How NOT to Use a Thesaurus—the Problem of Wrong Connotation

Here is a writing mistake I see often as a book editor. A client uses—or rather, misuses—hundred-dollar words to, supposedly, elevate her manuscript. She wants to dress the writing up, to make it sound professional, so she adds in fancy words from the thesaurus instead of going with simple words used in everyday speech. Let’s talk about how not to ... Read More

Introduction vs. Foreword—Which Does Your Nonfiction Book Need?

If you’re a new author confused about the spelling of Foreword, you’ve got a lot of company. If you’re confused about its meaning, you’ve got even more. The word is written Foreword, not Forward. An Introduction is different entirely, though many people think it’s the same thing. This article will explain the meaning and correct use of each of these ... Read More

The Cure for Writer’s Block

Do you need a cure for writer’s block? Do you find writing a chore? Do your words come out sounding awkward, while your ideas come out sounding vague or confused? You may be the victim of a bad writing habit that afflicts millions of people: trying to be creative and self-critical at the same time. The problem is this: the ... Read More

Narrative Writing: Definition and Examples

In case you’re wondering what is meant by “narrative writing,” the definition is pretty simple: It’s any kind of writing that tells a story. That’s because “narrative” means story. But be a little careful: narrative writing is not the same as fiction writing! Fiction writing is just one kind of narrative writing. Storytelling certainly occurs in fiction—it is the very ... Read More

Types of Nonfiction Writing (Made Easy)

Are you trying to wrap your head around the differences between the types of nonfiction writing? Let me make that headache go away. First, there are two broad categories of nonfiction: research nonfiction and creative nonfiction. Research nonfiction is straight factual writing. Essentially, it means journalism (the kind stuff you find in the newspapers). Creative nonfiction, by contrast, is any ... Read More