Don’t Make These Mistakes in Doing Research

Today’s my birthday, so I decided to take the day off and have my friend Donna Wittlif guest post. I first met Donna through an online group I belong to and then had the opportunity to edit one of her books—fascinating sci-fi.

She is a retired special education and English teacher who loves writing. Her World Eternal series are science fiction/religious stories for young adults and adults.

Mistakes in Doing Research

When writers are working on a book, [Read more…]

Don’t Let the Em Dash Confuse You, Here’s How to Use It

Punctuation.

I can visualize readers cringing as they read that word.

“I don’t understand all those rules and I don’t want to.”

“Let editors worry about the correct punctuation.”

“I just want to write, not worry about where to put a comma.”

Do you see yourself in the above sentences? [Read more…]

How Much Do You Know About Your Target Audience

Recently, I picked up a book from the library with a main character in her 20s, even though I left that age behind long ago. She was terribly immature—more like a 16-year-old—and that kept me from bonding with the character. I never finished the book.

Has that ever happened to you? You failed to bond with any character from the story and consequently never finished the book?

No doubt the author’s target audience was women in their 20s, not those over 55.

“Target audience?” you ask. “Why is knowing about the target audience important?” [Read more…]

Ask the Editor Day 4 – Will I Ever Be Done Editing?

Today’s our last day for Ask the Editor. I’ve enjoyed this and seems you have too. So I’ve decided to continue Ask the Editor on my Facebook author page via live FB video. Visit today and like my page so you can be sure not to miss those live events.

Ask the EditorNow for today’s questions.

I feel that editing is a process I could literally be in forever with my book. How do you reach the point where you know that the editing process is complete?

I imagine many writers feel like this. But let me bring some distinction to the question. A synonym of edit is revise. So as writers, we edit/revise our own work. And this is where we can get stuck wondering if we’ll ever get past the process. For myself, I can look at my words in an already published form, be it digital or print, and think, I should have written it this way.

When revising your manuscript, you come that point of “it’s done” when you have [Read more…]

Ask the Editor – Historical Accuracy & POV

Ask the EditorToday continues our Ask the Editor series.

I write historical romance. How important is it that all details be historically accurate versus making it understandable to modern day readers? For instance, most people nowadays think of dinner as an evening meal. Not so in the 1800s when it was the midday meal.

The degree of historical accuracy can vary from publisher to publisher. I know this only because of the books I read from various houses. I’m not privy to their rules.

But I advise my clients to be accurate. That doesn’t mean you can’t make the verbiage more understandable or smoother. Contractions weren’t widely used until the early 1900s, but I find it very tedious to read a book that doesn’t use them. In all things, it’s finding a balance. Let your dedication to accuracy lead you. If you want to be faithful to the language of the day, then be so (and I say kudos to you). You can put other clues into your story to help people know it’s the noon meal.

Where I insist on historical accuracy is [Read more…]

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