Punctuation is a challenge for a lot of writers. Commas can be particularly confusing because they have so many different purposes. Semicolons are tough, too, and many writers just avoid them. The same goes for em dashes and ellipses. Three dots? Four dots? When, why, where? Sure, you can use a grammar and punctuation checker… Read more
The Five-Second Rule for Writing
Every day, you make hundreds of decisions in less than five seconds. Many aren’t conscious decisions, like fastening your seat belt, opening a door, putting sugar in your coffee, or saying thank you to the barista. Most of the time, you make decisions without thinking, without consciously choosing. And those decisions are based on emotions… Read more
Writing a Novel in a Month – Time to Prepare!
Writing a novel in a month sounds like madness. But some writers seem to zip through National Novel Writing Month—NaNoWriMo—and pump out 50, 60, even 70,000 words or more like it’s no big deal. Others plod through, get discouraged, pick themselves up, and write like crazy on the final day just to hit 50,000. And… Read more
Ghostwriting Fiction: Is It for You?
Ghostwriting, as you probably know, is professional writing done for an individual person or company without getting public credit for it. An autobiography, for example, may claim the subject as the author even if the book was written entirely by someone else—ghostwritten. In some cases, a writer may get partial credit. An “as-told-to” memoir is… Read more
The Em Dash and How to Use It Correctly
Do you use em dashes? Do you know what an em dash is? If you answered yes to both, you’re in good company. Lots of writers use em dashes—a lot. I definitely do—sometimes more than I should. And since too many em dashes detract from effectiveness—plus look sloppy and unprofessional—if I have more than one… Read more