You’re Saying it All Wrong!

by Carole Brownmonkey-474147__340

I ran across this list the other day and checked it out to see if I was guilty of any. What do you think? Are you guilty?

Have fun reading it!

  1. Nip it in the butt or Nip it in the bud?
  2. I could care less or I couldn’t care less?
  3. One in the same or One and the same?
  4. You’ve got another thing coming or You’ve got another think coming?
  5. Each one worse than the next or Each one worse than the last?
  6. On accident or By accident?
  7. Statue of limitations or Statute of limitations?
  8. For all intensive purposes or For all intents and purposes?
  9. He did good or He did well.
  10. Extract revenge or Exact revenge?
  11. Old timer’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease?
  12. I’m giving you lead way or I’m giving you leeway?
  13. Aks or Ask?
  14. What’s you guyses opinion or What’s your opinion, guys?
  15. Expresso or Espresso?
  16. Momento or Memento?
  17. Irregardless or Regardless?
  18. Sorta or Sort or?
  19. Conversating or Conversing?
  20. Scotch free and Scott free or Scot free?
  21. I made a complete 360 degree change in my life or I made a complete 180 degree change in my life?
  22. Curl up in the feeble position or Curl up in the fetal position?
  23. Phase or Faze?
  24. Hone in or Home in?
  25. emoji whatever freeBrother in laws or Brothers in law?

 

There you have it. Now, ‘fess up! Are you guilty of any of these?

 

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10 Tips for Using Critiques to Improve Your Novel

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Many writers of fiction wonder if they should have critique partners. Critiques can cause beginning writers problems, but they can also be helpful if they’re used right. Even the most experienced authors can benefit from a critique of their work, but bad critiques or using them in the wrong way can become your worst nightmare. Here are 10 tips help you benefit from critiques.

Don’t get a critique too early. Finish your first draft before you even consider getting a critique. In fact, you should write your first draft before you ever show it to someone else. There are some reasons for this. In the first draft, you are working out the story on paper. You don’t need someone telling you they don’t believe your characterizations or where your plot is going. You work those out as you discover your story. The novel evolves as you write it, and if you share it too soon, it will no longer become the story you have because other people’s opinions will affect the way the story evolves.

You can get help brainstorming during the first draft. Brainstorming is different than critiquing. When you are struggling with a plot point or have written your story into a corner, brainstorming can help. Remember that brainstorming consists of getting a lot of ideas about a certain plot plot. It doesn’t discuss how to write the novel or cover more than one plot point. Once you get a variety of ideas, one of them might spark a totally different idea to lead your story in the right direction.

Edit your own first draft. After you finish your first draft, put it in a drawer and ignore it for at least a couple of weeks. This will help your objectivity and make it easier to edit. Now do your own editing. You’ll learn your craft by laboring over your first and second drafts working them to become great. A book I recommend for this stage of the process is Self Editing for Fiction Writers. There are also a number of editing checklists free online. Do the hard work. Don’t expect others to do it for you.

Find critique partners. After you’re sure you’ve edited and rewritten the best you can, go ahead and show the story to a few people who love the genre of fiction you write. You’ll want different people in the mix. If you know a grammar expert, definitely recruit that person as one of your best resources. Also, find a couple of people who love to read but don’t necessarily write to point out where characters or plots seem unbelievable or where the reader loses interest. Last, find a couple of writers well versed in the craft who understand your voice and style of writing.

Be careful who critiques your novel. I’ve lived through a number of horror stories in my early days of writing because I chose the wrong critique partners. Once I had a group of critique partners who wrote contemporary category romance. I write intense historical fiction. It didn’t work out well. Another time, I chose a novice who though she knew everything about writing. She kept wanting me to phonetically spell out all my accents. When I wouldn’t do it, she almost had me in tears. Later, after I’d studied the craft more, I found out I was the one doing it the right way. Many times finding a good group of critiquers is trial and error. Keep working at it until you find the team that helps you the most.

Don’t Get Discouraged. When you get your critiques, don’t be discouraged by varying opinions. Remember they are opinions. Also, after you read a critique, don’t change anything right away. Let the critique set a day or two to digest the information and help you look at it in a fresh way. Sometimes a critique will be spot on, but it stings so much, we can’t see it at first. Other times, the critique partner is adding too much of her own style and would ruin your voice if you took the advise. You are the expert on your novel.

If there is something you struggle with, inform your critique partners to look for it. You may have a difficulty with setting or you’re not sure the character motivation is right. Tell your critique partners, and they may be able to help you in those areas.

Don’t let a critique partner change your voice. Take everything critique partners say into consideration, but don’t let them change you voice or your story to suit them. At some point, you may need to back away from critiques to make sure you’re writing the story your way, or you may need to find different critique partners. Do what you need to do to maintain the integrity of your story.

Get different kinds of critiques. This is where having different types of critiques helps. Sometimes you will want to tell each person what type of critique you want. Some critiquers will look for holes in plot or character motivations. Others will notice the “rules” for writing and let you know when you’re head hopping or when you haven’t resisted the urge to explain. Some are sticklers for word choice and will alert you when you have worded something clumsily. The last kind of critique you want before you submit your manuscript is a beta read. A beta reader will look for punctuation, spelling errors, repeated words, weak verbs, etc, and will let you know if your character changed eye color or shrug too many times. Even if you don’t get the other critiques, every author needs a beta reader.

 Don’t get too many critiques. More than ten is excessive. You probably don’t even want that many. If you have too many opinions about your work, you might be tempted to second-guess yourself. It’s your story. Always remember that.

New Books on the Block

By Carole Brown

One of the best moments in an author’s life is when a book of theirs releases. And probably one of the top pleasures it gives those who love to encourage, is to share the reward of a new book out from a fellow-author-friend. 

Today I want to share with you some new books that recently released and hope you’re intrigued enough to check them out! Here goes…

coloring-journal

 

Coloring Journal. Author: Sharon A. Lavy.

Why should you buy this book?

  • Throughout history, successful people have kept journals.
  • Writing letters and keeping a diary is an ancient tradition that dates back to 10th century Japan.coloring-journal3

 

  • We now know that journaling has a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being, and modern psychologists contend that regular journaling strengthens the immune cells.
  • Many artistic types swear that three pages a day of free writing by hand boost their creativity.

 

coloring-journal-2

 

  • Couple that with the accepted benefits of coloring for calming stress relief and we recognize the usefulness of providing a combination coloring journal.
  • As you fill the following pages with your thoughts and your unique style of expression, please dwell on the goodness of the creator and His great love for us.

Remember, Sharon has a many Adult Coloring Books for your pleasure and relaxation. Do check them out here: 

Sharon A. Lavy’s Amazon Books

 

* * *

416kruadagl-_uy250_

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing (Writing to Publish Book 1)

Why should you buy this book? 

  • Do you see yourself as a writer?
  • Is your dream to publish?

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing helps you create a map you can follow to make your dream come true. The examples, reflective assignments, and challenges walk each reader through the process of constructing a thoughtful and achievable plan. While the handbook offers examples of structure, it is in no way formulaic. The plan you design to be a published author is customized to fit your personality traits, your specific gifts, and your busy life.

Check it out HERE:

Rebecca W. Water’s Amazon Book

THERE you have it! Some books to catch your attention this month! Enjoy.

Lack of Proofreading (Hilarious) Fiascos

By Carole Brown

Hilarious Titles: Doesn’t Anyone Proofread anymore? We all read hilarious topics that make the wrong kind of sense. And it is hard to catch everything–especially on deadlines! But these “take the cake” on hilarity. Enjoy, and remember some writer, somewhere made these mistakes, and take a lesson. Proofread. Then again. Smile.

gun-free
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter 
(Wow; he’s miraculous!)

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says 
(Da,do you really think so?)

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers 
(Now that’s taking things a bit far!) 

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over 
(Uh, what was that?) 

miner-2 free

Miners Refuse to Work after Death 
(No-good-for-nothing, lazy men!) 

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant 
(See if that works any better than a fair trial!) 

War Dims Hope for Peace 
(I can see where it might have that effect!) 

If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile 
(Ya think?)
thermometer-free
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures 
(Who would have thought!) 

Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide 
(They may be on to something!) 

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges 
(You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?) 

lightening-2 free
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge 
(He probably IS the battery charge!) 
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group 
(Weren’t they fat enough?) 

astronaut-free
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft 
(That’s what he gets for eating those beans!) 

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks 
(Do they taste like chicken?) 

Local High School; Dropouts Cut in Half 
(Chainsaw Massacre all over again!) 
doctor-free
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors 
(Boy, are those are some tall doctors!)

I’m Not a Brain Surgeon!

The beautiful parsurgery2 freet of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time–unlike, say, a brain surgeon! –Robert Cormier

 

That’s what editing is all about. Here’s how my writing process goes:

  • Come up with an idea, plot, write. I try to get the story down without worrying too much about editing the first time around. I can’t do that totally–I’m always editing, making little corrections: maybe the wrong word was placed in a sentence, or I spelled a word edit freeincorrectly, or I used “????” meaning the thought needed some research or verifying. I might make some editing in the story line.

Once I finally have the first draft completed, I like to give it a few days rest. It gives my brain a chance to refresh from the story. I might work on another one or do some marketing or even an altogether different project. But eventually . . .

  • It’s time to begin some serious editing. I read through the story, making notes as I go. Correct this sentence. Rearrange this scene. Change the wording, etc. I normally end up with multiple pages or corrections, and that’s a good thing. It means I’ve found the majority of the issues that need addressed.

While I’m waiting on my editor to go over my corrections and to make the adjustments needed, I, again, take a few days to relax and breathe fresh air. By the time the pdf reaches me for a second round of editing, I’m ready to go.

  • The third edit is less intense, but just as important. By now, I’ve caught the major mistakes in my novel. I can concentrate on the depth of the story line, look for any flaws in the main plot and also the subplot threads. I can beef up any weak scenes and tighten all the places that might lag in interest for the reader.

Depending on the story, the editor, and the time available, edits can be from three to twenty rounds. Of course, twenty is pushing it a little, but it can happen, especially with a super picky or super good editor. And hopefully, most, if not all, the mistakes have been found and corrected. That’s the nemesis that dogs most authors’ heels–the thought that we might have missed some flaws not caught.

But, unlike the brain surgeon, who must usually get it right that first time, an author does have the leeway of “edits.” But then that’s part of being an author.

Write, edit, market.elsa free

Pretty much sums it all up.

 

Those Pesky Ly Words

Adverbs are words that normally end in an ly and should usually be avoided when possible. I used two ly words in the last sentence; nobody can avoid them all. Many new writers delete all of their ly words but don’t use a stronger verb in its place. The reason to delete ly words is because stronger verbs can replace them. Here’s a list of a few strong verbs you can use to replace your weaker verbs and adverbs.

Walk:

slowly walked – sauntered, strolled, loped, moseyed, wandered, meandered

quickly walked – strode, darted, rushed, treaded, marched, advanced

Look:

angrily looked – glowered, glared

longingly looked – gaped, ogled, stared

quickly looked – glanced

Talk:

loudly talked – shouted, bellowed

softly talked – whispered, mumbled

Sit:

sat slowly – perched, rested, settled

sat quickly or angrily or clumsily – plopped, plodded

Whenever you see an ly word, look up the verb it describes in the thesaurus, and see if you can find a stronger verb to convey the same thing without the adverb.

10 Tips to Editing Your Own Novel

Tip #1: You’ve finished the first draft of your novel. Congratulations. Take some time off and celebrate. No, really, I mean it. Set your novel in a drawer for at least six weeks. Do something else in the meantime. If you want, start another novel, go on vacation, read a book, visit friends, or spring clean the house. But resist the temptation to pick up that draft. This is the first and most important step to self-editing. You need to look at your work with a fresh eye.

The six weeks are over. It’s time to pull out that manuscript and get busy. Now what? Here’s some things that will help.

Tip #2: Read or review a self-editing book to remind yourself what problems you are looking for. My favorite is “Self-Editing For Fiction Writers” by Browne and King. Even if you’ve read this book before, you’ll need the reminders fresh in your mind.

Tip #3: Use find and replace to search out ly words and other problem words, and replace them when you can. See this link  for the problem words and this link  for how to get rid of ly words.

Tip #4: Print out a hard copy of your manuscript. Read it over using a red ink pen to make notes in the margins. It’s amazing what you’ll find when you read a hard copy.

Tip #5: After reading the hard copy, go back and make your changes.

Tip #6: Print the manuscript out again, find the red ink pen. This time, read your manuscript out loud using your red ink pen to mark changes that need to be made.

Tip #7: Now go back and make the changes again.

Tip #8: You guessed it. Print the manuscript out a third time. No, I’m not trying to kill trees. This is a very important part of the process. You need that hard copy in front of you when you’re editing.

Tip #9: Make the changes, and read through it two more times. You don’t have to print it out this time. But you might want to try reading it backwards so you can find common grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.

Tip #10: Have a small group of people to read over your finished product. You will need at least one grammar expert in this group. The other members can be a couple of people who love to read and a writer or two who will give you a hard critique. See this link for how to have a critique help your writing. Make any needed changes you agree with.

Now you’re done. Give yourself a pat on the back. Then get busy and write a query and proposal, and research those literary agents and publishers.

A writer’s work is never done.