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Pat Bertram's Blog

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Sep.01.2010
I went through my notes about writing to find a topic for this blog, and I came across a reminder to always remember the five Cs: Character (characters are paramount, they personify the story)Conflict (without conflict, there is no story)Change (characters change, circumstances change, the plot...
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Aug.20.2010
There is a wide range of basic emotions, including anger, aversion, courage, dejection, desire, despair, fear, hate, hope, love, sadness, disgust, joy, surprise, happiness, interest, wonder, sorrow, rage, terror, anxiety, contempt, distress, guilt shame, grief, elation, subjection, pain, pleasure,...
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Aug.05.2010
According to the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders released by the American Psychiatric Association, grief is considered a medical disorder, and should be treated as major depression. There used to be a bereavement exclusion in the description of major depression, but they...
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Aug.01.2010
Writers need to watch out for echoes -- a duplication of words, phrases, effects, details that reverberate in readers' minds and dilute the work. (As an example: I just wrote "details that echo in readers' minds", but the second "echo" echoed the first and diluted the effect of...
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Jul.21.2010
I’ve been thinking about my grieving woman book of which I’ve written so little it’s not a Work-in-Progress but an IIP -- Idea in Progress. The woman finds a gun in her husband’s bathrobe pocket, and I've been wondering what to do with it. Chekhov said that if you show a gun in the first scene you...
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Jul.14.2010
I walk in the desert, sometimes on straightaways, sometimes on hills. I learned something from the hill walks: she who goes up, must come down. And sometimes “down” means a very steep grade. I discovered that it was much easier to get to the bottom of these steep hills if I zigzagged from one edge...
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Jul.12.2010
My work in progress has a scene where the hero is escaping across a desert with a group of acquaintances, so as I take my daily walk I try to see what he would see, such as a ghost moon and a ghost sun. Unless he has sharp eyes, he might miss much of the color -- the flowers are so tiny it's hard...
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Jul.07.2010
Almost every book I read now contains the phrase “nowhere to be found” as in, “Jack stepped through the broken door and called Janet’s name. When she didn’t answer, he searched the house. She was nowhere to be found.” Besides being trite and passive, the phrase is patently ridiculous. All we know...
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Jul.06.2010
Coed is a term that was born in the nineteen thirties when women enrolled in previously all-male colleges, and it is a term that should have died there. Writers today are careful about not using other sexist terms, but coed is still prevalent. Short for coeducational student, it is demeaning when...
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Jun.30.2010
Second Wind is celebrating the release of two new mystery anthologies, Murder in the Wind and Mystery in the Wind, and they are offering you a chance to win an ecopy of either book. They will be giving away three ecopies of each anthology.To enter the econtest, all you have to do is leave a comment...
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Jun.29.2010
Second Wind Publishing is celebrating the release of two new anthologies, Murder in the Wind and Mystery in the Wind, and they are offering you a chance to win a print copy of both books. All you have to do is write a sentence using the words “murder,” “mystery,” and “wind,” then post on the Second...
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May.16.2010
What makes you the unique individual you are? Is it your looks? Your personality? Your upbringing? Your heritage? Your hopes and fears? Your strengths and weaknesses? Your likes and dislikes? It is all of that, and more. Those are the very same characteristics make fictional characters unique and...
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Apr.29.2010
I am participating in Blogmania, a whacky free-for-all giveaway encompassing 123 blogs. If you stop by Bertram’s Blog on April 30th and leave a comment, you will be entered into a contest to win a print copy of Daughter Am I. Since the novel is the story of a quest, I am also including a couple of...
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Apr.18.2010
On April 30, 2010, I am going to participate in Blogmania, a one day massive blog giveaway.  Picture it as one of those 200 mile long garage sales that attract thousands of shopaholics because of its size. The people who go to those events love the pure adventure of seeing how many miles of garage...
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Apr.15.2010
I recieved a much forwarded email entitled "A New Form of Kidnapping". Supposedly, a woman finished shopping, went out to her car and discovered that she had a flat. She got the jack out of the trunk and began to change the flat. A nice-looking man dressed in a business suit and carrying...
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