Whose Writing Advice Should You Follow?

Some writing experts say, “Write what you know.” Others say, “Make it up as you go.” Some say, “Write by the seat of your pants.” Other say, “No! Start with an outline.” With so much contradictory writing advice floating around out there, what’s a writer to do? 

write better

Can the Right Writing Tools Help You Write Better?

When I first started writing, it was just me, a ninety-nine cent pen, and a cheap spiral-bound notebook. Using those tools, I wrote dozens of poems, stories, and journal entries. These days, I’m surrounded by far more sophisticated writing tools: fancy pens and journals, a computer with writing software, a library of writing resources, and…Read More

better writing critiques

Critiques Make Your Writing Better, So Grin and Bear Them

Today I’d like to share an excerpt from my book 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. This excerpt is from “Chapter Seven: Feedback,” which offers tips for giving and receiving critiques as well as coping with public criticism. The excerpt I’ve chosen to share today explains how to use critiques to make your writing better,…Read More

writing process

How to Develop a Beneficial Writing Process

Today I’d like to share a few excerpts from my book 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. These excerpts are from “Chapter Six: Process,” which examines methods, strategies, and other approaches to developing and fine-tuning a writing process that works for you.

writing skills

How to Improve Your Writing Skills

Today’s post features excerpts from 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. These excerpts are from “Chapter Five: Skills.” Enjoy! Writing Skills When we talk about writing skills, we usually think of the basics: the ability to write sentences and paragraphs correctly with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. But a lot more than that goes into…Read More

better writing good writing

Eight Characteristics of Good Writing

How important is it for a writer to be able to discern the difference between good writing and bad writing? Pretty important, if you ask me. I know some writers aren’t concerned with quality. In today’s do-it-yourself and get-it-done-fast world, quality plays second fiddle to quantity. Who cares if your books are full of typos,…Read More

beta readers

What Are Beta Readers, and Should You Use Them?

By the time you’ve finished your manuscript and are ready to show it to agents and editors — or self-publish and put it in front of readers — you have almost certainly lost the ability to view your own work with a critical eye. While there are some tactics you can use to self-edit, you…Read More

good grammar

Breaking the Rules: When Good Grammar Goes Bad

Today’s post is an excerpt from 10 Core Practices for Better Writing. Enjoy! “And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before—and thus was the Empire forged.” — Douglas Adams Everyone knows the old saying: rules were made to be broken. But some…Read More

proofreading and editing

21 Do-It-Yourself Editing Tips

The human mind is a funny thing; it likes to play tricks on us. For example, when we proofread and edit our own writing, we tend to read it as we think it should be, which means we misread our own typos and other spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes as well as problems with word…Read More

good grammar

How to Make Grammar Part of Your Daily Life

I recently started relearning how to play the guitar after a rather long hiatus. It’s not like I ever learned how to play it properly in the first place — so I’m still a beginner. And at times, I find it frustrating. I just want to pick the thing up and rip out a song,…Read More

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