7 Ways Underwriting Sabotages Your Story

While you might think anything that tightens a story and trims the word count is good thing, it’s important to realized this does not apply to underwriting. Underwriting is the reverse of overwriting: it’s when the author is too economical with their words, and critical aspects of the story come off as foggy, lacking in logic …
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12 Tips to avoid Overwriting

Overwriting is a common problem for new writers. Even experienced writers can fall victim to the issue. It’s something, as a reader, that drives me nuts. It’s also something I’m guilty of needing friendly reminders about in my own early drafts. Overwriting is defined as: a tendency to write too much, or too ornately. A …
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Tired Sentences? Put Your Prose To The Test

Every writer wants to create prose packed with energy and vitality. They know dull, lifeless writing disappoints the reader. Tired sentences are often the cornerstone of bad prose. They disrupt the flow and bore the reader. Take these tests and find out if your sentences pass, or if you’re writing tired sentences. Same Sentence Starts: …
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Self-Editing Redux: Spot Checking

I’m in the final stages of polishing my latest manuscript and going through my checklist for those tiny little nits that always manage to slip through. Rather than doing a complete read-through for like the millionth time (which at some point becomes counter-productive because you know it too well), I pick random passages and scrutinize …
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9 Tips for Various Stages of Your Novel

As writers we often find ourselves at various stages with our work. Here are three popular stages and three posts from us to help you find a way through the challenges each stage creates.   Stage 1: Just getting started? It is the hardest part. Lucky for all of us Heather has three great ways …
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The Yeti Inside My Brain!

She sneaks up on me. A snarl freezes me, my fingers dance between the send and delete keys. The caustic drip of saliva trickles over my shoulder, splashing down on my keyboard in icy pools. She perches next to me, urging me to backspace my wretched pages into oblivion. It’s the yeti inside my brain! …
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He Said What? Direct vs. Indirect Speech

I have a new crit partner who just happens to be a line editor and might be a reincarnation of my dreaded high school English teacher, Mrs. Howard, although I’ve never actually met him in person. Mrs. Howard resembled a bag lady and according to urban legend she apparently wound up as one. A ragged …
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