Category: Writing tips

Learning from authors

Learning from authors

One of the writing tips I’ve heard repeatedly is read, read, read. About a year back I read Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. What an uninspiring title, right? The book had been recommended, so I ploughed through the 900 or so pages and kept repeating to myself, I wish I could write like this. Continue reading “Learning from authors”

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Self-editing for fiction writers

Self-editing for fiction writers

This was an easy to read how-to book divided into chapters such as point of view, interior monologue, voice and beats. In every chapter there was a gem of advice that had me mulling over a writing habit I had previously overlooked that needed to be eliminated. The book included exercises and summaries at the end of each chapter that I must admit, I disregarded.

With a special thanks to my editor, Joyce Gram for recommending this book, I now pass that endorsement on to you.

A closer look

A closer look

I thought writing an 80 000 word manuscript a daunting task, but now I know that’s the easy part. I shared my story with my writing group, and because I made changes from their suggestions, I thought I was almost done.

Ha!

Now I’m in the middle of yet another edit where my focus is verbs — those boring passive verbs; my favourites I repeat far too often; and ones needed to convey a character’s feelings without spelling it out.

Today, our editor/facilitator announced to our group, “Focus on one thing at a time in an edit,” and I wished everyone had pounded their fists on the table with applause because her advice reminded me, I’m on the right track.

Editing is a daunting task, so don’t try to fix everything at once, and remember my tip from an earlier blog about allowing time in between edits.

Julie H. Ferguson’s — Book Magic

Julie H. Ferguson’s — Book Magic

Book Magic is an excellent read if you’re ready to publish. The book delves into: what to expect if you go the traditional route; what kinds of books are better to self-publish; pitching your work; and copyright, to name a few.

With forty years experience, the author has six books published on writing as well as her own fiction and non-fiction works. With headings and sub-headings this is a great reference book, I can refer back to when needed.

Best editing tip ever

Best editing tip ever

I learned this tip from one of our critique facilitators, author, Julie Ferguson, who led our local writing group for decades. Unfortunately (for us) she has since moved cities, but I haven’t forgotten her many gems of advice while editing.

Read aloud. Two things happen when I read aloud. Firstly, I hear what I’ve written more clearly than merely reading in my head. Secondly, when I stumbled on a phrase, it usually means there’s something not quite right with what I’ve written.

Writers, it’s time to think about our favoured vocabulary

Writers, it’s time to think about our favoured vocabulary

On Pineterest there’s word lists — words to use instead of . . .. I save these lists because one of the problems writing an 80 000 word manuscript is the habit of repeating your favourite vocabulary.

I keep a personal file of words I’m aware I use often — that, look, walked for example, for when I’m at the editing stage to remind myself of my habit. But here’s a tip I learned from author, Julie H. Ferguson about a particular repeated word. Continue reading “Writers, it’s time to think about our favoured vocabulary”