The Power of an Abstract

In my day job, I edit a scholarly journal. Potential authors submit an article for consideration. I read it, and it is also anonymously reviewed by members of my editorial board. Then I write back to the author with a recommendation for or against publication, along with comments about the article and specific suggestions for […]

A Writing Tip from John Green

  Right now I’m reading John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. I’m almost finished, in fact. His books are pretty quick reads. Anyway, I came across the following line from chapter fourteen that struck me, and I wanted to share (no spoilers): “On the flight home, twenty thousand feet above clouds that were ten thousand feet above […]

Melodrama [Part 1 of 2]: 6 Ways to Spot It in Your Writing

Happy first day of May! In college, I took a course called “Writing Fiction & Poetry.” It was one of the first times I can remember actually exploring writing prompts and crafting short stories and then getting peer and professor feedback. The class was fun and challenging, and I learned a lot. I’ll never forget what […]

On Setting the Mood

I’m reading The Help right now. Well, okay actually I’m listening to the audio book. Yesterday there was a scene where a character was going over to another character’s house to talk. The scene was tense, awkward, and even a bit suspenseful because we weren’t sure what was going to happen during the conversation. As I listened, […]

Head Hopping: What it Looks Like and Why You Shouldn’t Do it

One of my favorite books I’ve ever edited was written by an author I got to work with on a series of four books. All four books were fun to read and edit, and I didn’t have a lot of major plot concerns. But even though it was good, there were still things to work on. […]

Correcting Your Paragraph Structure Surrounding Dialogue

The best way to illustrate today’s writing tip is to show you an example.   “So you’re telling me that you ate all the leftovers?” He shrugged. “Why do you even care? You hate ham,” he said. She stuck her tongue out at him. “Yeah, but I like carrots and potatoes! What were you thinking?” He shrugged […]