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Showing posts from 2015

10 Reasons to let a Beta Reader Go Over Your Manuscript

Recently, due to union action, I found myself with extra time to invest in my writing. If you've ever been on strike, you'll know how non-productive it is, and for some of us, that is enough to send us scrambling for something to do.
While walking the picket line, I reconnected with a lovely co-worker who just happens to have a Masters in English. My writing came up during our conversation like it usually does:
"What have you been keeping busy with?"
"Oh, still working away on my novel."
 Usually I say this with a tinge of embarrassment because I've been "working" on my novel for quite some time. However, I was very fortunate. My colleague, Dania, offered to read over and respond to my current manuscript, The Fergus She.
Immediately, I got that internal cringe of "Oh, that's too much to ask of anyone". But I’ve been working on those silly aspects of my personality, and I brushed aside that non-helpful inside voice and said, &…

How to Pace your Novel for Bestseller Success

Pacing is the speed at which events occur in your novel. Pacing can occur within lines and within the entire novel, which is the speed at which you move the plot along.


Generally, you want scenes (where things happen) to move quickly, and interludes (where you describe or your character ponders) to slow down. Pacing problems occur when scenes go by too quickly or are too slow. One can leave your reader feeling confused and a little ripped off, and the other will bore your reader into putting your book down.


I am currently reading an Indie novel and though there is some bang-on pacing at the beginning and at the 3/4 point, there are a few areas that had me pulling out of the story and wondering what the author was up to.

The too fast example: The main character finally finds a necklace of power and when she puts it on her head flies back, lightening strikes, her arms reach out as if embracing the sky and then it's over and she says, "That was weird." As a reader, I wonde…

Reasons for Rejection: A Writer's Style

Many blogs, articles and podcasts address the reader's error in not following submission guidelines as the reason for rejection.  However, there are many reasons for rejection and one of those can be the writer's style.
    A writer's style is affected by the writer's "voice" and how the writer puts sentences together. Style is specific to each writer, it's unique. But that doesn't mean it cannot be changed.
    Writers change their style to target their imagined reader, and to mould their writing to the genre and the format.
   According to The Writing Centre, you can improve your style by cleaning up wordiness, by reading out loud to catch awkward phrasing, and by focusing on meaning and tone.
    One suggestion is to remove repetitive redundant words that mean the same thing. I could remove either one of the "r" words in the previous sentence without affecting the overall meaning.
   If you are struggling with a sentence, ask yoursel…