Articles

Articles / On Writing
04 Mar 2014

Be Cautious When Using a Thesaurus

A thesaurus. It is a wonderful tool but is easy to abuse. Commonly when editing, we see instances where an author has obviously used a thesaurus to replace a more common word with a less common word. More than anything, it is desirable to make your usage of a thesaurus as unintrusive as possible. The trick is to use it, but not use it in...

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Articles / On Writing
03 Mar 2014

What Raiders of the Lost Ark Taught Me About Storytelling

What Raiders of the Lost Ark Taught Me About Storytelling   Earlier today, Raiders of the Lost Ark was on television. This was one of my all-time favorite movies when I was a kid. I still remember riding in the car with my family as we drove the thirty miles to the closest theater in Jerome, Idaho to see this movie for the first time. I was twelve years...

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Articles / On Dialogue
28 Feb 2014

How to Write Dynamic Dialogue

Dynamic Dialogue   As I sat down to write this article, I found instead of coming up with an explanation of what dynamic dialogue was, I continually thought about what dynamic dialogue wasn’t. 🙂 So forgive me if I start this article a bit backward. So, what isn’t dynamic dialogue? boring mundane repetitive bland unvaried contrived interrogatory (not a Q&A session) over-the-top (especially when showing...

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Articles / Diva Chat
26 Feb 2014

Diva Chat: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green   This month’s topic is the YA romance The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This is the sixth novel for Green, having authored Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances, Paper Towns, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Several of Green’s novels have won many awards and been optioned for...

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Articles / On Editing
25 Feb 2014

5 Ways to Cut the Wordiness in Your Manuscript

5 Ways to Cut the Wordiness in Your Manuscript   Have you received a rejection letter that says “Wordy!”? Has your editor asked you to cut some of the clutter? Do you want to streamline your submission to improve your chances of publication? Here are some quick tips that can help: 1. Search for phrases like started to, began to, headed to, decided to, reached...

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Articles / On Writing
24 Feb 2014

Why Can’t I Trust Spell Check?

Divas On Writing: Why Can’t I Trust Spell Check? As an editor, I have open on my web browser Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, and the Urban Dictionary at all times while I work. I cross-check each site when I’m stumped on a word, the usage, or if it’s hyphenated. I really hate those hyphenated words.  Oftentimes, authors use the same steps I just listed above when writing....

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Articles / On Dialogue
21 Feb 2014

Dialogue Punctuation

Divas On Dialogue: Dialogue Punctuation   The are three ways to punctuate dialogue in your novel: the right way, the wrong way, and a mixture of the them both. Kind of confusing, huh? To some it can be. Do you use a comma or period with this tag, or do you capitalize the first word after the quotation? Talking about dialogue punctuation is one thing,...

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Articles / On Editing
18 Feb 2014

What to Do With Your First Draft

What to Do With Your First Draft   Congratulations! You’ve done something that most would-be writers have not—completed your novel. I can feel your satisfied grin from here. So now that you’ve finished that first draft, what should you do with it? If “Publish it now!” is your first thought, I want you to take a step away from your manuscript. In fact, you should...

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Articles / On Writing
17 Feb 2014

Conjunctions

Today, I wanted to discuss conjunctions—what they are and how to use them. Before I proceed, I’m going to do a quick lesson in the difference between a phrase and a clause and the difference between a dependent and an independent clause. You have to know what they are in order to properly understand the relationship between clauses and conjunctions. Phrase: A phrase is a...

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Articles / On Editing
14 Feb 2014

Proofread

Divas on Editing: Proofread When most people ask for a proofread, they expect their manuscript will get a once-over to fix errors and make sure it makes sense. But there’s a lot more to a proofread than simply catching typos and misspelled words. Proofreading is less about the content of the document and more about writing and typographical errors. And before you object, the answer...

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