I recommend the following websites to fiction writers, whether you're in the first stages writing or all set to query or publish. Please note, some of these resources may require a log-in or membership. QUERY LETTERS How to write a query letter Examples of Successful Queries QueryShark LITERARY AGENT LISTINGS Writer's Digest Guide to Literary … Continue reading Writer Resources
When it comes to the rule of “WHO v WHOM”, many websites place emphasis on knowing the difference between subjects and objects, or go on and on about clauses and prepositions. But here’s a simple trick that doesn’t include any of that stuff: Rephrase your sentence using HIM. If it still makes sense, use WHOM. … Continue reading WHO or WHOM? There’s an easy way to choose
A writer asks if his work might suffer because he doesn’t write “antagonists”, by which he means there is no specific person for his hero to fight. He writes books about climate change and how it affects his characters. My answer: “Of course you have an antagonist―it’s NATURE”. Traditionally, there have been five types of … Continue reading Does Your Story Need a Bad Guy?
The poetry of language once Began my love of words, But poetry is giving way To easiness in verbs. I dedicate these simple lines To those whose memories, like mine, Allow for lit in lieu of lighted, And shone instead of shined. For we who strove instead of strived, At least we've not been … Continue reading ELEGY: On the Irregular Verb
Last week I got an e-mail from a reader about punctuating dialogue. I was glad to get the question, because it's also a pet peeve of mine. Here's her question: I've been reading a lot lately, and I also do beta-reading for some of my writer friends. My problem: it seems like everyone has a … Continue reading DIALOGUE TAGS: A Punctuation Primer
If you're like me, when you get to the end of a manuscript, you're a few thousand (or maybe ten thousand) words over the optimal word count for your genre. A lot of common editing advice can make a difference in MS length. Directives like “find stronger verbs” will eliminate some adverbs, while “make sentences … Continue reading 3 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Word Count
We've all heard about the RULES we need to follow in order to be “good” writers. No adverbs, no passive voice, no split infinitives, show don't tell, limit dialogue tags to “said” & “asked”, use only one POV per chapter―these are just a few of the absolutes we're faced with every day. I've heard some … Continue reading 7 Great Authors Take on the “RULES OF WRITING”
While doing research recently for an ESL student, I came across another “rule of writing”, to wit: Don't use gerunds; they make your writing weak. To qualify as a gerund a word must be: a verb with an “ing” suffix that performs the job of a noun. Take these sentences as examples: I like hiking. … Continue reading The Rules of Writing: No Gerunds?
Excellent advice for first- or any-time authors!
BY AUDREY WICK
Like many new and debut authors, I was eager to sign with a traditional publisher. After the hard work of completing a novel, signing on the dotted line with a publishing house was exactly the reward I envisioned would make it all worthwhile.
Any contract for publishing can, at first, seem like an offer too good to refuse—but that doesn’t mean you should take anything that comes your way.
Publishing contracts are as varied as book genres. It’s easy for an author hungry to be published to be blinded by any contract’s lure, to the potential detriment of their career and their hard-fought creative work.
When I was submitting my debut novel for publication, the first book contract offer I received included bad terms—I’m grateful my agent and a close traditionally published friend helped me know what to look for. They helped me spot the three red…
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In the craft of writing, editing is accepted as a necessary evil. We all realize that our sentences must be properly punctuated, our noun/verb combinations must agree, our sentence and paragraph structure must meet certain recognizable norms. Yes, there are exceptions. Books are written in verse. Writers experiment with no dialogue tags, single-sentence paragraphs, and … Continue reading Edit or Revise? Why not both?