Tag: Writing Tips

Cover Art…

Cover Art…

I just realized something about myself: I’m a cover snob. Seriously. If you’d have asked me a day ago if I judged books by their covers, I’d have said, “No way.”   And I would have been So. Wrong.   I can admit that I’ve never bought a book based solely on a cover I’ve loved. But, I have picked several up and read the jacket blurbs because of their covers. So based on that, the cover did its job. It caught my eye and drew me in… I read the jacket copy and (hopefully) bought the book. Or not. […]

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Deep POV

Deep POV

I love writing-craft books. An entire shelf of my bookcase is dedicated to them. There’s only one problem… many writing books repeat information. An author might explain it in a different way, or use different illustrations and examples, but the truth of the matter is: out of every ten writing books I read, only one might have new, relevant information.   So, I have this idea for a book. It has been percolating for a while. I have some notes, a crude outline, and even a chapter or two of the manuscript written. But, I just can’t figure out how […]

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Do you RUE?

Do you RUE?

I have this taped on my laptop:   It’s a reminder of some advice I received: to RUE when writing. Where the advice came from, I can’t remember, but it’s good advice nonetheless.   What does it mean? Well, it’s an acronym for:   It’s based on the simple principle that readers are intelligent. We (authors) don’t need to spell everything out detail by detail, explaining every last idea until our books are so bogged down with exposition, the intelligent reader is put off and sets the book aside.   This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t explain somethings. Fantasy, […]

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There’s a Dragon in my office

There’s a Dragon in my office

When I hear the term Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), I immediately think of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I think most writers think of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sometime in their career. The simple act of typing, repetitively striking keys with our fingers, makes us susceptible to it. So when the pinky and ring fingers on my left hand started to go numb, and I had a strange tingling sensation, I chalked it up to the old writer’s pal: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I’d read a little on WebMD and the symptoms aligned (WebMD also told me I had some off the wall, weird, […]

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The Plot Thickens

The Plot Thickens

It took me quite a while to get through Lukeman’s The Plot Thickens because a lot of what he writes has been covered in other writing how-to books I’ve read. The Plot Thickens will benefit new novelists, writers facing writing block, and anyone who is in the outline stage of the writing process.   While the book is about plot, there is a lot of discussion on characterization. Lukeman believes that plot stems naturally from characters.   One thing that had me gritting my teeth was the aggressive nature of the author and, also, the tendency to state the obvious…   “Take […]

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Writing Tip: Dialogue

Writing Tip: Dialogue

  Pretend today that I’m not an author. Because I’m writing this post as a reader. And, as a reader, I hope you’ll chime in with your opinions (there are no “wrong” answers) to help the authors who might read this post.   Let’s talk about dialogue. When writing, it’s important that dialogue flows naturally. It needs to mimic normal conversation. So how you talk to your husband, friends, parents, and so forth, is how your characters should speak to each other. (Mostly. There are always exceptions.)   Examples that I’ve come across recently:   “I really loved that black, […]

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Hooked, by Les Edgerton

Hooked, by Les Edgerton

Beginnings are the worst. So much pressure to come up with that perfect first sentence to entice readers to keep reading.   But, it’s not just the first sentence. It’s the first paragraph, the first page, the first chapter. Like I said: Pressure.   An opening scene has ten core components: 1. The inciting incident, 2. The story-worthy problem, 3. The initial surface problem, 4. The set-up, 5. Backstory, 6. A stellar opening sentence, 7. Language, 8. Character, 9. Setting, and 10. Foreshadowing.   I read Hooked in one sitting. Then, read it again the next day because I knew I’d missed some great gem the author tucked […]

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Story Structure Architect

Story Structure Architect

This was a good writing tutorial. The author packed a lot of information into the short book.   The first two chapters were of particular interest to me, covering the three-act story and outlining. As the book progressed, types of stories, plots and situations are discussed.   Example of the “Romance” chapter:  Definition of the romance plot structure. Breakdown of the types of romance structures:              The Cinderella Structure              The Beauty and the Beast Structure              The Sleeping Beauty Structure Each of the structures […]

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Creativity…

Creativity…

Lately, I’ve had a case of the blahs and it’s bled into my writing. Life dealt my family a series low blows in 2015, but that’s okay (well, not really, but that’s what I’m supposed to say). I’ve been forced to step back, reevaluate, and refocus. Here’s a list of tips that helped spark my creativity… 1. Make lists—check tasks off as you complete them2. Always carry a notebook3. Doodle4. Disable the Internet connection5. Take breaks6. Eat regularly—don’t skip meals—eat healthily7. Listen to new music8. Write every day9. Keep a journal10. Don’t beat yourself up—allow yourself to make mistakes11. Explore12. […]

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Fast Drafting

Fast Drafting

  Okay, there are two things I’m working on this year:   Blogging more often and with better quality posts, and Learning to “Fast Draft” my writing.   So keep watch for new themes and ideas, like this one…   I’ve read about using brackets—you know, these things: [  ]—in writing to help authors fast draft. Fast drafting has always been something I’ve wanted to do, but never been successful at. I tend (and by tend I mean always) to edit while I write. And it’s a slow, slow, slow process. I’d love to be able to write three books […]

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