Want to EDIT like a professional? 7 Easy Steps

Editing is part of every writer’s job. Finding the time, and more importantly, making that time count is how the PROfessionals edit. Read on for the 7 editing tricks to enhance your writing. 1) Find your editing groove. For some this is EARLY when eyes are the sharpest and focus is the clearest. For others their peak time might be mid-to-late afternoon. Caffeine kicks in, morning rush dies down and – again, this is about focus – the brain settles into a rhythm. I caution against late night editing. Eyes are slower from all the image bombardment of the day. Eagle eyes are needed for effective editing. If, however, evening is the ONLY quiet time […]

Snapping Photos?? Breathe LIFE into Writing . . .

I’m old enough that Kodak still means cameras to me. Instant camera was our phrase from the 60s & 70s. Of course, considering today’s technology, it’s ludicrous to think those were instant pictures. 1) First to film – The lucky owned a 35MM, which meant loading the camera was always a treat. Lining it up – perfectly – to catch the leading edge of the film reel (and hoping like crazy that you’d really accomplished that feat so you’d be taking pictures instead of just turning the hand crank). For the novice photo buff, it started with a Kodak Instamatic: a pop-and-click camera. 2) No do-overs — As you shot the roll of film, it […]

Chasing Destiny – The Donovan Legacy, Book 2

As I’m currently working through edits — CHASING DESTINY — and always on the look-out for snippets to share during release, here are a few that caught my Tuesday morning muse. My favorites for the day . . . 1) Garrick glanced toward the unopened bottle and glasses. She seemed far too at home, too at ease in his house. How long had this lovely stranger been living here—alone—with his father? “Enough of the cat and mouse game. Who are you?” Some strange woman, with endless mahogany eyes, was making herself quite comfortable. He would have his answer, and now. Sultry voice and cooking skills included, she could be a dangerous distraction for any guy, […]

Teaching an Old Dog (writer) New Tricks. Secrets to Better Writing.

The Donovan Legacy (HARM’S WAY – current release) actually started with a prequel. CHASING DESTINY CHASING DESTINY was written a year in front of HARM’S WAY and then promptly buried among all my floppy disks. Yep, that long ago.  Having recovered my earlier works, I realized the characters of CHASING DESTINY (Garrick & Jaycee) deserved their own release. To that end, the rewrites began. The process has been enlightening: good & bad. And that tenuous, often painful, process deserved to be shared as well. Producing better writing is hard work. Short cuts are not generally the answer, but you can learn to be a smarter writer by following some of these writing tips. New eyes […]

Phrase . . . the true meaning behind the catch phrase: A fool’s paradise.

Pick a genre and you’ve probably read the catch phrase: Fool’s Paradise. ‘John thinks he’ll finally get the promotion, but then he lives in a fool’s paradise.’ ‘Her fool’s paradise ended the day she caught her cheating lover in bed with her best friend.” Are you writing historical stories and worried about the inception of this phrase? Unless, your characters are pre-1462, you’ll be safe. This phrase first found its way on page in the Paston Letters, 1462. But what exactly does a fool’s paradise mean? Shakespeare embraced its usage in Romeo and Juliet, and certainly that was one couple that lived in happiness based on false hope. Writing current fiction . . . or […]

3-2-1 Book Launch

Book releases have changed over the past ten years or so. What was once the primary responsibility of the publisher’s marketing team has morphed into the author’s responsibility. What was once covered with editors/agents emails and flyers to brick-n-mortar shops is now vibrantly alive through social media. To keep myself on track, I’ve compiled a list of what-to-do’s for my upcoming book launch. Am I arrogant enough to think I’ve covered it all? Nope, not even close. Marketing gets to be fun . . . perhaps, not all the time. But as creative types, it makes sense to tap into those inherent skills. Visit with establish authors for last minute insight. Complete final editing & […]

Don’t Slow That Pace

Slowing the pace or resolving a major character conflict at the end of the chapter or scene gives your reader an opportunity to: 1) put down your fabulous writing2) turn off the light3) and dream about some other author’s characters Not quite a Kiss Goodbye – but too close for any aspiring author who has designs on a Best Seller list. Make your readers hang around and hang on, forcing them to read through what would be a natural place to break. How? Use strong hooks. As writers, we WANT to finish the thought, to build to the end – always pushing the conflict up the next notch. BUT – and it’s a huge BUT, […]

Virgin or Seasoned PRO – Details

Each week, I download multiple books to my e-reader. Some I will finish and be excited that I’ve discovered great writing, a new author. Some I will finish because I’ve discovered an innovative plot line.Some I will finish because there is witty dialogue, superlative character development, or the use of literary device that is a struggle for me. Many . . . many, I will not finish. I’ll return them through my Kindle Unlimited – or simply delete from all my devices and take a hit on the cost. Why? Because reading time is precious and obvious mistakes in the first few pages of a book, does not bode well. Sound pompous? Sorry for that, […]

Sly as a Fox

Common phrases can be trite and throw-away. Or they can layer on depth and provide alternative options to explore characterization. Today animal phrases are roaming (pardon the pun) through my brain. Why? On an early hours’ walk, a fox crossed my path. Not unique for loads of people who enjoy country living, but considering that I’m buried in a ‘metropolis’ of suburbia, pretty unusual for me. So the fox crosses my path and now I’m wondering (at a quick pace, I might add) what does it mean? Is it like the crossing of a black cat? (bad luck) Is it like crossing paths with a crow? (change on the way) Is it like a path-crossing […]

Too Much to Swallow – Plotting

However great the storyteller, however well published the author – one truth remains constant. Plotting, beast that it is, can never be side-stepped, shortened or eliminated. Short story to novel, fiction to non-fiction, romance to suspense, each writer must face the daunting task of basic plotting. Breaking the process of plotting down into specific bites can make the entire process more palatable. Who . . . What . . . When . . . Where . . . and Why: basic questions guaranteed to cook up plotting BRILLIANCE Who – be specific, which character is the target of this plotting session. 1) One of the protagonists? 2) The villain? 3) A secondary character who’s crucial […]