Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Prompt Your Creative Writing with Color

Get yourself in line, how dare you think. Thinking? Who do you think you are, anyway. How dare you.

Sometimes, a writer's attitude toward the fictional character is as I have described above. That's not true with you, is it? Of course, not. Well, just bare with me for a moment. We'll see about that. What if one of your characters lived in a country at war. Think about her feelings about the war. Maybe, she feels the war is justified, so think of her convictions for a moment. I know, you don't want to discuss politics because like race and religion, it is taboo. Your character (not you, of course) has been taught to avoid those subjects. Have you considered that it is those subjects that gives your character definition?

Well, try it, for crying out loud. Stir up the reader's emotions will you. Have her fall in love with someone of a different nationality, a different political background. Upset her parents who are Jewish when she falls in love with a Christian Black man. "Guess whose coming home for dinner, mom?"

Maybe the main character's parents are heterosexual and she is not. What are you waiting for, have her bring her girlfriend home to dinner. Stir those emotions and let's see what's inside mom's head. Twist the plot. Expose the madness. Will mom come into understanding or will she remain in an abyss of ignorance for the remainder of her life? Let's see mom in action.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Find Colorful Writing in Dialogue and Suspense

Dialogues: A Novel of SuspenseColorful writing is not always the result of fine re-writes and editing. Sometimes it starts right from the character's mouth. Every several thousand words or so, I will stumble across a word spoken from one of my characters that makes me appreciate the character's individuality more. Have you experienced that?

In my upcoming novel, The Doctor's Vice, I hear my character (Ivan) responding negatively toward someone he likes. No one else dare impose his opinion on my character, Saleem, but Ivan does and it's natural. I would like to share this work in progress with you. Hopefully, I'm making it happen.

In the opening chapter where I hope to create suspense, Saleem and Ivan are discussing the need to find a man who can complete the deed they have in mind without attracting police attention.

{I do not let the reader on to particulars at this point}

Later, I'm seeking to continue to elevate the suspense by continuing this scene.

"We're discussing the life of a human being here," Ivan said.

"It is also, business. No?"

Ivan nodded, affirmatively.

"How do we handle this problem?" Saleem asked.


Saleem accepted the cigar and removed an ashtray from the bottom drawer of his desk. The window directly to his back was open where cigar smoke drifted like foggy balloons with broken shapes as the first hint of sunlight cast rays onto the ashtray.

"A missing prosecutor. This will make trouble, no?"

"It's the only way."

Saleem studied his cigar, twirled it with four fingers and thumb, and then inhaled, constantly stroking the shaft. He half smiled. "Great cigar, no?"



"You're welcome, Saleem"

Saleem pointed his cigar towards Ivan. "Discretion is the word...yes?"

"Discretion and silence," Ivan agreed.

Saleem took another puff and pointed the cigar again, "And you can make this happen, yes?"

Ivan nodded.

"And no police."

"No police, Saleem."

"And she shall disappear like smoke in the wind, yes?"

"...but not without repercussions, Saleem."

"Repercussions? Explain."

Ivan explained the many ramifications of a missing prosecutor. "...and it'll create an intense investigation, Saleem."


"And that's fine as long as we cover our tracks."

"Then find me a man who does not leave tracks. Yes?"

"It will be...complicated. Expensive."

"This prosecutor. Louisa Handryman. LH," Saleem said, as he waived his cigar at a swarm of imaginary gnats,"is like unwanted pest, no?"

"All pest are unwelcome."

They laughed.

"Expensive. Complicated, you say. A problem."

"She's definitely a problem, Saleem."

"We eliminate problems," he said, pointing the cigar toward Ivan.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Color is Your Brain?

View the colorful box (above) for sixty seconds or more and elevate your creativity. Immediately, write down what you feel.  At the end of this article, I will confirm what you are thinking and feeling. (In fact, as you read this first paragraph the experience has already taken a positive effect on your life).

Seduce your reader, subliminally.

Subliminal strategies are not new. The first, in the late 1950s, focused on James Vicary's claims that he had inserted split-second, invisible ad messages into movies. In the 1970s, Wilson Bryan Key rekindled the frenzy with his book Subliminal Seduction, which purported to reveal that ads for liquor and other everyday products were riddled with hidden skulls and humping donkeys - Clary McLaren

{Clary McLaren studies the paradox of ad criticism}

Color reflects mood. Consider this. Many corporations spend millions of dollars to discover just the right colors associated with the corporate logo and the ensuing message. Take the popular furniture store "Rooms to Go" for example. Its employees wear bright red, yellow, green and blue. An assortment of excitement. Excitement, like enthusiasm is contagious. A consistent mood develops brand, ever subliminal in the mind of the viewer. As writers, color is not a viable medium, but words and scenes that reflect mood consistent with color is readily accessible to us. Use it.

Here it is: The 50,000 daily thoughts you had in the past have created the person you are today and the life you are currently living and the 50,000 thoughts you are thinking today are creating the person you are going to be tomorrow and the life you will live!

{for additional information on subliminal text, see the link below}


The world reknown jazz musician, John Coltrane wrote on the jacket of the album cover, entitled  "Equinox," something to the following effect.

" The more I developed this music, the more I discovered that the thing I was excavating were parts of my own soul."

Color has an incredible effect on your mood, your perception and your likes and dislikes. It’s programmed into you, and you really have little to say about it. Your reptilian mind is the part of you that is programmed to survive. It’s what makes you instinctively know that fire is bad, that red is danger, and that green is comforting. Humans developed over millions of years and color is a big part of our perception.

Colors Black and white represent polarity and compatability. Words associated with those colors are: perspective, point of view, objectivity, attraction.

The color blue symbolize a reflective mood. Words primarily associated with the color blue are: happy, gay, mellow and introspective.

Bright hues such as yellow, red and orange represent novelty.

The following words are associated with bright colors: accessibility, affordabilty, energetic and future.

Red is the color predominantly used in fast food advertisements because it stimulates the appetite. Orange is commonly used to advertise expensive products because it is perceived as affordable.

I am not suggesting we deceive the reader. I am recommending we plant (early on) the subconcious reality of the character and "show" the actions overtly so that the reader arrives at the same conclusion intended by the writer - an understanding of the character. This is a most effective means of arriving at colorful writing.

Below is a link to a psychological word test. Try it on your characters. Take this test as if you were the character in your story. It will develop tremendous insight into your characters thinking and keep your character's actions consistent with her psyche.

Please, let me know if this helps by commenting and following this sight. May your writing goals be fulfilled.

By the way, at the risk of presumption, the thoughts you felt when viewing the colors and words above were "joy" and "excitement." Your thinking was in line with developing new ideas for an existing story. If you think you were stimulated to start a new story, rethink the proposition. The story you are inspired to write is already in your archives.

{for additional information on subliminal text, see the link below}


Please, let me know if this helps by commenting and following this sight. May your writing goals be fulfilled.

Psychology word list -- Vocabulary test 10

Seduce your reader, subliminally.

Crazy About Writing

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Write and Sell Your Knowledge

Writing Training Materials That Work: How to Train Anyone to Do AnythingAre You an Expert?

Discover free money you’ve already earned.

If you answered, yes, then you are about to discover an exciting resource and additional avenues to produce more income from what you already know.

Free money rest in the bosom of experts. Many experts are learning (as are you) of untapped resources. If you have an area of expertise exceeding fifteen years of experience, then you may have something to offer of intrinsic value.

"Human beings are always in search of ways to resolve personal problems or expand their mental, physical, social and professional skills," says Jean Marie Stine, author of Self-Help & How-To Books.

You may be pleasantly suprised of the many income streams affordable to you as a result of your knowledge. "As our society becomes increasingly complex, more and more attorneys and judges are turning to consultants to explain how things happen," says Dan Poynter, author of The Self Publishing Manual, and over 76 additional titles. "Eighteen million (18,000.000) law suits are filed each year in the United States by 850,000 lawyers. Each case needs at least two expert witnesses," he concluded.

You may not have become rich through your specialized knowledge, bud did you make money?

If so, others can take your how-to information and make more money from it than you ever dreamed. In the words of Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, “Others can take and old product and apply new technology leading to astounding success.”

With the advent of the internet, this strategy is compelling. Successful entrepreneurs often enjoy a variety of experience and a vast knowledge base. They frequently apply new strategies to old business modules (a new razzmatazz, if you will) and become wealthy. They know how to fill a need more efficiently through the use of developed technologies; as a result, they become wealthy.

Take the information websites, for example, E-how, Wanna Learn, How to, Suite 101, etc. Each of these enterprises is extremely great outlets which allow experts to help others and generate an income, simultaneously. These resources are a great help to you. I am about to show you how.

Let’s dig through the gold mine of experiences in your head.

(1) Look at your career and business experience. Can you talk about what you do?

(2) Can you delineate the experience, trade secrets and skills needed to be successful? Do you have a lucrative hobby?

If you’ve answered yes to the above questions, read on.

This writer has witnessed immediate success of individuals who woke up one day and realized the secret within themselves. This writer has written, edited and supported their books on the subject of their respective expertise.

Take Barbara Wright-Sykes for example. Barbara knows more about sewing than any top three experts, combined, but Barbara has always been a rather down-to-earth personality who simply enjoyed her work. She was, also, a consultant to others who sew clothing for a living.

There were books in Barbara. The first book is called “The Business of Sewing,” ©copyright 2005 Collins Publications.

That book changed Barbara’s life, forever. We encouraged each other. I edited her book with joy. Barbara has not looked back and her success sings a piercing song throughout her most glamorous career. If that was not enough, she published “Overcoming Fear, Doubt & Procrastination,” © copyright 1990 Collins Publications. She has since published a series of books, TV shows, radio shows, Audio/Video cassettes, seminars and workshops stimulating world-wide appeal. Barbara is on top of her game.

You too, can exploit your knowledge base, profitably.

How to Discover That Goldmine within Yourself

(1) Ask yourself, what body of knowledge is unique to you?

(2) What are the critical mistakes you’ve made that could have been avoided?

(3) If you had a child entering your profession, what would you tell her?

If you can answer each question with two sentences or more, I can help you write your book. In fact, almost any well published writer can.

By the way, if I may digress for a moment, I practice what I preach. After writing and editing books for others (after helping make other folks rich), I applied the above principles to my own life. I answered the questions above.

The end result? My book: How to Build a Putting Green, ©copyright 2007, and wealth danced at my door steps. (Google me and any of the above mentioned people and see)

That’s not all. Take Jackie Follie’s book: The Entrepreneur’s Handbook, a multi-million dollar best seller in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. I wrote it for Jackie. When Jackie started with this book, Jackie lived in a one bedroom flat—not so, today, by a wide margin. Jackie sold the interest to a publishing conglomerate and retired went into semi-retirement.

The annals of How-to history are filled with many successful people who, at one point in their lives, did not recognize the wealth of material wrapped in their experience. They know today.

You can, too.

Jeff Wuorio knows. Jeff is the author of How to Buy & Sell Everything, ©copyright 2009. Peter Walsh knows. Peter is author of How to Organize just about Everything, ©copyright 2009. Monte Bursch knows: author of Building Log Homes. Need I say more?

If you’ve answered, yes to the above questions, you are sitting on a blank check. The book in you is worth, at least, six thousand dollars a year for the remainder of your natural life plus seventy years (that’s copyright law). That’s for a run of the mill book. What if there is a good book in you?

There’s one in Walter E. Bell. I’m writing it with him. You’ll read about him and this great book called How to Start a Cleaning Service for $5,000 or less, ©copyright 2009 Bell.

Five Steps to Selling Your Expertise

Follow Them

(1) Contact a professional published writer of non-fiction books; preferably, one with international publishing contacts and marketing know-how. Take myself, for example.

(2) Fill in the blank. I can tell you best how to_____________________

(3) Start writing notes, in your own words. It’s that simple.

Ok. I’ve told you what, when, where and how. What you’re providing is expertise. It’s first presented in a book, and then there are by products, audio/video, articles, seminars, workshops, etc.

When? Now! Why not make a lucrative resolution for the New Year, one that brings almost free money? This is money you’ve already earned and left on the table. I had build hundreds of putting greens before I wrote the book and cashed in. See the money I would have, otherwise, left on the table? Don’t make that mistake.

You have three questions to answer that will change your life, forever. You may not have an award winning bestseller in you, but you’ll have many trips to the bank.

What are you waiting on? Grab your pen and paper or keyboard and start typing.

I’ll see you at the top.

S. Barry Hamdani, author, public speaker and consultant practices in Atlanta, Ga., Los Angeles, CA., Houston, TX., Dallas, TX. and the Caribbean. He can be reached at

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How to Get an Agent

Once you recover, try this:

Beyond the basic stuff such as researching an agent's particulars, and writing a concise query letter and blah....blah....blah, are a few unique considerations that may make a positive diference.

Here it is.

Seduce your agent from the very start. You may not write a great query letter. So what? Did you write a good story is a better question. If you really believe so, center your sample chapter around the character. Introduce the most controversial aspect of your charcter. Do NOT fear controversy. If the agent doesn't like it then she is probably not the right agent for your book. This is important because there is something special and elegant about writing the query in your own voice. The reader will know you are authentic.  In a different post on this blog, I wrote about how to seduce your reader, subliminally. That's a great approach to acquire and maintain readers interest, but it is highly inappropriate and utterly ineffective toward grasping an agent's attention. This is no time to be shy. A direct hit is in order. Go directly after the agent with specific delineation of character development from the first line of your query and introduce the chapter that best exemplify this point.

For example, in the Doctor's Vice, I forwarded a chapter that delineates the most controversial aspect of the main character, Smitty. Through the dialogue of only six sentences my agent saw right away that Smitty is a psycopath. Many agents rejected the story because of it. That's good. In fact, that was a turning point towards acquiring the right agent. It's a good thing because she rejected the story for all the right reasons: she did not represent what I know thrillers (the genre) to be; therefore, she was not the right agent for my book. This may sound cocky, but in reality it reflects my commitment to both the story and the genre. Believe in your work and take no prisoners. I did not change my story and rightfully so. As I write, an agent is considering my novel because she represent classic thrillers.

Prior to speaking with this agent, I had a call from an agent who straddled the fence. She liked the story but was not sure if it were too graphic. Because my story had been reviewed by a few thriller writers whom I respect, I stuck to my guns and concluded this agent was not right for me either. True commitment often comes off as self-centered tyranny, but if you don't believe in your story, who will?  Obviously, I am open to making modifications that does not dilute the story. I am open to criticism, however, I will not make changes that are not consistent to the feel of the story.

Write the best story in you and stick to it. In time, the right agent will discover you.


Colorful Writing Starts Inside Your Character's Head

What's going inside the character's head? The basis of our stories encompass about eight inches of space. An individuals perception of self and the world surrounding the individual is all wrapped up in that small space between the ears: the human brain. One does not need to master the study of psychology to arrive at a basic understanding as to what motivates a character.

For example, think of someone you know well (preferably not yourself-for reasons we will explore, later).  What is the focus of the character's concentration? Is it greed, love, hate, revenge or fear? We earlier explored the six or seven basic fears in the post entitled: How to Write Colorful Openings, dated March 20, 2010. In that particular post we concentrated on opening chapters, however, this pathology is embedded in an individuals psyche throughout the story, and in reality, throughout one's life.

For example, in my upcoming novel, The Doctor's Vice, we explore the psyche of Jon Kayyan. Jon is motivated by greed. Jon's psyche is comprised of several different people I know in real life. Each of them are greedy. Greed often overwhelms sensitivity, morality, respect for others and is counter intuitive of almost any human dynamic that stands its way.

Jon Kayyan's greatest desire is to become rich. The underlying psychological dynamic is compelled by the fear of poverty; therefore, Jon is obsessed with the idea of wealth. There is the resemblance of a Gordon Gekko residing in his brain. His entire world is seen through the lens of poverty vs. wealth.

 Characterization becomes real to the reader when character motivation is consistent. Both the writer and the reader can thus determine what the character might do or say in a given situation.

Eric Berne, clinical psychiatrist and founder of Transactional Analysis discovered the significance of the "Adult" relationship between the therapist and the client toward sorting out behaviors, emotions and thoughts that prevent the development of human potential based on "transactions" or interactions between individuals. Principally, these transactions are performed through each of three ego states: the parent, the adult and the child.

Bear with me, I am not trying to give a class in psychology, but rather, a simple insight into human motivations so that your characters are true, believable and colorful

The adult ego states exemplify thinking. The parent ego state focuses upon that which has been learned (by the parent) and its thoughts, beliefs and perspective is often imposed upon the listener. The child ego state is "felt." The child does not necessarily respond to reason. Although, a single individuals ego state may fluctuate from one to another (child to parent, adult to child, etc.), each individual interacts predominantly through one ego state.

Hang in there with me. Here's my point: An Anthony Bates, or Dr. Lecter does not change simply due to reason, morality or any healthy human dynamic. If the writer attempts to make that change separate from the focus of the story, the entire story becomes implausible. I therefore, submit the importance of studying your characters motivations and stress the apparent necessity of sticking to your guns. In my case, because I write thrillers, the psyche of my madman must develop consistently throughout the story. Any attempts by outsiders to help the character "Smitty" in the Doctor's Vice, must be thwarted, misinterpreted and internalized by Smitty as a personal affront. Why? Because Smitty and most all psychopaths are eternally imprisoned by the child ego state. In other words, they have succumbed to the tragedy of the past, caged by the overwhelming devil that played havoc upon their emotions in childhood.

Writing thrillers is exciting in that unlike most fiction, there is little explanation of the characters background during the outset of the story. By the application of good technique, this rule can be broken. For example, in the thriller, "The Doctor's Vice," I open up when actions that signify the pathology of Smitty's background through the use of conflict to hopefully, gain readers sympathy for Smitty, before he becomes a madman.

My writing is about "what makes people break." That is, informally, my mission statement. I challenge you to get in touch with the mission statement (the constant idea that permeates your writing). In doing so, I promise your characters will leap from the page. Your writing will become far more colorful than before and you will, consequently create a "Brand."

Now you have it. Don't wait or you will procrastinate. Start

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Meaning of Life/why I write

The Meaning of Life

To me, the meaning of life is the arrival of self-actualization, therefore, I challenge you to think on these things.

Why do I write?

I write because I need to write. I was born to write.  I need to author thriller novels. My life is utterly unfulfilled if I fail to write. Writing in this moment is important because I can never experience this moment again. We can never again be who we are today, because we are constantly changing; therefore, it is important to chronicle our feelings, our outlook on life and document the lens from which we see life today, which in turn, chronicles our growth.

A wise man once said, “ An individual cannot step into the same body of water twice, because the composition of the water has changed and so has the individual. "
The same is true with all art. It is consistent with the spirit of the individual, cohesive with his or her genius and a footprint unique to ones calling. It is God’s way of speaking to us through the medium of growth and the nature of growth is change.

Art is not only therapeutic; it is the quintessential experience of who we really are and in a greater since it awakens the genius in others. For example, whether we write a story which moves us or create an oil painting that moves us we discover that form is irrelevant. The point is the true self relates to the inanimate entity that moves us. There is relationship there.

Some relationships are latent, others are manifested. They are effective only when we truly come in contact with who we really are. This realization can be difficult to attain if we are not true to self. Social edicts, the desire to please others and the need to make a living sometimes thwart our growth toward this passion, but the ultimate individual responsibility and the final spiritual reality is to make this contact and hold onto it at all cost. There is the reality of influence which may or may not encourage us in the direction in which we are meant to travel.

The above mentioned realities are clarified for me through my writing. Through the process of writing, that which is latent is soon discovered. Unwanted influences are challenged and entities, thoughts and concepts that do not agree with who I am are brought to light.

A wise man once said “A life unexamined is a life not worth living.”
Words on paper force the reality of self examination to manifest. It is at this point that I am self actualized. It is in that space that I discover and re-discover who I am and where I am going. This experience makes me happy. After all, it is the essential expression of immortality. Long after we have passed into the greater world, our writing yet lives. Art, alone is immortal. History may be forgotten, and legends are subject to prejudicial interpretation, but art lives, subject to the experience of the reader or the viewer; therefore it is always fresh. It may be old in concept but new when experienced. It is experienced in real time as new, because the perspective of each individual who read the work or views a painting is as unique as the individual.

Nietzsche said, “Man looks into the abyss and there is nothing looking back at him. It is at that point that man finds character, and that is what keeps him from the abyss. “
If I could not write, I would be eternally lost in an abyss and without a bookshelf. A person who cannot appreciate art is viewing it from the abyss. If I could not write, I could not dream and would not likely discover why I was born. I therefore, encourage you (my fellow writers) to never give up. For me, it is not about the number of books I sell. It is not about having a popular publisher. It is not about fame. It is about getting words on paper, because I do not choose to live an unexamined life. During my last day on earth I do not want to regret anything, therefore, I am.