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
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
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
It occurred to me the other day that the people who propound THE RULES OF WRITING are much more vocal than those of us who do not. Since I was listening to a John McCormack CD at the time (it's almost Paddy's Day, you know, and I'm learning two new songs), I wondered how those … Continue reading At the Intersection of Music and Writing
If you've been following me for any length of time, you'll know that I believe most “rules of writing” need a good hard reality check. Many times, when asked for rules, a writer will recommend their writing practices, and that's not at all the same thing as universal rules. I recently read an article by … Continue reading And more Rules Of Writing
Question: I was wondering about one thing. In my sentence, would it be “he’d had enough” or “he had enough”? He’d had enough. He could handle his sister's complaining, but... Answer: "He’d had enough" will work better for you. "He had enough" is usually quantifiable, eg: "He had enough breakfast cereal to last for a … Continue reading GRAMMAR: He had or He’d had?
Modifiers, as we've discussed, are the words we use to provide additional information about another word. Modifiers include adverbs, adjectives, and clauses. Today the focus is on modifying clauses and how they relate to our stories. The problem known as “misplaced modifiers” occurs when the clause or phrase is not connected to the word(s) it's … Continue reading LATER, LOOK BACK: Another Shortcut for Fixing Misplaced Modifiers
We've got a fairly complex question this time, with more than one example. A friend of mine, also a writer, is having some trouble with modifying clauses, also called modifying phrases. Modifiers, as you may know, are the words we use to provide additional information about another word. Modifiers include adverbs, adjectives, and clauses. Today the … Continue reading First, Look Ahead: A Shortcut for Fixing Misplaced Modifiers
Your relationships with Critique Partners and Beta Readers are all-important. But let's face it, you and your partner(s) start out strangers (or at least you should most of the time, see previous articles here and there). So partnering is going to be trial and error, at least at first. What, then, happens when the relationship … Continue reading Critique Partners: What if the Relationship Bombs?