Writing a Book Review

reader feedback-1978036_960_720Book reviews are essential to writers. While we do our best to communicate the essence of our stories through our book descriptions, the reviews from readers tend to go deeper, revealing some of the more detailed layers of our stories to other potential readers. Just think back — do you read reviews of books you’re thinking of buying? And have you ever been swayed to buy/not buy after reading a review? Reviews are immensely important.

However, I’ve heard from lots of readers that they don’t leave reviews. Why? Continue reading “Writing a Book Review”

Back Matter in Your Book

reader reading-1246520_960_720So you’ve edited and re-edited your book, you’ve tweaked and re-tweaked, and read it over so many times you’re bleary-eyed. You’re ready to publish. The front matter of all books is pretty well prescribed: title page, publication page, and perhaps an introduction or table of contents. But what the heck do you put at the back of the book? If you’ve been involved in many online forums, you’ve probably seen quite a bit of discussion about this. Let’s break it down. Continue reading “Back Matter in Your Book”

Newbie Writer Mistakes

beginning author mistakes slip-up-709045_960_720As an editor and proofreader, I have the opportunity to read quite a few first attempts by aspiring writers. I can absolutely relate to having a story to tell, to having characters take my brain hostage until I agree to set their story down on paper. At the time, it might seem that my only choice is to comply or go crazy. That’s how compelling and/or desperate the urge can feel.

So I applaud all of you newbie writers. I applaud you for having the guts to actually do this; to fight the doubts, the fears, the second guesses, and write your story down. Many people feel they have a book in them; only a fraction of them actually start to write. Of those, only a fraction of those finishes the book. And, of those, only a fraction commit to getting the book published. If you’re still with me, you’re in a very small, very special minority. Congratulations.

However, there is one tiny little fly in the ointment. Continue reading “Newbie Writer Mistakes”

Why Can’t Writers Kill the Little Darlings?

kill your darlingsMany of you have no doubt heard the infamous quote by William Faulker, “In writing, you must kill your darlings.” If you haven’t, or you don’t understand this, it means that in our writing, we authors at times may inject characters, scenes or story elements because WE like them, not because the story demands them. I’ve certainly battled this myself. In a recent book I was writing, I had an idea to stick an Airedale in there. I have an Airedale, love them to pieces, and I thought I could write one in just for kicks. I fully intended to, knowing from the get-go that it had nothing to do with the story and was just a bit of fluff that served no purpose except I liked it. Well, the story unfolded, I wrote the whole book and, guess what? No Airedale. There was no place for it in the story. Oh, sure, I could go back and shoehorn it in; I could jam it in there somewhere. But the story didn’t call for it. The story didn’t demand it. Ergo, no Airedale. Continue reading “Why Can’t Writers Kill the Little Darlings?”