Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: It begins!

Hooray for reading! Today is another installment of Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon, and although the challenge started at 5 AM in my timezone, I am just getting started now. So, here are my answers to the opening survey... 1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I'm in sunny San Diego, California. 2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The one Continue Reading...

Setting Themes: #Preptober, Day 21

Today let's talk about themes. Themes are often used as the entry point into an idea about the kind of novel you want to write. Maybe you want to write about love or loss or forgiveness. Ambition, betrayal, coming of age – these are all themes. Writers usually pick one as the overarching idea that will guide their story (my ninja story is a coming of age tale, for instance). The problem Continue Reading...

Setting Touch: #Preptober, Day 20

We've covered all the "S" senses (sight, sound, smell) We've almost covered all five senses now – except for the very last: touch. The sense of touch is powerful, and like most senses can go in either a positive or negative direction, depending on the person doing the touching and the person receiving that touch. Think about positive forms of touching first: shaking hands, hugging, Continue Reading...

Setting Tastes: #Preptober, Day 19

We've covered all the "S" senses (sight, sound, smell), so now it's on to the Ts. Today's sense to ponder is taste. Thinking about your setting, there might be quite a lot to taste, or very little, depending on where your character is and what they're doing there. If your character is in a café or restaurant, taste is paramount! What do they want to eat, and what makes them crave those Continue Reading...

Setting Smells: #Preptober, Day 18

Having covered sight and hearing, let's now turn our attention to something that's as plain as the nose on our face. Let's talk about our sense of smell. The sense of smell can be a bit tricky when thinking about your setting. Many of us tend to ignore smells unless they are particularly bad. For instance, the smell of rotting garbage may alert your character to the fact that today is Trash Continue Reading...