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.

On balancing and weighting writing advice (#IWSG Blog Hop)

You’re stuck on a question about how to use a writing device, and off to the Internet/library/bookstore you go. Perhaps you stop after article number one, thinking certainly this must be the definitive answer, because this publishing professional has game to spare. She may well, but still your search should continue. Why? Click the title above to continue reading.

2 foreshadowing techniques to reduce new information overload #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Reading a book is like jumping on an exercise bike for the brain. The reason is because every sentence is a piece of information the reader needs to process. Some sentences are easier to absorb than others. For instance, a sentence that speaks about characters, themes, and plots the reader has already gotten to know doesn’t require as much processing as a sentence introducing new characters, sub-themes, or subplots. We want readers to keep pedaling and processing this new information, but as so often happens in books, there comes a point when the reader decides to take a break. Click the title above to continue reading.

Why your ego needs an author community (#IWSG Blog Hop)

Family and friends are great, but they don’t understand author milestones, nor do they understand what it takes to achieve them. And when we fall, they don’t have the first clue about how to help us up. This is why, authors, we need to stock our author communities. Because when it comes to being an author, family and friends a cheerleading section do not make. Click on the title above to continue reading.

15 tips for interviewing experts for your novel #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Interviewing has played a large role in my career as a journalist and marketer, and now, as an author. Sure, I still get all flustered when I’m reaching for a big interview, but for the most part, the fifteen tips and techniques below work for me. Click the title above to continue reading.

On Plotting: intentional versus unintentional creative thinking time (#IWSG Blog Hop)

An old creative writing teacher gave the class some advice I’ll never forget. When it comes to story ideas, it’s best to ride around on the bus with it. In other words, take time to process and decide if it’s the best story and/or story direction. In my mind, there are two types of riding-around-on-the-bus-with-it: intentional and unintentional. Click the title above to continue reading.