Tag Archives: Without Mercy

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Ten Writing Tips from Famous Authors

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A collection of some of my favorite writing advice

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Today I’m sharing tips from people who know a little something about writing. Not only are these valuable tips, but being reminded that even the most successful authors suffer from some of the same issues I do gives me the encouragement to forge on.

  1. Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die.– Anne Enright 

I love this one because it makes you stop and think about whether you want to waste time writing to a trend and/or forcing yourself to write something that doesn’t speak to you, doesn’t inspire you. I say, you do not.

  1. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.– Neil Gaiman 

This doesn’t count your editors…you should always listen to us. 😉

  1. Write drunk, edit sober.– Ernest Hemingway

Although I think several writers take this literally, to me it means to write with abandon, lose your inhibitions, write freely and just get the story down. 

  1. Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.– Mark Twain

Yes, using ‘very’ is one of my pet peeves. It’s okay in dialogue, and perhaps used sparingly, but it’s ineffectual and weak. If you’re using it, you could probably substitute the following word for something stronger.

  1.  “The first draft of everything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

This doesn’t apply to all you perfectionists who have to get every scene just right before moving on. But, for those of us who need to just finish the damn book so we can begin revising, this is critical. If Ernest Hemingway wrote shit, then we’re not too good to write shit, correct? 

  1. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov 

LOVE this. It’s an excellent way to remind yourself to ‘show’ instead of ‘tell.’

  1. “Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.” Elmore Leonard

Thank you!!! The overuse of exclamation points in fiction drive me nuts. Readers will know they’re experiencing an intense moment by the emotion, dialogue, and action. Don’t hit them over the head with exclamation points.

  1. “If you tell the reader that Bull Beezley is a brutal-faced, loose-lipped bully, with snake’s blood in his veins, the reader’s reaction may be, ‘Oh, yeah!’ But if you show the reader Bull Beezley raking the bloodied flanks of his weary, sweat-encrusted pony, and flogging the tottering, red-eyed animal with a quirt, or have him booting in the protruding ribs of a starved mongrel and, boy, the reader believes!” – Fred East

Another fabulous tip for showing vs telling. This one deals with character rather than setting, and showing vs telling is important enough to get two mentions. 🙂

  1. “You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying in the road.” ― Richard Price

To me this means a few things, make it personal. Make us care about something because of the characters involved. Also, show us little vivid details to really bring the scene to life.

10. “Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation.” Stephen King

YES. I often let fear stop me, but I need to remind myself not to. Also, the simplest, most direct and natural way you can convey a story is the right way. That’s your voice.

What are some of your favorite tips from famous authors?

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

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16 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Quick Characterization Tips

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A few things to remember when creating characters…

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Characterization is not my strength. I’m more of a plot-driven writer, but I realize that the two are equally important. (Some feel that characterization is the most important, but without a strong plot, I’m not going to give a rat’s behind about your character, regardless of how interesting they might be) So, I am trying to remind myself of ways to make my characters more real, more vivid. Characterization is much more than physical description, and even background or favorite foods and music. Of course, there are a multitude of things you can do to flesh out your characters–character profiles, interviews, charts, etc. I’m not going into that much detail, but I do have a few suggestions (things that I need to remember myself)…

  1. Give your characters, mainly your MC (Main Character aka Protagonist) and your villain, a quirk, a certain way of speaking, etc. Maybe give them a catch phrase or a habit like chewing on a straw. Also, give them strange little quirks, such as an aversion to slimy foods or a fear of birds or have them like something that others would find odd, such as the taste of castor oil or give them an irrational hatred of something (such as, for me, I can’t STAND the Muppets). Little things like this can make your character more alive in your own mind, and therefore,  you will more likely project them in a more vivid way in your story.
  2. This has been drilled into our heads over and over, but it bears repeating. Give your MC flaws and your villain at least one admirable quality. I have difficult giving my characters flaws that are still relatable/understandable/sympathetic. I find it easier to give my villains a positive trait. Weird, right? I’ve often been told that readers found it easier to relate to my villains than my protagonists. NOT a good thing. I am working on changing that though. 🙂

What do you think? What are some elements of character you feel are important?

Until next time…happy writing!

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NEW RELEASE – Now Available 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

22 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – How to Give Your Sentences More Punch

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Backload your sentences with powerful words to give them more impact

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

One of the tricks to adding more tension, more impact and punch to your writing is to use the powerful words toward the end of sentences, and especially to paragraphs and scenes.

Here are a few examples from some of my books:

Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost:

“Not only will I continue to screw with you, even on the job, but I’ll appear to Emily, tell her about our little scheme. What do you think she’ll think of you then?”

“You’re bluffing. You wouldn’t hurt her like that.”

Joey shook his head and closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were suspiciously damp. “I don’t want to. But I’ll do anything to keep her from making the biggest mistake of her life.”

Caster let out a resigned sigh and shook his head. “Nah, getting mixed up with the two of us was the biggest mistake of her life.”

Weaker:

Caster let out a resigned sigh and shook his head. “Nah, the biggest mistake of her life was getting mixed up with the two of us.”

Without Mercy:

Did you hear about that?” Stacy asked. “A couple gunned down in a Java Hut. Apparently a sniper. No one knows why. They still haven’t caught the guy.”

The others joined in on the discussion, but China remained silent. The waitress, a perky blonde wearing black shorts and a tight white shirt, brought over another pitcher of beer. “Guy over in the corner sent this to you.”

China’s gaze followed where the girl pointed, and the knot in her stomach froze. Royce. She hadn’t noticed him before, because his table was nestled in a dark corner. He smiled and lifted his glass in a silent salute. Her jaw tightened, and she clenched her glass so hard she thought it would shatter.

Weaker:

Her jaw tightened, and she nearly shattered the glass in her fist.

Lady in the Mist:

I shrugged as though my interest were casual curiosity. From his reaction, Sebastian did know her—and either didn’t like her, or liked her a great deal. “Just curious. I heard she broke up with Drew, then left town. That it’s possible she’s missing?”

“She’s missing, all right.” The words came out strained. “Maybe dead.”

A chill raced over my skin. “Dead?”

The anger in his eyes faded, replaced with something that looked suspiciously like pain. “I don’t know.”

Weaker:

The anger in his eyes faded, and something that looked suspiciously like pain replaced it. “I don’t know.”

It’s actually very simple, and we probably do it instinctively, for the most part. But, it doesn’t hurt to be aware as you’re making a pass through your manuscript,. Try to arrange wording for the most pizzazz.  Just think of it as ‘saving the best for last.’ 🙂

Until next time…happy writing!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Now Available 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

7 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Learning from Stephen King

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Advice from the Master

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Whether or not you have read, or enjoy, Stephen King’s writing, you can no doubt benefit from his wisdom. While I did not love every one of his books, I can easily say, I’ve loved MOST of them, and of all the authors I’ve read, regardless of how well they write, none is the ‘storyteller’ that Stephen King is. Actually, the word ‘teller’ is misleading (and can be a bit frightening as a writer, when we’ve had it hammered into us to ‘show’ not ‘tell’ – but trust me, this is a different kind of ‘telling’), because when you’re a brilliant storyteller, the reader is swept along on a journey, immersed in the story to the point that they forget they are reading. And that is the highest form of ‘showing.’

Some of my favorite tips from Stephen King:

Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe. The timid fellow writes “The meeting will be held at seven o’clock” because that somehow says to him, ‘Put it this way and people will believe you really know. ‘Purge this quisling thought! Don’t be a muggle! Throw back your shoulders, stick out your chin, and put that meeting in charge! Write ‘The meeting’s at seven.’ There, by God! Don’t you feel better?”

Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend. Consider the sentence “He closed the door firmly.” It’s by no means a terrible sentence, but ask yourself if ‘firmly’ really has to be there. What about context? What about all the enlightening (not to say emotionally moving) prose which came before ‘He closed the door firmly’? Shouldn’t this tell us how he closed the door? And if the foregoing prose does tell us, then isn’t ‘firmly’ an extra word? Isn’t it redundant?” Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.” “While to write adverbs is human, to write ‘he said’ or ‘she said’ is divine.”

But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes. The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story… to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all. “

Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings. “Mostly when I think of pacing, I go back to Elmore Leonard, who explained it so perfectly by saying he just left out the boring parts. This suggests cutting to speed the pace, and that’s what most of us end up having to do (kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your ecgocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.)”

Write primarily for yourself. Write what you love. Love what you write. King says, “I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”

Tell stories about what people actually do. “Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do — to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street. The people in your stories are what readers care about the most, so make sure you acknowledge all the dimensions your characters may have.”

Write every single day. “Once I start work on a project, I don’t stop, and I don’t slow down unless I absolutely have to. If I don’t write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind … I begin to lose my hold on the story’s plot and pace.”

If you do not write consistently and visit your story, your characters, day after day, you will lose your enthusiasm, your connection. As King describes it, this is  “the smooch of death.” No matter how little time you have, write SOMETHING on your story daily, even if it’s just a paragraph, or as King says, “one word at a time.” This is something I need to practice myself, and believe me when I say, I do not. With a full-time non-writing job, editing for The Wild Rose Press, freelance editing, promo, side projects, spending time with family, etc, I have little spare time, and I do not devote enough to my writing, but I vow to change that immediately. 🙂 (Many of the tips I share on my blog are meant for me as much, or more than, for anyone else. I certainly need to ‘practice what I preach.’)

 

What do you think of these tips? Which is your favorite? Are there any that you need to apply?

(If you haven’t read ‘On Writing’ I highly recommend it. Not only does it offer a great deal of writing advice, it also offers a look into the fascinating life of King. You can find it here:  ON WRITING)

Until next time…happy writing!

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NEW RELEASE – Now Available – Only a few more days at 99¢! (I know I keep saying this, but I really mean it this time…the sale price ends this Friday, April 29th) 🙂

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

I have released an e-book with a collection of Two-Minute Tips I have shared on my blog. Now, you can have them in one convenient place for easy reference. sale price is 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** Find the Magic is FREE through Tomorrow, April 6th!! Click HERE 

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

22 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing (Promo) Tip – Making Facebook Work for You

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A few suggestions on how to utilize Facebook as an author

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Some marketing experts feel it’s better to use your Facebook profile for author promo, mainly because you already have a built-in audience of followers. However, not all of your profile followers are necessarily readers, and, it is easy enough to migrate them to your Facebook author ‘fan’ page by asking for likes, and sharing some of your FB author page posts on your profile page. A couple of advantages to your Fan Page–other than just that, it is a FAN page, and it’s where you can really interact and connect with fans–are that you can pin a post to the top of the page so that it’s the first thing people see when they visit. Also, you can schedule posts. So, if you wanted to send out a daily post, you can schedule it all at once, for an entire week, etc. And, lastly, you can utilize your Call to Action button to lead people to your website, your blog, your Amazon book page, etc.

I am just now starting to focus on my author page, and I recently created a new one. SO, my advice is more about suggestions I’m going to try and things that SEEM to work, rather than tried and true. But hey, it’s worth a shot, plus, it might be fun.

Here are some quick tips and suggestions for the various ways to use your FB page and what kind of posts to share…

  • First of all, try to always share applicable images with your posts. Those with images are noticed much more than those without.
  • Run a contest – I sponsor a ‘Guess the Line’ contest, that I previously shared on my profile page but have now moved to my fan page. Guess the Line  (I also sponsor a fun, Fiction Fanatics Feud contest in a separate group: Fiction Fanatics Feud
  • Share your good news. Your followers will enjoy receiving updates on the good things that happen to you, career wise, and your accomplishments, as long as you don’t sound braggy. 🙂 
  • Let them into your writing world. Share little tidbits about your progress, or lack thereof, or how you came up with an idea, or interesting things you discovered in research, etc. 
  • Share pictures of the inspirations for your stories and setting.
  • Share for author friends. Post about books or blog posts or contests or sales, new releases, etc, for fellow authors.
  • Perhaps have a daily question, just a fun thing to get people to interact. Something like, ‘if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?’ And, answer your question yourself. Or, ‘if you were stranded on a desert island, what three books would you want with you?’
  • Be upbeat and inspiring. Perhaps share inspirational quotes, or share acts of kindness you witness or read about (not ones you do yourself, you don’t want to seem like you are boasting).

I’m sure there are plenty more, but this should be enough to get you started, right?

While we’re on the topic, I would be ever so grateful if you’d pop in and like my page. 🙂 Thank you!

Alicia Dean Author Page

When you do create an author page, be sure to invite your friends to like you. You can also go here and gain likes: Like for Like

Do you have ideas for entertaining and engaging readers through Facebook?

Until next time…happy writing (and marketing)!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Now Available – Only a few more days at 99¢!

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

I have released an e-book with a collection of Two-Minute Tips I have shared on my blog. Now, you can have them in one convenient place for easy reference. sale price is 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** Find the Magic is FREE through Tomorrow, April 6th!! Click HERE 

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

7 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Commonly Misused Words

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A list of words that often confuse writers.

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

I see the following words misused often, so I thought perhaps having them listed in one place might come in handy…

Affect / effect

‘Affect’ is normally a verb and ‘effect’ is normally a noun:

The effect of the storm was devastating.

The storm affected the entire town.

Sometimes, ‘effect’ is used as a verb, when meaning ‘to bring about’:

The movement was a great way to effect change.

It can also describe belongings:

The police released her personal effects to her family.

‘Affect’ can also mean to display a false sentiment, or an affectation:

He seemed to like the gift, but I think his reaction was an affect.

It can also describe a facial expression or demeanor:

In spite of her anger, she displayed little affect.

That / which 

Use ‘that’ for restrictive clauses for specific, identifying information, and ‘which’ for non restrictive clauses, for general, non-essential information. Normally, the clauses that require ‘which’ will be set off by commas.:

Sitcoms that are funny are my favorite TV shows.

(This sentence is saying that only FUNNY sitcoms are my favorite)

Sitcoms, which are funny, are my favorite TV shows.

(This is basically indicating that all sitcoms are funny, but that sitcoms in general are my favorite TV shows.)

In other words, if you can do without the clause and not change the meaning, the correct word choice is ‘which.’ If eliminating the clause would change the meaning, the            word choice is ‘that.’

Blond / Blonde

‘Blond’ is a male noun and ‘Blonde’ is a female noun. There are different schools of thought, depending on which style guidelines you use, but for the most part, ‘blond’ is         considered an adjective for either sex. However, in order to keep it simple, the best rule of thumb is ‘blond’ is always for males, and ‘blonde’ is always for females, whether     used as a noun or adjective. For non-gender situations (a blond brownie), ‘blond’ is correct.

Discreet / discrete

‘Discreet’ means low-key, modest, cautious.

‘Discrete’ means ‘separate or distinct.’

Alright / all right

‘Alright’ is the incorrect usage of ‘all right’ and doesn’t ‘officially’ exist, although it is becoming more widely accepted.

Lightning / lightening

‘Lightning’ means the flashes in the sky during a storm.

‘Lightening’ means to make lighter, or to lighten

Taught / taut / taunt

‘Taught’ is the past tense of “to teach”

‘Taut’ means tight.

‘Taunt’ means to tease or goad

Mantle / mantel

‘Mantle’ is a cloak or wrap

 ‘Mantel’ is a shelf above a fireplace

Peak / peek / pique

‘Peak’ is a high point, such as a mountain peak

 ‘Peek’ means to look or peer at something.

 ‘Pique’ means annoyance or anger

Further / farther

‘Further’ is abstract (time, amount, feelings)

‘Farther’ is distance you can actually measure

 

So…do you have trouble with these? What are some words that trip you up?

Until next time…happy writing!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Available April 15, 2016 – Pre-Order for only 99¢!

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

I am releasing an e-book with a collection of Two-Minute Tips I have shared on my blog. Now, you can have them in one convenient place for easy reference. Pre-Order price is 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** Find the Magic is FREE through Tomorrow, April 6th!! Click HERE 

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

15 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers + FREE Book on Plotting

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FYI:

FREE FTM 20572756

Click HERE to download to your Kindle for FREE

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ How to recognize and correct misplaced or dangling modifiers that change your intended meaning.

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

I’m surprised I haven’t already blogged about this, since I see it so frequently, even with very skilled/experienced writers. However, I searched my past posts and didn’t find it, so here goes. Dangling & Misplaced modifiers seem to be a little confusing for some. I will attempt to briefly and clearly explain. 

A dangling modifier is when a word or phrase of your sentence refers to or ‘modifies’ the incorrect thing. Some examples:

Trying to focus on the target, the gun shook in his hand. (It sounds like the gun is trying to focus)

Glancing down, a snake slithered across the path. (Sounds like the snake glanced down)

Looking up at the screen, the flight was delayed once again. (Sounds like the flight looked up at the screen)

Trying to catch up to the taxi, rain poured from the clouds, soaking my dress. (Sounds like the rain was trying to catch the taxi)

Once you recognize them, they are easily fixed: (There are several ways to fix them, I am just offering one option for each)

The gun shook in his head as he tried to focus on the target.

I glanced down. A snake slithered across the path.

Looking up at the screen, I discovered the flight was delayed once again.

As I tried to catch up to the taxi, rain poured from the clouds, soaking my dress.

A misplaced modifier is a word or phrase of your sentence that is so far away from the word or phrase it refers to, the meaning changes. Some examples:

Teresa sifted through the bin and spotted a pink girl’s shirt. (The ‘girl’ is not pink, the shirt is)

The damaged package lay on the desk with the sides caved in. (The sides of the box are caved in, not the sides of the desk)

His reputation was enough to strike fear, even without the fact that he’d just shot a man with a gun. (The man didn’t have a gun, that’s what was used to shoot the man)

The diamonds were too expensive in the store. (‘In the store’ seems to be modifying ‘expensive)

Possible fixes:

Teresa sifted through the bin and spotted a girl’s pink shirt.  

The damaged package with the sides caved in lay on the desk.

His reputation was enough to strike fear, even without the fact that he’d just used his gun to shoot a man. 

The diamonds in the store were too expensive.

Make sense? The problem, though, usually lies in recognizing them. Once you do, as I said, they are easy to fix. I actually had a misplaced modifier in my novel, Soul Seducer, which is being edited for publication with Edward Allen Publishing. Here is my faux paus that the wonderful Leah Price caught:

 “Wish I was that dedicated,” Audra said, motioning toward the woman with her chin.

It sounds like the woman had Audra’s chin. 🙂

 I corrected it to:

“Wish I was that dedicated,” Audra said, motioning with her chin toward the woman.

Now, isn’t that better? 

Until next time…happy writing!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Available April 15, 2016 – Pre-Order for only 99¢!

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

I am releasing an e-book with a collection of Two-Minute Tips I have shared on my blog. Now, you can have them in one convenient place for easy reference. Pre-Order price is 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** Find the Magic is FREE through Tomorrow, April 6th!! Click HERE 

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

4 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Don’t Think It, Say It

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Giving your story more impact by giving your characters more dialogue

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Everyone knows readers like to read dialogue, so be sure to capitalize on every opportunity to put more words in their mouths. Also, it can often bring a little more impact and depth to a scene. So, why have your characters think something when they can actually say it?

Here are a few examples from some of my stories, the first two being published works where it’s too late, but looking back, my characters should have said it, not thought it…

End of Lonely Street:

As it is:

“I’ll have none of this nonsense at a school function. Rock and roll? Are you out of your mind?”

No rock and roll? No Everly Brothers or Little Richard or Buddy Holly? No….Elvis?

“But, sir. The kids are really looking forward to it. We’ve sold more than three-hundred tickets so far, and we just know we’ll sell more. That’s over three-hundred dollars for Miss Murdock’s expenses—well, once we deduct the operational costs. Many of the kids will want their money back if we don’t have rock and roll music at the dance. Besides, Miss Murdock already gave her approval, before she had to retire.”

Mr. Rivers crossed his hands on the top of his desk. “It doesn’t matter how many tickets you’ve sold. I’m in charge now, and I’m not going to coddle students like Miss Murdock did. I won’t have my kids exposed to that devil music, especially that vulgar, immoral Elvis the Pelvis.”

“Vulgar? Devil music?” Toby clenched her fists. It made her so angry when older people spoke that way about rock and roll, especially about Elvis. He was a nice boy, respectful and polite. Kind to his fans, to his mother. And he was the dreamiest. “Rock and roll is not devil music. It’s just a way for kids to have fun, to have their own—”

As it could have been:

“Vulgar? Devil music?” Toby clenched her fists. It made her so angry when older people spoke that way about rock and roll, especially about Elvis. “He’s a nice boy,  respectful and polite. He’s kind to his fans, to his mother.” And he was the dreamiest. “Rock and roll is not devil music. It’s just a way for kids to have fun, to have their own—”

There was really no point in only doing it in narrative. This gives her a little more backbone, I think.

From Death Notice:

As it is:

“I’m sorry,” he said softly.

I nodded. “It wasn’t their fault. Katie’s parents knew my parents were going out. Knew we were spending the night in the back yard. It was a safe neighborhood. They weren’t worried. But after…” I shrugged. “I guess they just needed someone to blame.”

“I’m sure they did,” Lane said, but I was barely aware of him speaking. I was lost in that time. Now that I had started, it all kept pouring out.

“Although Mom and Dad felt guilty, they were defensive when Katie’s parents accused them. It caused a huge rift, and they never spoke again. Funny, but Katie’s parents didn’t hold it against me or Josie. As a matter of fact, I became even closer to them as the years went by. Katie was an only child, and I guess it helped to have me around. My parents didn’t mind. They felt terrible about what happened. Almost guilty about the fact that they had four children left when the Broussards had none. My brothers were devastated. Especially Gabe, since he was left in charge. Coburn, as usual, was a rock, but Mitch and Gabe went to pieces. It had the opposite effect on each of them. Gabe, who’d been wild and out of control, settled down, became quiet. Wound up becoming a priest. Mitch went a little crazy for a few years. Got really heavy into drugs. Josie did, too. Only, Mitch came back.”

“Must have been horrible.”

“It was.”

We started junior high that year. It was miserable. I already had a reputation for being a little morbid since my dad was a mortician. After Katie’s death, rumors circulated about my family being cultists. About how we’d put some kind of curse on her. Some even said we’d sacrificed her in a ritual and eaten her flesh. Josie became a stoner and I became an outcast. My brothers, oddly, went unscathed. They were just too good-looking and had too much personality to let a little thing like ritualistic murder affect their popularity.

As it could have been:

“It was. We started junior high that year. It was miserable. I already had a reputation for being a little morbid since my dad was a mortician. After Katie’s death, rumors circulated about my family being cultists. About how we’d put some kind of curse on her. Some even said we’d sacrificed her in a ritual and eaten her flesh. Josie became a stoner and I became an outcast. My brothers, oddly, went unscathed. They were just too good-looking and had too much personality to let a little thing like ritualistic murder affect their popularity.”

I think this is not only less boring, being in dialogue, but it opens her up a bit to Lane, the guy she’s falling in love with.

Lastly, and very briefly, in my latest WIP, Evil Eye, I am writing a rough draft and I have a scene where my protagonist’s dad has been roughed up by some bad guys to whom he owes money. (He’s an addicted gambler/alcoholic). He wants Scarlet (my protagonist) to ask her estranged, criminal sister for the money. I wrote it like this:

Scarlet twisted a strand of hair and tucked it behind her ear. “I can cash in my retirement, but I’ll only get half of what you need. I’ll take that to them, let them know I’m a cop. Maybe I can convince them to settle for that. At least for now.”

Her dad groaned out a sound that was something between a laugh and a cry. “These people don’t make deals and they aren’t afraid of cops.”

“Do you have a better idea?” Irritation sharpened her voice.

“Yeah, I do. You can ask Ivory. She’d as soon spit on my corpse as to look at me, but she’d do anything to connect with you again.”

Scarlet would rather take a beating from Hector’s goons than speak with her sister, but was she willing to let her dad be killed? She let out a weary sigh. “Fine, I’ll talk to her, on one condition.”

Then I realized that  it might play better, have a little more impact and get across to her dad just how reluctant she is, if I turned it into dialogue: 

Scarlet snorted. “I’d rather take a beating from Hector’s goons than see Ivory.” But, was she willing to let her dad be killed? She let out a weary sigh. “Fine, I’ll talk to her, on one condition.”

What do you think? Is dialogue often better? We can’t always apply this. After all, we don’t want a story with nothing but dialogue. Plus, our characters often think things that definitely shouldn’t be spoken aloud. But, perhaps keep this in mind as you’re polishing, even if you don’t do so in the first draft. Are there things your characters can think that they’d be better off saying? 

Until next time…happy writing!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Available April 15, 2016 – Pre-Order for only 99¢!

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

Enter a caption

I am releasing an e-book with a collection of Two-Minute Tips I have shared on my blog. Now, you can have them in one convenient place for easy reference. Pre-Order price is 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** Find the Magic and the book I use for examples in FTM, Without Mercy, are both on sale for 1.50 each. Click HERE for Find the Magic and HERE for Without Mercy ***

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

12 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Describe the Uniqueness of Your Characters

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ How to describe characters using rare and interesting traits.

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Description is not my strength, but I am working on improving in that area. Whether describing surroundings or character, I am attempting to point out the unique features, rather than the standard. Today, my tips is about the physical characteristics of  people. If you’re like me, you usually fall back on the comfortable, easy traits: hair color, eye color, height and weight. I’m not saying those should be totally discarded, but how about sharing what’s unique about the character? Whether you’re describing your main characters or secondary characters, give readers a quick, clear visual of elements that stand out, elements that are not shared with millions of other people.

Which of these descriptions is more vivid, more memorable?

She was thin, medium height. Her brown hair was cut short, and she had blue eyes.

OR…

Small eyes, set far apart, sat in a pale face with a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. Her shoulders hunched, emphasizing the sharpness of clavicle bones trying to push through her skin.

How about this…

He was tall with broad shoulders and green eyes. Dark hair brushed the collar of his shirt.

OR…

He towered above her. Taut muscles strained the fabric of his charcoal gray button down shirt. His firm mouth molded into an easy, lopsided grin, but his eyes were piercing, boring into her as if excavating her thoughts, her soul.

The second descriptions in each example did not provide eye or hair color, height, or weight. But I think they gave us a stronger image. I’m not saying you shouldn’t share standard traits for your characters. It’s perfectly acceptable to make that ‘part’ of your character description. For me, I definitely want to know those details about main characters. But, I also want to know more. For secondary characters, I wouldn’t spend much time describing, but give us three or four specifics that can help us form a picture. And, for your main characters, you have thousands and thousands of words with which to show us how your character looks, acts, moves, etc. Sprinkle it throughout, you don’t have to give us everything in one big clump.

There are many other things to consider about descriptions; making them active, drawing out the things that your POV character would notice, etc, but for today, since I promised only two minutes of your time, we’ll stick with just the above. 🙂

Challenge: Describe your characters without using hair or eye color, height or weight. If you’d like, share a few sentences of what you come up with in the comments. 

Until next time…happy writing!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Available April 15, 2016 – Pre-Order for only 99¢!

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

I am releasing an e-book with a collection of Two-Minute Tips I have shared on my blog. Now, you can have them in one convenient place for easy reference. Pre-Order price is 99¢!!! – Regular price will be $2.99.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** Find the Magic and the book I use for examples in FTM, Without Mercy, are both on sale for 1.50 each. Click HERE for Find the Magic and HERE for Without Mercy ***

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

9 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – How to Punctuate Dialogue

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ 

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

A quick lesson on punctuating dialogue…

Punctuation belongs inside quotation marks

When an attribution is used, such as ‘said’ ‘asked’ ‘exclaimed’ etc, use a comma and lower case following the quotation mark:

“You are driving me crazy,” she said.

If an action follows the dialogue, use a period and capitalize the first word:

“You are driving me crazy.” She clenched her fists.

An em-dash is for interruptions or abruptly cut off dialogue:

“You are driving me—“

“Don’t!” He held up a hand. “Don’t say another word.”

An ellipses is used when trailing off:

“You are driving me…” She let her words fade. What was the use? He never listened anyway.

If you have dialogue interrupted by a thought, or an aside, use em-dashes outside the quotation marks.

“You are driving me crazy”—she wished she had a nickel for every time they’d had this argument—“and I don’t know how much more I can take.”

Please, please, please, always keep a speaker’s dialogue within the same paragraph, but start a new paragraph for a different speaker.

Wrong:

“You are driving me crazy.” Martha shook her head.

“I don’t know how much more I can take.” She dropped heavily into the chair.

“Martha, please, I’m sorry,” Drake said.

Correct:

“You are driving me crazy.” Martha shook her head. “I don’t know how much more I can take.” She dropped heavily into the chair.

“Martha, please, I’m sorry,” Drake said.

Incorrect:

“You are driving me crazy.” Martha shook her head. “Martha, please, I’m sorry,” Drake said.

Correct:

“You are driving me crazy.” Martha shook her head.

“Martha, please, I’m sorry,” Drake said.

It is acceptable to have dialogue by the same speaker before you have it by another speaker, as long as it is broken up by some kind of action and you make it clear the same person is speaking again. For example:

“You are driving me crazy.” Martha shook her head.

Drake filled his glass with scotch, keeping his back to her.

“I don’t know how much more I can take.” She dropped heavily into the chair.

Multiple paragraphs of dialogue by the same speaker: Do not use a close quote at the end of the first paragraph, or the following paragraphs, until you get to the last one, then you will use a close quote: (This is from my short story, “Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost” – the other examples are not from a story :))

“Let me save us some time. I died in a plane crash a year ago, you came to my funeral. You haven’t seen or spoken to my wife since. I, however, have been keeping an eye on her. She’s about to make a huge mistake, and I need your help to keep that from happening.

“I’m sure you’ll help me because, in spite of the fact that you pushed the two of us together, you care about Emily, and you don’t want to see her hurt.” Joey moved toward him, and Caster stepped back. “Before we proceed, though, I apparently have to make you see that this is real, that I’m here. Pinch yourself.”

 If this had gone on for more than two paragraphs, you would use an open quote at the beginning of each paragraph, but only a closing quote at the end of the last.

Using character names in dialogue (and, please, do so sparingly), always use a comma before and/or after the name:

“You are driving me crazy, Drake.” Martha shook her head.

“Martha, please, I’m sorry,” Drake said.

Please, be kind to your editors, save them time and spare them headaches by learning to use punctuation correctly.

Until next time…happy writing!

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NEW RELEASE – Available April 15, 2016 – Pre-Order for only 99¢!

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

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I am releasing an e-book with a collection of Two-Minute Tips I have shared on my blog. Now, you can have them in one convenient place for easy reference. Pre-Order price is 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99.

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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*** Find the Magic and the book I use for examples in FTM, Without Mercy, are both on sale for 1.50 each. Click HERE for Find the Magic and HERE for Without Mercy ***

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

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