Blog Archives

Word of the Day

I began “Word of the Day” on November 1, 2017 as help for those participating in #NANOWRIMO — National Novel Writing Month — an international organization of people endeavoring to write a novel of 50,000 or more words entirely during

Posted in Writing

Essential Strategies for Backing Up Your Work

For some, it’s just a matter of uploading to the cloud. However writers have a number of challenges unique to their trade. Let me start by reminding you that the “cloud,” regardless of whose cloud, is just someone else’s computer.

Posted in Writing

The Memoir in Your Closet – Part 2 – Old Photos

Some of you may have an advantage being in possession of a family Bible with the name and birth date of every member of your lineage going back generations. Perhaps you have them from both your paternal and maternal sides.

Posted in Memoirs, Writing Tagged with: ,

The Memoir in Your Closet – Part 1 – Introduction

You don’t want to write a memoir, you can’t write a memoir, nothing exciting enough has ever happened to you to write a memoir, nobody would be interested in your memoir. It’s likely at least three of these four alibis

Posted in A Writer's Life, Writing Tagged with: ,

Everyone Cries…

…when they finish the first draft. You’d be unusual if you didn’t. Writing is a highly personal, even intimate exercise. So much of what we write, even if science fiction or fantasy is really about us. You’ve undoubtedly included—albeit hidden—your

Posted in A Writer's Life, Editing, Writing

What Does “Think Out of the Box” Really Mean?

SPOILER ALERT: The solution to the puzzle appears farther down, so don’t scroll until you’re ready. The concept of Think Out of the Box was created by Mike Vance over 30 years ago, and stems from a simple pencil and

Posted in Writing

Much, Many, More, Fewer, Less, Little

Simple rules: If you can count them or assign a number to them, MANY and FEWER are correct. If you can’t reasonably count them, use MUCH and LESS. This salad has too much dressing, and too many carrots. How much

Posted in Writing Tagged with:

Don’t Stage and Block

I’m reticent to say “all,” but the vast majority of you are picturing each scene played out on the screen as you write it. Some may have the Hollywood stars already selected so when Spielberg asks you who’d you like

Posted in Writing Tagged with: , ,

Word Frequency Counters – An Essential Tool for Writers

You punch out a hundred-thousand words of brilliant prose. How many different words do you think are contained in your work? I’ve found that I use about six to seven-thousand words in each of my manuscripts. Of course, walk, walked,

Posted in Editing, Writing Tagged with: ,

Adverbs Are Not the Enemy

It’s the inappropriate and unnecessary use of these modifiers of verbs that gets writers into trouble. Overusing them is a sign of lazy writing, and while some editor and critics are uber-sensitive to every appearance, you can’t leaf through a

Posted in Editing, Writing Tagged with: , , , ,