Why an Editor?

As a freelance editor, I am the human spell-check for my family. My husband, while typing an email, will call out a question on how to spell a word. Or my son, while working on his homework, will ask if he should punctuate with a comma or semi-colon. Usually, I can rattle off the answer without much thought. But when I prepared the flyer for my recent “Writing in the Garden” my spelling skills failed me. The focus of the day was writing without cliche and my sister, author Candace Simar, had agreed to co-teach the class. She was horrified when she read the rough draft of the flyer with the word “clique” instead of “cliche.” I was able to fix the error and we had a good laugh. We all need an editor or trusted friend to look over...

Read More

How to Create Characters Your Readers Will Love!

If your reader doesn’t care, they won’t continue reading. So how do we create engaging characters? One of the best ways is to add something your characters loves — perhaps it’s an animal, a child, or an object. It’s often said that no character is all good or all bad. Give the bad guy in your story a dog. Create a scene where he shows a particular kindness to the animal, even if it’s a kindness he would never show to a human. A woman who loves a child doesn’t seem as evil when she steals money from the collection plate at church. A character who strokes a watch fob of his dead sister’s hair suddenly feels more alive. Give your characters something to love and you will create a bond with the reader, a bond that...

Read More

Dialogue Tip—Show Emotion Through Actions

We have all heard the writing rule show don’t tell. In the two examples written below, the first dialogue sentence tells the speaker’s emotion. The second example shows the emotion. First example: “I won’t do it,” he said angrily.  Change to: “I won’t do it,” he said, slamming his fist onto the table. Second example: “I can’t do that,” Sarah said nervously.  Change to: Sarah peeled the label off her beer bottle and tore the paper into small pieces.  “I can’t do that.” In both cases the revised version shows the character’s emotions without the telling adverbs angrily or nervously. Go through your manuscript and look for ways you can show emotions through action. Your writing...

Read More

Writing Tip!

I am making a list of writing tips. My sister, author Candace Simar, and I will be hosting another “Writing in the Garden” on Tuesday, August 28th. During one of the afternoon sessions, Candace and I will share our best of the best writing tips. We have so many  it will be difficult to choose which ones to share. Here’s a sneak preview of my favorite tip: Print all of your writing (even if it’s only a rough draft) and put it in a 3-ring binder. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your writing expands to fill the book!  It’s been a life saver when my computer crashed, a quick reference,  and a reminder as to how much work I have done. P.S. If you would like information about August 28th’s “Writing in the Garden” in...

Read More

Whoa!! Slow It Down!

If I have ever critiqued your work, you have probably heard me say,  “Slow down.” In our rush to get the words on the paper, we often gloss over important scenes. We move so quickly that our readers miss important events. In real time, things happen in moments, but on paper — we need to slow it down so the reader understands the importance of what is happening. If your character hits a parked car while riding his bike, slow it down. Let your character notice the sun glinting off the metal of the parked car’s bumper. As he is flying through the air, let the reader feel the air against his cheek, the warmth of the handlebars as the metal slides through his fingers, the odd sensation of flipping through the air. When he lands, let the reader...

Read More

How to Write a Memoir

Merry Christmas! I am busy preparing for a house full of people next Saturday but wanted to take a moment to talk about writing. I have to admit that I don’t get much writing done during the holidays, but I spend a lot of time thinking about it. My best ideas often come to me while I am doing some mundane task, such as cleaning the fridge or washing pots and pans. If I am stuck on a writing or editing project, I often clean something. It’s funny how the simple repetitive motions of vacuuming or dusting can bring up some great new ideas to move ahead on a project. Another tip: The next time you need to decide where to go with your story, ask yourself what you were thinking when the event happened. Your stories need to reveal something about yourself....

Read More
Visit Mobile Version