3 Common but Easily Avoided Mistakes in Fiction

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid in FictionLately, I’ve noticed several of the same kinds of mistakes occurring in the manuscripts I’m reviewing, so I thought I’d address them here today. Let’s start with the easiest one to fix.

Dialog tags before the dialog

You can find this mistake with ease, and fix it just as quickly. It happens most often when writers give their characters an action prior to the dialog.

Gary turned to me and said, “I don’t make that mistake.”

Readers know quotation marks indicate speech. The words and said are superfluous.

Laughing, Gary said, “I don’t make that mistake.”

In the example above, [Read more…]

The Problem with Flashbacks

shattered glass from a car wreckFlashbacks.

You know what I’m talking about. When a writer rips us from the present moment of the story and catapults us into the past.

And that’s the problem. It stops the forward momentum of your story. Like a driver slamming on the brakes and you go flying through the windshield.

First, realize a flashback is not equal to backstory. In The Portable MFA in Creative Writing, Tim Tomlinson tells us backstory is: [Read more…]

Removing the Cliché from Your Characters

Guest Posting today is Jennifer Slattery

Author Jennifer SlatteryEvery first draft I write seems to be crammed with cliché characters. The Sunday school teacher with silver hair pulled back in a bun. The buff and burly loan shark. The alcoholic husband who burps and slurps and does all sorts of other crude things unfit to share in a blog post.

With four novels in print and two manuscripts in waiting, I’ve learned how to create strong yet unique characters—in drafts two through eight. This includes allowing ugly into the first draft, swapping the expected for the unexpected, and delving deeper into the human psyche. [Read more…]

What Inspires Your Writing?

As writers we all have a purpose for writing. We want to entertain, inform, persuade, or inspire. The passions in our own lives drive what we write.

You care about the environment so you may include a character in your book that feels the same.

You are politically minded so perhaps you write political thrillers.

As a Christian, my own beliefs and desire to tell people about God compel me to write Christian-based nonfiction and fiction.

Today’s interview is with a like-minded woman. Catherine Ulrich Brakefield’s newest book, Wilted Catherine Ulrich BrakefieldDandelions released today. Though fictional, Catherine has set her story in the midst of the Second Great Awakening, a time in our history when godly revival gripped the nation.

Let’s dive in and learn more about what inspired Catherine to write this book and her experiences with the story. [Read more…]

Discover How Point of View Impacts Your Story

How much thought do you give to point of view (POV) as you begin a new story?

The best POV for your story is not always the protagonist or even the antagonist. Consider how different the book To Kill a Mockingbird would have been if told from Atticus’ POV. Or Gone with the Wind from Ashley’s POV.

To help you experiment, here’s a writing exercise. [Read more…]

Snag a Publisher!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Tips to Snag a Publisher with Your Manuscript Submission. Sign up below for your free download.

Get Published!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Things Every Writer Needs to Do When Submitting a Manuscript (make sure you avoid these common mistakes). Sign up below for your free download.
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