Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Shine On Blog Award

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 26, 2013

Thanks so much to David Fernandez for nominating my blog for the Shine On Award. David discusses writing, sports, movies, and more at his entertaining site, so stop by for a visit. Thank you, David, for the nomination. It’s always nice to know people are reading my posts!

The Shine On Award


The Shine On Award Rules

  1. Link back to and thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Post the badge on your blog.
  3. Answer the questions posed to you.
  4. Nominate five bloggers who shine a little light in your day and notify them.
  5. Ask five questions for your nominees.

David’s Questions for Me

(1) Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

I develop my characters first, and then I’ll plot the story. I write a complete synopsis before I begin writing. This acts as my guideline, but that’s not to say the story doesn’t change as I write it. When I finish the book, I’ll go back and revise the synopsis accordingly. So I am definitely a plotter. I need to know where the story is going from the start.

(2) When you’re in a rut, where do you go for inspiration?

I’ll keep working out the plot in my head until something comes through. I might talk it out with my critique partners. Sometimes you just need a sounding board. Ideas may come to me when taking a walk or in the shower. The mind relaxes and allows a new connection to come through. It’s important to acknowledge these roadblocks as part of the writing process and to have faith that you’ll get through them like you do each time.

(3) What writer, living or deceased, would you compare your work to the most?

My work has been compared to Janet Evanovich for her humor. However, the humor in my mysteries is more wry and less slapstick. Also, my books are whodunits while hers are more adventures at heart. Jill Churchill’s humorous series is what first inspired my mysteries so my books could be compared  to her Jane Jeffry stories with the funny titles. There are many other humorous cozy writers out there whose work has a similar tone. As for my romance series, Alyssa Day comes to mind for her Warriors of Poseidon series.

(4) What is your story writing process?

For a mystery, I decide on the victim and then determine the suspects. I’ll do character development sheets at that point to help me figure out each character’s possible motive. Preliminary research is done at this stage too. When I have these elements in my head, I write a synopsis. This acts as my writing guideline although the story might change. For a romance, I develop the main characters and then the plot. After the synopsis is finished, I put myself on a writing schedule of five pages a day. Once the book is done, I do several read-throughs for line editing, consistency, repetitions, and smoothness.

(5) What is your blog writing process?

When I get an idea, I’ll either jot it down or write the entire blog at that time. When I’m working on a book, I may note possible blog topics to use later on when I’m doing a blog tour. I don’t have set dates when I blog except on The Kill Zone, where I am a regular contributor every other Wednesday. I encourage reader feedback on my blogs.

And I nominate

Mudpies and Magnolias for the writing life by Maggie Toussaint:
Terry’s Place for tips and strategies on writing by Terry Odell:
Scams & Cons for updates on scams by Terry Ambrose:
Hasty Tasty Meals for easy-to-make recipes by Cheryl Norman:
It’s Not All Gravy for life’s absurdities by Maryann Miller:

My questions for the nominees are

What genre do you read for fun?
Do you revise as you go along or wait until your first draft is done?
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Do you have beta readers and who are they?
What’s an interesting item you’ve researched for your current work in progress?


13 Responses to “Shine On Blog Award”

  1. dianeokey said

    You’re well deserving of this nomination, Nancy. Your info blogs are so helpful to so many of us. Fabulous workshop last Saturday for SWFRW on social media! Thanks so much!

  2. Thanks for the nomination. I’m glad my blog has proved useful/interesting to you.

  3. Nancy’s blog is the only one I read on a consistent basis. I’ve recommended it to other authors – on my Facebook page. I’m looking forward to hearing her speak at the April Mystery Writers Luncheon. Congratulations on the nomination. Well deserved.

  4. I’m subscribed to your blog, Nancy, because you present such informative posts. Whether it’s a travel log or research info for writers, your blog enlightens. Keep up the good work.

  5. Thanks so much for the award, Nancy. I am going to post about it on Friday this week. I have been so busy, this is the first chance I’ve had to stop by and acknowledge the honor.

    • I like your blog, Maryann. You always have such interesting topics. I may stop by even if I don’t comment. And you keep up with the pace, too , which helps readers stay interested.

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