Fiction Editing Services: What to Look for in Making Your Selection

So you’re a novelist, you’ve finished your book, and now you’re researching fiction editing services. What should you look for, and what should you be aware of? First, be aware that any novel worth its salt deserves more than a “proofread” or “copy edit.” As an author, you want to make sure that your plot hangs together without holes or ... Read More

When to Hyphenate Adjectives

When to hyphenate adjectives or word combinations that act as adjectives has long caused writers confusion. As usual with grammar rules, once you hear the answer and understand the principle, hyphenating compounds turns out to be pretty easy. A compound is a word marriage. It’s the name grammarians give to two or more words stuck together by a hyphen. Examples are “risk-taking daredevil,” “happy-go-lucky girl,” and “rain-streaked window” …

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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

When to Hyphenate Adverbs

When to hyphenate adverbs . . . it’s a question I’m sometimes asked as a book editor. The answer is, when you live in England. That sounds humorous, but actually I’m not joking. Grammar rules, you see, are different on the other side of the pond. In England they write “closely-watched cards” and “happily-playing children,” while in America, we write …

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How to Create Memorable Characters for Your Novel

As a writing coach and book editor, I’m sometimes asked by beginning novelists what the secret is to great characterization. What makes the difference between a memorable fictional character and one that just disappears into the page? Creating characters that zing versus the kind that put readers to sleep depends, for one thing, on giving them memorable personality traits. Give ... Read More