Tag Archives: writing tips

How to Revise your Manuscript: First Draft to Final Draft – by Lisa Poisso…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Writing a novel is such a minuscule part of writing a novel. People who’ve never written anything longer than a school paper have a hard time imagining that pouring all those words onto the page isn’t the major part of the battle.

Experienced authors know better.

Writing the manuscript is just a fraction of the process of creating a novel.

The writing process hogs the spotlight, but learning how to revise your manuscript will allow the story inside to bloom.

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Key Writing Lessons from a Writing Event

Uninspired Writers

Yesterday, I attended an incredible writing event hosted by Jericho Writers. It was a fantastic day, with talks from amazing writers, authors and agents. I just need to state that I would 100% attend one of their events again, and recommend them to other writers hoping to gain huge insight into writing, getting an agent and publishing.

So, I thought I’d share with you all some of the writing lessons I took away from the day. Next week I’ll share some of the publishing lessons too, but I think it’ll be too much if I try and fit everything into one blog post, so here we go!

1. Speech is one of the most powerful character traits
The first talk of the day was about ‘advanced characterisation’ and spoke about the various ways we can portray our characters to ensure they have depth. ‘Speech’ was discussed for a while…

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Your 2019 Book Marketing Plan, Month by Month – by Amy Collins…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Bookworks:

“Fail to plan? Then plan to fail.”  What a HORRIBLE quote, but SO apt for authors who are trying to figure out their marketing strategies. 

Now is the perfect time to sit down and create a 2019 marketing plan.

The problem for most of us is that marketing is such a big job.

We get bogged down in the enormity of the task and quite often push it off. It is easier to do things that we know and like, so marketing often gets delayed or even skipped altogether.

But we can overcome this.

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3 Apostrophe Rules You Need!

Just Can't Help Writing

One of those dastardly little conundrums of self-editing is the apostrophe.

The five basic comma rules

Our writing center at the institution where I taught had a handout titled “Rogue Apostrophes,” in recognition of the way these nasty squiggles had a way of popping up here and there in student papers, wherever the mood seemed to strike them.

””””””’ !

As with many punctuation marks, misplaced apostrophes don’t always get in the way of a reader’s understanding. But they can. When readers encounter something that looks as if it was a possessive but turns out not to be, they’ll mentally backtrack to clear up the confusion. Sometimes the reader doesn’t even notice the glitch in his or her attention, but it’s there all the same.

And even the slightest glitch in attention means that the reader has been kicked out of your story, even if just for a moment. Not good.

There are only

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Make Characters Unique with Layering – by Jami Gold…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Somewhere along our learning curve as writers, we’re likely to come across the skill of layering. But what does that mean?

Often that skill refers to how we layer in different elements of our story, weaving in our plot, characters, settings, emotions, etc. In fact, some writers even start with just one element—such as writing their whole story just as dialogue—and then layer in everything else once they have the shape of the story.

But today, I want to talk more about layering that focuses on characters. Specifically, I want to dig into how layering can help us create unique characters, no matter how stereotypical or tropey they might be on the surface.

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Four Ways to Build Suspense in Your Novel

Douglas W. T. Smith

For many writers and readers, the suspense is a genre. However, it is also a key element in all stories—if you want your readers to keep reading, that is.

Tools for creating suspense belong in every writer’s toolkit because they help arouse expectation or uncertainty about what’s going to happen.

And that worry pulls readers deeper into your story, whether it’s fantasy, thriller, science-fiction, literary fiction or any other genre.

Below are four ways to help add suspense to your novel, no matter where you’re at in the writing process, from drafting to the fourth round of editing (like me).

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Writer Flexibility: Trying New Things – by Jami Gold…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Even though I’ve studied story structure enough to teach workshops and offer beat sheets, I still love learning new perspectives. I still read blog posts, check out Twitter threads, and pick up books about beats, plots, and story structure, hoping to take away at least one new thing.

Once we’ve written more than one story, we often learn a “writer truth”:

The processes and techniques that worked on our last story might not work on our next one.

So I figure I should fill my brain with all the options. I want to have more choices in my toolbox should my usual processes for writing and editing a story fail. The more tools at our fingertips, the better our chances of finding something that will work.

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