8 Early Draft Cuts For A Stronger Manuscript

There’s a reason it’s a good idea to not show anyone early drafts, and that’s because it’s usually full of writing that should be cut. And these cuts aren’t darlings—writing that’s good but doesn’t fit with the story—they’re the parts of your MS that will make it stronger once you’ve removed them. They are the weak... Continue Reading →

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Wednesday Guest Post

My first guest post, with thanks to Bryan from A Crack In The Pavement…

A Crack in the Pavement

I was really happy when K.M. Allan accepted my invitation to guest host today. For the past couple of months I have been her beta reader.

I was able to see her drive and determination, combined with her talent as a storyteller. I have no doubt you and I will see her work in our favorite bookstores.

But on the flip side of this shiny coin I feel she eats way to many tacos. She also has a habit of reminding me on a daily basis that she is the good twin. I must admit, the jury is still out.

But enough about me.

Ladies and gentlemen may I introduce to you one of my favorite Australians whose heart is pure gold.

K.M Allan, it’s all yours.   

Walking For Creativity

When you’re a writer who works from home, most of your day is spent indoors, crammed in a chair…

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Creating A Writing Style Sheet

As mentioned in last week’s blog post, I’ve spent most of this year in editing hell, working through an MS that has been through re-writes, new beta readers, and a total show, don’t tell overhaul. As my edits for that MS wound down, I returned to the next MS in the series (book two), which... Continue Reading →

7 Reminders About Editing

They say writing is re-writing, and until you’ve sat down to write a book and discovered this, you don’t realize how true it is. Tangled up in all that writing and re-writing is editing: that lovely process where you read your MS so many times, the thing you love becomes something you hate. Editing can... Continue Reading →

The Payoff

If you’ve read a book where the ending or big dramatic twist is the culmination of all the clues, moments, or hints in the book, then you’ve encountered The Payoff. The MC finally getting what they want. The villain losing (or winning). The end of a war.The start of a love story. The payoff could be any of... Continue Reading →

Backstory Basics

One key to writing a book that connects with readers is including characters they care about. Or hate. It can be characters they hate. Just as long as the readers want to follow from the first page to the last. Follow-worthy characters come from awesome descriptions, dialogue, goals you want to see them achieve, odds... Continue Reading →

Character Description Must-Haves

There’s a lot of elements that go into writing a book, and each one has their own set of must-haves. Take character descriptions, for example. Obviously, the easiest way to create a picture in someone’s mind is to list the physical characteristics. Often it’ll be something like; "She was tall, with long black hair and... Continue Reading →

6 Tips For Adding Tension

Have you ever read a book you couldn’t put it down? A story where you couldn’t flip the page fast enough, or wait to dive back into its chapters, resenting all life distractions until you can read “The End”? While novels like this are no doubt filled with worlds you connect with, terrific or terrifying... Continue Reading →

7 Dialogue Downers

One of the ironic twists of being a writer who works alone at a desk making up imaginary things is writing dialogue. You know, a conversation between two or more people when it’s rare you’ve spoken to another person, out loud, about anything interesting for days at a time. While your real life skills may... Continue Reading →

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Tara Sparling writes

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