Unclutter Your Writing by Alicia Dean

My life is filled with clutter (my house, my schedule, my mind), but I do my best to take the clutter out of writing, in my own works and in works I receive from others. Whether it’s through submissions I receive or published books I read, or even books I write, I discover many words Read more about Unclutter Your Writing by Alicia Dean[…]

Keep Your Modifiers in Place and Don’t Let Them Dangle

  Writing this blog post, my phone rang.  A man selling cemetery plots with a husky voice was calling. Okay, neither of those happened. But I thought they would serve as good examples. The first sentence is a dangling modifier; it insinuates my phone was writing this blog post (and it might do a better Read more about Keep Your Modifiers in Place and Don’t Let Them Dangle[…]

When your characters don’t talk too good…How to write better dialogue

Dialogue can be pretty tricky, but it’s one of the most important pieces of your story. Readers prefer a lot of ‘blank space’ in books, which means you don’t want paragraphs and paragraphs of narrative. You want to liberally sprinkle your story with dialogue. Dialogue can serve many purposes; it can help you show instead Read more about When your characters don’t talk too good…How to write better dialogue[…]

Tightly Plotted or Loosey Goosey?

Even if you are a pantser instead of a plotter, at some point, if you write a story, you’re going to end up with a ‘plot.’ You need to make sure that the plot is tight and that each scene has a purpose, or you will come up with what some editors like to call Read more about Tightly Plotted or Loosey Goosey?[…]

Don’t Fall Into a Plot Hole and Break Your Story

I have read many books, seen many television shows and movies, and actually written some stories that contain plot holes. It’s not easy to prevent them. Even some of the most successful authors and movie makers are guilty of falling into plot holes. Hopefully, though, you can keep them to a minimum. There are various Read more about Don’t Fall Into a Plot Hole and Break Your Story[…]

Opening lines….Hook your reader immediately by Alicia Dean

In today’s society, modern conveniences have spoiled us to instant gratification. We live in a rush, rush world and have little time or patience for waiting…for anything. For me, back when I was younger, reading a novel meant a lengthy relationship that I settled into, one in which I allowed myself time to become engaged. Read more about Opening lines….Hook your reader immediately by Alicia Dean[…]

Ask the Editor – Alicia Dean

The editing process seems mysterious to those who have never been through it. What would a first-time author expect if you were editing his/her manuscript? I offer suggestions on how to improve a manuscript overall, things like weak character motivation, unlikely scenarios, inconsistencies, awkwardly worded sentences, head hopping, areas needing clarification, telling instead of showing, Read more about Ask the Editor – Alicia Dean[…]

Be a Rebel…Break the Rules – by Alicia Dean

I have received a number of submissions over the years where the authors tried very hard to follow the ‘rules of writing.’ They tried so hard, in fact, that their stories were stiff and poorly written. I’m guessing it was the work of well meaning critique partners and overzealous contest judges. Don’t get me wrong, Read more about Be a Rebel…Break the Rules – by Alicia Dean[…]