Divas Recommend

Divas Rec: Cut These Seven Words

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Divas Recommend | 2 comments

Divas Rec: Cut These Seven Words

Before we get into overused words and phrases in writing: HAPPY NEW YEAR!! *Throws confetti* It’s 2016 and time for some new resolutions. I resolve to write for myself at least an hour a day. We’ll see how that works out for me. Ha! Anyhoo… Way back in 2013 one of my articles about overused words and phrases got a small amount of attention when it was shared and retweeted by Kindle Unlimited. To me that’s a great success. Little old Diva Lauren wrote an article people read and enjoyed. Go me and go Write Divas! My bubble of excitement soon burst when I read some of the comments people left on Facebook and Twitter. We all know those comments, am I right? They didn’t agree with many of my suggested overused words such as is and was. “How can you overuse the word is? It’s impossible!”  Ugh! For a quick moment I thought words like is or was needed to be in left in. Then I smartened up and realized I shouldn’t second guess myself again based on what a few readers had commented wrongly on. There, I said it: They were wrong. Oh, that feels good to say. *Happy sigh* I stuck to my guns in my right assessment as author after author I had read or edited overused passive voice in their books. Why didn’t they see these overused words like I did? After almost three years since my original article had published, I found that it was time to remind writers what they could do to eliminate overused words and phrases in their work. This time I found a simple article to share along with my own that can help strengthen any author’s writing. Want to Be a Better Writer? Cut These 7 Words by Joe Bunting is an excellent article that tells you how and what words and phrases to edit from your manuscripts. Take a look and leave him a comment. And here’s my article again: Overused Words and Phrases ...

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Divas Rec: Top 5 Tips I Gave Out This Year

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in Divas Recommend | 0 comments

Divas Rec: Top 5 Tips I Gave Out This Year

As 2015 comes to a close, I wanted to pull together some kind of Divas Rec that summarized my thoughts for the year. That proved to be more challenging than I’d thought until I came across Shannon A. Thompson’s article Top 5 Tips I Gave Out This Year as an Editor and Marketer on her blog.  Shannon’s top five pieces of advice combine editing and marketing tips to authors. My very favorite editing tip is to keep track of your stylistic choices. This is a huge help to your editor, especially if you write a series. As the author says, “Editing is often a matter of preference. While some rules are definitely not debatable, many aspects of the English language are.” So if these preferences are tracked and shared with your editor, they’ll be more consistent throughout your book and your series. As for marketing, my favorite tip was regarding branding. Just be yourself. “You are not competing with others. They are them; you are you.” I couldn’t have said it any better. Stop the comparisons and be the best you you can be! Check out Shannon’s article for her other three top tips for 2015. What were some good tips you received in 2015? Feel free to leave some in the comments. Happy...

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Divas Rec: Lessons From the Movies–The Force Awakens

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Divas Recommend | 0 comments

Divas Rec: Lessons From the Movies–The Force Awakens

I’m about to let my inner nerd loose… I LOVE STAR WARS! I still remember the first time I saw Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. I was in the fifth grade and my older sister suggested we go see this new movie called Star Wars that was supposed to be really good. So we drove to the closest theater, which was an hour away. We ended up in the front row because the line for tickets was out the door and we hadn’t left early enough to get the good seats. I still remember how I felt after the movie. The euphoria, the sense that things would never be the same again. Granted, as a fifth grader I had no idea what was going to be different, just that I’d experienced something new, refreshing, and completely different from what I’d seen before at the movies. Of course now I realize what I’d experienced was great story telling. So in honor of the seventh movie, The Force Awakens, this week I am recommending Beth Hill’s insightful article, “Lessons From the Movies—The Force Awakens,” on The Editor’s Blog. This wonderful article reminds us that great story telling is a combination of wonderful characters, fresh plotlines, and unexpected twists and turns, sprinkled with those elements readers expect. So while readers want to be impressed with something new, they still expect some predictability to the story. And by predictability, Hill is talking about those expected elements that make a story “enjoyable and satisfying.” So give Beth Hill’s article a read. You won’t be sorry. Now… go write something. And may the Force be with you! (And in case you’re wondering… Yes, I’ve seen The Force Awakens twice already, bought a 2016 Force Awakens calendar, and am the proud owner of a Kylo Ren Christmas tree...

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Divas Rec: 33 Ways to Write Stronger Characters

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Divas Recommend | 2 comments

Divas Rec: 33 Ways to Write Stronger Characters

“33 Ways to Write Stronger Characters” is a must, in my opinion. Let me tell you: This is a list every author needs to print out and keep close when they write.  Covet it. Laminate it. Frame it. Knit it a cozy. I don’t care, just keep it forever. It’s a great resource while you’re developing your characters. When I’ve helped an author or two add more depth to their characterizations, I directed them to this list by Kristen Kieffer on the She’s Novel blog. Not only does she identify what your characters need, but how you can help them. She also created a worksheet that helps you keep track of all the 33 ways you can strengthen your characters. I puffy heart worksheets. All you have to do is sign up for her site (free) and download the PDF. Simple! Then you’re on your way to rounding out your book players. Check out “33 Ways to Write Stronger Characters” by Kristen Kieffer like now! You’re welcome! PS.  For some reason the download link to her worksheet said it was unavailable but the link that was sent to my email worked just...

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Divas Rec: Creating Lean But Descriptive Prose

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Divas Recommend | 0 comments

Divas Rec: Creating Lean But Descriptive Prose

Recently I was attempting to explain to an author that not all editors actually want authors to remove every bit of descriptive narrative. Nope, some of us actually want authors to find that happy medium between bare bones and fluffy fluff. So color me ecstatic when I stumbled upon this wonderful article, “Creating Lean But Descriptive Prose,” by Connie J. Jasperson at Life in the Realm of Fantasy. This article is great because it addresses the complaints I’ve been hearing lately from authors—editors say remove all adjectives and adverbs and the results are dry and boring. As a side note, I don’t know many editors who say remove all of anything. Well, except maybe shouty caps. Okay, maybe one or two can stay… but I digress.  Connie says, “Good prose requires choosing words that convey your ideas in the least amount of space. Modifiers and descriptors do that for us, but need to be chosen carefully, and used only when nothing else will do.” Yes. That, exactly. Choose all your words carefully for the best possible effect. Happy...

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Divas Rec: How to Fuse an Emotional Connection with Your Reader

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Divas Recommend | 0 comments

Divas Rec: How to Fuse an Emotional Connection with Your Reader

Have you ever read a book that had strong characters, a great plot, and unexpected twists and turns, but you still felt ambivalent about it? You know, that resounding meh when you read the last page and closed the back cover? It’s quite possible that the author failed to fuse an emotional connection with you through his or her writing.   Now before anyone gets upset, please note this well-known saying: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” ― John Lydgate What that means is, as an author, it is impossible to expect to make an emotional connect with every reader out there. However, there are ways to get the most emotional bang for your buck without manipulating your readers with clichés and stale writing tropes. I don’t get to read as many articles on writing craft as I’d like these days, what with running a business and editing all the live long day. But when I do find a moment to recharge, I’m always pleased to find a wonderful article or two written by people with a greater talent than mine, and I have to share. If you haven’t read Martha Alderson’s article “How to Fuse an Emotional Connection with Your Reader” on her Plot Whisperer blog, do it today! Alderson covers the basics of personality traits, emotions and flaws, and then goes on to discuss how to use them to transform your characters while on their emotional journey. And she does it all showing how the emotions should look in the beginning, middle and at the end of the book. So visit her blog and read this wonderful article. You won’t be sorry! Now… go write...

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