Editor’s Blog

Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Google Earth is a writer’s friend.

If you are using real landmarks or cities in your writing, do your homework to describe the locations accurately. Google Earth is a writer’s friend, as most places you can visit using the street view. It adds something special if you can accurately describe the structure of any landmark or building.

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No Junk Mail

Save Me From Spam Hell

So, there is this website that is offering something free and you want it. Let’s face it, free things are always good — well, most of the time they’re good. However, the moment you sign up for that free thing, handing over your email, you know you’re going to be giving the owners of that email list permission to send you spam. You don’t want that. So, what is a girl to do?

Easy. Use an email specifically intended for nothing but spam.

But for writers, it’s not a simple matter of spam versus general communications. You also have administration details, submissions and blog subscriptions. The email inbox of a writer can quickly become a nightmare. Important emails can become buried without you even realizing it.

Do you want to fight the email crazies? Well, here’s how.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Search-and-replace two spaces with one space.

There was a time when it was standard to put two space characters after each sentence before beginning the next. This was how I was taught to type, and I’m only in my early-40s. However, this is no longer the practice. The introduction of modern typesetting and justification algorithms mean that two spaces can result in gaps that are too large between sentences. Industry professionals now specify that we use only one space between sentences.

Retraining the brain to do this has taken me many long years, but there is a simple solution that will work every time, even when you forget. Run a search-and-replace, hunting out all the places where you use two space characters, and replace them with only one space character. All word-processing programs have the search-and-replace feature, so why not use it. (I do this as a matter of habit before I send a manuscript out the door.)

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Reread your last paragraph.

Every time you take a little break from your writing, even a toileting break, when you sit down again, reread what you had just written (at least the last paragraph). If there are any obvious, glaring errors that you can’t resist the urge to edit, then do so, but don’t dwell on them. Rereading your work during initial drafting is not for editing purposes, but rather to help you get back into the train of thought so you can carry on writing.

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Coffee

Author Interviews on Radio – Guest Blog from Jessie Sanders

Writing takes a community, sharing ideas, and supporting one another. So, when we get approached with an article that shares hard-earned knowledge, we couldn’t be happier to pass that information.

Today’s post is written by Jessica Sanders — host of Jessie’s Coffee Shop on KLRNRadio. You might want to take note of some of the tips that Jessie give writers on how to prepare for author interviews on radio and podcasts.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Give yourself permission to not write occasionally.

There are days when we fell so run down that we can hardly focus. There are days when our minds keep drifting to the latest episode of our favorite TV show. Sometimes we want to curl up in a nice, warm blanket and just read. That’s okay. Just because you didn’t write doesn’t mean that you weren’t working on your stories. Sometimes, you need to do something else while your brain mulls around with the pieces, trying to make up the puzzle. Give yourself permission to not write occasionally. Remember that just because you’re not typing new words into that computer file doesn’t mean that you’re not writing. Inspiration can strike in odd ways.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: First step of editing is to walk away from your manuscript.

The first step of editing a new manuscript is to walk away from your manuscript. Seriously. If you have just finished writing that manuscript, you need to give yourself some distance so you can look at it objectively. The more time you have up your sleeve to put that manuscript in that metaphorical drawer the better. Distance is the key to good editing.

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Words Can Cut Like Knives

As writers, we carefully craft our sentences to use the perfect word to say what is it that we want to say, creating the exact image in a reader’s mind. There are times when writers have been known to spend days to find those perfect words. Yet, there is one aspect of our writing lives where many writers don’t take the same care with words as they do their stories.

I’m talking about the posts that writers put on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. The rush to get the post out there can sometimes land us in situations where the words cut like knifes.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Know the legal requirements for email lists

Many writers are now using email lists. It’s a great way to spread the word about your work, simply because you get into the inbox of your fans. However, there are legal requirements involved with using an email list. In the US, you have CAN-SPAM. In Canada, you have CASL. In Australia, you have the Spam Act of 2003. You are subject to the laws in your home country, hence, you need to ensure that you know exactly what your legal requirements are.

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