Tag Archive - writing tips

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…

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…

Targeting Genre with the KDSPY Kindle App

Recently I wrote some posts on targeting genre for big sales, as this is a topic that I’ve been very interested in, personally, for years. I always wondered just how much genre had to do with a novel’s success, and when I did my “experiment” a couple of years ago by writing in a genre that purportedly “sold itself,” I proved to myself (and perhaps to many others) that genre really matters. (If you didn’t read my blog post on The Book Designer that went viral in the writing world, take a look at it here. )

My aim was to write a novel that carefully fit a big-selling genre and see if it would sell with little effort on my part. I used a pen name, and although I did a little bit of marketing—similar to what a new author would do—I was astounded by the sales I saw. Way more than all the sales I got from my other half dozen self-published novels.

Whether You’re in It for the Money or Not

You might not care about making money off your books. But some of us have families to support and bills to pay. I felt guilty for years writing novel after novel that didn’t sell, “wasting precious time” (my assessment) when I could have been working at Wal-Mart for minimum wage and at least bringing some money in. Continue Reading…

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