Writing insights to consider…
Doing the first primary edits yourself is extremely important. You will be far less likely to repeat them in the future if you are catching them now.
Sometimes our written words are not so much wrong as just out of proper order. These little mishaps can have grave effects on what we want our words to say. Here is some cogent advice on what to look for and how to fix it.
We all know that rules were made to be broken, right? I have found that knowing them first allows me to break them when it really makes good sense to do so. Here are some reminders for you.
Another invaluable tool in the writer’s toolbox is the use of Beta Readers. They are sometimes your best shot at getting real reader responses before you actually publish. They do not replace the use of professional editors or proofreaders, but they can be extremely helpful.
One of the most interesting and difficult things that writers do is to choose the correct words to convey just the right meaning to the reader. This post explores one such choice.
From one of my most favorite authors and writers of writing tips, K.M. Weiland, here is some excellent advice on foreshadowing correctly.
I had a long, unfruitful discussion with a potential client about a touchy subject—backstory. This person likes to write books in the old style where the author writes chapter after chapter setting the story up, building your characters and their world and then beginning the story. I tried to explain that is not really what readers want now, but they could not be dissuaded. While people like Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey got away with it, they did so because that was what the style was when they were writing. It does not work now. If you are going to write, you have to decide whether you prefer writing books to selling them.
Why do I say that? Let me explain. When you open a book, you are interested in what the story is about, who the characters are and the setting. But, you don’t necessarily want to meander through three chapters of taking a tour, hearing the local history and having coffee with the characters before the story begins. You want to get into the story straightaway. You want to meet, briefly, the chief characters and get introduced to their world and their struggle right away. If not, I can imagine you sitting, fidgeting and tapping your toe saying “get on with it!” When I writer takes that long setting the story up, I think they started their book at the wrong point. All the peaceful stuff that went on before the start of the story is fine as background. But, it is only that, background. I don’t really need to know all that stuff to begin with the story. Leave it for later. Tell me only when and if I need to know it to understand the story or the stakes for the characters.
Prologues are much the same thing. They, usually, take the reader back to a time before the story begins for some cogent piece of information. If the story does not rely on the reader knowing this information to get the plot or understand the world of the story, then the prologue is only delaying the start of the story. Leave it out.