Donnell's Articles

Don’t Leave Your Readers Fragmented

Fragmented sentences have left me feeling  fragmented of late.

Writing is all about feeling.  If you write a story, the number one thing you must be concerned about is not perfect sentence structure, not is your plot the most brilliant ever, and not even are the characters quirky and out there.  The number one thing writers must be concerned with when adding words to the page is how am I making my reader feel?

Read more…

Deadline Hell

Back in 2008, I read a blog by Tess Gerritsen called ,”When business runs your life,”  in which she expressed concern over a bestselling author, a millionaire many times over, who had become so consumed by her deadlines she was literally making herself sick. 

Read more…

Are you passionate? Or are you a bully?

I have a strong concept of right and wrong.  Perhaps that’s why I write fiction.  That way I can ensure the bad guys get their comeuppance and that’s where I prefer to keep my conflict.  It’s reality that troubles me at times; I see no happy ending for this dilemma.

Read more…

Living Vicariously Through My Characters

This article first appeared on the Stiletto Gang blog.

Hello, Stiletto Gang, and thanks to my buddy, Joelle Charbonneau, for inviting me to chat with you today.  I hate to get off to a bad start, but frankly, I have a bone to pick with all of you who wear stilettos—and now I see you’ve formed a gang?!!!

You see, I’m an unwillingly reformed shoe-aholic.  I didn’t even get to go through the twelve-step program.  Pretty high-heeled shoes to me were an addiction.  I’d buy so many pairs I’d hide them in the trunk of my car.  That worked until my husband came in, arms full, and said, where do you want these?

Read more…

On Accepting Advice

“No enemy is worse than bad advice.” – Sophocles

Every once in a while people offer advice that really works. E.g., Look both ways before crossing the street, read warning labels on products and exercise three to five times a week to maintain a healthy weight. Those kinds of input I can use and appreciate. But some of the advice I’ve received of late leaves me shaking my head.

Read more…

The Intervention

I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, and I certainly don’t do drugs.  Why then did my family get together and decide an intervention was necessary where I was concerned?

I’ll tell you why.  They took away my scooter.

Read more…

You’re Who? You Want to Do What?

One meets the most interesting people when writing romantic suspense and mysteries. Like it or not, writers are forced to leave Google every once in a while, walk out the door or pick up the phone to do research. There’s many a raised eyebrow and snicker aimed at writers who perpetrate their fictional situations and crime scenes. And I’m certainly no different.

Read more…

Help! I’ve Lost My Noodle

By Donnell Ann Bell

I developed plantar fasciitis a while back and the inflammation has been cramping my walking program. I enjoy that exercise more than any other, but since that routine has reduced me to limping, I’ve decided to take my friend Kathy’s advice.  Kathy suggests I join her in water aerobics until I recoup.  Water aerobics, she assures me will take the pressure off my joints, and according to Kathy, “anyone” can do it.

I’m writing today to explain why Kathy is now my ex-friend.  What she failed to tell me is that water aerobics requires coordination.

Read more…

Wisdom and Second Chances

By Donnell Ann Bell

Have a nice weekend, Mrs. Bradford.”

I took the brown bag from Jackie, the liquor store owner, before realizing that, one, he’d turned his back on me, and two he no longer called me Melinda. Jackie, like so many others, had grown uncomfortable in my presence.

“You, too,” I said softly. No one could say I wasn’t a polite drunk.

Read more…

Just Be Professional…It’s Not That Hard

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in my local sheriff’s office citizens’ academy. After sitting through six weeks of law enforcement demonstration and opinion, I believe the experience brought realism to my writing. Out of all the personnel I met during this time, there was one sergeant who impressed me above anyone else. Her words still resonate with me to this day.

Just be professional, it’s not that hard. Read more…

Next Page »