3 questions to build your characters’ voices

One of my favorite panels from DV Con was about voice. The presenters brought up many powerful points. They mentioned questions to ask about your main character (MC). Preferably, you'd ask these questions before you begin writing. But if you're like me, you don't know your characters as well on the first draft, so this … Continue reading 3 questions to build your characters’ voices

Common writer mistakes #12

#12 — Not using plain language Recently, I've seen writers try to up their vocabulary. Sometimes, it feels as if they open a thesaurus and write the words they find down. But as science shows, it's actually better to use plain language. Some of these words include specific plant or animal names, scientific words, uncommon … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #12

Common writer mistakes #11

#11 — Different types of dashes In writing, there are three main dashes you come across: a hyphen (-), an en dash (–), and an em dash (—). I've seen writers confuse them all the time. However, these are easy fixes. It's all about understanding the difference between them. A hyphen (-) is the most … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #11

Common writer mistakes #10

#10 — Adding too many commas Lately, I've had a few authors use commas to add detail after detail onto a sentence. But they don't realize how jam-packed the sentence becomes. Here are two fictional examples: Laurence came through the door, looking for answers, looking for something to turn his path around, and looking for … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #10

Common writer mistakes #9

#9 — Overusing character names Lately, I've seen a few writers overuse character names. They would use a name almost every chance they could. Here's a fictional example: John walked over to Laurencia with the biggest smile on his face. He turned with his back away from Laurencia, careful not to let Laurenica see the … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #9

Common writer mistakes #8

#8 — The Words "Felt" and "Feel" No matter what POV you write in, you're going to come across the word felt or feel at some point. These words are sometimes glossed over without realizing the potential that could be brought to the story if you write without them. Let me give an example. "He … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #8

Common writer mistakes #7

#7 — Not Developing Characters I'm sure we've all come across a character in a book who we didn't feel anything towards much. We weren't worried for the character's well-being. Which doesn't help us want to continue reading. It can take many drafts to get into a character's head and develop them on the page. … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #7

Common writer mistakes #6

#6 — Unnecessary details The plot is coming along. We're getting to an important moment — but wait! I forgot to mention something. Let me write it down, because it's important. But now the reader is wondering why I stopped to describe something in the middle of the chapter. As a writer myself, I get … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #6

Common writer mistakes #5

#5 — Misusing hyphens Besides the gray with an a vs grey with an e battle, there's one common spelling error that I've noticed while editing: hyphens. Sometimes writers believe the word needs a hyphen when it doesn't. Or they forget the hyphen when they actually need one. It could depend on how the writer … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #5

Common writer mistakes #4

#4 — Common misused words We type a single word. It's spelled correctly. Microsoft Word isn't flagging it either. It sounds right too! But I love that Disney fairy tail doesn't quite sound right. It can get more complicated than that. There are long lists of words that we think we know but we don't. … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #4