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Let’s just apply, for a moment (and for the hell of it) some screenplay wisdom, to novels.

A scene in a screenplay exists for one of two reasons: a) to propel the narrative, and b) to reveal character. With the great scenes doing both. Let’s go further by defining a ‘scene’ as a moment in time and space. In other words, if the scene is two guys catching up for the first time for 20 years since college, and they’re sitting in a diner back in the town where they grew up (for example). That’s a single SCENE. If they leave the diner and drive off to a local watering hole, it’s a new scene because the LOCATION has changed. If they ‘flashback’ mid-scene so we (the audience) are transported to them sitting in the same seats in the same diner, back when they were 17, it’s a new scene because the TIME has changed.

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Comprehensive list from the always excellent SFWA

(follow the link for the full list, it’s well worth it!):


Finding an Epublisher and Checking Reputations (SAMPLE):

General Resources (SAMPLE):

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Cheers :)

Brian M

Nice blog entry from my friend, author Jeff Cohen:


The Five Stages of Publishing

Quite some time ago, at least by my compass, a psychologist named Elisabeth Kubler-Ross made a perennial pest of herself by dividing the process of dying (or grieving, depending on who’s doing the explaining) into five stages. Dr. Kubler-Ross, who died in 2004 but unfortunately did not mention at the time whether she was right or not, decided that the process would be delineated as follows:

1. Denial (“I’m not dying.”)

2. Anger (“Whose fault is this?”)

3. Bargaining (“If I can just live to see my daughter’s grandchildren get old…”)

4. Depression (“Man, dying is a bummer–got a Xanax?”)

5. Acceptance (“Bring it on”).

You have to wonder where shooting victims find the time.

Not terribly long ago, and certainly after Dr. K-R left this mortal coil without disclosing her findings from the real deal, I was asked by a ghostwriting client to extrapolate the doc’s theory into another realm as a book proposal. Now, grafting the process of death onto anything else hardly seemed like an entry to bestseller territory, but it wasn’t my book, so I gave it a shot. Shockingly, the book didn’t sell so fast it would make your head spin.

But given that I’m not trying to sell anything on this blog, perhaps it would be interesting to take the doc’s formula and apply it to the process of writing and publishing a mystery novel. (Perhaps not, but hey, it’s Monday and I have to postsomething…) Let’s take a look:

To read the rest please click HERE:


Brian M