“Well, dialogue is easy!” you might think. “All I gotta do is write stuff exactly how the person says it. I mean, it’s so simple. Right?”
When you write dialogue, you have to be selective about what you’re writing, and you have to present it in a way that it is most engaging and easy to read. That can be tricky, but if you keep a few things in mind, you will be able to write clear dialogue with your purpose in mind. Continue reading
Editing can be tricky when you’re down to the final round. You might feel burnt out. You’ve probably read your work over and over as you’ve been writing it. And if you’ve already reviewed for the big picture stuff—plot, story arc, characters, dialogue, and on and on—then a final review to make sure everything makes sense can be both the icing on the cake and the devil in the details.
My mom showed me a poem once where the last line said, “The typographical error is the olny thing you see.” She spent years typing on a typewriter, so when they read something to correct it, they were usually doing that last layer of editing. No one likes to use white out when they type, so you only changed misspellings or something that affected the way the document would be read.
(I’m so glad we work on computers now so we can obsess about every word!)
But the result is the same. If you print out your document and you missed something in the edit, you can guarantee that it will be in the heading or the largest word on the page or something else equally important. Continue reading
For my 2016 wrap-up, I’ve sorted through all my blogs and pulled out the best advice for writers, from setting yourself up to write with the correct mindset to mitigating writer’s block to editing like a pro. Here are the best juicy tidbits, as well as links to the full blog post for more details.
Enjoy! And make the most of the last few days of 2016 by thinking about your writing! Continue reading
Some people will promise you that you can write and publish a book in a weekend or a week or something else crazy like that. Really? A decent book in anything less than a month, not counting children’s books, is outlandish.
If you want anyone other than your mom and your BFF to read your book, why in the world would you rush it? Just because you can write a book in just a few days, doesn’t make it a good idea. You can do a lot of things quickly, but that doesn’t mean you should. (I recall the time I tried to quickly wash the dishes and ended up smacking a wine glass into the faucet. Grrrr!)
I get it. You’re busy. So am I! So is everyone else! But maybe cranking out a book, slapping your name on it, and sending it to the printer isn’t the best way to make you stand out as an author or expert. Continue reading
Pulling together the culmination of your research? Writing your story to inspire others to achieve as you have? Once you’re done, you’ll need to run a thorough edit before you can publish, so this is the best spot for you to start!
Non-fiction is a breeze, right? You don’t have to come up with the plot. Just type about your experience or your research, and you’re set. Eh, not so much.
Non-fiction is a completely different beast from fiction to edit, and though you likely don’t have to worry as much about coming up with a way to link all the threads, you still have to make sure it happened.
This week and next, I’m discussing some questions to ask yourself when you edit your non-fiction work to make sure that your audience has the best experience possible. Continue reading
Your audience is smart and savvy, but it’s possible that they aren’t down with all the high-level techno-speak.
When I worked on government contracts, we were encouraged to use plain language in our communications with the general public. The work that we did was highly technical, which meant that the scientists wanted to geek out (who wouldn’t!) and talk about their nano-particles, electron microscopes, and other lab equipment, catalysts, byproducts, etc. like they would with their comrades every time they wrote. Continue reading