A review of WHISPERS IN THE CANYON by: Martin Lyons I enjoyed getting to know the Donovan clan, a family of upstanding Irish immigrants that fled their homeland to flourish in America and to share their good fortune with those around them. Much has been written about the Irish that populated the cities of America … Continue reading Whispers in the Canyon: A 5-Star Review
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?
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”
So, it seems that I managed to take another 8-week sabbatical this holiday season. However, unlike last year, this one was not full of family, friends, and celebrations (although we spent a lovely day at my brother's house on Christmas). At home, we had only one tree instead of our usual five, and only two … Continue reading Getting back in the swing of things
In the past few weeks, I've seen too many articles that propound “THE RULES of Writing”. An overabundance, if you will, most of which don't make any distinction between THE RULES and STYLE CHOICES. THE RULES are universal. For instance: a sentence must have a subject and a verb; the subject and verb must agree; … Continue reading THE RULES vs. Style Choices
Some absolutely pertinent advice, especially for Pansters like me!
by Kelsie Engen
Today we’re going to talk about how to approach the next revision step: developmental edits. Basically this means addressing the major, structural issues of your WIP before moving on to the minor things.
This step comes after you’ve read your first draft, made some comments or jotted down ideas.
Of course, whether you’ve merely jotted down ideas, or come up with new pacing suggestions, or discovered some character motivations, etc., at this point you should create a new outline.
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There is a great benefit to automated checkers, because they'll alert you to the possibility that you're spelling a word incorrectly, using an inordinate number of adverbs, repeating pet phrases. But there's more to good writing than that, and here are four of the reasons that you need a great editor. 1.) SPELL CHECKERS: No … Continue reading 4 Reasons Automated Checks will Never Replace an Editor
There's a great dichotomy among writers: plotters (those who outline) vs. pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants). Most writers fall into one camp or the other and sing the praises of their choice. Nothing wrong with that. Everyone's mind works differently, and what works for you may not work for me. … Continue reading To Pants or Not To Pants – 14 Writers’ Opinions