Mistakes Writers Make

 

Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do)

In her article, Patricia Holt hits all the major mistakes writers [new and old] make. The fixes are EASY to grasp. Read up!

  1. REPEATS
  2. FLAT WRITING
  3. EMPTY ADVERBS
  4. PHONY DIALOGUE
  5. NO-GOOD SUFFIXES
  6. “TO BE” WORDS
  7. LISTS
  8. SHOW, DON’T TELL
  9. AWKWARD PHRASING
  10. COMMAS
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Follow Me, True Reader

Daily fix to use IMG_5088
[image found on Google, not property of EditingAddict.com]

 

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen.

I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings.

It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony.

I use short sentences.

And I use sentences of medium length.

And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”

— Gary Provost

 

Quick book-signing trick

#DailyFixEA

[found on acuff.me; by Jon Acuff]

“Pssst Writers! Quick book signing trick.

If you’re an author, and lots of you are, you are going to sign books. Here’s a trick my friend Robert D. Smith taught me.

Always sign in blue sharpie, not black. Why? Well, the publisher can publish in black. Sometimes books are printed with a signature. If you sign in blue though, readers know with completely certainty that you actually signed it. It’s a small thing, but small things can be awesome.

Go blue!”

[found on http://acuff.me/2014/10/pssst-writers-quick-book-signing-trick/]

 

Hook Your Literary Agent

#DailyFixEA

[found on writersdigest.com]

“The 4 Components That Hook Literary Agents

1. Tell the literary agent who you are

State your name and job title, or the title of the position you’re seeking. “Hi, my name is Miranda Mechanic, and I’m a licensed automotive mechanic who writes how-to articles for women who don’t want their cars to get the best of them.”

2. Literary agents want to know what you want

Don’t beat around the bush. State what you’re after. “I’m interested in placing some of my articles with your magazine, Auto Care for Everybody.”

3. Show the literary agents why you’re the best choice

List any degrees, writing credentials, training or experience that relate to what you’re seeking. “I’ve been taking mechanical things apart since before I could walk, and I’m the owner-operator of my own body shop.” Be sure the qualifications match your stated goal. Saying you want to write an article on mechanics and then listing your degrees in early Russian literature won’t help. If you’re unable to come up with any related experience, name qualities or skills you possess, such as attention to detail, passion for the subject and so on.The key is to be brief and memorable. You’re looking for that special something that separates you from the crowd.

4. Give literary agents a call to action

You can do a great job selling yourself, but if you don’t follow through by asking for what you want, you’ve wasted your time. Take a deep breath and go for it. “I’d like to show you copies of my articles, including ‘How to Change a Tire When It’s Twenty Below Zero’ and ‘How to Add Oil When You’re Wearing a Power Suit.’ ” The call to action is what leads to further interaction. Don’t neglect this most important step.”

[found on http://www.writersdigest.com/literary-agents?et_mid=691229&rid=239481182]

 

Writers: How to Decide if You Need a Blog or Website

 Guest Blog by Robert Mening

 

I’ve been building websites since 2009 and I wanted to share my knowledge on that topic to help fellow freelance writers.

Lately, I’ve been helping a lot of writers, small businesses and even startups to set up their own sites. I’ve also received a ton of questions from my visitors.

One of the main question that is being asked a lot is following: “Is it difficult to create a website for myself? Or perhaps I should hire a web designer?”

In short, setting up a website is easy as boiling eggs these days. Fairly easy, but you can still get a couple of things wrong.

Decide: Blog or a website?

Blog is a type of website, nothing else. Blogs are built on CMS (Content management software), such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogspot, Drupal and so on.

I’m preaching WordPress since this is by far the easiest platform to add new content, images and even videos. So if you are a writer, go with WordPress. Or if you don’t like the interface for some reason, you could also try Blogspot.

WordPress has a big variety of different FREE themes, which you can easily change on your WordPress admin page. It’s very user-friendly and doesn’t have a huge learning curve.

With those platforms (WordPress & Blogspot) you are able to create a blog as well as a website or just a mixture of them. Problem solved. There’s absolutely no need to start learning HTML5 or any other coding languages.

Decide: Self-hosted or not?

If you have some money to spend on your website – go with self-hosted option.

If you don’t want to spend ANY money on your website – go with a free service.

When you go with a self-hosted version, you’ll also need a hosting and domain name. This will cost you approx. $40 – $80 per year. One of the best in the hosting & domain industry is HostGator and Godaddy. Here’s what you can get from them:

  • You get a personal e-mail address: john@YourAwesomeSite.com
  • You have your own personal domain name, rather than having a blogspot.com/yoursitenamehere
  • You have full control over your site. No one can take it down or delete it.

As an alternative, you could try free blogging/website services such as Blogger or free version of WordPress.

What should YOU add on your website

Now that you’ve got a website with a theme, be sure to add a couple of really important pages.

1) Add an “About me” page, so the people can check out whose stories they are reading. Just write a few lines about yourself – who you are, what you do and so on. This can get readers hooked up with your content very quickly.

2) Add a “Contact” page where the audience can reach you from if they have any questions regarding your writings. Be aware, though: If your website is starting to get a lot of traffic, you’ll get some spam as well.

3) Integrate email subscription service with your website so that you could gather your visitors email addresses and let them know about your new content, offers or even e-books. This email “marketing” software can be bought from MailChimp and Aweber. At first you won’t probably need it, but it’s worth adding at some point for sure.

Conclusion

As I mentioned above, creating a website is not a rocket science. There’s absolutely no need to fill a web designer/developer pockets with your hard-earned money. It’s easy – just try it out and see how far can you go. If you get stuck, you can always search information from Google.

Meet our Guest Blogger, Robert Mening:

Robert-Mening-251x300“My name is Robert Mening and I was born in Sweden, Malmö 28 years ago. All my life I’ve been interested in computers and web. I built my first website in 2004 and ever since then I’ve been a full-time web designer and web developer.”

 | WebsiteSetup.org | Email |

 

Cliché Not After My Own Heart

Strong writing is a unique feature of capable authors. It is not merely words strung together, copied and pasted, from society’s lingo.

Here are clichés to avoid…like the plague:

[found on clichesite.com]
  • A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
  • Abandon ship
  • About face
  • Above board
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder
  • Absolute power corrupts absolutely
  • Ace in the hole
  • Ace up his sleeve
  • Achilles heel
  • Acid test
  • Acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, The
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • After my own heart
  • Ah, to be young and foolish…
  • Airing dirty laundry
  • All bent out of shape
  • All bets are off
  • All dressed up and nowhere to go
  • All ears
  • All for one, and one for all
  • All hands on deck
  • All hands to the pump
  • All heck (hell) breaks loose
  • All in a day’s work
  • All in due time
  • All over the map
  • All paled in comparison
  • All talk and no action
  • All that glitters is not gold
  • All that jazz
  • All the bits and pieces

 

To see the complete list of clichés from clichesite.com, click here.

[found on http://clichesite.com/alpha_list.asp?which=lett+1]

 

Editor, Not Opinionator-Terminator

[by Billi Joy Carson, Senior Editor/ Editing Addict]

Editor Tip: Make Sure Your Editor Is Just That—an Editor

Recently, an author contacted me about another editor she was using, and the practices, notes, changes, and comments this editor was making. To say I was appalled, is an understatement. The author showed me notes this editor had made.

It was obvious the editor was a Opinionator-Terminator, not an editor, because she was literally in a fight with the author about OPINIONS—claiming she was right, and the author was incorrect.

The battle was not over grammar, not spelling, not punctuation, not even the functions and allowances of the Chicago Manual of Style…the arguments were forcing the author to justify why she chose to name characters what she did, and why she titled her work with that title…. She was belittling the author, and tearing apart subject matter that was irrelevant.

If an author wants their character to have an accent or lisp, then that is the author’s decision. The editor’s job is not to challenge that decision, but to make sure if the character had an accent or lisp in the beginning, they also have an accent or lisp in the end—continuity, flow, and logic.

If you are dealing with an editor who is an Opinionator-Terminator, you may feel too afraid to say anything (and fairly, saying anything to one of them may not have the outcome that you desire). This is one reason you want to have a clear and concise contract laid out before starting the editing process—know what it is you are expecting. You also need to know your rights as an author.

You—the author—are the creator and final decision-maker with your work of writing: poetry, book, short story, essay, novel, biography…. The editor is there to help you, assist you.

What should an editor change with minimal (if any) notes to the author?

[Proofread Edit]
Spelling
Grammar
Punctuation
CMS standard
 

 What are the items an editor should leave comments for the author, but shouldn’t make the changes?

[Copy Edit or Content Edit]
Logic flow
Names of characters, places, cities, families….
Plot & action
Scenes / Chapters
Scenario of suspense/humor
Ending

 

An editor should tell the author what items are or aren’t accepted in CMS standard. Those are facts, but they aren’t laws. If the author chooses to reject a change, the author’s voice and choice still reigns supreme—YES, above the CMS, above the editor, and above all.

An author can choose to reject the standard of CMS, if they feel it will alter the readability or the understanding of the project for the reader. The author makes that decision, not the editor. The editor can leave notes, but there is no reason for an editor to attack or harshly defend their points and opinions. That is not their job. Authors shouldn’t put up with it.

An editor’s job is to make sure and find the mistakes—iron out the punctuation, spelling, and grammar. It is not an editor’s job to grade the entertainment value or the subject, or to test the humor factor. That is the author’s choice and decision—they are the creators of the work.

It is okay to challenge your editor, and to disagree with them. If they don’t allow for this, then they are not an editor, they are an Opinionator-Terminator. You need to seek out and find a real editor in order to find success.

If you are looking for an editor, contact me at billijoycarson@editingaddict.com.

[by Billi Joy Carson, Senior Editor / Editing Addict

 

Featured Writing Addict: Ingris Gonzalez

Ingris Gonzalez

 

WYANA-Front copyIngris Gonzalez was born in 1979 in El Salvador—a poor country, which was hit with a terrible war in 1980-1981. Her family escaped the war, and immigrated to New York City. She was raised in Union City, New Jersey.

At the young age of seven—her dad, consumed with drugs and alcohol, abandoned his family. Ingris began to write, dedicating journals to her dad and opening her heart to how exactly she felt, day by day, after he left. Ten years passed, and she met her husband and married at the age of seventeen. She and her husband, Chris Gonzalez, moved to Arizona.

Happily married to Chris, Ingris has been an X-ray technologist for many years at County Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. Today, they have two amazing kids: thirteen-year-old Lindsey, and eight-year-old Joshua. As a family, they have grown a big passion to help orphans in Latin America; this has become their reason for their ministry, Alto Precio [High Price] Ministries. Through sales of their music and books, they provide meals to 150 orphans in Juarez, Mexico.

What is Ingris’s Genre?

Christian, Nonfiction, Inspirational

What is  Ingris’s Inspiration?

“Since my dad abandoned us at an early age, I would escape my pain in books and novels as a kid. In my teenage years, I started writing journals, which I dedicated to my dad—I thought one day he would come back, but he never did. Sharing my life story with other women in pain made me feel I had to share all of me with people who are, at this precise moment, living what I lived before.”

Ingris didn’t just write a book; she is dedicating her life—traveling around the world, giving marriage conferences and women’s conferences. She is also reaching female teenagers who are in need of an inspirational word of freedom. Being bi-lingual, she has the opportunity to reach many different ages, cultures, and genres.

What are Ingris’s books about?

Woman, You Are Not Alone
WYANA-Front
 “Ingris has just completed her first book in order to reach other women who are hurting at this moment. The book Woman, You Are Not Alone is a nonfiction book filled with true-life experiences lived by Ingris. Not only does she share her life with everyone, but she also teaches how to be free from hurt, pain, and disappointments from our past. With every book purchase, Ingris dedicates a percentage to feed orphans in Juarez, Mexico.
 

 

 

Amazon AltoPrecio.com | Facebook | Email |

 

| To book a conference or event: 480.262.5200 |

 

Tell Ingris you heard about her on editingaddict.com!

 

 

Direct [not long-winded] Narrative

Hopper, Gale, Foote & Griffith on narrative:

 

“In narrating an incident the writer should begin with the circumstances in which it occurred and the events immediately preceding it. Do not begin with unnecessary explanations or remote and inconsequential events.

An indirect or long-winded approach bores the reader and destroys the impact of the story.

Furthermore, you may get lost in a maze of inconsequential details or exhaust yourself before you have narrated the climax of your story.

Suppose Susan is telling how she and Steve were nearly drowned when they rowed into the ship’s channel at Gloucester, Massachusetts, and their boat was swamped by a passing freighter.

This story should probably begin with their taking the boat out. The writer can then concentrate on how, unthinkingly, they rowed into the channel and on the ensuing events together with their emotional reactions to them. The story should not begin with an explanation of why the couple decided to vacation in Gloucester. Nor is it necessary to say that on the preceding evening a guest at their hotel suggested the excursion, or even that they were eager to get out on the water because they had been kept indoors for three days by a northeaster.”

 

Hopper, Gale, Foote, and Griffith‘s book, Essentials of English, is an excellent resource for writers of all kinds. You can find it here.