Describe through Action

Actions Show Character and/or Motivation From Really Stupid Writing Mistakes: How to Avoid Them: Because we know everything about our character, we know why he does what he does. The reader won’t care a whit that Bill was frightened by a dog when he was three years old because that would get in the way of the story. But we (as the  writer) know that when Roger chases Bill out of the restaurant and Bill jumps that fence, and there’sRead more

Malapropisms — Say it Isn’t So

From WIKIPEDIA, the free encyclopedia: A malapropism (also called a Dogberryism) is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound (which is often a paronym), resulting in a nonsensical, often humorous utterance. An example is Yogi Berra’s statement: “Texas has a lot of electrical votes,” rather than “electoral votes”. The word malapropism comes ultimately from the French mal à propos meaning “inappropriate” via “Mrs. Malaprop”, a character in the Richard Brinsley Sheridan comedyRead more

Go Ahead — Manipulate Your Readers

The Best Authors Are the Best Manipulators It’s all about what we put into people’s heads without having them notice that we’re doing it. We have to make them trust us so they’ll follow us into whatever world we want to lead them. Why would an author want to manipulate his readers? Let me put it another way: Why would an author want his readers unable to stop themselves from turning the pages? Unable to control their fear, their pleasure,Read more

Making Your Grammar App Weep

One of the things I run across frequently when editing fiction MSs (manuscripts) is narrative that reads like the author has obeyed every suggestion that his/her grammar application has pointed out. This makes for extremely boring narrative. (I’ll get to dialogue in another post.) Some computer writing programs point out only basic grammatical errors. Others are more eager to nitpick. (It is possible to change the settings of most grammar apps (applications).) No matter how sophisticated the app, however, aRead more