em dash, en dash #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Over the years, as I’ve become a professional writer, I have learned what I know about my craft by not only experiencing the editing process but by availing myself of theChicago Manual of Style. I regularly attend seminars on writing craft and have invested in many books written by editors and famous authors.

I do write reviews for books I enjoyed, and in the course of reading for two review blogs, I have seen many books written by wonderful authors who overuse em or en dashes instead of proper punctuation when they are trying to emphasize a particular thought.

I also tend to do that in blogging and in Facebook posts, and that habit bleeds over into my first drafts.  It’s incredibly easy to rely on them too heavily. However, I find it distracting to see an em dash in every paragraph or even on every page. If we…

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Hard truths about the industry #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

I love reading,  and always review the books I enjoyed. For every book I feel good about recommending, I may have to read six that are just plain awful. I’m not only talking Indies here—large publishing houses publish many novels every year that are a waste of paper and digital space. These travesties should never have made it past the gateway editor, much less the eye of an experienced agent.

This goes beyond my not caring for the style or voice of the piece. I’m talking lack of proofreading, garbled sentences, lack of knowledge of how to use words like ‘its’ and ‘it’s’, and misspelled words. This happens in traditionally published work as well as Indie, which should be embarrassing to the Big 5, but apparently isn’t.

Some books are so badly edited it seems like the author is the only person who has ever seen the manuscript. One glance at the…

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Crime Division: Medications as a Murder Weapon (in Fiction writing, Of Course) Joynell Schultz, PharmD, RPh

Mystery Thriller Week

Hmmm… You have someone to kill. You need a creative way, and the old-fashioned gun, knife, rope, or Pillow Suffocation simply won’t do. Using a medication sounds intriguing. In the alphabet soup of drugs, which one makes the perfect instrument of death?

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Three Tips For Writing Humor by Phillip T. Stephens

Mystery Thriller Week

Three tips for writing humor

An often told proverb claims, “dying is easy, comedy is hard.” Writers struggling to write comedy find it equally apropos.

Novice writers who want to add a comic flair to their prose, especially fiction, often read the prose of accomplished comic writers and wonder, “How do they do that?”

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10 TOP TIPS For the BETA Reading Stage

Sacha Black

Beta Reading Stage

You’ve written ‘THE END’ on your first, second, eighth – or if you’re me it will mostly likely be my third draft. You know it’s not perfect, but you’re happy you have taken your manuscript as far as you can. What next?

Alpha / Beta readers

As I approach the end of my first draft this concept is becoming more than just a twinkle in my eye. It’s quietly growing into the elephant in the corner of the room.

What are beta readers? How do I get one? How long will it take? Will they tear my work to pieces?

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Writespiration #43

Sacha Black

60 SecondsA slightly different challenge this week. It’s another of my favourite writing sites to help unblock the block! The website is called One Word. The aim of this game is to use the word posted below (don’t look till you are ready to write) as a prompt and then free write for 60 seconds, no stopping. Don’t edit, don’t worry, just write. Mine is right at the bottom of this post with the prompt word, no cheating!

Now, to the winner of the worst possible sentence from last weeks writespiration, and boy did we have some cracking entries. And by cracking, I mean awful!

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