Writing tips
Everyone needs an editor!
On January 31, 2012 | 5 Comments

If you decide to publish on your own, it’s critical to have multiple sets of eyes review your work before pulling the trigger. I strongly recommend hiring a professional creative editor and a professional copy editor. If you don’t have the budget for either, solicit input from friends, coworkers, or anyone else willing to help […]

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Keep your chin up
On January 25, 2012 | 1 Comments

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a strong chance it’s because you’re an aspiring author, or maybe a published author. Either way, publishing a book is very important to you, whether you do it independently or with the help of a traditional publisher. In fact, it might be the most important thing you’ve ever done […]

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Just say it!
On January 13, 2012 | 1 Comments

In recent posts, I’ve talked about dialogue and the importance of using beats, and about how many first-time authors struggle with the tendency to tell their readers instead of showing them. This issue pops up a lot in dialogue, where we often see sentences like the following: “Of course I’ll go,” she consented. “But that’s […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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