Tag Archive - writing craft

Are You Letting Hedging Sabotage Your Writing?

Today’s guest post is by international best-selling author Jerry B. Jenkins:

A common error I see in beginners’ manuscripts is hedging.

It violates a cardinal writing rule—Just say itand results in such words and phrases like:

  • started to
  • began to
  • sort of
  • almost
  • kind of
  • slightly
  • a bit

The problem with those?

They result in flabby, hesitant prose no one has the patience to read and no editor wants to buy. Continue Reading…

Learn Novel Writing from a Master Author via Masterclass.com

I’m excited to share with you a very cool course presented by MasterClass.com. This is an organization that is drawing in masters from many fields—music, novel writing, acting, sports—among others. While they only offer just a few courses at present, this endeavor holds a lot of promise. Since I’m about to create some of my own master classes on novel writing, I was excited to see what the likes of James Patterson offered, and decided to take a look around.

This course is on novel writing by the famous thriller writer James Patterson. I’ve read many of his novels, so I was excited to see an actual course presented by him. And it’s a deep, thorough one, well worth the money!

MasterClass.com is a San Francisco-based startup (my neck of the woods!) that launched in May.  What amazed me was the price: the whole course costs $90 US, which seems very reasonable considering what you get. Well, more than reasonable. It’s awesome!

There are four parts to the course. You get a series of twenty-two videos (about 3.5 hours’ worth) in which James Patterson talks about different aspects of the craft of creating fiction, from ideas to plot to characters to outlining. He covers dialogue, how to research and edit, and even goes into topics such as choosing a title and marketing tips. Continue Reading…

7 Ways to Help You Be Precise in Your Writing

Today’s guest post is by Dawn Field:

The best books suck you into an alternative world in a single sentence. Ideally, it happens in the opening sentence. Some take a paragraph—others longer. If it takes too long, few will chose to read a book unless they’ve already cultivated a love for the author or the topic, or someone promised it was a terrific read.

The best books create worlds you can feel and understand even though they are imaginary or, if based on true stories, you only experience vicariously. A great read gets comments such as “I could so relate to that character,” “I never knew the life of a Buddhist monk was like that,” “I could just feel his pain when he broke his leg,” “I could see the jungle temple in my mind,” and “I could feel the cold in the winter survival scene—I almost started to shiver as he was trying to start the fire in the snow.”

The art of pulling a reader in is not due to being a master of words—although this helps tremendously—as much as being a master of the human experience and human psychology, and understanding the key features that define the essence of any experience. It is also a matter of achieving precision in descriptions. Continue Reading…

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