Creating setting

An historical story will not use the same words (or even sentence structures) as a contemporary one. And a book with a college-educated protagonist will feel different from a book with a middle school protagonist. Word choices, what’s described about where and when they are, the imagery chosen… All combine to place a story firmlyContinue reading “Creating setting”

Throw away the crutches

Copy editing (and line editing – I do both together) are organized around making sure your story is streamlined and contains the best word choices to suit the characters, the tone or tension of the situations, and the setting or time period. The application of grammar rules is balanced with the author’s style and theContinue reading “Throw away the crutches”

Homophoning and Malaproping

I don’t usually discuss copy editing, grammar and punctuation here on this blog, but beyond there, their, and they’re is a whole host of words that can get written incorrectly in the draft because you’re more attuned to hearing language than writing it. Homophoning This error tends to show a lack of reading. Why? BecauseContinue reading “Homophoning and Malaproping”

Stop asking WWYD

WWYD (“What would you do?”) is a common question in writing groups. It happens when an author reaches an impasse in the story for the character’s actions. So often it comes across like a popularity contest: I’ll have the character do whatever most of them say they’ll do, and that will make my story popular.Continue reading “Stop asking WWYD”

Don’t take my word for it

With the proliferation of places to self-publish your stories, there’s a lot more reading material out there to choose from. Some authors might say marketing is their secret. They know what their readers like and they know where they go to find reading material, and they buy ads to reach them. But a lot ofContinue reading “Don’t take my word for it”

Advice for when writers struggle

Writer’s block. Some say it exists. Some say it doesn’t; it’s all in your head. Pointedly, both sides are right. Everything about story writing is in your head. Until it moves to your fingers to the rhythm of a swishing pen, or the clickety-clack of keys on a keyboard. Author Peggy Lantz posted about herContinue reading “Advice for when writers struggle”

More thoughts on character building

Characters are so crucial to storytelling that there is a lot of advice about how to build them. There’s D&D style charts, and there’s Meyers-Briggs personalities. Some writers use zodiacs, and some use tropes. When you have a trait, or a trope, what can often happen when you get down to the actual writing isContinue reading “More thoughts on character building”

Building Writers’ Resources

You may have noticed a new menu item at the top of the page titled “Resources.” I’m going to populate this area of the site with resources to help writers with some phase of the writing (such as beginnings, middles, and ends), crafting plots, subplots, scenes, and editing, avoiding and fixing info dump, pacing, activeContinue reading “Building Writers’ Resources”

When to type “The End”

(by the way, it’s not actually good manuscript formatting to type “The End” at the end of your manuscript. Yeah. Really.) “How do I end my book?” “Is this a good ending?” “Should I use an epilogue?” I’ve heard these in my writing group numerous times. I’ve heard this from developmental editing clients. And yes,Continue reading “When to type “The End””