Ask a male author about your male character traits or thoughts.

Amazon links to my stories: The Chess Master, Cinnamon & Sugar, Autumn Breeze, A More Perfect Union, Double Happiness, The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, Neanderthals and the Garden of Eden can be found down the right side of the blog. Another site very useful in categorizing books in their proper order is:

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Sunday, November 13, 2022

the undefinable life of a romance writer

 Once upon a time, I was an engineer. My wife came from the Philippines. While dating, I discovered, much to my liking, that she loved basketball, as most Filipinos/as do. I took her to a Sixers game she was in heaven. As we settled into married life, she became curious about that rough sport I was watching all day Sunday. NFL football.

Things changed when I started writing. I didn't have the time to sit through a whole game, let alone all day. And let's not forget Monday and Thursday. I wrote. She watched. I kept her company for periods, but I was damn close to being a football widower, lol.

As a side note, she watches baseball and soccer as well. Two sports I hardly paid attention to, but do enjoy these now given that I made many interruptions for writing.

I wouldn't say roles were reversed. It's just time and love.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

revisiting show don't tell

The real purpose of showing is to keep the reader hooked. When your story raises more questions than it answers, the reader wants to read on. 

So when the novel starts, try not to explain why the characters are the way they are. Try not to spend too much time describing the surroundings. Try not to hand out resumes for each character.

The reader will glean from little tidbits dropped in conversation pieces of who these people are and why they do or say what they say.

Readers like to be engaged. They want to solve problems like a detective.

Try it.

Here's the first draft of the beginning of my novel The Cute-Meeter as an example.

“Your slave is smoking hot.”

“Come on, Sam. I can’t; it’s against university policy.”

“Maybe the Dean could make an exception for a love-sick puppy.”

“I am not.”

“True, you don’t have four legs.”

Christopher spit out just a bit of beer as a small laugh escaped him. “Your joke,” he shook his head, “so lame.”

“Stick to the point. You love her, don’t you?”

“I plead the fifth.”

Justine, our bartender, wiped up the beer and said in her usual flirty way. “If I had known you were a dribbler, I would have taken you to the Knicks game instead of, you know, Chrissy baby.”

She dribbled her fine derriere to another customer, turned, and winked. Oh, I got trouble.

“I can’t believe what just happened. Justine’s not your type. What have you been?...” Justine reached for Dewar’s Scotch, well within earshot.

He shooshed Sam and lowered his voice. “Either you’re a snob, or you don’t know her.”

“I’m not a snob.”

“I know. You were my best man and still are. Although you might drop down to second place behind my dog. Justine has a kid at home and is trying to finish her master’s too.”

“But what’s with the beckoning behind?”

Back to me: I'm sure you'll notice that I don't supply the two men's full names or exactly what they do. I don't mention directly where this scene is located (NYC). I use a save-the-cat moment in describing the waitress, thereby showing Christopher's humanity.

A little later, the subject gets back to Christopher's Ph.D. candidate:

“You’re meeting her tomorrow, right?”

“Yep, she still has that crazy idea for her thesis.”

“My personal opinion?…” Sam let his head lean, and his eyes roll.

“Go ahead, Sam.”

Sam picked up a slew of peanuts and stuffed his mouth. “I’m thin kun yous,” he wiped his mouth and downed some beer. “I think yes, her idea is far-fetched, but it is legitimate enough.”

“Oh, come on.”

“No, you come on. You’re letting your old-school teaching methods get in the way. Give her a break.”

“The fifth.” He patted Sam’s shoulder and pointed at the WyborowaVodka.

Back to me: Does the reader wonder what the woman's crazy idea is? Yes, and that's good because the reader will continue. The problem all writers have is maintaining these little mysteries throughout the entire story.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Why haven't I been blogging

I was sincerely disappointed when I found out my publisher didn't do novels about a young girl who becomes a World Chess Champion. So I published it myself. I believe I sold around twenty copies. This either highlights the strength of the publisher (I sold hundreds of Cinnamon & Sugar), or I wrote a lousy story. OR...

There were other factors. I received three crazy & poor reviews:

This novel should have been for teenagers. [I stated that it was. I guess the guy didn't read the promo material... and was more interested in puffing himself up.]

This novel had racial signals. [Whatever that is. I deliberately left race out of the story except where absolutely necessary to understand the story. There were no signals. What I think is that a racist wanted to knock me. The way I write there is only pone race, the human race.] Do I hear an amen?]

This novel had sex in it. [It did not. Yes, when the protagonist is growing up she asks questions addressed to her big sister to satisfy her curiosity. I ask, who growing up doesn't exhibit curiosity? The reviewer asked me to write out the "sex" in the story. What turnup did she grow up under? Apparently, the Iranian morality police wrote this review. If you don't tell a realistic story...]

So, you see, I got turned off and could not write. Well, now that I let out a little steam. I'll be writing again. Perhaps my publisher will have me back. And yes, I'll probably blog much more often.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The value of a compliment

 Tread lightly here. Women are often turned off by a guy complimenting them. "Oh, it's a line. "He's a dog."

We are cautioned about sexual harassment, abuse, and using one's Job (position) to gain favors. All true and to be respected.

BUT: In romance movies and hopefully in books there comes an appropriate time where the two protagonists complement each other (or one does and it is appreciated). So what's the difference? They're either on a level playing field or recognize the remark as sincere. But there's magic here. They feel the same way. Yep, that's how romance works on one level, mutual attraction. So actually saying that you are attracted becomes an affirmation to the other that they are loved or at least desired by someone they desire too.

There may not be a better natural feeling than knowing that the other appreciates you as much as they appreciate them. This assumes a lot of info has been collected to jump to the conclusion in a romance that you are truly loved. When this happens picture fireworks, because that's the ball game.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Rachel and Gabby: predictions based on no knowledge, lol

Okay, this is for the eyes of the ABC Bachelor fans only. Others can read that novel you've put off because life interrupts.

Gabby and Rachel are co-bachelorettes. They have become such great friends I just know they'll work well together.

BUT, in the previews you see some guys choosing which lady they like. So they refuse a rose from the 'wrong' bachelorette for them.

Although Gabby and Rachel question this, I think it best to clarify and I predict they'll like it more and more. I mean who wants a mate who doesn't want them, lol?

Gabby and Rachel are completely different in their personalities (and looks). So, it would be natural to quickly declare oneself team Gabby or Rachel. But who will and who will not? And there's always the possibility that a guy could change his mind, especially when he thinks he has no or little chance with the one he chose. BUT, how good a fit would it end up being? Ah, the complexities. I'm a chess master so I gravitate to this sort of intricacy in a story (or two stories).

There are many stories. There were 32 men but three were sent home on night one, last week. Who are they? The best place to see the cast is on various internet sites, probably ABC.

I'll have three columns in the future. Men for Gabby. Men for Rachel. The undecideds. And probably two more. Who Gabby likes and who Rachel likes. It's a bear.

The three sent home were predictable. Joey & Justin (twins) seemed (there are edits) to talk about their relationship with each other (too much). Where's the empathy, guys? Roby seemed only interested in showing off card tricks. Is this a one-way street? If so, tell the DMV.

Rachel Recchia is a gorgeous 26 yr old pilot and flight instructor with a sweet personality.

Gabby Windey, with eye-catching and unusual looks, is 31 and a ICU nurse and a former cheerleader for the Denver Broncos. She's very witty and down-to-earth. Both ladies have complementary hearts.

The men range in age from 23 to 36.

Mario Vassall, 31, personal trainer, got Gabby's first impression rose. Mario is a ball of energy who wants a family.

Tino Franco, 28, a general contractor, received Rachel's 1st rose. He is a go-with-the-flow type of guy who loves spending time with his family, friends, and dog.

That's all for now.

Voice in novels clarified

 I often wonder why most authors don't address a character's voice. They do pay attention to the author's voice, the story's voice, or the point of view.

Maybe when writing they don't think about it. So, one must describe some of the characters' voices, please.

Is he/she throaty, (like Marilyn Monroe), chirpy, halting, stuttery, high-pitched, low-low (like Scotty McCreery), staccato, flighty, deep (like the cookie monster, lol), have an accent (like Sean Connery)?

Enrich your story with characters' voices.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

endless universe

 As a physicist, I have always thought it not rational that the universe is limited in space and has a shape. There are many scientists that believe in multiple universes. Or that the one we can measure goes on forever. Just as there are gaps between galaxies so should there be gaps between so-called universes and our gap gives us a misimpression, since we can't see beyond it.

If there is infinite matter there has to be infinite life. And if there is infinite life one never has to worry about existence!