Tag Archives: writing tips

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.

Continue reading HERE

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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

View original post 883 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Continue reading HERE

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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).

View original post 505 more words

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Continue reading HERE

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How to Connect With Your Readers

A Writer's Path

by Meg Dowell

The writer-reader connection is delicate.

Possibly one of the biggest challenges new writers face is figuring out how to create a bond between themselves and people they may never meet face-to-face.

How do you connect with someone in such a way that they feel you’re speaking only to them?

How do you make a stranger feel like someone, finally, GETS IT?

View original post 765 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Author Inspiration and Last Week’s Writing Links

Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! This is Thanksgiving week here in the United States, and as you’re reading this, I’m either preparing or lying in bed thinking about everything I have to do. Or maybe I’m finally sleeping, exhausted with all that’s going on.

But I don’t mind at all. My family will all be together for the holiday, and I’m feeling blessed.

I won’t be around much this week (see the above mentioned busyness), but I wanted to provide one last quote and series of links before I take the week off. I’m drawing on one of my favorite authors, Charles Dickens, and his wise words:

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty;
not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

I love that quote. And not just for this time of year, but for everyday.

Whether you are in the US and celebrating or…

View original post 267 more words

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Stupid Writing Rules: Why to Avoid One-Size-Fits-All Writing Advice – by Anne R. Allen…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Ruth Harris and I have both written about how there are no rigid rules for writing good fiction, only guidelines.

Even guidelines don’t apply to everybody. Every genre has its own conventions. What is de rigeur for a romance can be deadly in a thriller. And what readers expect in a cozy mystery would be embarrassing in a gritty crime novel.

Then there’s literary fiction: successful literary fiction often breaks all rules and guidelines with reckless abandon. I’ve been reading a collection of George Saunders’ short stories that would probably crash any editing program because there are so many grammatical “errors.” But Mr. Saunders won the Man Booker Prize in 2017.

The problem is, we need to get a handle on the basics of writing before we go off and imitate George Saunders. Our grammar and storytelling skills need to be solid before we experiment. It’s the old saw of…

View original post 26 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Dangling Modifier Is Simple To Fix If You Know How – by Derek Haines…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Just Publishing Advice:

You are probably asking, what is a dangling modifier?

Of all the grammatical terms, this one is my favourite. It is just plain funny.

Dangling conjures up the vision of someone hanging from a tall building by a long rope tied around one ankle and swinging uneasily from side to side.

But in a grammatical sense, it implies that certain words or phrases in a sentence are in the wrong place.

A modifier is a word or a participial phrase that is intended to modify a noun or a verb. In other words, to add a description to something or someone or an action.

However, it is very common for the modifying word or phrase to be in the wrong place, which causes confusion for a reader.

There are two main types of errors that occur that cause uncertainty about what a word or phrase is supposed to modify.

Continue reading HERE

View original post 3 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Slang, Colloquialisms, and Clichés #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Words are awesome. I love obscure, weird words. J.K. Rowling used the word ‘snogging’ in her Harry Potter series, to describe couples who were engaged in prolonged kissing, or as we sometimes say where I come from,  ‘canoodling.’

Another good word is ‘kerfuffle,’  a Briticism for a  noisy disturbance or commotion. That word has become more common in American conversation over the last few years.

Words are how authors convey the imaginary world to the reader. Artistry comes into play in the way the author assembles their chosen words into sentences and paragraphs. In reading those words, the reader finds themselves in a new reality, a mental picture painted by the author.

English is a mash-up language. It is old Latin glued to an evolving language with completely different roots, Frisian, with a bunch of words and usages invented by William Shakespeare added in.

Thanks to the human drive to…

View original post 729 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized