on October 20th, 2014 at 7:50 PM
After a much-needed hiatus, I have returned to revisit the topic of fingerprints. If you recall from my earlier entries on the subject, we discussed what makes up a fingerprint, how they form, biologically speaking, on your skin, and the various methods we have for developing them. In this entry, we’ll get more into the technical side, showing how a fingerprint identification is actually made. If you’re writing a crime novel, or any novel involving fingerprints, a basic understanding of these principles will give your book a greater sense of realism.
As I mentioned in the first entry in this series, fingerprints are divided into three primary groups: loops, whorls, and arches. Each of those groups has its own subsets, but for the most part the subsets have fallen into disuse. They were important up until the last decade or two, because they helped eliminate prints from consideration. At that time, fingerprints were named based upon the type, the subset, and a numeric identification that had to do with the number of friction ridges between certain identifying features (deltas, cores, and so on). But now, with the advent of computerized fingerprint comparisons, the importance of the subsets has faded.
on October 13th, 2014 at 6:50 PM
A couple of years back, Scott and I did a five-part series on Openings. If you want to read (or re-read) those, the OPENINGS category on the left side of the blog page will let you find them quickly. That category also includes a couple of other articles related to openings, which in my opinion, one can never write too much about.
After all, your opening–along with your title and book cover–is arguably the most important factor in grabbing a reader and making a sale. Of course, what follows that opening must include good, error-free writing that will determine whether your reader continues reading to the end.
The answers to the questions below will depend on the length of your opening paragraphs, whether the story is in first or third person, and the story line itself. I’ll discuss exceptions in a moment, but look over these questions.
on October 6th, 2014 at 9:15 PM
Two weeks ago, I did a joint blog post with Kellee Kranendonk on some basics of grammar and spelling. One of my writer friends from Ireland was quick to point out an error of sorts in my statement that the Merriam-Webster dictionary was the considered authority on spelling and usage. And he’s right: that was an error on my part.
I have corrected the blog post to specify US English spelling and usage, but even that has its problems. Let me clarify. In the original statement my intent was that Merriam-Webster is generally considered to be the authority in the case of disagreements.