Rachel Thompson

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sherrie Cronin – Writing While Browsing

Writing While Browsing

by: Sherrie Cronin

I have no idea how one wrote novels before the internet. Short stories don’t necessarily have a lot of facts in them, at least mine never did, so they didn’t require much in the way of research. By the time I began to try my hand with full length books, I had the luxury of countless facts at my fingertips. This is good because I can’t get an hour into my writing without needing to know how much an airplane weighs or what day of the week February 14 was in 2012 or how many people live in Belize or what is a common last name that will work for a minor character that needs to blend in well and yet won’t remind the reader of anyone famous.

The result is that I write with a half dozen or so tabs of my favorite search engine open, and I bookmark and save obscure links like a madwoman. It takes a certain amount of self discipline to keep moving and not get lost in the information, and I’m generally pretty good about not lingering. However, like the time I found myself on a website for survivors of particularly brutal alternative schools for teens, I have learned that when something calls to me so much that I just can’t get myself to move on, then I need to listen to my instincts. I am likely to end up with a subplot that is a surprise to me, and yet which I will be really glad that I included.

One pitfall of internet research is that everyone can be a self proclaimed expert, whether they know what they are talking about or not. I use Wikipedia and I love it, but if it is important that I get the information exactly right, I generally go ahead and take the time to check the original sources. I completely avoid sites where people write in questions and anyone can answer. I have a strong science background and have found some amazingly wrong information voted “best answer”.

The other tab or two that I keep open as I write is a map of wherever my action is occurring. I like satellite images and the feeling of being there, even if I don’t need specific information at that moment. It helps to me keep my head in the story. In y1 I kept downtown Chicago and the Pacific Ocean open as I wrote. In z2 I followed highways through Mexico and got to spend a good deal of time in Belize. Sometimes I’d take a break from my writing and just go look around. I’d check out the shore and the small atolls around the various coral reefs, imaging that I was snorkeling out there with my characters. It wasn’t exactly a day at the beach for me, but it did make writing z2 even more fun.


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Genre - Speculative Fiction

Rating – PG

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Sherrie Cronin on Goodreads

Website http://zsquaredblog.org/

The Dream Rider by Ernest Dempsey

I looked down at the wound but made myself keep going despite feeling the pain and the thick, crimson liquid oozing down my leg. As I pushed my way forward, a million questions ran through my head. One in particular stuck out. Why were these guys trying to kill me? I was just a college student. I never had problems with anybody. I looked back at the men in the trench coats. They were walking slowly now, but still firing their weapons. Glass storefront windows shattered around me and car windshields cracked with spider webs, hollow holes in the middle.

I dragged myself off the concrete and started to limp away as fast as I could, but another bullet found it’s way through the calf muscle of my other leg. I dropped to my knees and groaned in agony. My hands tugged against the concrete, straining to pull my body’s weight along. Suddenly, I felt a sickening thud in the upper part of my back. It felt like I’d been struck by a sledgehammer. The force of the impact knocked me forward onto my face. The concrete was cold on my skin, a strange contrast to the warm liquid leaking from my body in three places.

Three pairs of black boots crunched across the glass and rubble, coming to stop next to my face. The men were standing over me, looking down like I was nothing more than a rabid dog they were disposing of. The one with the shaved head grinned, revealing stained, crooked teeth. The other two just watched as he aimed the gun at my head.

There was nothing I could do but lay there. I couldn’t feel my legs, which meant the last bullet had severed my spinal cord. I knew I was about to die but didn’t close my eyes. I couldn’t understand why these men were doing this. I’d never seen any of them before. But I wouldn’t give them the pleasure of seeing me flinch, whoever they were. I didn’t beg. I didn’t even ask why they were doing it. I’m not sure why. I just didn’t.

My head twisted and I stared down the barrel of the gun as the sunlight silhouetted the enormous figure of the man who was about to kill me. My head rolled to the side and for the briefest of seconds, I noticed a young woman with long brown hair standing still while everyone else panicked. She was a vision of serenity amidst the chaos. She watched with a strange curiosity as the bald man stood over me. I returned my gaze to the tip of the weapon just in time to see him squeeze the trigger. I heard the gunshot, again like it was in slow motion and, felt the bullet hit my skull.

Then everything went black.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre –  Science Fiction

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Ernest Dempsey on Facebook  & Twitter

Website http://ernestdempsey.net/