Category: For Writers

  • FOR WRITERS: Comma Sense

    FOR WRITERS: Comma Sense

    I like commas. I detest semi-colons – I don’t think they belong in a story. And I gave up quotation marks long ago. I found I didn’t need them, they were fly-specks on the page. E. L. Doctorow Did you know that of the 1,146 pages comprising the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of […]

  • FOR WRITERS: How to Silence *That* Voice

    Last night, I received a question from a talented writer. How do I silence the little voice in my head that keeps telling me I’m not good enough? You’ll not find a proper answer from me because my little voice continues to tell me that I’m not a writer. But I can give you my […]

  • FOR WRITERS: The Art of the Formal Short Story Critique

    Most writers rely on story feedback in one way or another. Be it his/her momma, their best friend, or a spouse. For a lucky few, this is all the writer needs. For the rest of us, we should seek to broaden our scopes. First, an aside. There are several fantastic primers on the process of […]

  • FOR WRITERS: 5 More Overused Words to Cut from Your Manuscript

    I’m going back to the well for today’s blog post. The first “5 Overused Words to Cut from Your Manuscript” is this site’s top post of all time. Let’s milk that cow! Moo! 1. Suddenly  – This word might be more indicative of lazy writing than ‘very.’ Unless your favorite show is Suddenly Susan. 2. […]

  • FOR WRITERS: Imperious Little Girls

    The feeling of rejection is a difficult emotion to process. Read this post by Jolene Creighton for the gory details of one writer unable to process rejection: Personally, I hate being rejected. Who doesn’t? And the rejection doesn’t have to come from an editor. Recently, the credit union rejected my application to consolidate a […]

  • FOR WRITERS: Do Editors Really Reject You For That…A Writer’s Lament

    A question I’m asked frequently in my short fiction workshops goes like this: Do you really take into consideration things like elements of plot and the part of a story when you’re considering them for publication? My response is: Yes, but maybe not the way you’re thinking. I know that’s a dodgy answer. But give […]

  • FOR WRITERS: How to properly format a manuscript—Be a conformist

    PROLOGUE: There is a lot of information on the internet about all aspects of the writing process. Yet, I’m asked the same dozen or so questions by writers in every workshop or seminar I lead. Certainly, I don’t mind answering any questions about writing, editing, or publishing a writer or interested party might have. After […]

  • FOR WRITERS: 5 Overused Words to Cut from Your Manuscript

    1. Very – Ladies and gentlemen, the most useless word in the English language! 2. Just – Just is the plain, unsalted potato chip of writing. 3. So – You think you should use this word as a conjunction, but you so shouldn’t. 4. Really – For real. 5. Literally – Reserved for Rob Lowe. […]

  • FOR WRITERS: Five Emails You Should Avoid Sending to an Editor

    Here are five common emails that you should avoid sending to an editor. I do believe I’ve received variations on each of these at least twenty-five times a year. Just by a little research, or using a smattering of common sense, you can help an editor stay just on the right side of sane. 1) […]