Writing tips
Top mistakes a professional editor sees
On August 15, 2016 | 0 Comments

In a previous post, I explained the difference between a developmental edit and a copy edit. Today I’d like to dive deeper into the value of a skilled developmental editor by asking a pro, Christina Henry de Tessan of Girl Friday Productions, for the most common issues she encounters. Here are her top four: 1) Show […]

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Writing tip: Just keep going!
On August 8, 2016 | 0 Comments

When I’m working on the first draft of a novel, at times it can feel like I’m pushing an enormous boulder up a mountain. Have you ever had that feeling? It’s during those periods that I have to trust what I’ve learned over the course of writing multiple books, which is that I have to […]

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What do you do when a character isn’t working?
On June 27, 2016 | 5 Comments

When I finished the first draft of my most recent novel Wait for the Rain, there was one character who just didn’t fit into the story the way I’d imagined–or hoped–that she would. I liked a lot about her, however, so I wasn’t sure what to do. At a loss, I turned the manuscript in, eager […]

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Writing tip: Don’t let fear hold you back
On June 6, 2016 | 0 Comments

Despite the success I’ve had with my books, I still experience the same sense of fear every time I begin a new one: What if this one isn’t any good? What business do I have trying to write a book? You’d think after seven novels I would be over this by now, but I’m not–at all! […]

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Writing tip: Keep a synopsis as you go
On May 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

When you first begin working on a book, it’s easy to go back and read from the beginning to refresh your memory about key plot points, timelines, character insights, etc. The deeper you get into the writing process, however, the more unwieldy and time-consuming it becomes to read the entire thing. To avoid getting derailed […]

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A wonderful example of how to handle constructive criticism and feedback
On May 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

A few weeks ago I received a nice email from a reader of my blog named Tanja. She had recently self-published a book and had a brief, specific question for me about contacting reviewers. (I appreciated that because I get a lot of emails that simply ask “How should I market my book?”) She and I […]

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Writing tip: Don’t overuse uncommon gestures and actions
On April 19, 2016 | 1 Comments

I recently read a novel in which multiple people winked at the protagonist in the opening pages. I found this quite odd. When was the last time someone winked at you? When was the last time more than one person winked at you? I don’t think anyone has ever winked at me. As I read on, […]

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Writing tip: Use contractions in dialogue
On March 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

I recently bought an indie book written by a very nice man I met at a conference a few years ago. He and I have stayed in touch since then, so I wanted to support him and his writing. I really hoped to enjoy his debut novel, but unfortunately I didn’t get very far before […]

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Writing tip: Stay committed to the process
On March 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

Last week I went out for a drink with a friend of mine who works in finance. His career is based on facts and figures, so he’s fascinated that mine relies entirely on my imagination. How do you write an entire book? He wanted to know. How does it work? I explained to him that often […]

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What I wish I knew before becoming an author
On March 7, 2016 | 2 Comments

Last year I watched the Oscars with two friends. At some point an award for writing was presented, and while I don’t remember who won it, I do remember what he said, because I burst out laughing. He said something along the lines of…writers hate themselves. When I laughed my two friends looked at me […]

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