Let Them Speak!

I must have at least thirty books on writing, some about mysteries, some about romance, some about horror, but most are on the art of writing. My latest acquisition is called Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror edited by Laurie Lamson.  It‘s one of a series of Now Write anthologies filled with pages of excellent writing tips from successful writers and writing teachers. One of the things I love about it is the length of each author’s contribution, only a few pages including an easy exercise at the end. My attention span for How-To books tanks after about ten… Continue reading

Self-Editing, Part 2

In my last post, I spoke about showing versus telling.

You can do that through dialogue, as well. Good dialogue serves to show, versus tell.

On the other hand, if too many of your characters’ emotions are being described through narrative, or through tags appended at the end of the dialogue, then you probably need to rewrite your dialogue.

Words such as she grimaced, she laughed, he bellowed, he growled—in place of he/she said—are the mark of an amateur. Just as unnecessary and clumsy in dialogue tags are the –ly adverbs: angrily, grimly, harshly, etc. Again, your… Continue reading

Reading Out Loud

ReaderBoyDo you read your work out loud?  At least the dialogue?  There’s at least two times I find this helpful.

The first is when I am having trouble with a piece or the voice of a character.  Reading it out loud can give me a sense of rhythm or, more likely, the lack of the rhythm of that character’s statements.   The rough patches tend to stick out and I mark those as I go along.  Once I’ve finished the read-through, I’ll revise and then repeat this process until I’m satisfied… Continue reading