Kidnapped California Woman Escapes After 10 Years in Captivity

I recommend reading this article about a woman who was kidnapped and help against her will for a decade. Luckily she was able to contact the authorities and ended up being rescue. Her kidnapper is currently in prison, awaiting trial for his involvement is this deplorable crime.


Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

A 25-year-old missing California woman escaped from nearly a decade of captivity after contacting the police Tuesday, leading to the arrest of the man who allegedly kidnapped her.

Police in Santa Ana, California, arrested Isidro Garcia, 41, Tuesday. He faces charges of kidnapping for rape, committing a lewd act with a minor and false imprisonment.

According to an account given by the unidentified woman to the police, Garcia was living with the 15-year-old girl’s mother when he started sexually assaulting her in June 2004. Garcia allegedly kidnapped and drugged the girl after assaulting the mother in August 2004.

The victim says she was first imprisoned in a house in Compton then moved to different locations in the years that followed. Garcia allegedly obtained fake identity documents for the girl and secured employment for both of them in a night cleaning service “so he could…

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Great article.


In addition to knowledge of craft and technique, command over grammar and syntax, and all the other tools of their craft, writers must also draw on their instinct of what constitutes good writing. A writer’s instinct is what tells them whether they have overdone or underplayed elements in their work. It tells them when to take risks in their work and when to show restraint. Should they kill a character off? Is this where a flashback would make sense? The sharper a writer’s instinct, the better their judgement in writing, the higher quality their work.

Unfortunately, writer’s instinct it is not something that can be imparted in a class or a workshop. It can, however, be honed and developed over time. Here are some guidelines to sharpen your writing intuition:


1 – Feed your instincts by reading widely and deeply. The more you expose yourself to all types of writing…

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Everybody Arcs! How to Use Emotional Growth to Propel the Story and Capture the Reader

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Because the Scarletts of the world get THINGS DONE.... Because the Scarletts of the world get THINGS DONE….

I’ve heard people say some books (or genres) are plot-driven and others are character-driven. My POV? This is a fallacy. All good books are character-driven and plot is what makes that possible. Characters have to make us give a hoot about the plot. If we don’t like or empathize with the characters, we don’t care about their problems.

Conversely, plot is the delivery mechanism and crucible for character (even in literary fiction). Characters can only be as strong as the opposition they face. Weak problems=weak characters. In a nutshell, character and plot can’t be easily separated.

For instance, in the Pulitzer-Winning The Road, the plot is simple. Man and Boy must make it to the ocean. Yet, since this piece is literary, the plot goal is subordinate to character goal.

It is less important that Man and Boy make it…

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Beyond Grammar & Punctuation: Why You Need a Copyeditor


Why hire a copyeditor_

I recently edited a novel. The author was clearly educated and had a good grasp of standard English grammar. She wrote in complete sentences, didn’t seem to have many misspellings, and generally used punctuation correctly. At first glance, it may have seemed like a copyeditor wouldn’t have much work to do.

But grammar and punctuation are not all that copyeditors pay attention to: we also look for consistency, awkward or convoluted phrasing, redundancies and repetition, factual errors, legal issues, and formatting.


Consistency is a big part of whether people perceive your writing as professional or high-quality; they may not realize that it impacts their perception, but it does.

  • Does the author favor toward or towards? Both are correct, but you should pick one and stick to it.
  • Serial comma or no?
  • High-tech is always hyphenated
  • Journal entries are always block-quoted and italicized.

Awkward or convoluted phrasing:


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A Synopsis Checklist

Writers In The Storm Blog

by Shannon Donnelly

Years ago I was struggling to try and figure out how to write a synopsis. It took a lot of input from other writers, and some workshops, but I finally became comfortable with syopsis writing—and now it’s one of my favorite tools. I’m now doing my “Sexy Synopsis workshop again for Outreach International Romance Writers, but I wanted to offer up my synopsis checklist.

A synopsis is one of the most useful tools you can have. It keeps you from getting stuck. It starts you thinking about blurb and marketing copy. It can even show up flaws you might have in your plot, as in maybe the conflict really isn’t strong enough.

The checklist I developed came from looking at a bunch of synopses and from taking a lot of classes on synopsis writings. Feel free to take this list and customize for your own use…

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