Writing Rules Explained: Give Your Story Structure | Tips for writers from a freelance editor about why you should give your story structure.

Writing Rules Explained: Give Your Story Structure

Video transcript Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, there should come a time when you revise your novel, and one of the first steps of revising your novel should involve giving it structure. I know writers seethe when they hear the word should, but honestly, what’s the point of perfecting your writing, or even … Read more

Writing Rules Explained: Don’t Use Passive Voice | Tips for writers from a freelance editor about using passive voice, and when it’s actually okay to use it. A must watch for writers who aren’t sure about passive voice.

Writing Rules Explained: Don’t Use Passive Voice

I have a plug-in on my website that constantly tells me to rewrite my content because I use passive voice too much. If I were to import my content into an online text analyser, I’d get the same result. “Don’t use passive voice” is a rule that you can bet appears on probably just about … Read more

Writing Rules Explained: Said is Dead/ Only Use Said | Tips from a freelance book editor about whether or not said is dead. A must watch for writers who aren’t sure how to tag their dialogue.

Writing Rules Explained: Said is Dead / Only Use Said

“Said is dead,” says one camp. “Only use said,” says another. So which rule should we follow? The erroneous death of said Some writers think said is dead because it’s overused, but if using a word a lot means we need to expunge it from our vocabularies, why are irregardless and misunderestimate still kicking? As … Read more

Writing Rules Explained: Make Every Word Count | Tips on why every word in your story should count, and how to make them count.

Writing Rules Explained: Make Every Word Count

Video transcript ‘Make every word count’ means that every word you use in your story should contribute to the story in some way. I’m not just talking about individual words here, but also sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters and subplots. Everything you write about should contribute to the ‘big picture’ of the story. Why? Let’s start … Read more

Writing Rules Explained: Should we Follow Writing Rules? | The truth about writing rules. Why they exist, and why you should know what they are (they’re not what you think ;) ). A must watch for writers who refuse to learn writing rules.

Writing Rules Explained: Should We Follow Writing Rules?

(Video transcript) Not a fortnight goes by that I don’t read the comments section of an article about writing and find a comment spurning writing rules and advice of any kind and it grinds my gears. “Rules stifle creativity!” they proclaim. “They make you write for editors and not for yourself! Writing is an art and … Read more

How to Write Vivid Scenes: Show, Don’t Tell | Tips for writing vivid scenes by showing, rather than telling. A must watch for writers who haven’t quite grasped the Show, Don’t Tell technique.

How to Write Vivid Scenes: Show Don’t Tell

(Video Transcript) What does “show don’t tell” mean? “Show Don’t Tell”. Classic writing rule. We’ve all heard it. But do we really understand it as well as we think we do? Show Don’t Tell means using evocative language—language that creates strong mental images—rather than matter-of-fact language, which expresses details as cold facts. Imagine for a … Read more

How to Write Vivid Scenes: Avoid Unnecessary Adverbs | Tips for recognising when adverbs are unnecessary, and the damage they do to your writing.

How To Write Vivid Scenes: Avoid Unnecessary Adverbs

(Video transcript) I’m sure most writers have heard the advice that they should cut out adverbs from their writing and there are a few reasons why they should take this advice on board but I’m going to focus on the simple fact that unnecessary words complicate the picture you’re trying to give your reader. If … Read more

How to Write Vivid Scenes: Don’t Stop the Narrative for Description | Tips for writing vivid prose when describing your settings and characters. A must read for writers who struggle with vivid prose.

How to Write Vivid Scenes: Don’t Stop the Narrative for Description

Video transcript If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me say you shouldn’t stop the narrative for description. But what does that mean? What does “don’t stop the narrative for description” mean? Stopping the narrative for description means that you put the breaks on the action in the scene to … Read more

How to Write Vivid Scenes: Remove Filter Words | Tips from a freelance editor about removing filter words to make your prose more engaging. A must watch for writers who want to spice up their prose.

How to Write Vivid Scenes: Remove Filter Words

(Video transcript) Filter words are words that put distance between the reader and the story. They’re words that call attention to the fact that the story is filtered through the point-of-view character’s point of view. And they can cause a pretty significant problem. Filter words remind the reader that they’re [reading]. The reader is observing … Read more

3 Characterisation Tips from HARRY POTTER | Tips from HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE for making your characters come alive.

3 Characterisation Tips from Harry Potter

In this video I bring you three characterisation techniques using examples from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. Learn how word choice, actions and dialogue can help you develop your characters! Check out: Don’t miss a thing! Join the mailing list for latest posts, offers and resources.