Recent Posts

The Value of a Synopsis

Many of my followers on Twitter will know that I have recently completed my manuscript and am now on the path of querying for agents and publishers. It’s a hard road, one that many turn away from. Writing the manuscript was hard. Editing it into something worth reading was harder. Writing a query letter was harder still. And the synopsis was a nightmare. Let’s face it: compressing a full-length novel into one page is a frightening task. Not all agents want a synopsis, but most publishers do. So if you are fortunate enough to snag an agent without needing to write a […]

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Twitter Fun: Writing Games for Every Day of the Week

Many writers have discovered the world that is Twitter, however, many writers struggle to know where to start. There are so many hashtags available. Where does one begin? Here are just a few hashtags to get writers started, allowing you to interact every day of the week. These are all writing games where you either share work you are currently writing, or you free-form based on various prompts. Do be advised that while most of these operate on a timezone of Eastern Time, some don’t. You’ll need to check with the hosts as to when they post the prompts. Monday […]

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Trick from the Editor's Hat

Trick from the Editor’s Hat: Read Aloud

Reading aloud is one of the best methods that any writer/editor could have stashed under their hat. So many things can be picked up when one hears it compared to reading it. (See post for more information.)

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Give me the Em-Dash

There is a big difference between an em-dash, en-dash and hyphen. They have different uses. But all hope is not lost. Your word-processor will render them while typing. Here’s how.

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Billy said… Diana said…

When I critique and edit writing, there is one common flaw that comes through time and time again. Sometimes, it’s subtle and easily overlooked. But then there are times when it hits you in the face. I’m talking about he said — she said. So here’s the deal. You’re writing a scene with dialogue. The characters are talking at such a pace that your writer’s brain is struggling to keep up. But you’re writing that dialogue as fast as you can. “What’s for dinner?” Billy asked. “Chicken,” Diana answered. “But I don’t like chicken,” Billy said. “Tough, that’s what we’re having,” […]

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Trick from the Editor's Hat

Trick from the Editor’s Hat: The Backwards Edit

During a backwards edit, you read a manuscript from the last sentence backwards to the first. When you do this, you’re unable to focus on the story; sentences lose their contextual meaning. As a consequence you focus entirely on the words. (View post for more information.)

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Books and Glasses

Fiction is NOT a Genre…

Recently, I was skimming through a fellow editor’s website (who shall remain nameless) and encountered a page where people were listing the titles of their manuscripts and their respective genres. OMG, the number of people that listed their genre as FICTION… People, FICTION is NOT a genre. It tells us nothing about your story, except for the fact that it’s made up. And it’s not good enough to tell us the you write Young Adult or Middle-Grade either. All this tells us is who your target audience is.  Let’s face it, a science fiction story is very different to a western. […]

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To UK English or US English? Or to some other flavour of the beast?

Those who live outside of the USA are very familiar with the concept that there are multiple different dictionaries used for English, all depending on what version of English you are using. You heard that right, folks. There is another way to spell those favourite words. And that was one right there: favourite. That’s how those using UK English spell it. Yanks spell it without the ‘u’: favorite. Those working in UK English are conversant in the idea that we add ‘u’s to some words, we have double-consonants in others, and we use an ‘s’ instead of a ‘z’ for […]

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