This should be called “Mistakes I Made That You Shouldn’t” series. Once more, you lucky people
are going to will get the benefit of my lengthy writing experience. As in, lengthy writing is the problem. In other words, I’m editing a novel I wrote several years ago and cutting out all the junk I have since learned not to put in. If some of you are now where I was then, these examples could be of use in tuning help tighten up your own language. Let’s see how many words we can save if we are firm with ourselves. Continue reading “Writing Tip: Trim Your Language”
Whether you design your own book exterior and interior or are working with a professional, here are a few precepts that will guide you towards a better product, and thus more sales.
Lesson Number One: Think of the Reader’s Experience
As you write your manuscript, in the back of your head you consider the emotional experience the readers will have as they progress through the story. So when you design the look of the final product, you should likewise take careful account of the process the buyers go through, from the first awareness that the book exists to that final, “Yes, I’ll buy it!” Which is about 2 – 15 seconds, so you’d better do a good job of it. Continue reading “Design Your Book to Sell”
One of the most difficult things for authors to do is improve the tone or style of our writing. Tone especially is a nebulous, hard-to-define quality that is essential to the reader’s enjoyment of our work, but we rarely get specific feedback about it, or find any way we can fix it if something is wrong. And feedback is essential, because these qualities are so intuitive that it is difficult to self-analyze. It’s easy to figure out that you use more commas than most writers. It’s much more difficult to realize that you sound “preachy,” and even harder to fix the problem.
However, there is one way of getting into the depths of your own writing: analyze your overused words. Continue reading “6 Overused Phrases and What They Reveal About Your Writing”
Everyone had so much fun with the last seven complaints I had while reviewing books, I thought I’d give them a chance to get right down to some more. Some are a bit esoteric, but when a reviewer is really busy and looking for an excuse to go on to the next book, a few of these will do the trick every time.
8. Information Dump
This is feedback from everyone in comments on the earlier post. NEVER, EVER, EVER bore the reader with an Information Dump. I know you need us to know the whole life story of the main character, but we don’t know we need to know it, so why read it? So we put your book down after Page three.
When is an information dump not an information dump? Never. The only time information is okay is when we don’t notice it, or, best yet, when we want the information. If you can set up a situation where the reader feels like, “Why is he doing that? WHY is he doing that? WHY IS HE…? Oh! That’s why!” then you’ve got it nailed.
Part A: Developmental Errors Continue reading “The Next Seven Book Reviewer Complaints”