Tag Archives: Writing tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Loving What You Write

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Writing what you love and loving what you write

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.

This is more a reminder than a tip. It’s important to love what you’re writing, for a few reasons. One, if you love your WIP, you’ll look forward to writing and, therefore, accomplish more. Also, if you love it, your joy will show through and readers will be more likely to love it as well. I know that’s not always easy to do, and sometimes writing can be a grind and sometimes a story frustrates and confounds us, but overall, we need to love our work. We don’t always have to love our characters, as a matter of fact, creating characters that are not all that lovable can make a story more interesting. All you have to do is know your characters, although, hopefully, your protagonist is lovable, or at least sympathetic.

Ask yourself these questions about your current WIP:

  1. Is this a story I’d want to read? Why? (if you can’t give a good, solid answer to this one, you might need to rethink at least certain elements of your story)
  2. Do I look forward to picking up where I left off? (If not, readers might not look forward to picking your book back up to read it. Try this trick, at the end of a writing session, jot down a few sentences of something HUGE and shocking that could happen. Even if it’s something that you have no intention of leaving in the book. It can help to invigorate you and make you anxious to get back to your manuscript. And, your mind might, even subconsciously, work on the outrageous idea and turn it into something that actually DOES fit your story but makes it more exciting)
  3. What do I love about this story? Take it a step further and ask yourself what you love about each scene. If you can find something in each one, your readers most likely will too.

That’s it. Just a few things to make you think about your story and whether it’s something that is bringing you entertainment and pleasure, and therefore, can bring the same to readers.

In the comments, tell me one thing you love about a story you are currently writing. For me, it is my Martinic Club 4 1940’s story, and I love that it intertwines with the other three MC4 stories written by my friends, Krysta Scott, Kathy L Wheeler, and Amanda McCabe. Of course, I need to find more than that. And, I will, promise!

 

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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. 

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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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3 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Making the Most of Twitter

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A list of handy Twitter tips

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.

 

Tips to get noticed, get retweets, gain followers, or to simply make your Twitter life easier:

  • Although Twitter allows 140 characters, it’s best to not use them all. Shorter tweets are more effective.
  • As everyone knows by now, tweets with images get more notice
  • Ask people to retweet you. The most effective way is to simply add: Please Retweet
  • Use no more than TWO hashtags. More looks spammy
  • Size matters… Images that are smaller than 440 x 222 will not show up in your timeline, only a link to the image does. The max image size is 3MB
  • If you do not want people to tag you without your permission, you can go to your Twitter Privacy settings and specify the tagging you wish to allow. You can remove tags by going to the … ‘more’ beneath a tweet and select ‘remove tag from photo’
  • Use #tweetchat to set up chats by using an exclusive hashtag. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m going to. Worth a shot, right? http://tweetchat.com/
  • This is more than just a Twitter tip. I’m not sure I understand exactly, but from what I’ve read, it’s worth checking into. It is a service that you can use to trigger actions throughout various web/social media services. It’s more than just linking Facebook and Twitter. There seems to be a number of amazing things you can do with it. IFTTT http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2424077,00.asp
  • Did you know Twitter backs up everything you tweet? In settings there is a “Request your archive” option. You will receive an email containing a link to download a ZIP file of your tweets.
  • Track the clicks you get on links you share. Many sites provide this service, for example, Clicktotweet provides full analytics on clicks from your followers. You can also click the Gear icon on Twitter.com and select “Twitter Ads” for a quick look at how many people clicked the links in your recent tweets.
  • To share an image of a tweet on other social media outlets, or blogs, etc, use the ‘embed’ feature. Click on … more and choose ‘embed’ to get the code.   
  • Direct link to FB post or Tweet –  Click the ‘more’ and an option to ‘copy link to tweet’ will come up.
  • Retweet for others frequently. The more you do, the more others are likely to RT you.
  • If you wish to add an image to a composed tweet so that, when others share the tweet (copy and paste the content, not share a link), an image will appear, you’ll want to use Hoosuite. (A tip…I always try to keep all my links somewhere to refer to. Once you have an image link, you can use it over and over again.) Send out a tweet containing the image. Go to Hootsuite and find the tweet in your feed. Below the tweet, find the ‘retweet’ option and click on the drop down arrow. An option will come up to ‘edit.’ Choose that option and your tweet will appear in a box at the top of the page. The very last link in that box should be your image link. Copy that and insert it into a tweet and the image should show up.
  • Find and gain more followers by using http://twiends.com/home
  • Tweet the same content multiple times. The lifespan of a tweet is about 18 minutes. To increase the likelihood of a tweet being seen, tweet out the same tweet multiple times in one day. I wouldn’t do this to several tweets, but if there is something in particular you want to be seen, focus on tweeting it several times. This is when Buffer and Hootsuite will come in handy. You’ll need to make some minor tweaks so you won’t get a message that you’ve already sent that tweet. 
  • Add questions in your retweets and/or tweets to increase engagement and visibility. You can also create polls for more interaction. 
  • I’ll end with a list of the most retweetable words:

You

Twitter

Please

ReTweet

Post

Blog

Social

Free

Media

Help

Please retweet

Great

Social Media

10

Follow

How to

Top

Blog post

Check out

New blog post

(words to avoid, for some reason, ‘Game’, ‘going’, ‘haha’ and ‘lol’)

Until next time…Happy Tweeting!

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

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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

8 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – The Backstory Conundrum

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ How and when to share backstory 

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.

The age old question…how much backstory is too much? The answer… in your opening pages, pretty much ANY backstory is too much. Readers want to be dropped into the middle of the action. They don’t want to know about what a rough week your protagonist has had (we’ll call him Jonathan). How when Jonathan was a child, he  dreamed of being a fireman or an astronaut. But boy did things take a wrong turn. Stuck in a crappy job as an insurance adjuster. He hadn’t wanted to take the position, but his father had recommended him and he had little choice. After all, his father had pretty much controlled him his entire life. A dead-end job and a crappy relationship. Although, he didn’t have to worry about that anymore. His girlfriend had dumped him. They’d been together since college, since the time they met at that party. It had been an immediate attraction. They’d begun dating and hadn’t been apart since. Until two days ago when she told him it was over. That she was seeing someone else. Oh well, they’d drifted apart. It was inevitable. Better that it happened now, instead of when they were married with kids. But, would he ever find the right person? Was there truly one soul mate out there for everyone? If so, he might never meet the person he was meant to be with. Heck, he might not survive the night. Jonathan took a deep, trembling breath and stared at the man aiming a gun at his chest.

What????? He has a gun aimed at his chest and we had to read all that prattle about his job and relationship and past? Nooo….let’s open with the guy holding the gun on him. If any of that other stuff is important, you can trickle it in later. When the situation calls for it.

Many authors, especially beginners, want readers to know everything about their characters up front. It’s not necessary. In fact, it’s boring. You want to engage readers in the here and now. If you want to briefly establish your character in their normal world before the inciting incident, that’s fine. But ‘briefly’ is the key word. And, establishing the character in their normal world is different than explaining about their childhood, letting us know how they met every character in the scene, how they got their job, how they ended up moving to their current location, what happened in the days preceding, etc.

A few examples of my openings (not that they are the BEST examples, but they are the only examples I can use without getting into trouble:)And, unfortunately, neither of them have riveting opening lines, but that’s something I can’t always pull off. Sigh…)

From Devil’s Promenade:

I peered through the snow-dusted windshield at the large house looming in the evening dusk, and an unwarranted shiver of foreboding washed over my flesh.

From behind the wheel, my driver, Rita, made a sound that was somewhere between a squeak of trepidation and a sigh of admiration. “It’s huge. And gorgeous, but kind of creepy, don’t you think?” Her eyes were big and round behind the lenses of her black cat-eye frames.

“It is indeed.” The sprawling structure was a combination of Southern plantation and Greek revival architecture; painted white and trimmed in a darker colored molding—perhaps forest green. The exact color was difficult to make out in the descending dusk. Narrow, darkened floor-to-ceiling windows peeked from between a portico of six Doric columns. Hanging by chains above the porch, a wooden board flapped in the icy wind. Spook Light Bed and Breakfast. The sign should have been welcoming, yet apprehension clawed at my heart.

Might as well get over that silliness. This would be my home for the next two weeks while I learned all I could about the Hornet Spook Light. The phenomenon, also known as the Tri-State Spook Light, Joplin Spook Light, Devil’s Jack-O-Lantern, and a few other nicknames, had supposedly been spotted multiple times over the last few centuries in this area, at the border of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. I was here to do research for my book—The Myth of Otherworldly Occurrences. I chuckled and rolled my eyes. The only thing otherworldly about this place was its location thousands of miles from my warm, sunny home in Florida.

I gave a brief reason for her being there, but I didn’t say that her fiancé had jilted her for her sister, that she’s always wanted to be a writer, that she actually wanted to write novels, but had ended up writing non-fiction. That the flight to Oklahoma was smooth, except for the annoying man who sat next to her and talked loudly on his phone the entire time and smelled of garlic, that she didn’t have many friends, that she’d written several books already about various supposed supernatural phenomenons, that she was in the business of debunking them, what kind of childhood she had, etc, etc. Some, but not all, of those facts are sprinkled in later. Readers don’t want to know them just yet.

From Without Mercy:

China Beckett darted a glance across the bank lobby toward the front door. What were the odds she could escape undetected?

Not good, she decided. Even if she managed to slip out without being seen, her absence would be noticed. And Sophie would have an aneurysm.

Did she want to be a lousy employee or a lousy mother?

The choice was simple. She rose from her desk and headed past the teller line toward Sophie’s office.

“Everything okay?” China’s best friend, Vanessa Hanson, said from behind her desk.

This establishes China in her normal world, and in just a few pages, it explodes, almost literally. I didn’t go into detail about how she came to be a single mother, how she got the job at the bank, how long she’s been there, what she liked and didn’t like about it, how she’d met Vanessa, what had happened in the days leading up to now, etc. Again, I sprinkle that in as needed, much of it in dialogue. Which brings me to another point, you don’t have to provide details about characters’ history and/or traits in narrative. You can do that in dialogue, which readers often find more engaging. You don’t want to do it in an obvious way, unnatural way, such as, “China, you know your daughter Emma, whose father died while you were pregnant with her? Her asthma is really bad, isn’t it?” 🙂  Reveal it in a more natural and logical way.

But, getting back to backstory. It’s difficult to strike the perfect balance, and I certainly don’t succeed all the time, or even most of the time. The trick is to be aware and try to only share the details that matter at that moment. Save the rest for later, if it’s needed at all.

Try this…go through your story and highlight any section that is not in real time. If your story is riddled with highlights, and if the highlights are in the early pages, you might want to trim and/or move those paragraphs around.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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

9 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – White Space is Your Friend

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A technique to keep readers engaged

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.

Readers are impatient, as they should be. Everyone is so busy these days, they want to use their time wisely. Long narrative passages with long paragraphs and no dialogue can turn a reader off quickly. 

This also goes along with ‘showing’ instead of ‘telling.’ Below, I’m using examples from my novella, Devil’s Promenade, showing two different versions of the same partial scene:

Example 1:

That morning at breakfast, I found a newspaper that contained an article about a woman who’d died near the Bed and Breakfast. She was an attractive woman but she gave off an unpleasant vibe in the photo that accompanied the article. As it turned out, the housekeeper at the inn, Jean, knew her. Her name was Eleanor Chaney. The article mentioned that the woman had drowned in nearby Spring River, and her body was found close to Devil’s Promenade. The name of the location confused me. I thought the area itself was called Devil’s Promenade, but as it turns out, that is also the name of a bridge that goes over Spring River. Jean seemed to think Eleanor’s death might not have been an accident. The dead woman grew up in the area and swam in the river often. Yet, she’d gone out, alone, at night. Then somehow drowned. Jean was right. It didn’t add up. I asked Jean if she thought it was suicide, or murder. But according to Jean, while Eleanor was unhappy, she wasn’t suicidal. But then, people never think those they care about could possibly commit suicide. Apparently, the police didn’t find anything suspicious, since they didn’t investigate it as a murder. Shockingly, Jean also informed me that the victim, Eleanor Chaney, was Declan Rush’s sister.

Example 2:

“Something catch your fancy?”

I started at Jean’s voice. My hand that held the coffee cup shook. “Sorry to be so jumpy. No, just engrossed in the news.” Should I ask her about the death? Maybe not just yet, not on my first morning. I didn’t want to seem like a nosy reporter, or that I was pumping her for information. She most likely knew the woman. This was a small town. Most people in the area probably knew one another.

Jean took the decision out of my hands when she eyed the paper. She wiped tears from her eyes with her fingertips. “Poor dear. God rest her soul.”

“Did you know her?”

“Yes of course. Eleanor Chaney. We were real close.”

I looked back down at the paper. A photo of the woman accompanied the article. She was attractive, but her expression showed an unpleasant emotion—anger, disapproval? Without it, she would have been much prettier. “She drowned in Spring River,” I said. “They said her body was found near Devil’s Promenade? I thought this area was called Devil’s Promenade.”

“It is. But it’s also the name of a bridge that goes over Spring River.”

The name made the death…the whole thing…even worse, somehow. “So tragic.”

“Yeah. They say it was an accident but …” She heaved a deep breath. “I don’t know. I wonder how that could be. She grew up swimmin’ in that river. And I don’t believe she’d go in the water alone, at night.”

A quiver ran through me. “Do you think it was suicide? Murder?”

Jean lowered onto a chair next to me and picked up the newspaper. She ran a finger lovingly over the picture, a sad smile on her wrinkled face. “Eleanor was not one of the happiest people I’ve ever known, but she thought too much of herself to commit suicide. I don’t buy that she’d take her own life.”

“So you think someone killed her?”

“I don’t know. The thought makes my skin crawl. This is a small town. Everyone knows each other. Eleanor wasn’t exactly well loved. And, her family history caused some hard feelings around here, but I don’t know anyone who hated her. Leastwise not enough to want her dead.”

Was Jean right? Had the woman been murdered? Surely if that were true, there would have been evidence pointing to foul play. “Well, either way, accident, murder, or suicide, it’s very sad.”

“Yes. And poor Mr. Rush. He’s beside himself.”

“Mr. Rush? He knew her too?” Was she his girlfriend? Not his wife, their last names were different. But then, not all women took their husband’s names…

“Knew her? Well, I’ll say. She was his sister.”

Which did you find yourself wanting to skip and which one kept you reading? When you’re editing/revising, skim your manuscript and if you see areas with little or no white space, take a closer look and see if you can revise to make them more engaging.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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

16 Comments

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

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!

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

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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

16 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Does your Character Have a Mirror Moment?

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Make sure you include a critical middle moment for your character…

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.

 

This is not actually ‘my’ tip, it came from James Scott Bell from his fantastic book, Super Structure: The Key to Unleashing the Power of Story  If you want to check out another of his writing books, he goes into more detail in: Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between

Super Structure is probably the best book on plotting I’ve ever read (including my own… :)). While the process is technically the same as in most of the other plotting books, the way the steps are laid out in this one clicked for me and made it easier to understand and follow. Even if you are a pantser and not a plotter, this book is fantastic. It teaches you how to basically go from signpost to signpost (14 in all), to create a tighter, more richly in-depth story that will keep readers engaged. He even speaks specifically to pantsers and plotters, explaining how both camps can apply his advice.

One of the most interesting things I discovered was what Bell calls the “Mirror Moment.” It is a moment, almost always halfway through a book or movie, where the character figuratively looks himself or herself in the mirror and states/questions/discovers what they need to do, how they need to change, in order to reach their goal, to survive. Some examples he gave were in Casablanca, halfway through the film, after Rick is mean and hurtful to Ilsa and she walks out, Rick is full of self-disgust and basically asks himself the question: “What have I become? What kind of man am I?” At that point, he knows he must change in order to preserve his humanity. Another example; about halfway through The Fugitive, Richard Kimball is holed up in an apartment, surrounded by police, with nowhere to run. He realizes that he’s going to die, and he wonders how he ever thought he could survive such odds. It was his mirror moment. Why did I think I could do this? I’m doomed… As it turns out, the police are there for someone else, Kimball escapes, and he now knows he has to make something happen in order to survive.

Bell suggests writers figure out the Mirror Moment for their main character before they write the book. If you do that, you will know what point the character must reach in order to change, and writing all the events up to and after this realization should come more easily.

I decided to take a look at a few of my books and see if my main characters had a mirror moment. In Devil’s Promenade, the below appeared about halfway through. My MC (main character) is intent on debunking a supernatural phenomenon, the Spook Light (which is a ‘real’ phenomenon in Northeast Oklahoma),  for a non-fiction book she’s writing. However, certain events unfold that make her realize she might be mistaken:

Brief excerpt:

Packing a blanket, a sandwich, cookies, a Coleman lamp, and coffee, I took the golf cart out to the road and parked on the shoulder, next to a wire fence. Nervous anticipation filled me at the thought I might actually see the spook light tonight. And, I now believed it, completely. How could I write a book debunking something that I knew to be true? Jillian would be furious. On the other hand, maybe she would be satisfied with a book written from another perspective, a book about true paranormal sightings? Not likely. Jillian didn’t have a reputation for being flexible.

I did know that I could no longer write the book I had planned to write. If ghosts were real then I couldn’t deny this spook light could possibly be real. I would stay out here all night if I had to. I wasn’t sure how I would keep from freezing to death in the process, but I was going to give it a shot.

The blackness around me was broken only by the blinking of the cell tower lights ahead and the glow of moonlight. In spite of my coat and the blanket I’d wrapped around my shoulders, frigid air seeped through my skin all the way to my bones. From a distance came the low rumble of cars and a keening sound I was growing accustomed to. The possibility of coyotes no longer frightened me—at least not as much as it had in the beginning—but the haunted wail still sent a shiver through my body.

The second paragraph ‘shows’ that she’s changed, it shows her new realization, and that her goal has now changed as well. Although I wrote this before I read Bell’s book, I suppose that, instinctively, we sometimes realize that a Mirror Moment is an important factor for the mid-way point of a book. I got lucky and just happened to include one. 🙂 I checked a few of my other books and didn’t find that specific moment, but going forward, I plan to pin it down in the beginning and see if it makes a difference in how the story flows and whether or not it makes the book stronger.

Try this…take one of your books (or a few), and flip to the middle. See if your character has a Mirror Moment, then let me know in the comments what you find. Come on, it’ll be fun! 🙂 

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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

Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(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

11 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing (Marketing) Tip – A Week’s Worth of Goodreads Suggestions for Authors

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A day by day Goodreads plan

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  haven’t been very active on Goodreads, but I am a member of several groups. The problem is, I do not participate in any of them. I intend to make some changes, and while I’m not sure how beneficial they will be in terms of marketing (and therefore you might be wondering why I’m sharing them now :)), I am still going to do it, because not only am I an author, I’m a reader. And, if participating in Goodreads never leads to sales, it will still give me the opportunity to meet other book lovers and discover new authors/books. Since we are all SO busy, we don’t have time to try all of these at once. My recommendation is to try one per day. In a week’s time, you will have dabbled in each one. 🙂

Here are some steps I plan to take…

Day One: Offer a giveaway. Goodreads provides the opportunity for authors to do a giveaway of a PRINT book. I did so a while back, and it introduced me to some new readers. My writer friend Kathy L Wheeler has been utilizing this promo tool recently, and she inspired me to try it again. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/new

Day Two: Join a FEW select Goodreads groups, preferably related to the genre you enjoy reading and writing, and actually participate in discussions, rather than pushing your book. You will eventually make some nice contacts with whom you can share that you’re an author. This type of promo is more like a seed you plant and give it time to grow. Don’t drown it immediately, or it will die. (Nor should you give it to me to care for, because I am a notorious plant killer, and it’s demise will be imminent). As I mentioned above, I belong to too many groups. I am going to pare that list down and participate in just a few that truly interest me. A tip: Choose a group or groups that are recently active. I’ve noticed some groups haven’t had any activity in a year or more.

Day Three: Make sure you mark on your author profile that you accept author questions. And, it might be a good idea to ask other authors questions from time to time. This page will show you how to set up an author discussion:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/featured_groups

Day Four: Link your blog to Goodreads. This can be done from your author profile page. Be sure to make your blog description engaging.

Day Five: Update your bio from time to time and make it current and engaging.

Day Six: Recommend books. You can recommend books to your Goodreads friends, which is not only fun and will help you interact, but you are also helping out your fellow authors. https://www.goodreads.com/recommendations/new 

Day Seven: Update your ‘My Books’ frequently. My shelf is very old, and I need to pay more attention to actually listing the books I’m reading and have read. You can easily add and rate the books you have in your Kindle library: https://www.goodreads.com/amazon_purchases?source=r – Which reminds me…don’t be afraid to review on Goodreads and to ask for reviews there. Unlike on Amazon, your reviews will not be removed. And, the more reviews, the more attention a book will get. Even negative reviews will bring your book more attention. 

I know that some authors shy away from Goodreads because of nastiness and trolls, but I don’t think we should let them keep us away. They may or may not target you, but if you do what’s right and don’t push yourself on others, that shouldn’t be an issue. And, if it is, just ignore them. Intelligent, discerning readers can recognize trolls as well as we can.

So…what do you think? Have you or will you try any of these? If you have any tips or feedback, or just plain comments, be sure to share in the comment section.

Until next time…Happy Writing (and marketing)!

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

Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(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

13 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Visual Writing

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Using images and boards to visualize your story

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.

Many writers are ‘visual,’ which can be very handy in our business. I am not as visual as I would like to be, but I have a few tricks to help me pictorialize my stories.

1 – Character Models: I MUST have a ‘model’ in mind for my main characters,and sometimes for secondary characters. They do not have to be celebrities or someone I know, and they don’t have to look like my character, they just need to personify them in some way. I have a current WIP (Pretentious: Martini Club 4 – The 1940’s) and an upcoming WIP (Evil Eye). Here are the models for my heroine and hero in Pretentious:

Nina Taggart - Jessica De Gouw Sylvester Morello - Raul Bova

I’m not familiar with either one of these actors, but they have the look, the demeanor I’m going for, just in these images.

Evil Eye is not a romance. I mainly needed an image for my protagonist, and I chose these two: (Different people, but the image I’m going for is a combo)

400px-B99_0119_MFumero

A beautiful police detective woman on the job with a gun

2 – Promo Images/Covers – Even if I don’t yet have an actual cover, I try to find examples of promo images and cover images that I might want for the story. I put something together in the early stages, so I can visualize the cover and the book seems more real. Here are a few for Evil Eye:

Evil Eye MEME

Eye of terrible man

3 – Image Board: I use a board to place images and notes I need to keep in mind as I’m writing. The notes might be about character traits or habits, scenes I’ll want to add but I’m not sure where, so they aren’t necessarily in my outline, and I also post notes about secondary characters I don’t want to forget about.

Here is an image of the Evil Eye board, although it’s not complete yet. I also like to include a few images of setting, which I have not yet done. (My color printer was running out of ink, so the images aren’t great, and the notes might not make sense to you, but they do to me. :))

IMG_0379

4 – Pinterest: Lastly, I create Pinterest boards of images, setting, etc. I’m afraid I don’t keep up with these as well as I should. I have not yet created one for Evil Eye, but I am working on becoming more active in the Pinterest arena.

Here is my Pinterest board for my latest release, Devil’s Promenade:

https://www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/creating-devils-promenade/

Here is a board created by Kathy L Wheeler for our Martini Club 4 – The 1940’s series:

https://www.pinterest.com/kathylwheeler/martini-club-4-1940s/

 

Visual writing is not only fun, it really helps bring your story to life. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you give it a shot. If you have tried it, please share some of your tips and methods in the comments.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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

Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(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

9 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Cut the Clunky

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Eliminate unnecessary phrases that make your writing ‘telling’ and wordy.

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 lot of writers, even seasoned ones, have a tendency to include unneeded ‘head’s up’ or qualifier type phrases, mostly at the beginning of sentences, that aren’t needed. Eliminating these phrases can make your writing tighter and less telling.

Some examples…

“You’ll never be the kind of woman I need, Victoria.”

Hurt by what he said, she burst into tears. “How can you be so cruel?”

See how the ‘hurt by what he said’ isn’t needed? We know that’s why she burst into tears.

He skirted the building, looking for a back way in. As he did, he drew his weapon.

‘As he did’ isn’t needed. We know he was doing it, so yes, he drew his weapon ‘as he did’ it.

Her gaze scanned the room, stopping on the photo resting on the mantel. In that moment, she realized whose house she was in.

Eliminate ‘In that moment’ – We know that’s when she realized.

Mary opened the door and stepped inside his office. As she entered, she held the stack of papers out to him.

No need for ‘as she entered’ because when she stepped inside, she’d already entered. 

 

That’s it, just some brief reminders of phrases that can clutter your writing and don’t add anything to the story.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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

Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(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

4 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Creating Characters that Resonate

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Ways to make your characters memorable.

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 my weaknesses is characterization, so please don’t think that I think that I actually FOLLOW all of these suggestions. However, many of my Tuesday Tips, as I’ve mentioned, are things I need to work on myself. This is one of them.

Remember, characters to not only have to be likable, they have to be real, relatable, and memorable. And, please, please, do not make them perfect. Do you know any perfect people? Do you know those who THINK they are perfect? How irritating are they? See, you don’t want your characters to irritate your readers. 🙂

A few ways to create characters readers will want to hang out with:

  • Have a character do something. Don’t just let them sit around waiting for things to happen to them, have them make things happen. This is something I often fail at, but I am working to improve.
  • Characters should do the unexpected. Especially in the beginning. If you want readers to connect with your character and your story, you need to surprise and intrigue them. Although it’s one of my older books, I loved writing the opening scene of Heart of the Witch. The story opened in the POV of a serial killer who had a victim in his clutches. I’ve read tons of books like this, and don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them. But, with mine, I decided to change things up a bit. My killer was being all twisted and threatening and delighting in what he was about to do. However, the tables turned on him when his ‘victim’ used her witchy powers to set his genitals on fire. As it turned out, she was the heroine of the story. 
  • A symbol/trait/catch phrase/habit/object, etc, or any combination thereof (but don’t go overboard). Give your character something tangible and something intangible to make them more vivid and ‘real.’ Who can think of Scarlett O’Hara without thinking of ‘Fiddle dee-dee!’ and Tara?
  • Give your character contradictions. For example, in my Isle of Fangs series, I have a vampire hunter who is afraid of blood. That allows for some interesting (I hope) conflict.
  • Have them want something different from what they need. In Devil’s Promenade, Camille wants to prove the spook light legend to be false for the book she’s writing, but she needs to believe in the supernatural, so she can help a ghost find closure.

So…what do you think? Do you have some character creating tips to share with us?

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(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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