Essentials of a Writer’s Library – Part II – Editing

  As promised, this is the second in my ‘Writer’s Library’ series. This segment is harder for me, because I hate editing with the passion of a kid having to eat asparagus. But, as Patricia Fuller said, ‘Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.’ So…

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Essentials of a Writer’s Library – Part 1 Craft

I’ve been thinking about craft books lately, because I just read a fantastic one (more on that in a bit). Take a look at your craft book shelf…wait, you do have a craft book shelf, right? In my opinion, if you’re a serious writer, you’d better.  I looked at mine and they seem to fall…

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Two Words to Strengthen Your Writing: Margie Lawson

I’ll bet this name is not new to you (if it is, check her out!) she’s been around for years. But have you taken any of her classes? Done a Fab 30? Been to an Immersion? If not, why? You can check out Lawson Writers Academy HERE. No, Margie doesn’t pay me for commercials. I’m…

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Use Excel to Track Your Novel

Learning how you write a book is like finding your way in a pitch black room full of furniture. You can learn by barking your shins, but there are less painful ways. Hopefully, this post will help. I’m an organized person, so it would make me crazy trying to locate details in my WIP. Which…

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The Dreaded Dialogue Tag

Okay, I admit it. I’m prejudiced against dialogue tags. Yes, I know they say, ‘He said/she said’ are invisible to the reader. They’re not to me. Even if you don’t share my pet peeve, why settle for something so boring? You write a sparkling line of dialogue, and slap ‘he said’ on the end? Why…

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Who Needs Secondary Characters?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t write a book without secondary characters. Yes, I’ve read books without them (or ones where they had tiny roles), but I can’t write that way. I’ve never gotten over my crush – how about you? I mean, where would The Lion King be without the hyenas? Where…

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The No-Stress Way To Create Your Story’s Logline

I love loglines. There’s no better feeling than pulling together words that capture the spirit of your book in a perfect, compelling way. I teach a submissions class for the Lawson Writer’s Academy and find that loglines are a major source of stress for my students. Have you ever noticed that loglines are only fun to come up…

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Character First

Oh, I know there are those of you who won’t agree with me. You’ll say plot is more important. I’ll make my case with the beginnings of two popular plot-heavy stories. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s…

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Redundant Writing – and How to Exorcise it

I read a blog the other day that taught me a new writing craft term: Countersinking. This is how Rob Bignell defines it in his article: One way for an author to slow a story is to employ “countersinking,” a term coined by science fiction writer Lewis Shiner. Countersinking involves making explicit the very actions that the…

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