Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 45: Avoiding “Said

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 45: Avoiding “Said” What’s this, you say? Avoiding “said” is one of the most common writing mistakes? How can that be? Surely writers overuse this ubiquitous little word more often than not, don’t they? As a matter of fact: nope. Indeed, trying to avoid this hard-working little speaker-attribution tag can, in most instances, lead … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 45: Avoiding “Said

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 44: Too Many Participle Phrases (Over $500.00 in Cyber Monday bonuses)

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 44: Too Many Participle Phrases Rushing to her computer, Katie tries not to spill her coffee. She is late to write a very important forty-fourth installment in the “Most Common Writing Mistakes” series. She looks for her coaster, rooting through her desk drawers. Finally, relieved by the protection of the precious particle board … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 44: Too Many Participle Phrases (Over $500.00 in Cyber Monday bonuses)

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough There are two different ways you can blow your story stakes–and both of them have the ability to ruin your book. Before we dig into the pitfalls, let’s take a moment to consider just what story stakes are. What Are Story Stakes? Your character’s stake … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 41: Inferring Non-POV Characters’ Thoughts

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 41: Inferring Non-POV Characters’ Thoughts These, days, writers have to be clever. There are so many guidelines we need to observe in order to make our plots, characters, and narratives as vibrant and powerful as possible. As this series on most common writing mistakes attests, there are so many things … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 41: Inferring Non-POV Characters’ Thoughts

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 38: Irrelevant Book Endings

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 38: Irrelevant Book Endings Is there anything more fun, more bittersweet, and more challenging than book endings? Arguably, nothing matters more for ensuring reader satisfaction than the ending of a book. As such, few parts of your story are going to be more important to get right. But naturally, the room … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 38: Irrelevant Book Endings

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 33: Telling Important Scenes, Instead of Showing

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 33: Telling Important Scenes, Instead of Showing “Show, don’t tell” is arguably one of the most important principles of writing fiction. It’s the foundation of all of dramatic storytelling. “Telling” may get the bones of a scene across. But “showing” is what brings it to life. So it should come … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 33: Telling Important Scenes, Instead of Showing

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 32: Boring Opening Lines

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 32: Boring Opening Lines Opening lines are an art form unto themselves. They must introduce a story’s tone, the author’s wit, the plot itself, and, most importantly, a reason why this story is worth the readers’ time. Boring opening lines aren’t something an author can afford. And yet they’re harder … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 32: Boring Opening Lines

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 31: One-Dimensional Conflict

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 31: One-Dimensional Conflict Conflict is one of the most essential ingredients of fiction. When a character with a goal meets an obstacle to that goal, conflict ensues. Story ensues. But one-dimensional conflict isn’t enough to plumb the depths of a story’s potential. So just what is one-dimensional conflict? When conflict is … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 31: One-Dimensional Conflict

Most Common Writing Mistakes: Stories That Begin Too Early

Most Common Writing Mistakes: Stories That Begin Too Early If there’s one thing you don’t want readers saying when they pick up your book, it’s “Get to the point already!” Stories have lots of ground to cover in their openings, and authors often feel as if they have to open early enough to give readers … More Most Common Writing Mistakes: Stories That Begin Too Early

Most Common Writing Mistakes: Weak Character Voice

  Most Common Writing Mistakes: Weak Character Voice Voice. That tantalizingly nebulous word is flung around so often in writing critiques and agent demands that writers sometimes get to where we almost hate the sound of it. Every author is supposed to cultivate a unique voice. But, even more than that, we’re also supposed to … More Most Common Writing Mistakes: Weak Character Voice