Arguments about whether one should use an Oxford comma have been around for years. So many industry professionals have differing views. Even university academics in English literature can’t agree. So what is the writer who just wants to write their stories supposed to do?
When files are small enough, print them out and pull out the red pen. For larger files, use an eBook reader, not an eBook reader app on a tablet. The eInk technology is better for eye strain. (See post for more details.)
Every writer who puts their work out there will have to face critiques of all flavors: the good, the bad, and the outright mean. For the new writer, one just starting down the journey, sending that baby out for review can actually be a terrifying experience. “What if they don’t like it? What if I’m doing it all wrong? What if they tell me my writing is shit?” Well… Not everyone is going to like what you write. Writing is like art — filled with subjective opinions. If you’re determined to have everyone in the world like your writing, then you […]
When writers have spent such a long time at writing, crafting their stories, many will happily turn their attention to editing. However, it saddens me to realize that many writers don’t fully understand what editing actually entails. In a post earlier this year, I spoke about The Who, What and When of Editing. In that article, I mentioned that editing falls into four main categories: critique, developmental, line and copy-edit. Each stage is important for a manuscript’s development but for different reasons. Unfortunately, the number of writers that seem to miss the critique and developmental editing phases, going straight to line […]
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 […]
This editing technique is incredibly simple: search for every instance of is/are/was/were and ask yourself if can you reword that sentence to removed that instance of was-type words. (See post for more details.)
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.
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.)
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.