Showing posts with label tool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tool. Show all posts

Do You Use Readers?

            It used to be that an author created and wrote his story and then sent it to his editor, after which he did his rewrites and published his book. But there is one tool I use to help give me input about my story. This tool is my readers. They have become an important part of my editing and rewriting process.

            More and more authors are turning to readers to give their thoughts and opinions on the authors’ stories. This is a good idea since most people who buy and read books are ordinary everyday people and are not writers or editors.

            Editors are looking at the structure of your plot, character development, and yes, grammar and spelling among other things. But readers are looking at it for its intrest and appeal. To use both readers and an editor gives you a more rounded viewpoint of your story.

            Readers give you a perspective from a different angle. Now don’t go firing your editor. On the contrary. I prefer to get my readers’ input before I send my book to my editor. Readers view your story from a reader’s viewpoint where your editor look at your story from a writer’s viewpoint, and it is my opinion that a writer needs both.

            I do ask my readers to look for spelling/grammar errors and typos. They do a grand job of finding them, too. But I also like to get their opinion on specific parts/chapters of my story. Because they are not as picky as editors are, they can really give you a fresh and honest opinion. Once you get your readers input, then you can concentrate on the things your editor finds.

            How many readers should you have? As many as you want but definitely more than one. The difference in opinion from one reader to another can create a dilemma. A third reader’s opinion can give you the solution to that dilemma.

            So do you have a reader/s? If not, you’re missing out on a more well-rounded editing information.

Faye M. Tollison
Author of:  To Tell the Truth
Upcoming books:  The Bible Murders
                               Sarah’s Secret
Member of:  Sisters in Crime
                     Writers on the Move


Luminol: Fact or Fiction

Luminol is not just a fictitious creation of the entertainment world. It is a real investigative tool used by crime scene investigators. It was created based on the precedence that nothing totally disappears. Tiny particles of blood, for instance, will cling to most surfaces for many years, unable to be detected by the human eye. However, the idea is to reveal these tiny particles with a light-producing chemical reaction between several chemicals and hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying protein in blood.

Investigators spray an area with luminol. Then they turn out the lights, black out the windows, and look for a bluish-green light. If there are any traces of blood in that area, they will glow.

When hemoglobin and the luminol mixture come in contact with each other, the iron in the hemoglobin accelerates the reaction between the hydrogen peroxide, which is in the liquid with which the luminol powder is mixed. This creates a reaction call an “oxidation reaction,” and this reaction creates an energized state. Because the iron in the hemoglobin accelerates the process, the light is bright enough to see in a dark room. This is as simplified as I can get in explaining this process, but it all boils down to a chemical reaction with the end result of lighting up the blood particles in the dark.

When an investigator finds evidence of blood traces with the luminol, he/she will photograph or videotape the crime scene. As a general rule, luminol only shows that there might be blood in an area. There are other substances, such as household bleach, which can light up luminol; however, experienced investigators can reliably make an identification based on how quickly the reaction occurs and further tests can be done to determine whether or not it really is blood.

Luminol is a great investigative tool. It can help determinate the point of attack and what type of weapon was used. This is because a bullet makes blood splatter differently than a knife does. It can also reveal faint bloody shoe prints, giving the investigator information about what the killer/attacker did after the attack.
The one problem with luminol is that it can destroy other evidence in the crime scene. For this reason, crime scene investigators use other tools first and explore the crime scene before spraying luminol.

Though a great investigative tool, using luminol does have its drawback and is not used as frequently as we may think. On the other hand, a writer can do some interesting things to his/her story by bringing this tool into the investigation.

Faye M. Tollison
Author of: To Tell the Truth
                  Sarah’s Secret
Member of: Sisters in Crime
                    Writers on the Move

Don’t Depend 100% on Your Publisher

By Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin) In 2007, America’s Publicist Rick Frishman invited me to participate on the faculty of MegaBook Marketing Uni...