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Guest Post: Best and Worst Writing Advice I Received by Anita Dickason, Author of Sentinels of the Night

At Authors & Readers Book Corner, author Anita Dickason stops by to share the best and worse writing advice she received when starting her writing career.

Best: Narrator

My business is Mystic Circle Books & Designs, LLC. In addition to publishing my books, I provide manuscript and cover design services to other authors.

My first client had been working on her manuscript for close to ten years. She always claimed she never expected it would be published. The process was a learning curve for both of us, and the friendship we built is one I will always treasure.

I was also in the middle of my manuscript for Sentinels of the Night. As I struggled with the plot, I thought I might hit that ten-year mark before my book would be finished.

During one of our many conversations, I mentioned the difficulty I was experiencing in the flow of the text in mine. My friend asked if I used the narrator function on my computer. I was aware of the option, but it never occurred to me to use it for my manuscript. She was so right. Hearing the text read aloud made it easy to spot the breaks in the continuity along with other mistakes. The narrator is now one of the tools I use to write a story as well as my first step in the editing phase.

Sentinels of the Night Giveaway Code

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Worst: Outline

When I started writing, I joined a couple of writing groups. An award-winning author was the guest speaker for one of the meetings. During her presentation, she stressed the importance of an outline before starting the book.

I had written about twenty or so pages for Sentinels of the Night. I thought, okay if I need an outline, I’ll write one before I go any further. OMG, what a disaster. I got so hung up on trying to stay with the outline, that I lost track of my plot. Something would occur to me as I wrote a scene, but if it didn’t mesh, then I’d rewrite the outline. It seemed I was spending more time on the outline than on the book.

So now, I just write. Even though I have a general idea of the plot, how it develops depends on how I set up the characters. It’s not unusual to change midstream, and add another section or go in another direction based on a character’s actions. For me, the process is similar to an investigation. When connecting the dots, you never know where they will lead.

For more information on Sentinels of the Night and the second Tracker novel, Going Gone!, please see my website or the book trailers.

Anita Dickason’s knowledge and experience spans two careers. As a former Marketing Manager for AT&T and Project Manager for Electronic Data Systems, she worked in the computer industry. Electing to pursue a second career, Anita joined the Dallas Police Department where she served as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics officer, Dallas SWAT team/sniper, advanced accident investigator, and administrator for the department’s crash report system.

Her first book, JFK Assassination Eyewitness: Rush to Conspiracy, is non-fiction and details the reconstruction of a 1966 vehicle accident near Midlothian, Texas that killed a key witness to the Kennedy assassination. The project opened the door to a new career, Author and Publisher. She owns Mystic Circle Books & Designs, LLC and provides manuscript and design services, helping other authors turn their manuscripts into a published book.

Her fictional works are suspense/thrillers and her plots are drawn from her extensive law enforcement knowledge and experience. Characters with unexpected skills, that extra edge for overcoming danger and adversity, have always intrigued her. Her infatuation with ancient myths and legends of Native American Indians, and Scottish and Irish folklore adds a touch of paranormal for the backdrop of her characters.

Sentinels of the Night:
Going Gone!:

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