woody when the reader returns.  Or maybe, just maybe, the story shifts into a completely different direction from the last time anyone opened it.

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Discover The Truth Behind ‘The Sandman’ Killer

For the next three days, the Kindle Edition of
The Cold, Bending Light is on sale for .99 Cents!
That’s right, my bestselling book is currently cheaper than a cup of coffee!
Here’s what people are saying about the book…

“…one of those stories that grabs you by the throat and pulls you down into the depths. There is no letting go and this is one of t he best mysteries that I have ever read…a truly thrilling rollercoaster journey from start to finish.”
— Readers’ Favorite
“M.W. Griffith takes things to the next level in The Cold, Bending Light.”
– J.C. Hart, Editor
“This was a great cop story. The last couple chapters have more twists and turns than a woman’s braids and you won’t guess how it leaves off.”
– Kindle Customer
“Griffith again grips the reader around the throat and pulls them straight down into the story. From the first page to the last. He has a great sense of character. You start to see and know the characters and each is imperfect in its own way, making the story all the more real.”
– Nathan Goodman, Author of The 14th Protocol

Where To Begin?

Many writers are afraid of a blank page. The white background with that beguiling curser blinking back at you, beckoning you to paint the page with words. How do you start? The first sentence of a story or book can be pivotal to a reader; a deciding factor on whether or not they will continue your tale or begin flipping through television channels. Stephen King, in his book On Writing, states that he puts a lot of effort into the first sentences of thoughthis books. That’s because a reader shouldn’t have to struggle through back story in order to discover what’s going to happen, it should just happen. Sure, characters have a past, but there’s an old saying among authors: show don’t tell. Your story’s beginning shouldn’t be a history lesson. Some like to open with dialogue while others prefer action. You hold the cards to your characters past and personality, and if you show your hand too early everything will grind to a standstill. Nobody wants that. Your story has to move, it has to put one foot in front of the other, one word after another. So, think of the situation, the engaging moment that will draw your readers’ attention, and just start walking.

Stories Welcome

Let’s talk for a second, you and I. Come on, pull up a chair. Comfortable? Great.
I recently asked one of my colleagues what his new book was about. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get an idea of what the story was about. The only thing he could tell me was that his character is amazing, and that’s it. Is it possible to write an entire novel based off of this concept?
That got me thinking: what is it that’s driving your story? Is it character? Plot? Maybe it’s a bit of both. thoughtTBS loves to announce that ‘characters are welcome,’ but are they enough to carry a story by themselves? The world doesn’t revolve around a character. He/she has to be doing something, or is in some way affected by the people or events in his/her life. That’s where the story emerges. Sure, Dr. House is smart, but I think he might fall into the category of being so smart that he’s stupid. Where he excels in his trade, he stumbles in his personal relationships. That isn’t enough to be a story, however. What he encounters and how relationships affect him can determine how he functions in the day to day, but suppose a code black is paged in the hospital and the place goes on lock down. There’s a mad man inside, and Dr. House wants to protect his patients at all costs. Maybe he attempts to outwit the assailant and saves the day. Not only is that a story, but it’s quite revealing in regards to character growth.
Maybe the slogan should be ‘stories welcome.’
Then again, maybe I think too much.

To Scrivener or not to Scrivener?

A lot of people ask me what type of software I use for writing my manuscripts. To be honest, it can be easy for some writers to get too caught up in picking the right program. It can potentially distract the writer from doing what is most important: writing. As long as you are getting the story out, putting words on the page, then it really doesn’t matter what type of software you use. Maybe you don’t use a computer at all to wiamawriterrite your magnificent novels. There are plenty of people who still use journals, pens, pencils, crayons, whatever! As a matter of fact, the first full length novel I ever wrote started out on napkins. Although not ideal, at least it got the job done.
In all fairness, I’ll answer the question. I write using a popular software called Scrivener. It keeps everything organized, but it can be a bit daunting for someone who is not used to it. Lately, though, I’ve shifted over to iA Writer. It’s a simple program that opens right up. It has night mode, my favorite, and organizes scenes and chapters with a swipe on my trackpad. Planning is fine, and Scrivener is really great for that, but when it comes to actually typing out a story, iA Writer has been my go to application!

What about you guys? Do you prefer one method of writing over another? What has your experience with Scrivener been like? Let me know in the comments!

Remember, get those words onto the page!
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What Makes A Great Character?

Businessman-Thinking1What makes a great character?  Someone who you’ll follow all the way through a story, his/her journey to overcome whatever dangers have been presented?
A colleague suggested readers are not interested in imperfect leads anymore, that part of the fantasy is indulging in the concept that there exists a perfect character that’s not only highly attractive, but also holds extraordinary abilities.  Was there ever a time when books followed an imperfect main character?  Sure, I’ve read quite a few books where that’s just the case.  From an alcoholic private eye who’s dying of cancer and decides to take on one last case, to a humble Hobbit having a grand adventure thrust upon him.  These sorts of characters are becoming less known in the modern realm of fiction, however.
A strikingly handsome detective who always out smarts the villain is a much more satisfyingsuperherowithcape read to many people.  These characteristics do not make our heroes great, but super.  Ever watch CSI and marvel at the fact that a small team of super humans can solve incredibly intricate cases in forty-four minutes?
Not everything in the world is so cut and dry, and not every person is so, well, super.  Often enough, a well rounded character is going to be a better one, in my opinion; someone who has faults, who makes mistakes, because these are the things that make a character relatable.  Likable, even.  You want to see them struggle, as morbid as that sounds, because you want to root for them to succeed in the end.  To overcome not only the obstacle represented in the story, but their own personal demons, their own private remorse and uncertain thoughts making them wonder if they truly are up to the task.  These are some of the qualities and imperfections I like to discover in a lead character.  They make me enjoy the ride, and sympathize with their journey.

The Cold, Bending Light — Now Available!

There’s nothing worse than not knowing…

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On a hot summer evening, a young woman’s body is discovered in a small Tennessee town.
When another girl vanishes on her way home from work, Special Agent Selena Marrenger takes on the case. All signs point to a terrifying serial killer with a unique modus operandi: a chemical used in state executions that isn’t found in Tennessee.

As Selena inches closer to the unnerving truth, she starts to believe that something much larger – and sinister – is at play. Probing local law enforcement for answers unearths a well hidden secret woven into the fabric of truth, justice, and madness…

In this fast paced novel where nothing is quite what it seems, M.W. Griffith leads readers on a dangerous, twisting quest to bring justice to families whose lives have been changed forever by tragedy.

You can grab your copy of the novel at AMAZON.  Thanks for reading!

Mega Mystery Sale!

 

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I love mysteries and thrillers.  If you follow me on this site, then you know what I’m about.  So, I was delighted when I discovered this mystery super sale going on today and tomorrow.  Every book listed has been reduced to .99 cents during this very limited time.  You know you want to check it out, right?  Sure you do!

By the way, if you haven’t read Monsoon Morning yet, it’s among the books in this sale.

Click the above picture and dive into the deals!

Official Cover Reveal!

The Cold, Bending Light will be released on May 20th.
I’m excited to share a first look at the cover with you today!
Want to know more about the book? Sign up for my Newsletter to receive exclusives, and keep checking back right here in the days and weeks to come!

Sign Me Up!

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