Writing Practices: Confusing Words

Writing Practices: Confusing Words

When you publish a book, it’s the world’s book. The world edits it. Philip RothA Quick Vocabulary Booster Because of the seemingly infinite number of words in the English language, getting definitions and syntax mixed up can be a common problem. Most of us know the difference between “there” “they’re” and “their” but there are plenty of words that can be confused just as easily. For those of you who need a resource for confusing words and how to use them correctly, this article is a great place to start….

Writing Practices: Show vs. Tell

Writing Practices: Show vs. Tell

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” Mark TwainBe Wary of the Chapter 1 Narrative If you thought the attention span of the average reader was short thirty years ago, that was eternal compared to today. Readers are looking for an easy way to get into the book. Make it interesting, engaging, and maybe even fast-paced. Some novelists put an exciting and mysterious scene at the beginning of their book. Maybe your beginning…

Writing Practices: Oxford Comma

Writing Practices: Oxford Comma

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” ― Dr. Seuss   If you’re just starting to read this post and are unsure what the Oxford comma is, don’t worry. Everything will make sense very soon.   What’s an Oxford Comma? The Oxford comma separates lists with the extra comma before the “and” that precedes the final list item. Example: I’ll need some of my personal tools, duct tape, and a mask. And without the Oxford comma it will look…

Writing Practices: Clichés

Writing Practices: Clichés

“Writing is really very easy. Tap a vein and bleed onto the page. Everything else is just technical.” Derrick Jensen Why Clichés are frowned upon  Try not to get all bent out of shape here, but it’s time to talk about clichés and how they’re breaking the bank. Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it, because we’re going to nip clichés in the bud right now.  Before you make a break for it, hear me out. Most of the phrases in that last paragraph are clichés. The…

Writing Practices: Dialogue Tags

Writing Practices: Dialogue Tags

“I write from real life. I am an unrepentant eavesdropper and a collector of stories. I record bits of overheard dialogue.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie How to Work With Dialogue Tags So, you’re working on your dialogue and you think it’s boring and cliché. You may feel that way because you’ve found yourself relying too heavily on “said” and “asked” and you think readers will give up after reading the same two words thousands of times. If that’s how you feel, well, you’re not entirely alone. I’ve edited books from new…