Think of Charles Dickens’ classic novella, A Christmas Carol. Imagine the end, after Scrooge has reformed, if a few changes were made. Let’s say Bob Cratchit insists on working on Christmas anyway because throughout the story he has been hardened by his life and now sees no reason to go back. When Scrooge surprises his nephew, … More Character Arcs: When You Don’t Need Them
A personal note: re-writing is currently the hardest, most diabolical part of the writing process for me. It feels like I’m stabbing my baby in the gut… over and over again. Like I’m trashing all my ideas and everything I worked so hard on while drafted. I can spend hours writing a segment only to … More How to Re-Write Your Novel–without Losing Your Sanity (Curated Post)
Please vote for my novel, The Grim Reaper: And Company! on Kindle Scout here: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/X0Z1F8GSDDVB I recently told my husband that for every hour I spend writing, I spend three more editing. It’s a rough guess–I spend much more on some areas and less in others, but as a rule, I don’t especially enjoy editing. That’s why I … More Grammarly Review: Automatic Proofreader
If you’re self-publishing, self-editing can be a strong temptation. It’s fast, simple and free–which you really can’t get anywhere else. But it has its problems as well, especially when you get beyond the technical aspects and focus on the overall quality of your writing. This article from eBookIssues.com offers several incredibly useful tips for tackling … More Self Editing Tips to Benefit Writers – Curated Post
No matter how careful you are editing your own work, things will slip through the cracks. It’s a fact of writing that spans from novice to long-time professional. Even if you want to take the traditional publishing route for your novel, agents and publishers are much more likely to take a gamble on you if … More Should You Hire an Editor?
They say never to judge a book by its cover, but everyone does that anyway. I remember one time stepping into a bookstore and being hypnotized by a glamorous, holographic and glittery cover to a new fantasy novel that I had to buy, regardless of the writing quality or story itself. But if you go … More Don’t Begin Your Novel Like This!
One of the most challenging parts of writing in the fantasy genre is creating the universe. You could spend years designing the cultures and backgrounds to your novel before putting pen to paper, but you need to monitor the world constantly to keep it as consistent, full, and detailed as possible while keeping it grounded … More 10 Facts about Your Fantasy Universe (You Don’t Know Yet)
How long should my book be? It’s a silly question, or so it seems. What does length matter so long as the story is well written? I have by turn either obsessed over novel length or ignored it entirely, but I do think that it is a topic worth covering. There are expected lengths for … More A Note on Novel Length
A few years ago, I found myself staring tensely at my computer screen, fingers hovering over the keyboard as I wrestled with a problem that every conservative writer must face when trying to keep fiction realistic. One of my characters was going to swear. And I did not want to write a swear word. What … More Sex, Swearing, and What You Don’t Want to Write
That’s it. I’ve had it. I’ve seen her too many times on the big screen, small screen and in the pages of otherwise awesome books. I’ve even seen her in some of my own writing. The Strong Female Lead is dominating Western culture, and she needs to die. I’m not saying that your main character can’t … More Why Your Strong Female Heroine Needs to Die
Song, poetry, and regional or foreign accents are only a few of the tough calls you have to make in the process of writing a novel. Do you include them or don’t you dare? Little effects and “writing within writing” can bring your imaginary world to life that much more, but it can also give … More Why Your Readers Will Never Know You’re A Bad Writer
A novel can only be as perfect as the person (or people) who write it, and no matter how incredible a work of fiction can seem, there are mistakes, bad choices, and strings left untied. Fortunately it’s possible to learn from past mistakes to do better in the future, so I thought I’d jot down … More My Biggest Novelling Fails
There are lots of punctuation guides out there, but in creative writing there is more than just correct grammar at stake. Your tone as a writer, the voice you give your characters, the feel that readers get when they open your novel can be dramatically altered depending on how you use punctuation. I’m entering the … More Advanced Rules for Punctuation in Creative Writing
Here’s my confession for the day: I have, on multiple occasions, publicly defaced restaurant menus and posters that have spelling or punctuation errors on them. Not typos, but errors that show a blatant misunderstanding and abuse of the English language. What’s worse is that I sometimes commit the same crimes myself. I’m neck deep in … More 12 Writing Mistakes I Wish You’d Stop Making
This is probably going to be my last post of 2014, so I thought it would be a good time to give a shout-out to my top ten posts of the year and announce a few goodies at the end of this particular post. Let’s start with number ten! 10: Almighty Internet: Your Novel’s … More Top Ten Posts of 2014
I’ve been posting a lot about editing lately, and there’s reason for it. I’m overbooked with editing projects–a novel and two children’s books constantly calling for my attention. As such, I’ve been looking for ways to make my editing experience easier, more fun and more efficient. I knew I was doing something right two days … More 5 Sites to Maximize Your Editing
The literary community and the general public seem to be split down the middle when it comes to genres, and as writers we’re stuck in the middle. Your college professors might have lectured on the importance of avoiding genres if you want your writing to be taken seriously… but your non-writing friends can’t wait to … More Genres: Good? Bad? Neither?
Editing a novel is a dauntless task, and it’s easy to feel lost when surrounded by swarms of problems about your book. Is your writing any good? What about the story? Will the readers take you seriously? Are you too boring? Some people shut their novels away after finishing a rough draft because they have … More Is My Novel any Good? -And Other Questions to Ask
The tricky thing about stereotypes is that you often don’t even realize you’re using them. They’re formed by your surroundings and your general views of the world around you. Logically, it can be easy to understand that not all business men are hard-nosed and not all African Americans live in the ghettos and are associated … More Destroy Stereotypes in Your Writing with One Trick
There is one mistake that I have seen over and over again when proofreading for other people or reviewing my own drafts. It is a very small mistake, and one that–if you know how to find it–can be obliterated completely from your novel in just a few minutes… but it’s hard to catch when you … More Ten Words That Will Keep You From Getting Published