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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Writing Turning Points

Writing Turning Points

Plot points, turning points, complications—these terms describe writers’ tasks for upping tension, squeezing the character and keeping readers turning pages. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at some basics of writing turning points in fiction or memoir. Point: Everything Changes In every story, an event or scene must show the reader a place in which […]

Plot Writing: Three Ways to Test Your Story

Plot Writing: Three Ways to Test Your Story

Your story’s plot is like the car readers drive around the scenes of your story. But if this road trip is too meandering or breaks down, your plot could need repair. Writing Tip for Today: Here are three simple tips for getting your plot up and running. What and So What? Without a solid goal, […]