Sleuth: Gail Bowen on Writing Mysteries — Writing Craft Book Recommendation

Title: Sleuth: Gail Bowen on Writing Mysteries Author: Gail Bowen Publisher: Regina, SK, Canada: University of Regina Press, 2018 Genre: Adult non-fiction Topics: Writing craft, writing advice, a writer’s first-hand experiences Opening Sentences: (I love this!) I began writing when I was forty-three. I mention this because a surprising number of people believe that, if they haven’t written something significant by the time they’re forty, it’s game over. … By the time you’re forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, or ninety plus, the well is primed. … If you have always longed to write this is the time to get started because this is the time you have. Synopsis: The publisher’s… Read More

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On Your Marks — A Grammar Owl Book Recommendation

Have you ever heard an owl chuckle? They do. Well, to be accurate, what sounds like a chuckle usually expresses annoyance, but our Grammar Owl is definitely chuckling with amusement today. (To hear what an owl chuckle sounds like, listen to this.) He’s been reading a delightful book called On Your Marks: A Package of Punctuation by Richard Armour, a poet and humorist. The book is out of print, but it’s worth looking for (I found it in a small town library — I am grateful for our wonderful library system that makes books available all over the province, free of charge.) On Your Marks is a light, poetic look… Read More

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The many thesauri of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

Any of my editing clients can tell you that I often comment “use more vivid language,” “use vivid verbs,” “let your readers SEE what your characters are experiencing,” “let your readers FEEL what your characters are feeling.” But how do we find those vivid words? How do we make sure we aren’t repeating the same words over and over, or resorting to clichés? Well, we could just use a regular thesaurus, like the tried and true Roget’s, or one of the thesauri (trust me, that’s the plural) online. OR, as I often suggest to my editing clients, we can consult the many collections of words that Angela Ackerman and Becca… Read More

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Further Reading — Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul

If you write picture books — or, really, any other kind of book — and you haven’t read Ann Whitford Paul’s excellent overview of the writing craft, then I highly recommend you get yourself to a bookstore or library and get yourself a copy! It is packed with information, from her advice that before you start writing, you need to read, read, read, to creating characters, plotting and the basic three-act structure that most stories follow, making your writing as strong as it can be — it provides a complete breakdown of the process of writing a picture book. Not only does she explain all the building blocks that go… Read More

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Summer Blogging Break

I’ll be taking a break from blogging until September. My editing services will still be available — just send me an email at mail (at) flubs2fixes (dot) com and let me know what sort of editing you’re looking for. (See my services page, my procedures page and my rates page for more information.) Over the summer, if you’re looking for good books on writing craft, here are a few suggestions: Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin. Despite being a small book, this is not a quick read — at least not if you put it to full use. Besides… Read More

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