Writing: Those Evil, Weasel Words

As I’ve said many times, I never edit myself as I write. I want to get those ideas down. But then, I need to fix it up. Those evil, weasel words must go. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some tips for editing out words that don’t pull their weight: Vague Swamp Weasel words can […]

Writing: Keep Your Tone Steady

Writing: Keep Your Tone Steady

While some writers long to develop a writing voice, far more of us struggle to keep our voice even on the page. Much of it comes down to tone. What do I mean? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about ways to keep your writing tone even and steady throughout your work: Gems in the […]

Writing Without Explanations: RUE

Writing Without Explanations: RUE

In any scene, your goal must be to immerse readers totally and keep them walking around in your “fictional dream.” Explanations often sink those lofty intentions. Writing Tip for Today: Here are tips on how to keep readers immersed without relying on explanations: Need to Know When we craft scenes, we often worry that readers […]

JINX

JINX

“How can I support you?” I ask my forty-one-year-old son. He’s experiencing excruciating day twelve of meth withdrawal. He’s just said the words I’ve long to hear: He’s determined to do life differently. He gently rocks side-to-side, the way he does when he’s coming off a binge. “I guess just be here for me.” Gray […]

Writing: How Trauma Informs

Writing: How Trauma Informs

I got horrible news today from a family friend. Apparently, her teenage son was cycling and was somehow hit by a passing car. He didn’t survive. I’m praying and ready to help the family, but also in shock today. Writing Tip for Today: For writers, trauma is life-altering. But processing trauma can also give our […]

Writing Memoir: Omit the Boring Stuff

Writing Memoir: Omit the Boring Stuff

If you’re writing a memoir, you’ll need a combination of strong writing and strong storytelling. Writing Tip for Today: What are some elements of effective memoir? Who’s It For? So many writers have great life stories to tell. And so many non-writers have great stories too. But as you write your great life story, it’s […]

Writing Memoir Proposals

Writing Memoir Proposals

Writing a memoir proposal differs from other nonfiction proposals. If you’re trying to sell your memoir, you’ll need specific tools to attract an agent’s attention. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss the elements of an effective memoir proposal. The Beginning A memoir proposal differs from a nonfiction proposal. With nonfiction, you are showing what you […]

Cleaning Out the Fridge

Cleaning Out the Fridge

As a teen, I often babysat for a family that had the strangest smelling refrigerator. After I put the kid to bed, I did what most teens do: I raided the kitchen. Their fridge was clean enough, but they kept foods that a white Protestant girl like me had never seen. I thought their fridge […]

Writing Nonfiction Proposals: Part Two

Writing Nonfiction Proposals: Part Two

Summertime is often when writers attend conferences where editors and agents listen to pitches. What kind of nonfiction proposal should a writer have ready in case it’s requested? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss some of the sections every good nonfiction proposal should contain: Act I Your nonfiction book proposal should be as polished as […]

Writing Book Proposals

Writing Book Proposals

A lot of writers with nonfiction books ideas come to the table with topics too broad or, as we discussed previously, too “me” centered and not reader-centered. Writers who mainly desire therapy for some trauma, who are bent on educating readers or who just want the world to see how much they know may be […]