Neil O'Donnell

Neil O'Donnell

About Me

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Buffalo, New York, United States
Nationally certified career coach with expertise in writing résumés and cover letters for professionals around the world. 15+ years of focus helping new graduates and seasoned professionals find good jobs.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Environmenatl Details

Environmental details in which a story unfolds are crucial to a reader's enjoyment/understanding of the story. Considering the details [from the writer's perspective] also helps in finding the best way to take a story. Any time a writer is stuck on which direction a story should take, taking time to expand upon the environmental details can often assist the writer in finding the best, most believable path for the story to take.

Those are not the only environmental details an author should consider...


I found myself struggling throughout July to get my thoughts onto paper. This weekend proved to be similarly difficult for writing as I tried to get thru the 1st chapter of a new novel I'm working on. I was sitting in the same seat I wrote PEOPLE OF THE SWORD in and at the same time of day I found to be conducive to my writing. After hours of staring at the computer screen getting out little bits of detail, but no dialogue, I made one change and, suddenly, the words started to flow. You see, while I was writing my first book, my wife was always in the room working on her exhibit scripts while a DVD of NCIS episodes was playing in the background. When my wife got home, we put in NCIS and immediately I made progress. Moral of the posting - keep careful track of all the little things [regarding your environment] that make writing easier. From my experience, writer's block usually happens when such environmental details are overlooked.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Calling Wren

OK, as if three novels at once wasn't enough...

I'm currently putting my archaeological experience to work while writing a histoical fiction piece titled 'Calling Wren.' The story follows an Erie Iroquoian who is captured by the Seneca. The time-frame of the novel is 1655 (late fall) thru Spring of 1656 and will cover the disperion of the Erie confederacy at the hands of the Haudenosaune (the 5 nations commonly called 'the Iroquois). Calling Wren is the captured Erie, and thru him, readers will get a glimpse at Iroquoian culture and the historical events that precipitated the Erie's demise. My longhouse research will play heavily in the construction of Erie society and their relations to neighboring Native American Nations. I'll update the blog as I complete more; chapter 1 is already near completion. Take care.