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About James Scott Bell
JAMES SCOTT BELL is a winner of the International Thriller Writers Award and the author of many bestselling thrillers. He is a popular writing instructor and conference speaker, and formerly served as the fiction columnist for Writer's Digest magazine. Jim attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver, and graduated with honors from the University of Southern California Law School. He lives and writes in L.A. and blogs weekly at Kill Zone -- www.killzoneblog.com
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All Romeo wanted was to chill by the pool and talk to Zane Donahue, the man who’d summoned him. But trouble walked up to ruin a good day. When Romeo’s around somebody’s always spoiling for a fight.
Dispatching a punk is one thing. Helping an old friend with a murder rap is another. Archie Jennison comes to Romeo when a gruesome and unsolved Hollywood murder is connected to him in a bizarre way. As Romeo begins his investigation, things take on a dark and twisted turn. Hidden secrets cast shadows over Archie’s case, and an open wound from Romeo’s own past threatens to take him down. Suddenly, Romeo is in the fight of his life, and somebody wants to make sure he loses—for good.
Another in the International Thriller Writers Award-winning series that’s been called “sharp as a switchblade” (Meg Gardiner).
Since her first appearance in FORCE OF HABIT, Sister Justicia Marie has gained a legion of dedicated fans. Now the complete series of novelettes, including a new one never before published, is available in this collection. The titles included are:
FORCE OF HABIT
FORCE OF HABIT 2: AND THEN THERE WERE NUNS
FORCE OF HABIT 3: NUN THE WISER
FORCE OF HABIT 4: THE NUN ALSO RISES
FORCE OF HABIT 5: HOT CROSS NUNS
And for the first time anywhere: FORCE OF HABIT 6: NUN TOO SOON
From "one of the best writers out there, bar none" (Library Review) comes a hero unlike any other in crime fiction—Sister Justicia Marie of The Sisters of Perpetual Justice.Criminals are the knuckles. She is the ruler. So be good.
Praise from verified reviews for the FORCE OF HABIT series
"This first book was so good that within minutes of reading it, I downloaded book two."
"Action packed with both internal and external conflict, I was riveted the whole way through."
"Sister Justicia is kicking butt and taking names! She knows how to clean up L.A. but good!"
"James Scott Bell seems to be able to put more events in a 50 page novella than you’re likely to find in some 300 page novels."
"Highest possible recommendation! Five Stars!"
"Honestly, they need to make a TV series about Sister J."
Characters who "jump off the page."
Of course plot matters. So does conflict, and scenes, and every other aspect of the fiction craft. But without unforgettable characters, your books will always be less than they could be.
Don't let that happen.
In WRITING UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS you'll learn:
• How to lay the foundation for a memorable character
• How to bond the reader with the main character from the start
• The super power of unpredictability
• The secrets of grit, wit, and moxie
• How to bring your character to life on the page
• How and when to reveal backstory
• All about arcs and what they truly mean
• The key to unforgettable villains
• How to make minor characters memorable, too
• How to create a great series character
And more, PLUS the powerful exercises James Scott Bell has taught in his sold-out writing workshops.
No more flat stories! Give your readers what will turn them into career-long fans—characters who jump off the page.
A powerful secret, and a fresh approach to writing bestselling fiction!
What's the best way to write a "next level" novel? Some writers start at the beginning and let the story unfold without a plan. They are called "pantsers," because they write by the "seat of the pants."
Other writers plan and outline and know the ending before they start. These are the "plotters."
The two sides never seem to agree with each other on the best approach.
But what if it's not the beginning or the end that is the key to a successful book? What if, amazing as it may seem, the place to begin writing your novel is in the very middle of the story?
According to #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell, that's exactly where you'll find your story's heart and heat. Bell's "Mirror Moment" is the secret, and its power is available to any writer, at any stage of the writing process.
Bringing together years of craft study and personal discovery, Bell presents a truly unique approach to writing a novel, one that will stand the test of time and serve you all your writing life.
"I need three things before I tackle a new novel: Diet Coke, a laptop, and my dog-eared copies of James Scott Bell's books on writing craft!” - Kami Garcia, #1 NYT Times & International Bestselling author
We were an hour from Las Vegas when the plane began to shake.
Something is rotten in the little town of Dillard, NV. And Mike Romeo is right in the middle of it.
After the plane he's on has to land in the desert, Romeo tries to check on the woman who was sitting next to him. But the hospital gives him a strange runaround. A local tough tries to lean on him. Then he runs afoul of the sheriff.
That's when things turn ugly.
Which is the wrong way to turn things on Mike Romeo. Because when he's pushed, he takes a stand. And that means some very bad people are going to have to take a fall.
Another entry in the International Thriller Writers Award-winning series that is "sharp as a switchblade." (Meg Gardiner).
You may know the fundamentals of how to write fiction. You may be more than competent in plot, structure and characters. But if your dialogue is dull it will drag the whole story down.
On the other hand, if your dialogue is crisp and full of tension it immediately grabs the reader. And if that reader is an agent or editor, sharp dialogue will give them instant assurance that you know what you're doing as a writer.
Writing a bestseller or hot screenplay is no easy task, but dazzling dialogue is an absolute essential if you want to get there.
The best part is, the skills of the dialogue craft are easy to understand and put into practice. #1 bestselling writing coach James Scott Bell has put together and expanded upon the dialogue lectures from his popular writing seminars. In How to Write Dazzling Dialogue you'll learn:
- What fictional dialogue is ... and isn't
- The 11 secrets of crafting memorable dialogue
- The 5 essential tasks of dialogue
- 5 ways to improve your dialogue ear
- 4 can't-miss methods to increase conflict and tension in any dialogue exchange
- The top 10 dialogue issues, and how to resolve them
You'll also see dazzling dialogue in action with examples from hit novels and screenplays.
Don't sabotage your chances of selling your work to readers or publishers because the dialogue is unexceptional. Dazzle them with what the characters say. How to Write Dazzling Dialogue will give you the tools to do it.
Mike Romeo finds her in the fog, on the beach, staggering around like a drunk. But it's not alcohol that's in her — it's poison.
After getting this mysterious woman to the hospital, Romeo figures that's the end of the matter.
But it's only the beginning.
When the woman goes missing, Romeo is hired by her father to find her. But the trail grows cold, the circumstances strange. The people involved with her are a mix of L.A. odd and downright dangerous. There's a washed-up Hollywood star hoping for a comeback; hired muscle willing to break bones just for the workout; a fight manager with underworld connections; and a strange cult predicting the return of angels to the earth.
And some very bad people who want Romeo dead.
From the posh beaches of Malibu to the dark corners of L.A.'s fight game, Romeo's Hammer takes you on another thrill ride in the series that New York Times bestselling author Meg Gardiner calls "sharp as a switchblade."
Winner of the International Thriller Writers Award
“I don’t want anybody bleeding to death, okay?” I said. “I think your problem is education. There’s just no discipline anymore. You have to know there are consequences for bad behavior. Without that, society falls apart.”
Baton Guy croaked, “I can’t breathe.”
“You just can’t go around doing this sort of thing,” I said. “It isn’t right. Now, one of you is bleeding pretty badly and won’t be riding a bike anytime soon. The other one still needs to learn, am I right?”
“Don’t kill us,” Knife Guy said.
Mike Romeo, the former cage fighter living low in L.A., doesn't look for trouble. He doesn't have to. It comes after him. So when he's hired by a California senatorial campaign to do undercover work, Romeo doesn't have any illusions. Especially when his duty takes him to San Francisco.
But as Romeo gets closer to solving the mystery of who is behind the hit job on an honorable man, things heat up in the City by the Bay –– and between Mike and a beautiful political operative. Until a bullet nearly takes him out for good.
Now all bets are off. Because if there's one thing Romeo wants, it's justice. And he's going to get it––his way.
Super Structure represents over two decades of research on what makes a novel or screenplay entertaining, commercial, original, and irresistible. Contrary to what some may think, structure is not a nasty inhibitor of creativity. Quite the opposite. Properly understood and utilized, structure is what translates story into a form readers are wired to receive it.
And it is only when readers truly connect with your story that they turn from casual readers into fans.
The material in this book greatly expands upon the chapter on structure in Write Your Novel From the Middle. Super Structure can be considered a companion to that book, but it also stands alone in its treatment of the elements of a solid and pleasing plot.
Here's more good news: Super Structure will work for any type of writer--those who like to outline, those who just fly by "the seat of the pants," and those who do a little of both. That's because Super Structure stresses the concept of "signpost scenes." There are fourteen signpost scenes, or beats, that can be used to create an entire plot, the skeleton of an idea, or a map to help you figure out what to write next.
Every signpost is given its own chapter and explanation, along with a section called "Helpful Hints for Plotters and Pantsers," showing you how to apply what you've learned and adapt it to your own style of writing.
Never write a weak novel or screenplay again. Super Structure is a proven foundation that never fails. It frees you to add your original voice and vision, all of which adds up to bestselling fiction and hit screenplays.
"I need three things before I tackle a new novel: Diet Coke, a laptop, and my dog-eared copies of James Scott Bell's books on writing craft!” - Kami Garcia, #1 NY Times & International Bestselling author
As most writers will tell you, the hardest fiction form to master is the short story. To be successful, a short story needs to have "emotional wallop," and in under 7,000 words.
Not easy to do.
In this book, #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell explains the essential ingredient for a successful short story, no matter the genre. He shows how any writer—whether planner or "pantser"—can use this key to unlock infinite story possibilities.
And turn readers into fans.
Which is part of the strategy for short story writing today. With the coming of the digital revolution in publishing, short fiction presents possibilities beyond a one-time sale to a literary journal. Writers can use stories to increase discoverability, grow as a writer, generate some side income, and get back in touch with the sheer joy of writing.
This book uses examples from the best stories by undisputed masters of the craft, including Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Stephen King and Irwin Shaw.
In addition, five complete stories are included to show you the master key in action.
Once you've been through this book, even once, you'll be well on your way to crafting short stories that readers love—which will build your fan base and boost your long-term writing career.
How does plot influence story structure? What's the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that's gone off course?
With Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure, you'll discover the answers to these questions and more. Award-winning author James Scott Bell offers clear, concise information that will help you create a believable and memorable plot, including:
• Techniques for crafting strong beginnings, middles, and ends
• Easy-to-understand plotting diagrams and charts
• Brainstorming techniques for original plot ideas
• Thought-provoking exercises at the end of each chapter
• Story structure models and methods for all genres
• Tips and tools for correcting common plot problems
Filled with plot examples from popular novels, comprehensive checklists, and practical hands-on guidance, Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure gives you the skills you need to approach plot and structure like an experienced pro.
What is the single greatest secret to a breakout writing career?
It's VOICE. Everyone talks about it, yet no one seems able to define it. Voice has therefore been the most elusive aspect of the entire writing craft to teach.
In this book, #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell reveals the true source of voice, and what any writer in any genre can do to capture it for their own work. In VOICE: The Secret Power of Great Writing you'll learn:
• An actual working definition of voice that is simple yet powerful
• Bell's original method for turning that definition into book-length voice power
• How to vary voice from genre to genre, book to book
• How to enhance voice with emotion, flow, and attitude
• How to create vivid word pictures
• Exercises to expand your voice and style
• Example after example of voice in action
Don't settle for good writing. Go for the unforgettable. The secret of voice will help you get there.