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…]

The Book Outline—Dispelling the Myth

Outlining. It’s one of those touchy subjects among writers—should you outline your story or not?

But like my recent post “Are You Crippling Your Creativity?” there is a certain misconception about outlines many beginning writers have that I hope to dispel today.

Most of us grew up being taught the traditional outline. [Read more…]

How does the power of observation affect our writing?

candle flame blown by airGod designed us with 5 senses—hear, taste, touch, see, and smell.

In the majority of manuscripts I read, the sense of sight is heavily relied upon. It’s understandable to describe what we see in our world, but there’s so much more we can use [Read more…]

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…]

Mind Mapping and Ice Cream

melting ice cream coneIt’s National Ice Cream Month. Now there’s an idea I can sink my teeth into…brain freeze!

I like ice cream. My favorite flavor is Bordeaux cherry chocolate. Mmmm, heaven on earth.

But what does that have to do with writing?

I thought I’d give you some story ideas to play around with while you enjoy your ice cream and watch the fireworks (Happy 240th Birthday, USA!).

Focusing on the idea of ice cream, here are some scenarios to have fun with.

If you write romance… [Read more…]

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