How to vary your syntactic use of metaphor #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

I noticed recently that Sylvia Plath, in her novel The Bell Jar, favored verbs as delivery vehicles for metaphor. Don’t get me wrong. The woman could work a metaphor along the syntactic spectrum, but the verbs really stuck out for me, and it occurred to me that in my own work, which contains a fair amount of metaphorical language, I hadn’t yet mastered Plath’s skill with verbal metaphors. Hence, this post in which I workshop one metaphorical image using different parts of speech and different phrase types. Click the title above to continue reading.

Authors, read for what irks you (#IWSG Blog Hop)

Easily avoidable misunderstandings as a device to create conflict, whether reading or watching it, I dislike this so much, it elicits an eye roll from me every time. The conflict just doesn’t feel logical. And because I’m aware that I don’t like this, I’m (hopefully) careful not to let this and other of my literary pet peeves happen in my own writing. Click the title above to continue reading.

Handling author Q&As to ensure a more positive experience #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

As a frequenter of book readings and author workshops, I’ve sometimes noticed a moment when the author loses part of their audience, the part that cares about how the author is reacting to questions. Perhaps they become dismissive, defensive, passive-aggressive, or skirt the question entirely. Below is a list of common question types with example answers that can leave an aftermath of negativity as well as alternatives to keep audience members in that book-buying zone. Click on the title above to continue reading.

Why book marketing is a numbers game (#IWSG Blog Hop)

I feel like it’s the job of every high school math teacher to drone on about how no matter a student’s desired profession, they’ll need math, and it’s the job of every right-brained student to believe that teacher is lying through their teeth. Marketing is intertwined with so much math, I had to take seven courses steeped in numbers before they would give me my diploma. In the case of book marketing… Click the title above to continue reading.

3 techniques to reduce dialogue tags and cues in group scenes #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

With only two characters, we can get away with less dialogue tags and cues—also referred to as character, emotion or action beats—because if we know who’s speaking first, we can intuit that the next pair of quotes encloses dialogue from the only other character in the scene. But with groups of more than two speakers, scenes can become cluttered with dialogue tags and cues, which can make a passage more stilted than it needs to be. Here are three techniques that can help. Click the title above to continue reading.

9 factors to consider when trialing critique partners (#IWSG Blog Hop)

When on the lookout for critique partners, a genre match is important and you should have at least one, but it isn’t always the most important factor. Take a look at the nine criteria below, and the next time you’re scouting for a new CP, you may want to consider placing more emphasis on the eight that come after genre. Click the title above to continue reading.