This week, I am handing over my newsletter to my friend and author Dawn Hosmer to share her five favourite things this week.
Her newest book Somewhere in Between is a twisty psychological thriller about a woman stuck between life and death, forced to travel back in time to relive moments from her past, as she tries to piece together the details surrounding her death.
The biggest thing I need is uninterrupted, quiet time which is probably why I’ve gotten so little writing done this year. With the pandemic, my son has been doing virtual schooling and my husband is working from home, so alone time is non-existent.
Thankfully, I do have an office door that I can shut but inevitably that serves as a scratching post for the cats who suddenly need to be with me. Or, as an invitation to my family to ask me every question they’ve saved up for the past week.
Since I’m a pantser, every interruption completely messes up my writing flow and it takes me twice as long to get back in the scene. I can’t write to music or else I’ll end up adding in lyrics to my manuscript and singing along loudly instead of writing.
For each book I write, I buy a new notebook so that I can keep track of key details as I write them, and pretty, smooth-writing pens.
I have different pages tabbed which is how I keep track of different plot points about characters, timeline, setting, backstory, etc. The tabs make it easy for me to find the information I need quickly.
I do no plotting ahead of time, so having a notebook is vital for me to track things as I write them. I also keep track of each day I write and my word count for the day. I also jot down any vital information I research, and if you zoom in, you’ll get a hint about what I’m working on now and that it involves the human skeleton/bones.
Although I don’t use The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi much during drafting, it is a lifesaver during edits.
I find that in my writing, I tend to use the same phrasing over and over to describe different emotions or character’s reactions to them. This book helps me find new ways to describe how someone might act or look based on their feelings.
For example, in the picture below, I’ve turned to the page Disappointment. Some people when they’re disappointed may look around in confusion and shock. Others may break eye contact or smile bitterly.
Much of my writing focuses on emotional situations so I want to make sure to accurately portray how a character exhibits each emotion, and not bore the reader with always having them react in the exact same way.
To get myself in the writing headspace, I always light a scented candle. My favourite is Honeysuckle from White Barn. Lighting it and the scent sends signals to my brain that it’s time to write. It’s interesting that when I forget to light a candle first, the words don’t come as easily to me.
Because I write mostly psychological thrillers and suspense, I turn to true-crime podcasts and/or TV often for inspiration.
My favorite true crime podcasts are My Favorite Murder and Crime Junkies. I’m not as selective with true crime TV and watch many shows and movies based on, or inspired by true crime. These help me get into the mind of the bad guy and also give me inspiration for writing characters that are realistic in how they deal with the most unimaginable circumstances.
Thank you Dawn and thank you everyone for reading. Have a great week.