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[…]

An Open Letter to NaNoWriMo Participants

Dear Wrimos: Congratulations! You’ve embarked on a pretty remarkable adventure. Whether it’s your first time or your tenth, the act of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, in the company of so many others, is quite an impressive endeavor. You should be proud of yourselves. You’re doing something a lot of people only talk about Read more about An Open Letter to NaNoWriMo Participants[…]

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?[…]

I before e … unless you really mean e.g.

Tucked away in the corner of my library, not far from the yearbooks, are my Latin books. I have a copy of Virgil’s Aeneid, Cicero’s Orations Against Catiline, and a little book of lyric poetry by Catullus and Horace. The poetry is especially close to my heart, but all of it brings back pleasant memories. Read more about I before e … unless you really mean e.g.[…]

My Eyes Are Wuthering: Trying to Read Impenetrable Dialect

Looking at the photos from my alma mater’s Final Exercises (and trying to forget that my 20-year reunion is next year), I am reminded of something my high school English teacher once told me. After I’d read Jane Eyre – still one of my favorite books – I tried to take up Wuthering Heights. Before Read more about My Eyes Are Wuthering: Trying to Read Impenetrable Dialect[…]