I can talk about writing craft and grammar, POV and character development. I can (and will) discuss how to give feedback on other people's work. But one of the hardest skills a writer must develop is the ability to receive criticism. Some people reportedly love criticism. They leap to the harshest editor they can find … Continue reading How to Receive Beta Reader Feedback
Multiple adjectives modifying a single noun need commas, right? But in a writing group I'm in, we spent some time debating why this sentence is incorrect: "He sat at a hand carved, oak dining table." We could all tell by instinct that it is incorrect, but had trouble expressing why. The correct punctuation would be: … Continue reading Commas and Hyphens in Adjectives, Oh My!
I struggle with description. I'm not a visual person. In fact, sometimes I have to pull up a bunch of images or videos online to serve as a guide when trying to really evoke a person or place. So when I encounter description in a book, the question of "how much" description to use is … Continue reading Double-Duty Description
I'm getting back into the grammar weeds today, based on common problems I'm seeing in beta manuscripts. In this case, I'm talking about the subject of a sentence, and making it clear to your readers which character is acting at any given time. Sentence 1: Chris turned around.We have a basic simple sentence here with … Continue reading Writing Polish: Going Off Subject
One of the issues I come across often both in my beta reads and my own first drafts is violation of limited POV. Most contemporary books are written in limited POV. This means we really get into the head of the main character and experience the world through their eyes. The narrative voice is the … Continue reading POV Problems
This advice has been floating around Twitter and writing blogs for some time now. When you reach the editing stage of your book, converting the text to the Comic Sans font can help you catch those last elusive typos. For some, this may not be worth the pain of having to look at Comic Sans. … Continue reading The Psychology of Editing in Comic Sans