About Laurie Boris

Laurie Boris is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and former graphic designer. She has been writing fiction for over twenty-five years and is the award-winning author of four novels. She lives in New York’s lovely Hudson Valley. Learn more about Laurie at her website and her Amazon author page.

How to Work the New Twitter Profile Design

Screen shot 2014-05-05 at 8.23.31 PMIf you’ve popped over to Twitter recently, you might have noticed a prompt to change to their new profile design. Again. Okay, I like change, especially when it comes in sacks of dollar coins or has a vague potential to up my visibility, so I bit. And I got this…

Continue reading

How to Write Better Dialogue

file0001934509658Last week, Big Al treated us to his vast experience on what not to do with dialogue and dialogue tags. That got me all excited to talk about one of my favorite topics: how to write better dialogue. Here are just a few tips:

1. Get a stronger handle on how people talk to each other. This is your best tool in your dialogue toolbox. Dialogue isn’t an exact replica of human speech. We’d have to contend with a lot of verbal tics and repetition if it were. But spending some time listening will improve your ear. I like to do that by eavesdropping on conversations. Legally, of course. Listening will also help you learn to craft dialogue that will differentiate one character from another. Continue reading

Urban Dictionary App to Take On Chicago Manual of Style

urban_dictBecause of the growing popularity of e-books and the burgeoning population of younger readers, the Urban Dictionary, LLC announced yesterday via a YouTube press conference that it plans to release its own style guide app in 2015.

“Chicago’s just not dope enough to hang with us,” said Urban Dictionary’s founder, Aaron Peckham. Stressing the ubiquitous Chicago Manual of Style’s lack of focus on new technology, including the lexicon of text speak and urban slang, Peckham went on to say that SMUD (Stylin’ Mo’Urban Dictionary, a name based on their popular book Mo’Urban Dictionary), will be filling a huge need. Continue reading

How to Hire an Editor, Part 2: Ask Questions

iStock_000016462169XSmallIn Part 1, we reviewed the different types of editing so you can determine what you need and therefore, what kind of editor to seek out. Now that you have a few names, start a conversation.

Where to even begin?

This is why it’s so important (if at all possible) to have an idea of what kind of editing you need. What you’re calling “editing” might not be the same thing your potential editor is pricing you on. It’s your book and your money, so you would do well to know what you’re getting into. Continue reading

How to Hire an Editor, Part 1: Know What You Need

file000349823764Recently, we asked if you had any questions. The answers, in order, are: yes, but only if the light bulb wants to change; it depends on the phase of the moon; wait until Rich Meyer finishes feeding his cats; we’ll never reveal the secret gruel recipe; because it’s there; and yes, Chris James looks even more handsome in person than he does on the Internet.

Meanwhile, commenter Wendy asked, “Where do I start looking for a good reasonable editor? I know those two words don’t usually go together but I will need an editor soon and don’t have a lot of money to do it with. I know I can’t edit my own work because of the brain auto filling. Need fresh eyes. Any suggestions?” Continue reading