Writing Polish: The Bulldozer Sentence

Literature trained a lot of us to drone on a bit. William Faulkner's Absalom! Absalom! has a single sentence that clocks in at 1,288 words.  Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables offers up an 832 word gem.  Modern writing, especially genre writing, are more about the sharp. One of my biggest revision tasks revolves around bulldozer sentences. These come … Continue reading Writing Polish: The Bulldozer Sentence

Writing Polish: Putting Things in Order

One of the most valuable experiences of having a good critique partner or editor is finding all the mistakes you didn't know you were making!  In the current draft of a Witch in Wine Country, my critique partner found a couple of bad writing habits that, while not terrible, added up to clarity problems when … Continue reading Writing Polish: Putting Things in Order

“Ejaculated Slughorn” – Dialogue Tags and Action Beats

Among the well-meaning advice I thoroughly disagree with, new writers are often told to never use a dialogue tag other than "said" and "asked." The most quoted example used to support this comes from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series: "Snape!" ejaculated Slughorn, who looked the most shaken, pale and sweating. Technically, yes, ejaculated is a synonym for … Continue reading “Ejaculated Slughorn” – Dialogue Tags and Action Beats