I would like to introduce the first of these amazing guest posters to you – her name is J.S. Bailey.
Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a cozy white house in the country with her grandmother. The little girl’s name was Mary, and she had curly blond hair and brown eyes the color of chocolate. She lived with her grandmother because her parents were abducted during the last alien invasion, when the evil overlord Qíogg ordered his minions to capture as many humans as possible so their combined life force could help power his fleet of spaceships.
Are you asleep yet? Or did your eyes glaze over rendering you awake yet wholly catatonic? Read on for some tips on enticing your readers.
Please welcome my friend, Erin Healy to the blog today. She is a novelist and an editor of novelists (owner of WordWright Editorial Services). She lives in Colorado Springs with her family, her style manuals, her red pens, and many of her editorial colleagues. Follow her here: www.erinhealy.com
Today I received this e-mail query from the editor who’s neck deep in my latest manuscript: “Erin, can the principal be named Walter rather than Walters, so’s we can avoid the whole ‘Mr. Walters’s office’ bit? Or are you feeling defiant and thumbing your nose at 7.16?”
Yes, she really did write “so’s.” We editors do thumb our noses at convention when we can.
The 7.16 reference is to a Chicago Manual of Style rule, which says an S should be added to the possessive form of proper names ending in an S, X, or Z. In other words, I should have written Walters’s, even though it looks and sounds bad. Instead I wrote Walters’, reflexively following a different rule I had learned in college. Of course, I should have known better.
I hear you yawning over this triviality of correct punctuation. Don’t fall asleep yet. There’s something here for you about self editing and the importance of having an editor. Click to Continue
Imagine springtime this year without the earthy scent of freshly mown grass, the vibrant yellows of daffodils, the sweet trills of robins, the warmth of sunshine on your face or the rich, creamy taste of chocolate bunnies from your Easter basket.
Just as we wouldn’t want to miss a single aspect of spring, we don’t want to deprive our characters, plots, dialogues and readers of those sensations either.
I’m writing this blog from my favorite cozy coffee shop, with amazing atmosphere. But the words “cozy” and “amazing” don’t help you understand what it’s like here. I need to use better words. I need to use my five senses. So, let’s find a seat and chat about this writing tool.
We could either sit at one of the tall stools looking out the front window, in the giant orange crushed velvet couch that looks like it came out of a Scooby Doo episode, or in my favorite, one of the booths with cracked black, leather seats and glossy, polished wood tables. There. We used the first sense – sight – this one is the most utilized sense in writing. Probably, because we so predominately rely on sight in life. We are drawn to the sweater that “looks cute” in a store window before knowing if it’s comfortable, if it fits us, or if we can afford it. We often choose the yummiest “looking” dessert, before we’ve ever tasted it. Using sight, is as simple as explaining what something looks like. Make sure to use a variety of descriptions — height, color, spatial references and analogies all work. Click to Continue
I absolutely love going into bookstores and smelling new books. When you crack open a book, what do you smell? Does it fill your senses, like it does mine? I love that new book smell. What draws you into a book besides the cover art and back copy? What is the first thing that really determines if a reader will continue reading your book? The opening lines.
I don’t know what you do when you are looking at a book, but I flip to the first page. I find this is the test on whether I will like a book or not, as I have a short attention span when it comes to what I read. I’ve struggled getting into books when reading some first lines which resulted in my setting the book down on the shelf again. But then there have been other books where I have found myself reaching for the next page inquisitively.
That is true of every piece of work out there! If the first sentence or first paragraph doesn’t make me want to keep reading, then I close the book and set it back on the shelf. I like it when an author pulls me into a story filled with intriguing characters, unique plot, and beautiful prose from the get go.
Do you want your readers to continue reading after the first line and first paragraph? Do you want your readers to be spellbound with your words from the first line of your book?
If you answered yes, then I believe I know a way to help you make your opening lines sparkle & shine. Click to Continue
I am so excited you are here on my new blog! I had an old blog, but decided to switch over to an actual url instead of having two website urls. The old blog can still be accessed here. Check out my latest guest post. Hope you enjoy this place of mine – my new blog home on the internet.
Follow me on my journey of writing about writing, love, life, adventure, travel, and my trek to get a literary agent & published.