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.
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.
On Plotting: intentional versus unintentional creative thinking time (#IWSG Blog Hop)
A creative writing teacher gave my 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.
Is your next story research light or intensive? #AuthorToolboxBlogHop
The considerations involved in writing either a research light or research intensive story include: whether your research can be accomplished mainly through primary or secondary sources; how accessible the sources are; and how much time will be spent researching. Click the title above to continue reading.
How to think laterally about editor feedback #AuthorToolboxBlogHop
In my opinion, the editor is always right . . . about the existence of a problem. What they’re less often right about IMHO is identifying exactly what the problem is, nor are they always right about what the best solution is, nor is it always a problem that should be fixed. Click the title above to continue reading.
The 4 Ps of marketing for authors (#IWSG Blog Hop)
The ‘4 Ps of Marketing’ form a pie chart also referred to as the ‘Marketing Mix,’ which I break down in terms of how it relates to selling books. Click the title above to continue reading.
8 criteria for evaluating writing competitions (#IWSG Blog Hop)
Writing competitions are a great way to test skill and receive feedback from authors, agents, editors, and publishing gurus. Here are eight criteria to take into account before deciding which competitions are the best use of your time, money, and creativity. Click the title above to continue reading.
How to freshen up cliched expressions #AuthorToolboxBlogHop
I often read blogs where writers are told to avoid overused expressions like the plague. In my humble opinion, there are ways to update cliches so that they resonate, more often than not to humorous effect. Click the title above to continue reading.
Twitter pitch parties: pro tips, etiquette, and character-counting template (#IWSG Blog Hop)
I share Twitter pitch party tips, some general etiquette, as well as a free Excel/Google Docs template in which I’ve already added character-counting formulas. Click the title above to continue reading.
How to think like your future book buyers (#IWSG Blog Hop)
Marketers train their brains to think like their targeted consumers. Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to get in the mindset of your future book buyers. Click the title above to continue reading.