THE WRITING GAMBIT … a serious game of power, strategy, and seduction

Why worry? Not all crowns are gold. Making a splash in the literary world is akin to winning a crown of glory in a chess tournament, but going for the mountain top of any sport is essential for victory. True kings and queens of the writing world are usually born with a storytelling gene implanted with a passion for wordplay. Here are a few game-changing strategies for anyone with an urge to write a novel because:


Taking on a full-length novel is as challenging as making the second move on a chess board. But it needn’t be daunting if you study the art of storytelling and read a lot of books. Sharpen your pencils, crack your knuckles before the keyboard, and set the timer for longer than you think. Consciously disconnect from the outside world. Stop thinking. Feel. Practice eight days a week. Writing is a joy; publishing is war; play by the rules but think outside the box.

Own the key’BOARD. It belongs to you.

THE OPENING MOVESET UP a solid dazzling premise!

A PREMISE is a promise – a contract between an author and their readers to deliver the story outlined in the promotional blurb. All other moves are secondary: RECRUIT a cast of supportive three-dimensional characters and CREATE a compelling story outline. JUDGE when to employ diversion and misdirection, and COUNTER complexity with simplicity. WEAVE subtlety and transparency into every visual scene. SEAMLESSLY BLEND introspection, narration, and dialogue. SENSE when to advance the story, when to delay, what to hold back, what to deny, and when to reveal. INSERT any historical references with discretion, and most of all AROUSE primal emotions.

Here are two of my novels inspired by historical events: ‘DISAPP’EARRING TWICE’ and ‘THE UNTHINKABLE SHOES’ discover more about them here:   

STAY FOCUSED… listen to the whole keyboard. It has 26 letters, and they’re all yours. Refrain from bringing out your exclamation marks too soon.

DISTINGUISH between diversion and misdirection. INITIATE curiosity. INFUSE logic and imagination, and don’t forget to GENERATE surprises. RECONCILE back story with current events. BALANCE the subtleties of micro tension and macro intentions. CONCEIVE and PRESENT strong plot points, a surprise midpoint, and a satisfying conclusion. IMPLANT foreshadows and false clues. FLIRT with impossible possibilities. RECONCILE love and hate by TRANSMUTING your characters fear and pain.

Here are two of my paranormal romance novels: ‘THE INDIGO PEARL’ and ‘PEARL BY PEARL’


INJECT magic. BALANCE victories and defeats. SUSPEND belief and DELIVER believable imaginary worlds. OFFER a spoiled-for-choice spectacle of outdoor vistas as well as common rooms of simple pleasures or dark spaces haunted with inner demons. Where appropriate, SUPPLY moody atmospheric conditions or clear skies. TRANSPORT the reader’s senses with stunning visuals and intimate details. ASK compelling story questions, NURTURE imagination, and INFUSE the concept of synchronicity. ROMANCE the art of suspense.

Here are two of my time-slip trilogy adventures for middle-grade enthusiasts of all ages: ‘TWINTER’ and ‘TIME FALLS LIKE SNOW’


BRING the moxie. GENERATE a surprise twist that stuns even yourself. PRACTICE the subtle crafts of showing and telling. CREATE unanticipated story arcs. INTRODUCE unforeseen elements, and BLEND reality with fantasy. NARRATE distinctive voices. COMPLETE a first rough draft. WRITE hot, EDIT cold, and LAUNCH a novel that sizzles.

Here are two of my art history-mystery novels: ‘LISABETTA – a stolen glance’ and ‘ADORATION – loving Botticelli’

THE LAST MOVE is a win, lose, or draw situation. Remain equally gracious throughout negative reviews and victorious triumphs. Say thank you. Avoid winner’s circles.


DESIGN a cover, COMPOSE a catchy tagline. CRAFT an irresistible hook. ORIGINATE several punchy log lines. SUMMARIZE a compelling back blurb, COMPOSE a clear synopsis, and WRITE a professional query letter. REHEARSE a memorable elevator pitch, BLITZ the letter. REMAIN gracious. ESTABLISH a brand. FIGHT by the rules, BE a good sport – a gracious author lives to write another day.


Shake hands with serendipity. SET UP the next board. Rest, eat, breath, sleep, and with all the sensitivity of sublime kismet that you can muster and the intrepid confidence of a master, balanced with the relentless authority of a dictator. SET UP a new dazzling premise.

ESTABLISH a positive reputation.

Still-waters often run shallow for unknown authors, lured off course by the false promises of predators. Be aware. Due diligence is vital to your literary health. Books often run aground, dashed on the rocks of business. But then, the love of words has its own rewards which is just as well… the odds of making a huge publishing splash is somewhat mercurial. It’s a tenacious author who reaches their own finish line. Never give up! Serendipity awaits the dedicated few.

Welcome to my wading pool:

About Veronica Knox

Veronica Knox has a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alberta, where she studied Art History, Classical Studies, and Painting. In her career as a graphic designer, illustrator, private art teacher, and ‘fine artist,’ she has also worked with the brain-injured and autistic, developing new theories of hand-to-eye-to-mind connection. Veronica lives on the west coast of Canada, supporting local animal rescue shelters, painting, writing, editing other author’s novels, and championing the conservation of tigers and elephants, and their habitats. Her artwork and visuals to support ‘Second Lisa’ may be viewed on her website -
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