On Weasel Words and Other Writing Tips for Authors

weasel words short-tailed-weasel-86619_960_720When I was a brand new writer, a number of well-established authors helped me. They gave me advice about my blurbs, how I structured my stories, my phrasing — essentially everything an early-stage writer needs to get a handle on things. Now, five years later, I won’t claim to be well established myself, but I do have my first million words written, and I do my best to return the favor by helping others who are at the beginning of their writing journey. As I do, I see many of the same mistakes repeated over and over.

The good news is, writing rules can be broken, and effectively so. I am in the camp that says you have to truly understand a rule before you can break it effectively, though. In this post, I’m not talking about rules so much as generally accepted best practices. If you disagree with what I say here, I won’t argue with you. I will only say that these things are what work for me. Continue reading “On Weasel Words and Other Writing Tips for Authors”

Writing Tip: Trim Your Language

TRIM LANGUAGEThis 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”

Tapping into Your Inner Editor

editing headaches?  girl-504315_1280If you join an online writers group, talk will eventually turn to editing: either the revisions/edits authors make to their own work or those done with the help of a word-wrangling professional. Often when I’m involved in one of those discussions, I get a sense that a lot of writers think the editing process is 1) like being forced to drink liquefied kale; 2) anathema to their creativity; and 3) completely alien to them.

We’ve had some posts about how and why to hire an editor, so I won’t go into that here. I want to talk about what makes a good editor and some ways authors can put those qualities to work to make self-editing more productive and less painful. Continue reading “Tapping into Your Inner Editor”

You’re Going to Write What? – Part 7

scribbling-152216_640This is an ongoing series about BigAl’s first experience writing a book. Join him as he flies by the seat of his pants and figures things out as he goes. For a more complete explanation about the book and this series of posts, you can read the series introduction here.

Status Update

The last status I gave was mid-October in part 4 of this series. It must be time for an update. Continue reading “You’re Going to Write What? – Part 7”