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Common Writing Mistakes to Avoid

First, I want to announce that the winner of the BlogHer ’13 swag and copy of Guy Kawasaki’s ebook APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, is …

ANNE ALLEN!

Congratulations, Anne! Please email me your mailing address so I can send you your swag!

Now I want to talk a little about craft and […]

How to Write Kick-Ass Character Descriptions

I’m guilty of it, too: The description of a new character who has just entered your story as having “big brown eyes and frizzy black hair” or “ginger hair that cascaded down her shoulders and eyes the color of jade.” No matter how creative you get, describing a person according to his or her hair […]

Five Ways to Murder Your Loved Ones

If you’ve been writing for a while, you’ve probably heard the expression, “Kill your darlings.” (The real expression is “Murder your darlings” and comes from Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch’s “On The Art of Writing”: “Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscripts […]

Contest Winner and Link Love

The winner of this month’s Writerland contest is …

KRISTAN!

Kristan, e-mail me your address and to whom you’d like the book addressed (Kristan, Kristan the Magnificent, etc.) to meghan (at) meghanward (dot) com. Then, whenever you’re ready, send me 20 pages of your manuscript or a short story, and I will critique it and […]

Memoir Monday

I’m going to start blogging about the process of memoir writing, a process I have become all too familiar with these past – eh hem – “couple” of years. This week, I’ll talk about tense.

It’s a difficult decision whether to write your memoir in past or present tense. I wrote mine in past and […]

The Editing Hour: Commonly Misused Words

Last Monday’s post on “that” vs. “which” and “I” vs. “me” led to some interesting comments about other words people often confuse. Here is the list with a few more added. They’re in no particular order.

1. Irregardless—this is not a word! It’s regardless, regardless of how much emphasis you want to put on it.

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KFKD—The Editor in Your Ear

After gathering this list of craft books from my writing friends, I decided to revisit some of my favorites to see which bits of advice have had the greatest impact on my writing habits.

This passage from Annie Lamott’s Bird by […]

The Editing Hour: Usage and Punctuation

I am reluctant to get too much into copyediting because I am a stickler for grammatical and other errors, and I hate to get too caught up in that and lose sight of the more important things in a story like plot, dialogue, characters, etc. But here we go. A lot of common mistakes I […]

Craft of Writing Books

I asked some writer friends what craft of writing books they recommend, and here is the list in no particular order (although Bird by Bird was by far the most recommended). I’ve read only 13 of them, so I can’t vouch for all of them. Here they are:

1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

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The Editing Hour: The Basics

Now for our editing hour. Here are a few basics:

For beginning writers setting out write a short story, novel or memoir, there are quite a few enduring writing rules that can transform a mediocre piece of work into one that’s readable—in other words, a piece of crap into something kinda good. Here are just […]