I Think I Thought: How to Properly Show Character Thought

The problem of proper thought recently appeared (and not for the first time) in a book I was editing a week or two ago. For some, the difference between spoken dialogue, plain narrative, and internal thought is obvious, but for others it isn’t as easy. Spoken dialogue is usually noted in text with quotation marks. […]

Basic Tips for Writing Dialogue Tags

Last Friday I talked about the basics of dialogue with basic writing principle #2. Now, I want to follow that up and talk about dialogue tags. What is a Dialogue Tag? A dialogue tag is, simply, a tag attached to dialogue to show who’s speaking and, in some case, how they’re saying it. The most common dialogue […]

Basic Writing Principle #2: Your Story Must Have Dialogue

I know this seems like a ridiculous problem to even have to mention, but the truth is that I have edited books with no dialogue. This is a serious problem. Of course, if you’re writing a science textbook, you probably don’t need to add dialogue. But for the purposes of this post, I’m going to […]

Basic Writing Principle #1: 4 Reasons to Pay Attention to Your Paragraphs

I try not to be too judgmental with writers. Grammar can be tricky, commas are confusing, and I can’t say I don’t ever misspell a word. But there are a few basic principles that even the most English-illiterate person should know. This post is part 1 of a new Tuesday grammar series I’ve titled: basic […]

I Finished My Novel! Now What? (Part 2): Proofread & Beta Readers

[Read PART ONE] After you finish working on your manuscript, you’re going to be on a writer’s high. You’re done! It’s so exciting! All your hard work is sitting before you with tens of thousands of words on the screen. Through your red-rimmed, sleep-deprived eyes, what you have just completed is the single greatest piece […]

Learning Point of View: Omniscient Third Person

Point of view means the character whose eyes are observing what happens in the story. A consistent point of view helps a manuscript maintain focus. There are three types of point of view focus–first person (“I”), second person (“you”), and third person (“he/she”). I have read many books where each of these was utilized successfully, but to […]

3 Ways to Hook Your Reader: A Study of Best-Selling First Sentences

We’ve all heard the statistics about how long a person will look at a book before deciding whether or not to read it. It’s not very long–a few seconds, in fact. You essentially have the time it takes to read a billboard to convince a reader that he or she shouldn’t put your book down […]