7 Steps to Editing Like a PROfessional!

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 […]

Am I a Creature of Habit?

Grocery shopping – who can relate? It’s not like we can ignore the need to purchase food products. Whether we shop in big box chains or the corner greengrocer, the majority of us will grocery shop. But shoppers, like planets aligning around the sun, tend to gravitate to their normal shops. I visited one of the local grocery stores this weekend – not an unusual occurrence for my weekends – but it wasn’t my ‘normal’ shop. In the states, grocery chains are huge; one store seemingly much like the next. EXCEPT . . . Chains may share a common name, stock basically the same groceries, even offer like discounts, but serious grocery shoppers (I’d be […]

A Writer’s Magic – as close as fingertips!

Harry Potter used a wand. Bewitched twitched her nose. Harry Dresden wielded a staff. Writers come with their own special form of magic. Whether it’s pen to pad, stylus to tablet, or keyboard to PC . . . a writer’s magic is as close as fingertips. New writers often feel that they must pursue fiction writing as they don’t carry a bag of non-fiction writing tricks. Don’t allow the concept of non-fiction writing to intimidate. Consider the 3 easily defined categories: Educating: How-to-manuals, directions, historical explanations, or scientific explorations fall into this category. Influencing or persuasive: Every sales brochure, each editorial, even academic critiques are designed to persuade the reader to a certain conclusion. Narrative: […]

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 […]

Writing It Right with Wordle.net

Breathing new life into an older manuscript (Chasing Destiny) brought me to Wordle.net Writers . . . do you want to know your most commonly used words in a chapter? Writers . . . Do you know your most common words in your blogs, newsletters, query letters? Here’s how to find out: DIRECTLY FROM THE WORDLE WEBSITE: ‘WORDLE is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, […]

Secrets to Writing THE PERFECT PHRASE

Writers should be voracious observers. Listen carefully. Read anything, everything. Watch behaviors. Stare at the sky, the horizon, your backyard, the local park, the grocery store, the mall. Nuggets of WRITING gold can be mined from the most unusual & USUAL places. I watch America’s Got Talent. Sometimes to prove how out-of-sync that I am with the rest of the population. More often, because I’m continually awed by the gifts of so many. AGT comedians who entertain the most are the ones who focus on the mundane, the everyday life. The ones that truly earn my out-loud guffaws are those who keep it every day simple . . . say a grocery store adventure. Not […]

The Language Garden: The Apostrophe Hummingbird

I have been re-reading ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves’ by Lynne Truss. Glutton for punishment? Hardly. Like the majority of authors, I constantly hone and refine my skills. There is no ‘quick grow’ method to sound writing. No short-cut or easy season. Study time, butt-in-chair effort to learn basic and advance grammar is still the most effective method for a good crop of sentences. As to EATS, SHOOTS, AND LEAVES: if you haven’t read Lynne’s witty take on grammar and its sad decline, you are in for a treat. She entertains and educates – no easy feat. If you’re new to writing, then best advice: learn the grammar rules. A past critique partner, albeit a brilliant […]