Is “said” worthless?

In college writing classes, we sit in a tight circle, facing each other. Sometimes, we critique our own works; other times we discuss writing. But one time — and only once — everyone raised their voices against what I suggested. I disagreed with the author using the word "said" for every single dialogue tag. I … Continue reading Is “said” worthless?

Common writer mistakes #9

Welcome back to another Common Writer Mistakes! This time is over: #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 … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #9

How does a book become a book? – part two

If you missed part one or need a recap, it's here. #3 - Editing your manuscript Don't panic, but this can take many rounds. Editing a book is difficult, and sometimes minds will disagree. You're about to dig deep into your work. How is your dialogue? Believable? Does your character's motivations seem valid, true to … Continue reading How does a book become a book? – part two

Should you go to AWP? My 2020 AWP experience.

I did a poll on Twitter and found that most of my followers don’t know about the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference. Or maybe you’re curious about going. Since I went this last March, I’ll let you know about my experience. Pricing For national conferences, this is one of the cheapest I … Continue reading Should you go to AWP? My 2020 AWP experience.

Dear literary agent

Dear literary agent, I wish we all had more time in the day. We could all use the extra hour or so to get everything we need done. But I promise you, it doesn't take that long to write a sentence or two. To make a short list. To say, "Hey. I liked the query, … Continue reading Dear literary agent

Common writer mistakes #5

Welcome back to another Common Writer Mistakes! This time is over: #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 … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #5

A writer’s journey (part eight) – blogging, more research, and twitter

It has been a while since I’ve written one of these. I’ve been meaning to, but my busy schedule took control for a little bit. I have three topics in the title, because I’ve seen the most growth in these areas. Let’s go one by one. Blogging As I mentioned here before, my blog has … Continue reading A writer’s journey (part eight) – blogging, more research, and twitter

One big tip for knowing how you’ve gotten a good editor

Editing is essential. As writers, we all need some type of editing. Even me, who is trained in editing, is not the best editor for my own work. There are mistakes that our brains cannot find in our stories, our children. So, editors become our biggest helpers. What's great is that some editors will give … Continue reading One big tip for knowing how you’ve gotten a good editor

How many books do you have to write to write a good one?

I've had that question for a while now. How many books do you have to write to write a good one? I knew some authors wrote one book, had a few drafts, and published a brilliant piece of work. Some wrote a few novels before one of theirs got published. Some writers told me that … Continue reading How many books do you have to write to write a good one?