How to Write a Moving Love Scene

One of the hardest scenes to successfully write is the love scene. In your mind you may picture a moving, romantic interlude, but down on paper, you find it reads like melodrama—or worse. This can spell disaster for your novel, particularly if the entire book is building to this scene and it needs to be stupendous to carry the story.

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Authors: Beware the Fake-Quotation Trap!

For authors, the Internet offers broad vistas of knowledge and opportunity, but scattered in between are a few beds of quicksand. One of these is the fake-quotation quagmire: the growing trend of popular "quotation websites" to feature made-up quotes. The quagmire deepens each time a self-publishing author casually decides to decorate her writing with "something inspirational." She goes to one ... Read More

Oops! Your Exposition Is Showing

Does your dialog writing sound natural or off-kilter? Does it read like real people talk, or like grade school children stumbling over their parts in a play? If you have patches of dialog in your novel that just don’t ring true, it may be because your exposition is showing.

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Self-Published Book Contests & The Eric Hoffer Award—Horse of a Different Color

Most legitimate book-award contests don't allow submissions by self-publishing authors. There are, of course, the book contests for self-publishers that hand out awards like candy. Nearly every contestant wins something—including a shiny sticker they can display on their book cover to make buyers think they have written something of quality. Fortunately, there’s at least one book contest out there for ... Read More

Banish These 2 ‘Stammer Verbs’ from Your Fiction Writing

 The following article by Jessi Rita Hoffman was originally published as a guest post on www.JaneFriedman.com. (Jane Friedman is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest.) As a writer, you’ve probably heard the advice about avoiding passive voice and colorless verbs, such as is, was, went, and so on. But you may not be aware of what I call the “stammer verbs” that ... Read More