50 Tips For Fiction Writers

Whew! It took over a year to do, but my 50 Free Tips for Fiction Writers is finally complete. You can find them over at Pinterest. They’re also scattered among my blog posts over the past year, but they’re all together in order  here. Here’s what they look like:             … Read more

Writing Lite Tip 49: Pay for a professional cover & interior

Writing Lite Tip 49

You probably already know how important a good cover is. Save your pennies for a graphic designer who has experience and knows what he’s doing. And don’t forget to have them create a back cover and a spine, whether or not you’re planning a paperback release. You might want one at some point. Covers are one … Read more

Writing Lite Tip 48: Use characters’ actions instead of dialogue tags

Writing Lite Tip 48 - Use characters' actions instead of dialogue tags.

You already know you don’t need dialogue tags other than “he/she said” or, occasionally, “he/she asked.” Often, however, you don’t need a tag at all, if you couple it with a character’s action. That action, BTW, will tell you more about a character’s frame of mind than a bunch of words. Examples: Ellie ran a … Read more

Writing Lite Tip #42: Hobson’s Choices and dilemmas

Writing Lite Tip #42

While worst-case scenarios are one type of obstacle your protagonist must overcome, there are others. Hobson’s Choice dilemmas are a great tool – Your character must decide which one of two people will live and which will die. Or your alcoholic character has years of sobriety behind him, but needs to drink to prove he’s … Read more

Writing Lite Tip #5: Learn the difference between “who” and “that.”

Writing LIte Tip #5 by Libby Hellmann

A common mistake writers make is this: “I was afraid of the man that held a gun in his hand.” Because “man” refers to a person, it should read: “I was afraid of the man who held a gun in his hand.” (Actually, that could be shortened to read “I was afraid of the man with a … Read more

Writing Lite Tip 2: One clause sentences. Two at the most

LIbby Hellmann Writing Lite Tip No 2

Long, languorous sentences make it difficult for the reader to follow, unless he or she is a very patient reader. Most readers aren’t, sorry to say. They’re interested in story. Not the prose you’ve so carefully crafted. So, make it easy for your readers. Limit your sentences to easily understood thoughts. Each sentence should add … Read more

Writing Lite #3 — Raise the Stakes

In this week’s Writing Lite I talk about how to raise the stakes to build suspense into your work. Enjoy… and let me know what you think. And yes, I’m sorry I cut off a bit of my head in the frame, but I didn’t think you’d miss it. It’s not easy to produce and … Read more