Writing tips
Use exclamation marks sparingly!
On May 29, 2012 | 1 Comments

I just finished reading a novel in which the author used a lot of exclamation marks in her dialogue. In fact, she employed them so often that I FELT LIKE THE CHARACTERS WERE SHOUTING AT ME THE WHOLE TIME I WAS READING! (As you can see, using all caps also has that same effect.) Here […]

Read more
When you cut a scene you like, save it
On May 15, 2012 | 6 Comments

As you begin a novel, you may have an idea where you’re going, but you probably don’t know the exact route you’ll take to get there. I’ve now written four complete novels, and in only one of them did I (loosely) adhere to an outline. I’ve found that plot lines often take on a life […]

Read more
Don’t cook your family, Rachael!
On May 1, 2012 | 1 Comments

The other day, a friend who shares my passion for good grammar posted the following picture on Facebook: While this example may be a bit extreme (yet hilarious), it shows that punctuation is important! Too often writers are lazy about using commas correctly, but as demonstrated above, one or more missing ones can completely change […]

Read more
Three grassroots marketing tips to put in place today
On April 24, 2012 | 0 Comments

For many authors, both traditional and self-published, marketing a book is harder than writing one. If you don’t have a background in marketing, you may feel confused, overwhelmed, and even a little freaked out by the idea of it. Plus you may equate marketing with advertising and immediately think, Marketing is expensive, there’s no way […]

Read more
Between you and ME
On April 3, 2012 | 1 Comments

In my last post, I discussed the importance of using pronouns. This week, I’d like to address the importance of using the correct pronouns. One particular – and extremely common – pronoun error that drives me crazy is the misuse of I. At some point, most children get chastised for using the pronoun “me” instead […]

Read more
Don’t be afraid to use pronouns
On March 27, 2012 | 1 Comments

Imagine you’re having coffee with a friend (we’ll call her Julie), and she says “Oh my gosh, I have the funniest story to tell you about that guy John I’ve been seeing!” You smile and sip your pumpkin spice latte, ready to listen. Then imagine that Julie begins her story like this (read aloud for […]

Read more
Two mistakes indie authors should avoid
On March 6, 2012 | 1 Comments

Recently I had coffee with Jennifer Wilkov, an award-winning writer and host of the popular “Your Book Is Your Hook” radio show. She also runs a successful business helping authors navigate the writing and publishing process. I told her that I write a blog for aspiring authors and asked her what advice she’d give specifically […]

Read more
Book marketing: You know more than you think you do
On February 28, 2012 | 0 Comments

A smart way to get the word out about your book is to position yourself as an expert in a particular subject. You can write a regular blog, contribute articles to magazines and websites, speak at events, and even make yourself available to the press to help with their stories. However, when I suggest this […]

Read more
book marketing
Keep track of your successes
On February 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

In a previous post, I emphasized the importance of writing down your ideas quickly so you won’t forget them. Today, I strongly suggest you also write down something else: your successes. Marketing a book isn’t easy, especially if you are independently published, but if you work hard at it, eventually you’re going to experience some cool […]

Read more
More grammar pet peeves
On February 14, 2012 | 3 Comments

In previous posts, I addressed random capitalization and the incorrect use of a possessive apostrophe to denote a plural. (See below for a recent example on the apostrophe overload– even Pepsi got it wrong the other night!) I enjoyed the fun reaction I got to those posts, so here I go again with the grammar thing. I […]

Read more