writing tips

  • Why you should write for just one person

    Who do you write for? I’ve noticed how often so-called content-specialists or writing teachers or any of the like will tell you to “know your audience” or some bullshit like that, without every really telling you why or, maybe more importantly, how. I think it’s because they don’t really know.

  • Spangly words do not good writing make

    Not long ago, I had the pleasure, or displeasure, of a reviewing a manuscript that used the phrase “from whence it came.” This was not in jest. The writer was serious. And that was a big problem.

  • 5 Warning Signs Your Story is Off To a Bad Start

    The start of your story is just so important. Just ask any editor or agent how long it takes them to reach a “no” on your submission—if they’re being honest, they’re gonna say it takes them just a few paragraphs. If they’re getting through a few pages before that no comes, it’s because your writing […]

  • 100+ Deadwood Phrases To Cut From Your Writing

    This list is evolving. Have suggestions? Leave a comment and I’ll update as we go. Making these small changes in your copy—be it fiction or non (news writers are so guilty of so many of these)—will lead to clarity and brevity, hallmarks of excellent writers. It won’t be easy at first. We use these phrases […]

  • The End Comes First

    When I started writing the Station One series, I knew how it was going to end. In fact, there are big clues in the first couple of scenes of the first book, Time Up. When I wrote This Time Around, the first thing I had was the ending scene. The ending for the third book, […]