Tag Archives: writing tips

5 Tips For Successful Proofreading

K.M. Allan

For someone who is a writer, I’ve done very little of it lately. This is because I’ve been spending the last few months editing and proofreading the four books that make up my YA supernatural series. As a result, I’ve become pretty apt at revising drafts, or at least I’ve learned enough about proofreading to share some valuable tips.

Make A List

Before you start proofreading, you should have a list of what you want to tackle; such as…

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Physical Character Descriptions (eye color, hair color, tall, short, etc.)
  • Settings/Locations
  • Dialogue

Make a basic list of common proofing goals (like those above), as well as a list of things to check that are specific to your book. No one knows better than you which words or phrases you repeat, or that Timmy fell down the well in chapter three so he can’t be at school in chapter…

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EDITING 101: A series of 64 FREE Editing Tips – INDEX – For your future reference…

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Different Types of Closure

Legends of Windemere

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I’ve said in previous posts that one of the most important parts of concluding a series is creating closure. You need to bring things to an end, which isn’t as easy as some people think.  In fact, one of the reasons it can be so tough is because you have a variety of closure types to choose from.  It depends a lot on what you’re going for, but even planning doesn’t alleviate all the pressure.  So, what are the types?

  1. Classic Good Ending– All of the good guys get what they wanted and all of the bad guys got what they deserved.  It’s the oldest type of closure in the book.  Nothing messy and no risk of people feeling it’s a downer.  Though, you might get called out for being weak and unoriginal.
  2. Classic Bad Ending– I’m not sure how long it took for someone…

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EDITING 101: 64 – Story Organization…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Story Organization

We talked briefly about this in Article #21, “Plotting.”  But now I’d like to go into a little more detail about it.

Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, you’re simply going to have to keep track of some details, especially if your book deals with the passage of time. And that’s just about every book ever written—whether it’s only one day throughout the whole book or a number of years, or even decades or centuries. You must keep track of what is going on when. In addition to tracking time, you can also plot out your story arc (to be the theme of a future article), false clues (red herrings), foreshadowing, and other details.

As I said in Article #21, some authors use white boards or bulletin boards, notebooks or pads of paper, sticky notes, index cards, or…walls. And then there are those who avail themselves…

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Good Endings: What Should Yours Include?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Extract from a Writers Helping Writers article:

What’s the right ending for your novel? This isn’t a simple question to answer, because there are many factors to consider. But the first thing you want to think about is the story’s genre.

Let’s take a simple example. Suppose your story centres around a startling event like a murder. Should the murder be solved? If you’re writing a cosy mystery, yes. If you’re writing a political thriller or a police procedural, you probably have to solve the murder, but it’s not mandatory. If you’re writing a contemporary or experimental novel, you might not present any concrete answers about the murder—you might use the event to explore other questions.

So if you’re struggling to identify what your ending should be, the first place to look is the genre expectations. All stories provoke curiosity and raise questions. That’s what keeps the reader’s attention through…

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EDITING 101: 63 – Are you overwhelming your social media followers?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Are you overwhelming your social media followers?

Yes, yes—all authors are told to market. You need sales! You need reviews! You need readers! You need beta readers! You need to catch the eye of an agent or publisher! So off you scurry and spend as much time as possible reposting your blog articles or inserting links to them everywhere you can.

Unfortunately, there is something known as “too much of a good thing.” Even your most loyal followers may unsubscribe if they get tired of seeing the same posts everywhere. This is called “social media fatigue,” and you definitely want to avoid it! Think of any popular commercial that seems to play endlessly on several channels for months at a time. You may be able to quote it word for word, but how likely is it that you’ll actually purchase the item?

Linking all your accounts may be easy for…

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The Only Comma Rules You’ll Ever Need!

Just Can't Help Writing

The five basic comma rulesCommas are among my favorite tools for building meaning. Used intelligently, commas are wonderful signposts that tell readers which part of a sentence they’ve stumbled into—and then help them make their way out again. I like commas so much I’ve written multiple posts about them.

If comma rules confuse you, take heart! If improving reader comprehension is your goal, there are really only a few “rules” to remember:

Use commas:

Rule 1: After introductory elements.

This is the one most people seem to know about. But I argue that commas are really only necessary when the introductory element gets long enough that readers may miss the lane change back into the main part of the sentence.

So:

After a moment he left the room. (No comma needed unless you want to emphasize a pause.)

But:

After he spent  an extended vacation in a remote village in the Alps, where did…

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