Writing tips
Turn the beat around
On January 13, 2012 | 1 Comments

A few posts back, I talked about using dialogue to bring characters to life. Today, I’d like to discuss the importance of using beats. A “beat” is a description of the physical action a character makes while speaking, and good beats can bring your characters to life and make your dialogue pop right off the […]

Read more
Bring your characters to life with dialogue
On October 27, 2011 | 2 Comments

First-time novelists often have trouble with dialogue. A common problem is that the characters all sound the same, so the readers have a hard time telling them apart. As a result, the readers get confused, annoyed, distracted, or all of the above – none of which you want to happen. If you want your readers […]

Read more
Write it down!
On October 17, 2011 | 1 Comments

I took a yoga class a few days ago, and in the last (i.e. the best!) part of class, when you just lie there and relax, I was suddenly struck by an idea for a scene to include in the new novel I’m writing. The timing was unfortunate, but I couldn’t help when I came […]

Read more
How to beat writer’s block
On September 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

It happens to all of us. Sometimes, no matter how motivated we are to work, we hit a wall and don’t know what to write next. Or we know what we want to write, but for whatever reason we struggle to get it on paper. When this happens to me, I have a few tactics […]

Read more
Just say NO to random capitalization!
On September 1, 2011 | 3 Comments

I blogged a couple weeks ago about a particular grammar pet peeve of mine, and today I have a new one: capitalizing words that shouldn’t be capitalized! Unfortunately, I see this a lot. Here are some typical examples of mistakes authors often make, both in their books and their marketing communications: He’s the Vice President […]

Read more
The plural of book is NOT book’s!
On August 18, 2011 | 2 Comments

I have a new grammar pet peeve: the use of a possessive apostrophe to denote a plural. In just the past few weeks, I’ve seen the following on signs, menus and posters around New York City: Great gift idea for teacher’s Open Sunday’s and Monday’s We print on tank top’s! Banana’s and mango’s on sale […]

Read more
Get reviews for your indie book!
On August 11, 2011 | 5 Comments

Even if you don’t know a lot about book marketing, you’ve probably heard of book reviews. What you might not know, however, is that many of the large, traditional media outlets don’t review independently published books. We’re starting to see cracks in this dam with the likes of Publishers Weekly‘s new Self-Publishing quarterly listings with […]

Read more
A lesson from American Idol
On August 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

Last week I blogged about the importance of creating a brief, compelling description of your book as you begin your marketing efforts. In addition to your hook, I also recommend creating a longer description – a paragraph or so – that provides a bit more detail. Just don’t tell me how amazing your book is! […]

Read more
Is that George Clooney?
On July 29, 2011 | 1 Comments

If a complete stranger walked up to you on the street and said, “I’ve written a scary novel that is a real page turner…You should totally buy it,” chances are you’d nod politely and quickly walk away. However, if that same person pointed across the street and said, “Is that George Clooney?” I’m willing to […]

Read more