Author Archives: Dreamah H. Lockwood

About Dreamah H. Lockwood

Dreamah H. Lockwood is a pseudonym for my sister and I in memory of our sister who died in 2012

HANNAH, SCENES IN A CHAPTER, ONE LONG SCENE, OR SEVERAL SHORTER ONES, TOO MANY, TOO FEW? MOVIES

Well I have been hard at work on the book about Hannah. I’ve been going over chapter by chapter, because like I told you before, this was a complete story, and I need to know where to make the changes since I’ve altered the storyline. In this job of writing novels, you can learn something new every day about the craft. I have all these different scenes in my chapters, and even though I subconsciously knew this, each of these chapters are broken down into individual scenes. So what I have been doing is perfecting each scene. Which made me wonder how many scenes should be in a chapter? I guess the answer to that is however many you need to get across what you want to say. Sometimes it could be just one long scene and how much you want to pack into it.
In a novel you have a beginning, a middle and an end. So I would suggest dividing your story into those three sections, and making the decision as to what you want to happen in the beginning, and what you want to show about your characters. Then create the individual scenes to reveal what is necessary to show the story. Do the same for the middle, and the dramatic ending you want. I don’t believe there is any rule as to how many things to have in these sections of your novel. There is not a law that says you must have too many or too few. One thing I have learned, because I’m a big movie buff, is how movies are broken down into scenes to tell the story. You can learn a lot about writing watching a movie.

In fact it was a movie that got me started on loving mysteries. It was a 1979 movie called, MURDER BY NATURAL CAUSES, starring Hal Holbrook and Catherine Ross. Look it up. It was a fascinating movie for its time.

Murder by Natural Causes

1979 · 1hr 40 min · Mystery/Drama
Allison, the unfaithful wife of a famous mentalist with a heart problem, wants her lover to try to kill her husband by scaring him to death, but the whole thing goes downhill.

Everyone have a great week, and stay safe.

Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

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FRIDAY, GROCERY SHOPPING, SPRING?, BACK TO WORK AT THE PD, LENGTH OF A CHAPTER

Well it’s Friday, that wonderful day of the week that the nine to fivers who work look forward to each week. Then they have the glorious weekend to catch up on everything they didn’t get done at home during the evenings. Or the party animals are out having a glorious time. Friday’s for me, are just another day of writing, and doing things around the house that need done.

 

 

 

Yesterday I did my grocery shopping, and had to go to two different stores to get what I wanted. King Supers is the only store that carries the ham I like. It’s a low-sodium ham that doesn’t taste like you’re eating a box of salt. I don’t know why they have to put so much salt in ham. God help the people who have high blood pressure, and eat all that salt. I can’t. I never salt anything, which make people complain about the way I cook. I use other spices in my food other than salt. Now I do use pepper but not a lot. So I guess you could say my food might be a little bland. Since I don’t have a bunch of people to cook for, I don’t worry about it.  It’s only me and the kids, or should I say critters. And they don’t complain.

We have been having another bout of really warm weather. The trees are starting to look fuzzy. I don’t even think they are sure winter has been here. I know we haven’t had much of a winter. The few snowstorms we have had have not amounted to enough to give us even 1 inch of water. I’m saying that today, and normally March and April is when Colorado gets our big snows. So there is still a chance we could get hammered by a freak snowstorm.

My boss at the police department called me last week and asked me to come back to work. Once again I will be working on Friday afternoons and Monday afternoons. It will be good to get back to work, and talk to someone other than a cat or dog. As I’ve told you all before I have a tendency to be a hermit and stay in the house working all the time on my books. So it will be good for me to get out.

I was talking to my sister this morning, who is working on editing THE HANGMAN. She told me that my chapter lengths have a tendency to be inconsistent. Some have like 30 pages others have like 10 or 12 pages. So try to be consistent with the number of pages in the chapter. I have to go back now and split up all those pages. That is so much fun. So try to keep an eye out for chapter length. There are some scenes in a book which you really can’t cut off anywhere you want. You really have to finish the scene.  That will make a chapter longer than others.

So folks, that’s about it for today. Not a lot of happening around here. Nothing but work, work, work. I do take a break now and then and watch a good movie. I have to say that the movie entitled The Snowman is an exceptionally good murder mystery. What can I say I’m partial to murder stories and any type of good mystery.

Now I do dearly love the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. But I’m also a big fan of Galaxy Quest.  It’s a silly movie, but I love it.

I like all types of movies, but they really have to hold my interest, otherwise I just turn it off. I am still trying to figure out why the movie, Shape of Water, got best picture at the Academy Awards with all the top-notch films that are out there. Oh well, that’s just my individual taste in movies. I have discovered over time that when you can see a lot of hype on television about a movie, most times the movies is not that good. Like I say it’s all up to an individual’s taste in the story.

Well it’s the start of the weekend, everyone have a great time and stay safe.

Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

WIND, CHILLY, FIRE DANGER, TO CATCH A DREAM

It has been windy here in Colorado Springs for the last three days. Last night a cold front moved in and dropped the temperatures into the 20s. Our forecast for today is not very high, mid 40s. With the wind chill, it feels like it’s below freezing outside. And my sinuses are having a field day with all the dust and everything the wind is kicking up. For some reason I can’t seem to get the house warm, or it could just be me. But it feels like a steady breeze blowing through the rooms today. The wind chimes on the back porch are dancing a merry tune, and the wind keeps blowing garbage in the yard. So far I have all the trash picked up out of the yard. But I do wish that the wind would stop. My sinuses would dearly love it.

Yesterday they had a fire at Fort Carson, and from the news report, part of the residential area was evacuated. I believe they have it under control now. We have several fires burning around the area, keeping the firefighters extremely busy. Needless to say this wind does not help one bit. My forecast for the next couple of days is chilly until Thursday when the temperatures will return to the 60s for Thursday and Friday. Then we drop again back into the 40s for a few days. I can handle the cold, snow or rain. But, I hate it when it’s windy.

Well I have decided since the novel TO CATCH A DREAM has close to 65,000 words in it, and it is not that far from being done, I will focus on completing it. ALL FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH only has 32,000 words. So it makes sense to me, to finish the book that is furthest is along. Plus, I have a nice book cover already created for it.

Sister and I are still in the process of editing THE HANGMAN. The next book in the series, THE SNATCHER, is in the beginning stages, and the storyline is cooking in my brain. I know who, what, when, where, why, and how, all I have to do is get it down on paper. I have all my characters, know who they are, and what their lives have been like. Getting it down on paper is the big job. That takes the biggest time in writing a novel. Even though I use this Dragon Naturally Speaking program, I still have to stop and insert the proper grammar, and periods. It does make it go a little faster, but it also throws your focus off. I will keep using it until I am quite proficient at dictating the story.

Until we talk again, everyone have a great week, and please stay safe.

Always remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER

Dreamah

WRITING A STORY OF MURDER, THE CHARACTER LIST, THE WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, AND HOW

An inspiration for novel can come from any minute detail, which won’t leave you alone. Or, as with my novel THE STONE KILLER, it came from a news feed I saw on television quite a few years ago. It was the story of a Middle Eastern country stoning a woman to death because she’d had an affair with another man other than her husband.
Now why that story stuck with me I don’t know, but it did. I was faced with the dilemma of who in this country would actually stone a person to death? Since my villain was going to be a man, I had to decide WHO he was. I created my folder for my villain. In that folder I essentially told his life story in brief paragraphs until I needed to visualize him. To create the image of this man in my head I searched through photographs of celebrities. To me the actor Jeff Daniels, fit the perfect image of my killer. WHAT was wrong with his personality to incite him to be so cruel? I decided to make him a teacher. Not just any teacher, but one who taught creative writing. Of course a WHAT was a result of his choice of a weapon he used to commit his murderer. And that is how I came up with the stones. There were a lot of answers to WHAT questions.

I planned in detail, the murder of his first victim and answered the same questions as to who she was, what did she do, all the pertinent information about her. Those details were spread over the course of the book. But you have to, in a murder story, decide and create your crime first. You have to answer each one of those questions in planning the crime.  I know that this sounds like a lot of work. I’m sure you would like to do like I would, just sit down and write the story. That doesn’t happen without a lot of preplanning. You have to know all the detail. In my file cabinet, I have folders listing the books in the Jonas Black series. In each one of these folders I have detailed the crimes which are going to happen in each novel. I have answers the question of who, what, when, where, why and how. You have to know the motivation behind your crime. My murderer in the STONE KILLER was a severely abused child, which many are, especially serial killer. Ted Bundy was anything but considered normal as a child. He discovered that his grandmother was his mother, and that the person he thought was his mother was actually his 20-year-old sister. And according to details about his childhood, he exhibited abnormal behavior as early as the age of three. So you really have to know your characters down to their favorite color.

One thing I want everyone to understand, writing a novel is one of the toughest jobs you’re ever going to take on. It can be exhausting. But if you take your time, answer all the questions about your characters, storyline, and do a lot of preplanning, you can do it. And like I said before storylines are not set in stone. They can change.

Another thing that is important in writing a novel, is to let the story cook in your brain. That sounds terrible, and the image of a brain in a pot on the stove comes to my mind. But it does have to cook, or gel in your brain. Like in the book I’m working on now, ALL FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH, I had a lot of trouble with my villain. I changed his history and personality numerous times until I got it just the way I wanted it. I did not like the personality of the character in the short story. In a full length book, it wasn’t going to work. So I kept thinking about it for over two weeks. It even kept me awake at night, until I realize, to achieve his goal, this man had to be good-looking, well-dressed and appeared to be a very kind caring soul. Once I settled on that description of him, everything fell into place. And now the storyline is flowing smoothly. So remember, keep writing, and please watch your grammar and the correct use of words.

Go buy that book I recommended in a post, The Wrong Word Dictionary, and edit, edit, and edit some more.

Remember my motto, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Have a great weekend, and please stay safe.

Dreamah

BRIGHT SUNNY DAY, WARMER, WRITING, WRITING, WRITING, EDITING, EDITING, MY GOALS

Today, Colorado Springs is blessed with bright sunny skies and warmer temperatures. The nights are remaining cool, actually cold and down in the 20s and sometimes the teens. But as long as I can see the sun shining, I am happy. Been having a bit of trouble with my stupid asthma. I hate to have to use inhalers, but as long as it helps me breathe better, it works.

I have trouble sleeping at night. Sometimes I am up until 1 o’clock in the morning with my brain running about 70 miles an hour. So last night instead of just sitting at the computer playing a mindless game of solitaire, I pulled up Hannah and wrote on that novel until one in the morning. I’ve been writing on it every day, but for some reason last night the story just flowed. I have finally worked out all the details about my villain and changed the storyline again, which has improved the book I think. Sometimes a story has to cook in your brain for quite a while before you get it just right. Never be afraid to make changes in your storyline or characters. All changes will possibly be improvements. Nothing is written in stone when it comes to the book you are writing, and who your people are, or what they do. This is your world you have created and you have complete control over who, what, when, where, how, why, and all emotional content. They say write what you know. And that is true in many ways. You have to know the people in your story, who they are, what are their motivations, their goals, and where did they come from, and what do they expect to achieve.

When I am creating characters, I assigned a folder for each one. In that folder I put all the pertinent information like their date of birth, where they went to school, were they orphans, if not, what do their parents do, do they get along with their parents, etc. I utilize anything that I can think of to create a visual image in my head, and put that in the folder. So if I forget a detail, I can always look it up.  Another aid to help you visualize your character, look at photographs in magazines or on the Internet of people, movie stars, TV stars until you know your character intimately. And it’s vital that you do this. How are you going to write about someone if you don’t know all about them? Also you can plan out your storyline, but keep in mind, as with me, my storyline has changed several times in the last few weeks. So like I said before, no storyline is set in stone.

Also set goals for yourself. My goal for 2018 is to complete the novel about HANNAH, and also TO CATCH A DREAM, which is nearly finished. It has almost 70,000 words in it. All I have to do is complete the last few chapters of the book and it is done. HANNAH was completely written, it just has to have the story extended and expansion on every aspect of the characters, their motivations and actions.

THE HANGMAN is finished, it is in the editing stages, and will not be ready to upload until I can be certain there are no mistakes in the book. I’ve gone over it three or four times, but I know there are still mistakes. There is nothing I hate more than to upload a novel and have somebody tell me I have left a mistake in it. I know I’m a perfectionist but I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am and in many cases I think all writers should be. Nothing stops a reader faster than to come across a mistake in a novel. And I find mistakes in books published by big publishers. It seems the editors at these companies no longer edit. So it is now up to the writer to make sure their work is as perfect as possible. I do rely on several of my friends and my sister to go over my novels, because my brain automatically inserts the correct word whether it’s the right one or not on the printed page. So I wish you all good luck on your editing process. It is a long arduous task, but it has to be done.

I wish you all a great week, and please stay safe.

NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

ALL FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH, SAMPLE CHAPTER, BOOK COVER,

I have been working hard on the novel, ALL FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH. As I said before, it is coming along nicely. I have had to make changes in the storyline which is fine. I have even created a book cover for the novel. Not to say that will be the final book cover I will use, changes always happen. But I would like to share with you a sample chapter or two, to get your reaction. So please let me know what you think. Here is chapter one and part of chapter two.

Chapter One

First week of November

It was another day in hell as the Marines called Sangin. They all considered any place in Helmand province the most dangerous place in Afghanistan. Marine Staff Sergeant Nathan C Roberts and his men were on a mission to eliminate the Taliban as a threat. That day, a cold wind, plus freezing temperatures made the soldier’s job worse. Their lives were constantly in peril from being shot at or killed from stepping on an IED planted outside of the safe zone. If any area in hell could be considered safe.
Nate and six others trudged cautiously down a dusty street not far from a fifteen foot mud wall. The going was slow, eyes darting from one point to another, always alert for any danger. The Taliban used any means available, from digging out holes in the walls from which to shoot, to burying IEDs along the routes they had to travel. They were merciless in their quest to slaughter any American soldier
Ahead, Nate could see three of his men making their way along the narrow street. Two more brought up the rear. Suddenly insurgents rained down heavy gun fire from a position behind a wall, the barrels of their weapons showing in the drilled-out cavities. His team rushed for cover. The next thing Nate heard was three loud explosions. Suddenly, the world around him was blown into oblivion.
Afterward, there was only a strange silence. Frantic, he tried to locate his men, but a thick cloud of smoke obscured his view of the damaged area. It all was too quiet. In some ways, the silence was more frightening and deafening. Then wham! The noise hit him with a force which knocked him face down in the dirt, with a roaring pain in his ears, until he screamed for it to stop
When it did, the air was clearer, and he could see. At first he couldn’t comprehend what had happened. As the last of the smoke drifted away, like himself, his men were now shadowy figures, looking dazed, and confused, staring down at what remained of their bodies. Some were mangled by the IEDs they’d stepped on, others had less severe wounds. Then realization hit him. He was dead! And, he wouldn’t be going home to Hannah. They were dead. The fact hit each man just as hard as the weapons which had destroyed their lives.
Dropping to his knees, Nate screamed in agony. Not from pain, but because he knew he would again never be able to hold Hannah in his arms, to kiss her wonderful lips, or make love to her again. That pain tore at him like nothing he had ever known. The biggest thing, was all the anguish his death was going to cause his wife.
Nate didn’t know what condition his body was in. Was there even enough left of him to ship home? He knew were times when soldiers were killed, there had been nothing left to send back to their loved ones except an empty casket. He didn’t want that for Hannah. She deserves so much more than he had been able to give her. And now time had run out.
The area begin to brighten. A wall of intense white appeared, and they all turned to face it. Voices call to them to come, it was time for them to leave this world. Immediately, his team began to walk in the direction of the bright orb. Nate hung back. He watched as each shadowy images of his men stepped through and vanished. No, he couldn’t. There was a disturbance in the black void that had something to do with Hannah. He couldn’t leave until he knew what it meant was.
The light continued to blaze for a few moments longer, then faded to nothing. It made Nate wonder if this was his only chance to enter it? Did his refusal to go cost him the peace it offered on the other side? Would it appear again? It didn’t matter, Hannah needed him. He couldn’t leave her yet. There was nothing he could do now about his decision. He had to protect his wife.

Chapter Two
It was another day to be survived. Hannah Noel Roberts hated the sun rising and setting, the passing of each day. It didn’t matter how many came or went. They all existed on the calendar like black cancers, all the while growing with remembered pain. There was THAT one day she which was branded on her brain like a malignant tumor, growing with remember pain. THAT day when her life changed forever. That dreaded moment in her life when she’d opened the front door and stared at two Marines, in dress uniforms, with grave expressions on their faces.
“Noooooooooooooooooooooo!” wailed from deep in her soul as sobbing, she dropped to her knees. She knew what their visit meant. The pain they would inflict. Her husband, Marine Sergeant Nathan C. Roberts, would not be coming home.
Then the officer in charge had voiced the horrible news. They were sorry to inform her, her husband had been killed in action. Immediately they gave assistance by helping her into a living room chair. She had looked from one to the other, hoping it wasn’t true. It was. How could her six-foot two, brown-eyed, wonderful husband be gone forever? Then the reality of the two men’s presence hit once more. Nate was dead. And again she began to cry.
After that moment, everything became a blur. Being an only child, with her mother dead and father long gone, there’d been no one to call, but her aunt, Pauline Clayton, and daughter, Karen Joyce Thompson. Driving eight hundred plus miles in fourteen hours straight, they arrived from Kentucky within a day. She was no longer alone. But even they could not hold back the agony of the situation. But, they would stay as long as she needed them. Nothing could stop the anguish lodged in her heart. That vital organ had virtually been torn from her chest.

Here is the book cover.

Everyone stay safe and well.

Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah

COLD, SNOW, COMPUTER PROGRAM, GEEK SQUAD, PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS II

 

Monday: It is colder than a well digger out today. The weather report says we’re going to reach 40°. Considering it is only 24°, and it’s after 1:00 o’clock I don’t think it’s going to make it.

 

 

 

 

I have been hard at work on the novel ALL FOR THE LOVE OF HANNAH. And I must say I’m rather pleased with the progress I am making. The first part of the book has been rewritten, and a lot added. I just have to work in all the extra detail that I have mentally created. The story was originally a short novella, and I am extending it into a full length novel. I’ve changed the storyline a great deal, and I am having trouble finding just the right photograph for the book cover.  I created this today.   Let me know what you think of this book cover.

 

 

I called the geek squad this morning and they fixed the problem with Java so now my book cover program is working. That is a relief. Now to create the perfect book cover. Of all the photographs I have on this computer, you would think I would have one that would be perfect for what I want, but I don’t. This is a love story about a soldier who defies death and refuses to enter the light because his wife is in danger. He must protect her. I wanted a photograph of a ghostly soldier, and a photograph of a beautiful dark-haired woman, but can’t find what I want. I’ll keep looking.

Tuesday: I started this blog yesterday on a day that was cold and kind of dreary. Last night that changed.  We got about 3 to 4 inches of snow this morning, and the sun is shining bright and beautiful. That was a surprise because it wasn’t really expected, I don’t think, until today. But we’ll take all the moisture we can get for now. If we continue to get snow once a week, hopefully this will end our severe dry spell.

Well I got out my book on Photoshop Elements II. I am going to have to reread everything again and do a refresher course to see what I can create in Photoshop. I’ve been teaching myself this program for a while. Can’t say I’m really proficient at it, but I can do some things. I need to learn how to do layering, and just keep practicing each chapter until I become proficient. The book is really informative and shows you step-by-step how to do everything.

Well everyone have a great day, stay safe on the roads, and remember to edit, edit, edit.

Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.

Dreamah