Ask the Divas


Ask the Divas

Ask The Divas: What is a Manuscript Assessment and Why Do I Need One? A professional manuscript assessment is more than a critique of an author’s story. Sure, an assessment goes through the story, looking at plot, character development, pacing and rhythm, narrative and dialogue, not to mention countless other manuscript-driven items, but it also discusses more abstract topics like genre, point of view, tense...

Read More


Ask the Divas

Is it blond or blonde? This particular conundrum has been responsible for more than its fair share of grief with editing and writing. I will attempt to explain this as simply as possible. There are several schools of thought here. The traditional form would be to apply the words based on gender, blonde for women and blond for men. However, this is no longer politically correct and is...

Read More


Ask the Divas

There was a moment of silence in the literary world this week when Elmore Leonard passed away on August 20, 2013 at the age of eighty-seven. Well known for his clean, direct narrative, he listed his now famous “10 Rules of Writing” in an article written for The New York Times in 2001. As an editor, lists like this make me happy—especially number three. But...

Read More


Ask the Divas

I was asked today, “What are your biggest editing pet peeves?” Immediately, I thought of a myriad of things. But when I really got to thinking about it, there are just a few things I find grating, which can be addressed beforehand by authors.  The simplest mistakes an author will make are the most common and ultimately very annoying and redundant for editors. Not that...

Read More


Ask the Divas

Should I research when writing a novel? Writers have an unspoken agreement with readers to suspend disbelief when they begin a story. Readers willingly do this because they’re in it for the enjoyment of getting lost in a good book. But as a general rule, people will suspend disbelief only so far. Push the envelope too much and you’ll end up with reviews about your...

Read More


Ask the Divas

This week, the question for Ask the Divas is What’s so bad about creative dialogue tags? To answer this question, we have to identify what a dialogue tag is and what purpose it serves. Then can we highlight creative dialogue tags and show why your efforts are better spent elsewhere. Dialogue tags are noun/verb pairings that attach to a line of dialogue—usually with a comma,...

Read More


Ask the Divas

This week, the question for Ask the Divas is, Why do I need to hire an editor? Well, regardless of what you’ve heard, grammar still matters. Readers still care and so do publishers. Grammatical errors, weak characterizations, and plot holes are distractions that frustrate readers. Countless manuscripts are rejected each year because of these easy to correct issues. The condition of your manuscript will decide...

Read More


Ask the Divas

While Fridays are reserved for Ask the Diva, this time will be a little different. The discussion today is book covers and how they help or hinder the sales of book. We have all seen the lovely covers on Amazon, Goodreads, blog tours, and from the authors themselves. Some covers are outstanding, the artwork is beautiful, the font is exceptional, the color scheme works, and...

Read More