Social Issues Archives

Book Review: Having Her Say: A Compilation of Articles by and about Dr. Rosie—Time Keeper, Almanac and Score Keeper for Black America

by Dr. Rosie Milligan


Reviewed by Dr. Maxine Thompson


Having Her Say, Dr. Rosie Milligan’s 21st published book, is her much-awaited master piece. Part memoir, part business book, and part clarion call for Black people to wake up, Having Her Say will leave readers not only with something to think about, but with some action steps to take.


Dr. Milligan’s compilation of essays captures pivotal moments in Black History, such as witnessing the first Black President Barack Obama. Moreover, Dr. Milligan’s articles written since 1990, (which seemed controversial at the time,) prophesied the present condition of Black America. For instance, she predicted the plight of Black America and issued a warning that if Blacks did not change their attitude and economic direction, then history would repeat itself and Blacks would return to slavery, but in a more sophisticated form—having an illusion of freedom.


Given the current state of political anxiety and racial tension, these articles also provide a timely answer and direction as to where to go from here. These essays will help you look back to see where we have come from. Furthermore, they will give you a candid look at the historical moments that have impacted the lives of African Americans from the loss of Black businesses in Los Angeles, to the loss of social programs after the Watts riot in 1965, to the loss of civil rights through “the three strike” law. Dr. Milligan’s articles also chronicle the legal cases of Jena 6, and Christopher Dorner, and the LAPD saga. You feel like you’re getting a history lesson as you read the book, which is divided into sections with articles on Finances, Health, Sex, Family responsibilities to each other and Black Economic Empowerment. There are no-holds barred; she calls out ministers and politicians as to their accountability to “Black Folks.”


Find out what went into the making of the woman who boldly named herself, self-appointed “Mayor of South Central Los Angeles.” Follow Dr. Milligan’s journey from the South, where she describes herself as “an ex-cotton picker, a pea picker, a farmer, a hog slopper,” to South Los Angeles, where she has lived and worked in the community as an iconic leader, a publisher, an activist, and an entrepreneur of multiple businesses for the past 5 decades.


Described as a modern-day Harriet Tubman, Dr. Rosie Milligan has led the way to freedom for many Black businesses and writers through her mentoring and Black Writers on Tour conference, which, despite the economy, is celebrating its 21st year. She has been to Black writers what Barry Gordy’s Motown was to talented Black entertainers in the 1960s through 1980s, having published 350 authors through her company, the Professional Publishing House.


Learn within these pages, how like David going up against Goliath, Dr. Milligan has successfully fought the giants of oppression, racism and imperialism against great odds. Through this book, you will find the source of her strength. She has acted as a servant to God and her people throughout her adult life.


Having Her Say is filled with nuggets of wisdom, garnered from a life well-lived. This book is a conduit where readers will get an insight into how Dr. Milligan thinks and feels, as well as a national treasure, which will add to Dr. Milligan’s legacy by touching more lives.


This book should be in every Black person’s library.


Book is available in hardback and paper back at www.drrosie.com, Express Yourself Book Store, 1425 W. Manchester Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90047 323-750-3592


At Online Sellers.

Reviewed by:


Dr. Maxine Thompson
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com




Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows
This Week’s Guest – Monday, December 12, 2016


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


December 12, 2016


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, December 12, 2016

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


December 12, 2016



Bobby Peoples
Author of

How to Make Movies and Money Manual



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January 4, 2010

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Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

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This Week’s Guest – Monday, December 5, 2016


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


December 5, 2016


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, December 5, 2016

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


December 5, 2016



Natashia Deon
Debut Best-Selling Author of

Grace



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Dr. Maxine Thompson

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Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

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,

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Blog
Using Socio-Political Issues as a Back-Drop for your Writing

By Dr. Maxine Thompson

http://www.maxinethompson.com

http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

Originally published in 2007; updated on 11-23-16

As I drove to the seventh annual L.A. Community Day Expo 2007 back on 1-13-07, I heard a radio show discussing the mounting problem of gang violence and its negative effect on the Los Angeles community. It was a sad commentary as to how LA mothers whose children have been murdered are now holding up pictures of their deceased children, begging the gang members not to kill anymore. In addition to Black-on-Black gang violence, this situation has been further exacerbated by a war between the Black and Latino gangs in LA areas.

For those who are unaware of the crisis, the acrimonious relationship between African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles had been stewing for years. And unfortunately, the Black-versus-Latino race riot at Chino state prison that weekend was not a first. The December 15, 2006 murder of 14-year-old Cheryl Green, an African American, allegedly killed by members of a Latino gang was another racial-hatred crime, which has plagued LA in recent years and the previous decade.

So where am I going with this line of thinking? As African American writers, many of us are not interested in running for politics, but there is something we can do about the racial strife we see. How? By writing about the issues in our non-fiction and in our fiction. As African American writers, we are accountable to our communities to try and heal problems when we see them.

Often when I read some of the new African American literature, there is no mention of racism, discrimination, or racial profiling. I wonder how you can be African American in this country and not experience any or all of the above? Moreover, how can your characters not experience what it is like to be Black in this country? I’m sorry but many times, characters sound as if they are white in black face. And I’m not just talking about if the dialogue uses standard English or urban vernacular.

For example, I try to involve social issues in all of my stories.

In my novella, Capri’s Second Chance, (a love story,) the politics of racism/economics were alive and well even in a small business, when the protagonist, business owner, Caprianna, was shot by her former white male employee.

In my novella, Summer of Salvation, (found in anthology, All in the Family published in April 2007), one of the subplots involve the then on-going Los Angeles Black-Latino gang wars.

In my novella, Katrina Blues, to name a few topical issues, the story illustrates racial profiling, and the disparity of black treatment in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In my Los Angeles based novel series, LA Blues 1, 2, 3, I address the racial tension between the Black and Latino gangs during the earlier 2006 to about 2010. My first book in the series was published in 2010. The 15-year-old nephew murder victim character’s ironically was named Trayvon. My story question was why is there no outcry when African American young males or men are murdered?

There are other issues that can be reflected in your writing.There are a plethora of topical issues stripped from the news that would layer our stories with realism. Stem Research. The new Trump election. The foster care system. Gang violence. Government corruption. Police brutality. The epidemic of HIV. The mass incarceration problem for Black men.

Even urban fiction often neglects to tie the drug trade in our community with the Iran/Nicaragua Contra Affair scandal and others. It’s depicted as though the drugs originated in the Black community without aid of CIA, planes to bring the drugs into this country or other government assistance to destroy Black people.

The truth is, it takes courage to speak out. A nonfiction book I commend for speaking out, is the late Dr. Frances Cress Wesley’s The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Color.

So writers, don’t just write about our complacent girlfriend/boyfriend concerns or straight-out drama, but include the larger world around us in your writing. Watch how your story will resonate with your readers and endure the test of time. Last, adding these issues will give your written work historical and social commentary and significance that critics love.

Consider the following quote.

“A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: ‘This is not just.’ It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: ‘This is not just.’” – Martin Luther King from his speech “Beyond Vietnam,” on April 4, 1967, at New York City’s Riverside Church.

In memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, as writers, let’s follow his lead and find a way to not only entertain our readers, but to educate and transform them as well.

The Power of Voice II: An Artist in the Midst of War

By Dr. Maxine Thompson

“A time comes when silence is betrayal.’ Martin Luther King, Jr.”

“Those who commit the murders, write the reports.” Ida B. Wells

Here’s a Twitter post I tweeted on 9-24-16, which tells a story.

#TerrenceCrutcher #KeithLamontScott #TawonBoyd #RIP vs,#TheNewYorkBomber Still Alive #DylanRoof Terrorist Still Alive.

Malachi 4:1

Now a week later, 10-1-16, I retweeted filmmaker, activist, Tarique Nasheed’s tweet.

The LAPD just killed a Black man and wounded another, & now they immediately put on riot gear. But no one is rioting

Ida B. Wells was an activist and a journalist. According to Wikipedia: She was born into slavery in 1862, but as an adult, she documented lynching in the United States in the 1890s, showing that it was often used as a way to control or punish blacks who competed with whites, rather than being based on criminal acts by blacks, as was usually claimed by whites. Needless to say, she had a voice at a time when it was dangerous for a black person, a woman at that, to have a voice.

In that vein, I never realized how important my voice was until I lost mine after a thyroid surgery in 2008….

So I must speak out. Now we are living in an even more treacherous time, much of which is being documented through technology and social media. We can see the backlash that followed NFL player, Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem in protest of the oppression of our people.

Whether the media forgets, we should never forget. Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Alva Braziel, Delrawn Smalls, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and on the anniversary of Sandra Bland’s death, everything is the same. Let’s not forget Trayvon Martin, either. Do you recall any convictions for these murder victims? Do you expect to see any convictions for the more recent murder victims, Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, which were captured on video and live streamed for the world to see? Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist, who was shot by police Monday, 7-18-16, with his hands held up in the air.Twenty-three-year-old mother, Koryn Gaines, and the shooting of her 5-year-old son? Since then these police shootings/beating/murder: Terrence Cruthcher, Keith Lamont Scott, Tawon Boyd. And, most recently, here near my home, on 10-1-16, the officer-involved shooting of 18-year-old, Carnel Snell, Jr, in Los Angeles. Just before that there was the shooting of a mentally ill Black man, Reginald Thomas in Pasadena. Also the shooting of another mentally ill, homeless Black man, Joseph Mann, in Sacramento, and another Black man, Alfred Olango in El Cajon, California. Will there be any convictions?

This is beyond unjust. What should we do as writers? We write. My business philosophy, taken from my former job at the Los Angeles County Department of Children Services, (and my 23 years experience as a social worker) is, “If you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen.” For example, if a child was injured or killed in a foster home, or in its parent’s home, and the authorities couldn’t find any documentation in your case, indicating you had made all reasonable efforts to supervise and protect that child, you were in deep trouble.

Likewise, if you don’t write or speak out about what you are seeing happening here in the United States, you are just as involved in the complicity of these crimes we see around us.

Our job, as a writer, involves taking a stand. What is going on in America is wrong. Systemic racism is wrong. This involves all of its offshoots—mass incarceration of Blacks, poverty, redlining, racial profiling, police brutality, miseducation, and lack of reparations for our ancestors who provided the free labor which built the wealth of this country.

As writers, we need to document. The power of the pen still reigns.

Let us never forget. If you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen. I always see it on a deeper level. Without writing our passage down, “we,” as a people of African descent, didn’t happen.

About the Blogger: Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent

Dr. Maxine Thompson
http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

Using Research to Find Topics for Your Stories


Through research you can find topics, subjects and ‘seeds’ for stories. Pick five different topics that interest you, and research them on the Internet, or through your local library. These topics can be virtually anything, as long as they interest you, and the information is available. Write brief summaries of specific pieces of information that you come across—seeds that could become the basis for future stories. After the summary, list things you’ve learned or thoughts that could form the basis of future stories.

Examples:

Through my research, I discovered old-fashioned practices for abortions, birth control and other home remedies during and after slavery. The deeper level of meaning was that life was almost so unbearable for Black women at that point in history that some women would rather abort using primitive methods and risk her life than bring another child into the world. There were even plantations where it appeared the women were barren, and that was not the case. They even knew how to use herbs to abort. I used the idea of old-fashioned, illegal abortion in The Ebony Tree. In my novel, Hostage of Lies, the blacksmith who was not branded because of his ability to work with horses, later exemplified a black man whose soul could not be branded, chained, or enslaved.

Topics I am currently researching: The North Carolina Sea Islands where the culture is similar to after slavery. The slave castles on the West Coast of Africa. Children who are reared in foster care, and its after effects. (This was the seed for my novels, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, LA Blues 3.) The coming of a military state or concentration camps in the United States.

Sometimes you can combine different story ideas for an interesting story.


Where Can You Begin?

Know your idea. Start with a “What if” premise. For instance, what if there was a secret conspiracy to put African Americans in concentration camps? (Author, John A. Williams, The Man Who Cried I am.)

You might bring a moment in history alive through weaving fact, poetic license and fancy. Use old newspapers to find out how people viewed the world in a different era. You can find these on microfiche at the library. Look for subjects of your interest such as animals such as ferrets, computer dating, the criminal justice system, the mass incarceration of Black men, mass shootings, ISIS, terrorists, serial killers, (particularly if you’re a mystery writer.) Go on field trips in your local area to add local color to your book. Go to travel agencies to get information for different locales your book, if you can’t visit a location. Or you can use mind mapping to use a non-linear approach to outlining your book’s significant details.

For mind mapping for subject ideas, you can find software at www.mindjet.com.

Therefore, there is never a shortage of ideas for your stories. When you hit a brick wall in your writing, you might just need to do more research.

Sign up for the free newsletter at http://www.maxinethompson.com or http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com.

About the Blogger: Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, blogger, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. As an editor, she has edited/ghostwritten numerous best-selling books (Including New York Times Best Selling books), for African Americans, including many books for men and women who are incarcerated in the prison system. In a down economy, as a literary agent, she has negotiated over 100 book deals for African Americans. She is the author of Novels, The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, and LA Blues 3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), a contributor to bestselling anthologies, Secret Lovers, (A Black Expression Bestseller) All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Black Expression Book Club best-seller, and Kindle Bestseller).

She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell 1, 2, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Novellas, The Katrina Blues, and Capri’s Second Chance, contributor to anthology,Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Won a small Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalog in August 2012. LA Blues 3 was published in August 2013.




Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows
This Week’s Guest – Monday, September 19, 2016

Email DJ @Artistfirst.com


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


September 19, 2016



9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, September 19, 2016

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


September 19, 2016

Jodi Baker
Debut, Best-Selling Author of
Young Adult Novel, Trust


Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


EXECUTIVE SPONSORS:

January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:

www.maxinethompson.com
,

www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com

>Home

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The Power of Setting Development Exercises In Your Writing


Dr. Maxine Thompson
http://www.maxinethompson.com
http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com

In writing, setting is an element, which, if executed well, is invisible, but adds layers and depth to a story. Technically, the Bible begins with the setting of the world. (Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”)

Setting can include historical, social, political and economic context. Setting can also involve interior landscape, (a person in a mental hospital such as in Ken Kesey‘s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, or a person in a coma) time, duration, or an exotic place.

Settings have inspired writers as diverse as Cormac McCarthy and Thomas Hardy. Settings are not only visual, they contain the spirit of a time and a place.

Historical novels may not be at their height of popularity right now, but reminiscing about past times and lives have been literary inspiration to authors from Tolstoy to Proust to James Baldwin to Toni Morrison.

In my series, LA Blues, the setting of Los Angeles with its multicultural world, acts as a character.
• Write five descriptions of settings that speak to your spirit.

Start with the town you grew up in.

Think of the evocative portrayals that the great L.A. mystery writers have created, from Raymond Chandler and John Fante to current writers like Walter Mosley. Remember how vividly Steinbeck captured the world of the Salinas Valley, and William Faulkner portrayed his
fictional east-of-the-Mississippi Delta Yoknaphatawpha County.

J.R.R. Tolkein created a fictional Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings.


As you write, consider elements of time, place, what is important to people in your setting, and the things that they experience. Pick a specific point of view, place, and time within your setting. You can write either a narrated description (told by a storyteller) or use a viewpoint character to describe your three settings.

Things to consider and questions to answer as you create your settings and worlds:

How does setting inform your fiction? How will you use significant details?

Setting your novel in certain places, certain times, sets your stage. (For example, people during the Civil Rights Era had different concerns than the Hip Hop Generation.)

What is the cultural environment and how do you make that element parts of the story?

Is the story set in the 60‘s, 70’s, 80’s? How were people born in different decades shaped? For instance, the late African American playwright, August Wilson, wrote plays, which addressed different concerns Blacks faced in different decades during the twentieth century.

How can you use the setting to move and show the story?

How does the social and historical context shape your character’s world?

What are the values of the people who live in this world?

·Where does the story take place? When does it take place?

Who or what lives there?

How large is it—physically and population-wise? (It could be an outer space community.)

·What does it look like?

·What type of government are the people under?

·What type of economy are the people experiencing?

·How does this world treat its citizens? Are the experiences of some groups different from others? (For example: females vs. males, certain races vs. others, children vs. adults, aliens vs. humans, etc.)

Is this world similar to a real time and place in human history? (If it is, why? If it is science fiction, create your story world.)
Because I‘m interested in that period of history‖ is a fine answer)

Is it a happy place or despicable place?

Make your setting as alive as a character.

Using time travel methods, what would a resident of your world say if they visited our world today?

·What would you say if you got a chance to visit your imaginary world and report back?

In conclusion, setting in your writing can play a significant role in creating a great story, which endures the test of time.

Sign up for the free newsletter at http://www.maxinethompson.com or http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com.

About the Blogger: Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, blogger, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. As an editor, she has edited/ghostwritten numerous best-selling books (Including New York Times Best Selling books), for African Americans, including many books for men and women who are incarcerated in the prison system. In a down economy, as a literary agent, she has negotiated over 100 book deals for African Americans. She is the author of Novels, The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, and LA Blues 3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), a contributor to bestselling anthologies, Secret Lovers, (A Black Expression Bestseller) All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Black Expression Book Club best-seller, and Kindle Bestseller).

She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell 1, 2, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Novellas, The Katrina Blues, and Capri’s Second Chance, contributor to Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Won a small Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalog in August 2012. LA Blues 3 was published in August 2013.

Ten Tips for Raising the Stakes in Your Fiction/Screenplays

By Dr. Maxine Thompson

http://www.maxinethompsonbooks.com
http://www.maxinethompson.com

Give your characters quirks, if you want to raise the stakes in your fiction.

Have your character be the outsider, at odds with his environment, or even a threat, where people isolate or attack him, such as in Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved. After escaping from slavery, in an act of desperation, Sethe slashed her baby’s throat, rather than see the child go back to bondage. Although later, when she was released from jail, the community threw up an implacable wall of scorn and disgust towards Sethe and her surviving children. In the end, though, Sethe realizes her need for community.

Janie, the protagonist, in Zora Neale Hurston’s 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is also an outsider. She is ostracized because she married a younger man.

Often, I feel like an outsider and it struck me. Most writing is penned by artists who feel like outsiders. Women of other races have felt same sense of being different, judging from the misfits in Carson McCullers’ debut novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

As an African American woman, I can identify with feeling like an outsider, feeling marginalized. I know how it feels to live on the fringes of society. I know the double whammy scourge of both racism and sexism.

Here are ten more tips for raising the stakes in your fiction/screenplays. This will produce both suspense and tension, which will compel your reader to stay up all night reading your book/screenplay.

1. Put your characters on the edge. The best fiction, films, and plays do this. (Consider Tennessee Williams’ play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Edward Albee’s play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the movie, Set It Off, based on the screenplay written by Kate Lanier and Takashi Bufford.)

2. Set a timetable. The characters only have one week or better yet one day to save their kidnapped child’s life in exchange for a million-dollar ransom.

3. Put danger of loss of some kind in the character’s life. Example: One student in my writing class opened her novel with a child twirling in the mirror. I said change the point of view and let the mother wake up and not find her child in bed. That definitely would raise the stakes. That’s every parent’s worst nightmare—not being able to protect their child and keep her safe.

4. Life is hard. Show it, but in the end, be kind to your characters. Even in a dark story have some redemption. (Example: Henry Dumas’s short story collection, Goodbye, Sweetwater.)

5. Love all your characters, the good, the bad, the ugly. This shows in the respect you give a character. Even if the character is a serial killer, see his side of the story. It worked with serial killer, Hannibal Lector, in Thomas Harris’s novel, Silence of the Lambs.

6. Turn the juice up on your characters, like in the movie, Forrest Gump, (starring Tom Hanks, which was based on the novel by Winston Groom.) I loved the scene in the movie where Forrest’s friend, Lt. Dan (played by actor Gary Sinese), Vietnam vet/amputee, climbed up high on their boat’s sail mast, lightning and thunder swirling about him. He all but cursed God for how he had lost his legs in Vietnam, and to paraphrase, he asked God, “Is that all you got? Give me more.” (Sinese’s sensitive portrayal of a once invincible soldier reduced to a pathetic self-pitying specter of his former strength brought him the Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.) Do just that in your writing. Give your characters more problems than it seems they can handle.

Likewise, go for the jugular vein in your characters. Let it rip. Now here is the paradox. Be kind in the end, yet, at the same time, you should not resolve the character’s problems. Allow the characters to solve their own problems. It is all right if your story has an unhappy ending. But don’t be too kind to the characters along the way, when it comes to piling on the complications and problems. That means you’ve identified too closely with them.

7. If your character has cancer, double this whammy up by having her husband
leave her, after she has her breast removed. Kimberla Lawson Roby does this in her novel, Best Friends Forever.

8. Sandbag the main character when he’s down, and paint him up into a corner, where there doesn’t appear to be any way out.

9. Use secrets to up the ante. A ghost, by definition, is something which haunts. When people have family secrets they are like ghosts. Writers can’t mine family secrets enough for story ideas, and I do this in both of my novels, The Ebony Tree and Hostage of Lies. A family can be very clannish and protective of its secrets. But you know what? Every family has secrets. Every family is somewhat dysfunctional. Another secret could be that your character hit, possibly killed a person or a child, in a hit-and-run car accident and never reported it. This will haunt the person’s conscience.

10. Have your character have to choose between two negative outcomes. Critical choice is important in a work of fiction. (Should you pull the plug on a child in a coma, or let the child live on indefinitely with no quality of life?)

These are just some ways you can raise the stakes in your writing and keep readers turning pages.

About the Blogger: Dr. Maxine Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. As an editor, she has edited New York Times and numerous other best-selling books for African Americans, including many books for men and women who are incarcerated in the prison system. During a down economy, as a literary agent, she has negotiated many book deals for African Americans.

She is the author of Novels, The Ebony Tree, Hostage of Lies, LA Blues, LA Blues 2, and LA Blues 3, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, (A Black Expression Bestseller) All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Black Expression Book Club best-seller, and Kindle Bestseller).

She is also an ebook author of The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell 1, 2, The Hush Hush Secrets of Making Money as a Writer, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Novellas, The Katrina Blues, Capri’s Second Chance, and Summer of Salvation, contributor to Proverbs for the People, and Editor/Contributor to anthology, Saturday Morning.

Her novels, The Ebony Tree, (Won a small Pen Award in 1997), Hostage of Lies, (Voted a Best Book of 2009), LA Blues, (2011), and LA Blues II, (2012), which were featured in Black Expressions’ Catalog in August 2012. LA Blues 3 was published in August 2013.




Dr. Maxine Thompson Live Internet Radio Shows
This Week’s Guest – Monday, August 8, 2016


Maxine Thompson

Dr. Maxine Thompson,
Publisher, Literary Agent, Author, Host of Internet Show is cross-referenced to her other businesses

Dr. Maxine ThompsonArtist First Internet Radio


Dr. Maxine invites you to join her this week on her various shows where she will be speaking with some interesting people.


August 8, 2016


9:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

This Week’s Guest – Monday, August 8, 2016

Email dj@artistfirst.com with questions for the author or Dr. Maxine Thompson


August 8, 2016

Judson Bacot
Author of

The Evolution of America’s Homebred Terrorist: The Changing Culture an Indisputable, Comprehensive, Provocative Scrutiny Into the Makings and World of America’s Urban Terrorist


Listen to Archives: Replay

Sponsored by:


EXECUTIVE SPONSORS:

January 4, 2010

Dr. Maxine Thompson

Author of
Hostage of Lies

Voted A Best Book of 2009

EDC Creations
Black Pearl Magazine

Black Butterfly Press

If you are interested in becoming a guest and/or a sponsor you may visit:

www.maxinethompson.com
,

www.maxinethompson.com/artistfirst.html for available dates
or via e-mail: maxtho@aol.com

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