A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Making the most of your opportunities

I have been thinking a lot about the opportunities we have as writers.  We get the chance to share something special with others that a lot of people don't have.  I, for one, absolutely love being able to tell stories.  Start with the bare bones of characters and make them come alive.  Give them good traits and flaws.  Personalities and traits that are cohesive and identifiable.  Nobody is perfect, and having them be imperfect beings makes them all the more realistic.  Then I get to drop them into fantastical situations most of us in our mundane, day-to-day lives, would never encounter. 

As writers, we get opportunities to research our stories.  Sometimes that might mean a trip to the local fire station, to question the firefighters and paramedics.  (Oh, poor me, that is such a hardship, right?)  Maybe it's talking to an FBI agent or police officer, running scenarios by them to see if it will work. 

In our modern world, we also have the ability to interact with people via the internet that we'd otherwise never have a chance of meeting in person.  Experts in their fields who help us weave concrete facts into our stories to make them all the more realistic.  Because part of storytelling is making the listener or reader enter into the world we create, immerse themselves into the adventure, and feel like they are a part of what's going on around them. 

We sometimes have the opportunity to travel.  We can go to reader and writer's conferences and meet fellow authors, the ones who write in the same genres we do.  Heck, we even get to be fans ourselves of authors that we breathless await their next big book.  We get to interact with readers at reader conferences, and meet face-to-face the people who've sent e-mails, and tweeted and wrote Facebook posts about our books.  Honestly, where else would you get that kind of opportunity? 

Then there's the opportunity to collaborate with other authors/writers in anthologies and boxed sets, bringing new life to series or creating brand new worlds to be explored.  The possibilities are endless, limited only by time and our own imaginations.

But do we make the most of these opportunities?  How many times do we say, I really need to research untraceable poisons and actually speak to experts on the subject?  Or find out about whether guns can fire underwater?  Or learn about the finer details about identifying and/or taking fingerprints. 

Writers have limitless opportunities.  Sometimes we don't take advantage of them, and it inhibits the stories running around inside our heads.  Don't let your opportunities pass you by.  Seize the day, the moment, because they can slip away from you in a heartbeat, and may never come around again. 


jean harrington said...

Kathy, the carpe diem argument is powerful, and you apply it so well here. Thanks for the reminder of what should be.

Anne Marie Becker said...

I love what I do! Especially the traveling and meeting fellow writers, listening to workshops about everything from FBI procedures to how to use social media. Always something to learn, and new characters to meet. :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

Excellent advice, Kathy, and not just for writers.

Rita said...

We really are very lucky people. I look around and see people who are closed off to many possibilities and it's sad. Almost sinful the way opportunities and gifts are ignored and squandered.

Kathy Ivan said...

Thanks for dropping by everyone! I've been buried under edits all day and just now peering out of my writing cave. But it's worth it, because this is another opportunity to seize onto, working with people who make my writing better and my stories flow.

I've made myself a promise not to let opportunities pass me by. I'm going to grab hold and take advantage of the things that come along, because I want to live my life to the fullest. Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Clare London said...

Good for you Kathy! I had a job interview recently and they asked me how I felt about learning new things. Apart from the fact I'm never going to say in an interview that I don't like it, am I? LOL but I was able to say genuinely I love seeing and finding new opportunities every day.

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