writing technique
writing technique

How to Know When Its Done

At some point, after all the writing and revising, your book will be done. Unfortunately, no one knows when that will be. Every author has to figure that out for themselves—and sometimes figure it out anew with each new book. It is more of an art than a science, but I will try to help you with what I know about when to pull the trigger and publish the thing. Most of us know what a first draft looks like. Some are sloppier than others, but most have flaws of some sort in the structure or the prose. Sections might...

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Em Dashes, Semicolons, and Other Less Used Punctuation

Once you get past the basics, punctuation starts to get weird. That’s because a lot of the less used punctuation are more about personal preference than prescribed usage. Even the basics can be this way; commas can often be placed or removed without violating any grammar rules or affecting comprehension. But that doesn’t mean they’re not important. All punctuation helps give your writing rhythm, give it a voice unique to you. And the odd ones even more so, as they are distinctive yet often overlap in meaning so that the choice of which one to use is esthetic rather than...

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Writing Action

I am going to get right to the point and tell you the secret of writing action scenes: It’s not about the action. Like everything else in writing, it’s about character. A lot of people think reading action scenes is boring. And done poorly, it is. It’s not a movie. We can’t add camera angles and sound effects and a chaotic score that all drive the excitement; we have only words. But with those words—and clever choices of what words they are—we can do something that movie action scenes have a much harder time doing. We can illustrate character. Who...

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