Archive | writing tips

What’s in a name?

Imagine if you gave birth to a beautiful baby, perfect in every way. You nurtured her and watched her grow and she became more precious to you with every passing day. You gave this beautiful baby a beautiful name: Cassandra. Then one day your baby went off to school and the teacher told you she […]

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Book Review: Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner My rating: 4 of 5 stars Lisa Gardner reliably delivers smoothly written, fast-paced thrillers. After having given up on a book that put me to sleep four nights in a row, I was happy to dive into LIVE TO TELL and fly through the chapters. Our heroine, Boston PD […]

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Stop Saying Awesome! 25 Alternatives

Everything is awesome: my new boots, the Grand Canyon, Chunky Monkey ice cream, God, the latest Essie nail polish color. Can all those things be great in the same way? Time to liven up your writing (and your speech) with a few new adjectives to express all the different nuances of greatness. [Note: They’re not […]

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Book Review: The Blackhouse by Peter May

The Blackhouse by Peter May My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Blackhouse is an atmospheric mystery set on the bleak Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Hebrides Archipelago. Edinburgh Detective Fin McLeod returns to the island of his childhood to investigate the murder of a childhood schoolmate which bears a strong resemblance to a case […]

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Book Review: The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins

The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins My rating: 3 of 5 stars I took this Edgar-nominated mystery on vacation with me to while away the hours on a trans-Atlantic flight. It served that purpose well enough–the writing is good, the characters of Sheriff Quinn Colson and Deputy Lillie are appealing, and there is some snappy […]

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Reading in Quality, Not Quantity

January is full of lists. “Best of” and “worst of” and “most important of” the year that just passed, followed by jumbo lists of all the things we should do in the year to come. Here on Goodreads, we can see how many books we read in 2013, and challenge ourselves to read even more […]

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Me, Myself, and I–Using the Correct Pronouns

A recent New Yorker cartoon shows a guy lamenting to his friend, “It’s hard being a ‘just between you and me’ person in a ‘just between you and I’ world.” [For copyright reasons, I can’t display it here.] If you’re not sure why that’s funny, you need to keep reading. We’re exploring subjective, objective, and […]

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Clunky dialogue? Tips to keep it real.

Is your dialogue as clunky as sneakers in the dryer?  Here are some tips to keep it real. Real people don’t speak in paragraph-long soliloquies.  Keep your exchanges short, and use summary to explain background information. Real people don’t tell each other information they already know as a way of conveying it to the reader.  […]

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