Writing Lite Tip 50: Never pay for a review

Writing Lite Tip 50: Never pay for a review. It will come back to bite you.

Enough said? You don’t need to pay for reviews. You can find reviewers online, on Facebook (Check Reviewing groups), Twitter, Google+, and more. Some kind souls have even made lists of reviewers who will review self-published books, but you’ll have to check to see how timely they are. Make sure you craft a respectful, polite … 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 46: Write backstories for major characters

Writing Lite Tip 46: Write backstories for your major characters. You'll be surprised what you learn.

I talk about character backstories and how to write them here. Basically, I believe they’re the best way to get to know your characters and what motivates them. How passionate or emotional they are. What their style of interacting is. The lengths they’ll go to to achieve their goals. A backstory will help you create … Read more

Writing Lite Tip 45: Make Sure Slang Is Accurate

Writing Lite Tip #45

…Especially if you’re writing about a time or setting that’s unfamiliar. Check regional or foreign slang on the internet; listen to people from that particular place on YouTube, or make some calls to suss out how folks really talk to each other. If you’re writing historicals, the reference librarian at your local library will be … 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 #41: To create suspense, first think of a worst-case scenario…

Writing Lite Tip 41: To create suspense, think of a worst-case scenario. Then make it worse.

A fundamental task in creating suspense is to confront your protagonist with obstacles and hurdles he or she must overcome. Then, just as he/she thinks they have a handle on the situation, it becomes even worse. One of the best examples I’ve read is in William Kent Krueger’s Purgatory Ridge. Two mothers and their children … Read more

Nanowrimo Video Writing Tip #3 — Raise The Stakes

One of the points we’re always told when plotting a novel, no matter what genre, is to raise the stakes. The protagonist (or his/her loved ones) must confront obstacles, jump over hurdles, or solve problems… or else… But what does that really mean? I explain in this short video. Hope it helps your Nanowrimo project.

Writing Lite Tip #33: Chapter Titles Aren’t Necessary

Writing Lite Tip #33

I am actually in awe of writers who title their chapters. I’m not sure why they do it. Or how. Writing a novel is hard enough. Why add to the hardship? Especially if your chapters are James Patterson-short, and you end up with more than 100. Numbers are just fine. And you can use numerals, … Read more

Writing Lite Tip 18: If you’re bored with the passage, your reader will be too.

Writing Lite Tip 18: If you’re bored with the passage, your reader will be too.

One of the best writing tips ever comes from the late Elmore Leonard, who said: “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” In other words, those long, boring descriptions of setting, mood, internal thinking, etc. Here’s the bottom line: If you’re bored reading them, the chances are good your reader will be … Read more