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Banish comma confusion for good: Take this comma quiz

If commas confuse you, you’re not alone. Like many writers, you might play a guessing game: I'm pretty sure that’s right, you might think, as you pop a comma somewhere in a sentence. Or echoes of English teachers ring in your ears: Use a comma where you naturally pause, whispers Mrs.O’Leary or Mr. Radnor. But… Read More

9 reasons writers need websites

  Writers need websites, end of story. No matter what kind of writer you are—a novelist, a non-fiction book writer, a freelance writer, or even a brand-new writer without a clue—you need a website. Why? Before I get into the why, let me discuss the what. A static website is a site that rarely changes… Read More

15 divine devices to drastically improve your writing

Want to inject some razzle and dazzle and a little anaphora into your writing? If your writing seems dull and lifeless, maybe all it needs is a lovely little literary device cleverly placed to keep your reader interested and excited. Well, it’s not a new tech gadget or a cool app. A literary device is… Read More

Are -ing words really that bad?

A reader sent in a question that goes like this: “OK, you said no question was stupid. So, I have been told not to use ing words in fiction writing because it is not the right tense. Why?” Have you heard this advice? Have you wondered about it? We use words that end in -ing all… Read More

How to focus on writing: 5 tips that work

“The thing all writers do best is find ways to avoid writing.” —Alan Dean Foster If you’re like most writers, staying focused isn't your strong point. You start the novel, and you lose momentum. You want to get back to it, but you don’t. You hit a rough patch with your blog, and you get… Read More

Warning: Is your writing a victim?

You write the way you write. Right? It’s a part of you and who you are. It’s how you express yourself. It comes from somewhere deep inside, almost as if by magic, and you don’t have a lot of control over that process. You write the way you’ve always written or how you were taught… Read More

Are you making this terrible punctuation mistake?

Do you know where to place commas in a sentence? A lot of writers say they’re guided by instinct when it comes to commas. Or they use the “rule” that says a comma goes where we naturally pause. But what if your “instincts” are a bit off the mark? Or what if a reader doesn’t… Read More

Kick off 2014 with 21 fab websites for writers

All writers need to know stuff—lots of stuff. Fiction and non-fiction writers alike need information about craft, business, marketing, and motivation. If you have a blog—and most writers should—you want specifics on setting it up, creating an email list, and writing for your audience. Freelance writers need tips on pricing, clients, queries, and time management… Read More

How to set writing goals for 2014

Do you set goals for your writing? How’s that working out for you? Here’s what I’ve learned: If my goals are vague, results are vague (or I never reach them). Clear goals = clear results. Simple as that. Maybe you know a little about setting objectives and goals. You might have heard of SMART. Specific… Read More

Everyone has an opinion: 3 reasons to not remind readers about yours

Everything you write is your opinion. That includes “facts” that most people consider “truths”: birds fly, day turns to night, the earth is round. On the opposite end of the spectrum are viewpoints not usually regarded as truth or that aren’t provable: aliens are watching us, vampires are real, just think of money and you’ll… Read More