Writing Styles – Part 7


My guest today is crime writer, Chris Longmuir. She lives in  Scotland and is an award winning novelist as well as an established writer of short stories and articles. Her crime novels are set in Dundee, Scotland, and have been described as scary, atmospheric, page turners. Chris also writes historical sagas, short stories and historical articles which have been published in America and Britain.

Chris will give us a character description, a scene description and a scene ending from her latest novel, “Missing Believed Dead.” This book was launched in July and is part of the Dundee Crime Series. It has a main plot and a sub plot which mesh together. The character, setting, and scene ending are taken from the sub plot.

Missing Believed Dead

1. CHARACTER: He laid the girl on the rug he’d spread out on the dirt floor. She was beautiful. Her blonde hair was tied back in a ponytail, although a strand had escaped and fallen over her face.

(as my descriptions are tied into the action there is a gap between the first and second part of the description.)

Megan stirred and opened her eyes. She didn’t know where she was, and it was so dark she couldn’t make out whether the place was large or small. The rope binding her wrists and ankles bit into her skin, and when she moved it seemed to tighten. Maybe he was here watching her? She held her breath, listening for sounds that would indicate she wasn’t alone, but heard nothing. At least she wasn’t gagged, although her mouth was so dry she had difficulty swallowing, and her tongue felt too big.

2. SETTING: The darkness felt oppressive, pressing in on her and bringing with it strange smells of decay and mould. She shifted her foot and it struck something solid. She seemed to be wedged between it and the wall. There was hardly room to move in the confined space, but she managed to pull her knees up. They cramped again and she stretched her legs out on the cold damp floor, squirming to relieve the tightness in her muscles. The floor beneath her felt strange on her legs; it didn’t feel like wood or any other floor covering and she strongly suspected it might be bare earth.

She shuddered. If it was earth, that meant there would be creepy crawlies, and she couldn’t stand them.

3. SCENE ENDING: No one came when she screamed. And now she knew no one ever would.


Chris Longmuir’s web site – http://www.chrislongmuir.co.uk/

Chris Longmuir’s blog – http://chrislongmuir.blogspot.co.uk/

Missing Believed Dead is published as an ebook and in paperback and can be bought from:-



Books by Chris Longmuir:

Dead Wood

Night Watcher

Missing Believed Dead

A Salt Splashed Cradle

Ghost train & Other Stories

Obsession & Other Stories

Writing Styles – Part 6


Anneli Purchase

Today’s writing samples are taken from my novel, “Julia’s Violinist.

It is the story of a love triangle set in Europe and Canada and spanning the decades from about  1912 to 1973.

The character description is of Karl’s mother, Alana:

At last she stepped up onto the tram. Oh, it was good to be out of the wind. Alana unbuttoned her jacket and let it hang loosely. She sat and, with practiced detachment, ran her hand down the length of her leg, enjoying the feel of her chic, new silk stockings. The appreciative gazes of the male passengers pleased her. She smiled smugly at the women, inviting their disparaging glares.

The setting is of a classroom in a German boys’ school in the 1920s:

Herr Solberg took Karl by the scruff of the neck and hauled him into the school, lifting him so that the tips of his toes were all that touched the ground as he walked. Karl tingled with excitement. At the end of the break, the class had to witness his punishment. Karl stood at the front of the classroom looking at the faces of his classmates. Some covered their mouths to hide their expressions of horror at the pain they knew was coming, while others beamed openly in gleeful anticipation.

The scene ending is of Karl being freed from POW camp in 1946:

The Russian guard tossed a tatty bundle of letters to him and read the next name. Karl was stunned. Not a single letter for over a year and now, on the last day, a bundle of … thirty-one, he counted. All from Julia.

He was frantic with wanting to open them, but nothing, not even these special letters, could make him lag behind in the POW camp. Out! Out! Just get out first, and then I can look at them.

As soon as he was out of sight of the prison camp, he sank down on the ground beside the road. His hands trembled as he opened the first letter. Through tears he saw her lovely handwriting, so perfect and neat; words that spoke of loneliness and longing. Each letter contained a small anecdote of Julia’s home life and ended with the hope that they would see each other again. Around the edges of the pages his name was written over and over in a border design, “KarlKarlKarlKarl. I miss you, Karl.”

He wasn’t sure how long he sat there. Other recently released POWs walked by. No one stopped. They had seen it all and there was nothing unusual about a man sitting in the dirt crying his eyes out as he read his mail.

Front Cover Only

Julia’s Violinist is available in paperback and all e-book formats at Smashwords.com

and at all amazon sites, particularly




Find out more about Anneli Purchase and her books at her website: http://www.anneli-purchase.com 

Writing Styles – Part 5

Anneli Purchase

I’m Anneli Purchase. Today I’m doing my own part in “Writing Styles.”

My writing style challenges, to show description of character, setting, and a scene ending, are taken from my novel “Orion’s Gift.” It’s a drama that takes place on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico.

Character: This describes Shiree, ex-wife of main character Kevin when he visits her in a Mexican jail.

A wild-looking creature stumbled into the room. Her black hair was a tangled bush of knots and clumps of dirt. Two small eyes squinted through a swollen raccoon-like mask. Filthy clothes hung on her in shreds. Black, bare feet shuffled across the floor towards me. The pissy smell of her was hard to take. Involuntarily, I backed away, clutching at my nose. Who the hell was this? I called for a guard.

“Kevin?” The creature squinted at me, and came closer. She spoke through puffy lips that had several scabbed over splits.

Setting: Going to Cielito Lindo in Sylvia’s van.

Dust poofed up from each pothole my tires bumped through. It seeped into the van and settled on every surface. My eyes itched. I gasped for air, coughing out the thick dust only to inhale it again. I didn’t know whether to open the windows or keep them tightly closed. The van bounced along for a couple of miles like a bucking bronco even though I drove slowly. At last I saw the sea and knew I was close. Palapas barely bigger than beach umbrellas marked camping areas on the water side of the road. On the landward side, I checked in at the restaurant where a sign said, “Oficina.”

Scene Ending: Kevin speaking to Shiree at the jail.

“And if you forget to follow the rules, all I have to do is go to the police and lay attempted murder charges against you.”

“I won’t forget. I’ll never forget. Never.” She narrowed her eyes and one cheek muscle twitched.

I had all the concessions I wanted from her. Why did I still have the feeling that she’d won?

Orion's Gift

Available as paperback or as e-book at both of the links below. For synopses and reviews of Orion’s Gift as well as my other two novels, “The Wind Weeps,” and “Julia’s Violinist,” visit my website (link at the bottom of the page).

Amazon.com http://ow.ly/nyOz2 

Smashwords.com http://ow.ly/nyOEE