EDITING 101: 59 – Character Profiles…

Great tips as always from Adirondack Editing. Thanks, Susan and Chris! This is where I’m hitting a snag in my plotting. Hopefully, this will get me over the hump! 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Character Profiles

Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser (101:21), I’m almost 100% certain that at some point, you’ll have to keep track of your characters’ details. The plotter/pantser post also covered some practical ways that some authors make sure these details are fresh in their minds—or, at least, quickly available.

However, before you can list these precious tidbits of information, you have to either discover them (if your story leads you) or decide on them (if you lead your story). The obvious information is focused on physical appearance: eye color, hair color, stature, body shape, etc. But sometimes authors neglect to round out their profiles with other information that can play a critical part in your story. I’m talking about…

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EDITING 101: 58 – Showing Character Emotion…

Excellent tips (as always) from Adirondack Editing! Show don’t tell! 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Showing Character Emotion

Leilani was frightened.

Austin looked about nervously.

Willow’s face was drawn into an angry scowl.

(insert unhappy readers’ dramatic sighs here)

In the classic struggle to “show” rather than “tell,” emotions are an easy place to fall into “telling,” as each of the statements above demonstrate.

How do you show your readers what your characters are feeling? In some respects, you need to become a serious student of human nature. What kinds of body language tell you when your partner is angry, when your child is lying, when your co-worker is uncertain, or when your boss is about to get demanding? A slight tic next to the eye, a hand clenching repeatedly at one’s side, an emotionless face…

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EDITING 101: 56 – ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’…

Here is another informative article in this series from Susan and Chris. I hope you find it as helpful as I do!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’

These three words are sometimes used together as a phrase, implying regret: A writer should have hired an editor, would have used some beta readers, or could have spent more time on self-editing in order to dodge the poor reviews he’s received.

While that shoulda-woulda-coulda phrase might be accurate for an Ape blog post on how to improve your sales or reviews, that’s not what we’re focusing on today. We’re going to look at the actual words.

First, let’s clarify the correct usage. Slang in speech has reduced this to “should of,” “would of,” and “could of” in writing. That’s completely incorrect, even in dialogue, although an editor might leave “shoulda” alone in slangy dialogue. What you’re hearing…

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EDITING 101: 52 – Adjectives – and the Commas That Go With Them…

I have to admit that commas and adjectives trip me up. So, Susan is here to hold me up before I fall! I hope this helps you as much as it does me! 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Adjectives – and the Commas That Go With Them…

So, you’re merrily typing along and your character wants to put on a blue, silk, handmade scarf. Oh, wait a minute. Is that a silk, blue, handmade scarf or a handmade, silk, blue scarf? A blue, handmade, silk scarf? Oh dear!

Aha! Super Editor to the rescue!

(Imagine me swooping over your house and flying in your window, red pen in hand!)

(Ok, now imagine me 10 pounds lighter. Another ten. Ok, that’s better.)

Adjective order in English is not completely random, although what we’re going to discuss are more along the lines of guidelines rather than rules. The exception is when you’re speaking of words of general description along with words…

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6 Ways To Practice Descriptive Writing

Wonderful post! I am now following. 🙂 So important for us newbies!

Rachel Poli

The words don’t always flow well when we sit down to write. Sometimes we have to start off working on a creative writing prompt, take a walk, or even just sit back and sip on our coffee for a moment.

Then we hope some sort of idea will come to us sooner rather than later.

Or if we already have the idea in our hand, but we’re not entirely how to paint that picture worth 1,000 words for our readers.

6 Ways to Practice Descriptive Writing1. Practice different scenerios

Cooking dinner? Take in your sights and smells and even your taste later on. Describe what you’re cooking, the ingredients, how your counter looks, what’s in the sink, etc. Paint your whole kitchen based on that one meal. Mostly likely, not all that description will be needed, but the practice is fun.

2. Look up creative writing prompts

If you type “descriptive writing” into Google, you’re…

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You can improve your novel with these tips

Wonderful post! Please comment, I love to hear from you. Read the entire post, great tips! 🙂

Jean's Writing

I’m always searching for great writing tips. Believe me, I need all the help I can get. 

When I find a few good tips, I just have to them with y’all.

A few of the 42 listed in Melissa Donovan’s post below, you may already know. But, out of her extensive list, I bet you’ll find one or more that ring your creative bell.

Take a look and tell me what you think.

42 Fiction Writing Tips for Novelists by Melissa Donovan

#1 is my favorite because I love to read.

#15 I’m still working on.

#22 is a tall order but I’m working to achieve.

#25 is a good reminder to stay focused.

#29 on my to-do list.

#40 important to remember.

Did any of these tips speak to you? Which ones?

Are you keeping a list of writing tips?

Do you have a favorite tip to share?

I…

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EDITING 101: 47 – Dangling Modifiers…

Here’s another wonderful post for excellent grammar usage from Adirondack Editing. Susan explains things so well and this is one that has confused me. Pay special attention to the incorrect usage. You will LOL! 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Dangling Modifiers

In a previous article, we discussed dangling participles(EDITING 101:24). Today we’re going to discuss dangling modifiers.

If you remember, “dangling” is another word for “misplaced.” A modifier is a noun or an adjective that amends or explains, adding description to another noun. So a dangling modifier is simply a word modifying a noun that is in the wrong place, thereby making the sentence ambiguous or confusing, and sometimes downright funny.

Incorrect: The woman walked the dog in purple suede cowboy boots.

Correct: The woman in purple suede cowboy boots walked the dog.

Incorrect: We saw several monkeys on vacation in Mexico.

Correct: While on vacation in Mexico, we saw several monkeys.

Incorrect: We saw several…

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EDITING 101: 45 – Do All Your Characters Sound Alike?

Another informative post from Adirondack Editing and Chris the Reading Ape! Newbies: This is important for us to know before we begin whatever draft we are on right now. 🙂 If you do the exercises, let me know how they worked out for you!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Do All Your Characters Sound Alike?

In today’s post, we’re not talking about a writer’s voice, or style. We’re talking about the actual voice your characters use in their dialogue or monologues, and character monotones is a chronic problem I see in many of the manuscripts I edit. As the author, you might not realize this is a difficulty in your own writing, but I think once you read this post and the accompanying links, you’ll begin to see what I mean.

Character voice does not mean writing dialect or phonetic accents. This is dialect:

How do you make out?”

How me mek out?” He pointed upwards to the black rafters of the kitchen. “Tatta Fadda a mek Provide-ance…

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EDITING 101: 44 – Using Beta Readers…

Have you ever (or do you) use beta readers? If you are confused about their purpose and what they can do for you, check out this article from this week’s advice from Adirondack Editing.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Using Beta Readers

A Beta Reader is a person who reads your finished novel and gives you feedback on it before publication—while you still have time to make changes. The term “beta reader” has been adapted from the software industry, where programmers release a beta version of a new program to people who will test it. So think of this as someone “test driving” your book!

Having beta readers is an excellent step in writing your novel, as a good beta reader can vastly improve your book. They serve as a second pair of eyes, ensuring that what you’ve intended to write is really what you have written. A beta reader will read your entire manuscript and develop a personal response…

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EDITING 101: 24 – Split Infinitives and Dangling Participles…

Here is an older article in the series I have been sharing with you from Adirondack Editing. It is one that I missed and wanted to share it because it is my understanding that it is a particular problem for newbies and it was a bit confusing to me. But of course, Susan explains it clearly here. I hope it helps you as it does me.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Split Infinitives and Dangling Participles

Editors frequently correct both of these, but one is actually ok to use, while the other is not. Care to make a wager on which one is which before I get started?

Ante up!

What is a split infinitive, after all? It’s a sentence where a word, usually an adverb, interrupts a full verb (or full infinitive). A full infinitive is the verb with the word “to” in front of it—to run, to walk, to spit. The most famous split infinitive is “to boldly go.” Editors and teachers used to mark this as incorrect, but it’s all right to split an infinitive. Some examples are:

  • Lyn continued to quickly run toward the burning building.

  • Willow…

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