When I Tell People NOT to Read My Book

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This doesn’t happen often, but I will occasionally steer someone away from my book, at least temporarily. Here are the reasons why: 1. The reader is too young While I originally intended Gift of the Phoenix for adults, at least half of my readers are teens or preteens. I know some stores and libraries shelve it in the young adult section and it does well

How to Format Your Manuscript for Your Editor

How to Format Your Manuscript for Your Editor

Sometimes writers aren’t sure how to format their manuscript before sending it to an editor. Sometimes authors getting ready to submit to agents wonder about that, too. Either way, you do want your manuscript to be in standard form. Fortunately, it’s not hard. Here’s what to know before sending your manuscript to an editor or agent: 1. Use Microsoft Word. It’s the industry standard. If

Do You Make These Character Naming Mistakes?

Do You Make These Character Naming Mistakes 2

We authors have to work hard to make our stories transcend the words on the page and become tangible entities in the reader’s mind. There are, frankly, a lot of ways to screw this up. Today we’ll talk about one of them. Namely, naming characters. There are a few character naming mistakes I see over and over again. Fortunately, they’re easy to correct. Pitfalls to

Showing vs. Telling – When It’s Okay to Tell

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We’ve all heard the rule: “Show Don’t Tell.” Sometimes newer writers get confused about this rule. They’ll read a novel and see an instance of telling. The new writer thinks, “But this author was telling. Why can she get away with it?” The answer is twofold. 1. There are no hard and fast rules of writing. You can do whatever you want so long as

The Pros and Cons of Critique Groups

Pros and Cons of Critique Groups

There’s some debate about the merit of critique groups, especially for novelists aspiring to write at a professional level. Some people are eager advocates of critique groups; others have added critique groups to the “don’t waste your time” list. I am neither a critique group proponent nor opponent. Whether or not I recommend joining a critique group to a particular writer depends on the situation.