Kathy Ide

Hi! I’m Kathy Ide. In addition to being a published author, I’m a full-time professional freelance editor. For CAN, I’m blogging about tips for writers based on the most common mistakes I see in the manuscripts I edit.

 

 

Cutting the Fat, Part Two

Following on the heels of last month’s column, here are more ways you can tighten your manuscript.

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Kathy Ide

Hi! I’m Kathy Ide. In addition to being a published author, I’m a full-time professional freelance editor. For CAN, I’m blogging about “PUGS”–Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling … tips for writers based on the most common mistakes I see in the manuscripts I edit.

Active vs. Passive Verbs

Wherever possible, strive to use strong, precise verbs rather than weak, vague verbs. Instead of saying, “They were going,” write, “They went.” Or better yet, show how they went. “They jogged,” “They raced,” “They ambled,” for example. The more description you can fit into a single action verb, the better.

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Spencer.2013A hearty Rocky Mountain greeting today from Davalynn Spencer as we welcome Colorado author, Jesse Florea, who has a fabulous outreach to young people.

Tell us, Jesse, how did you get into writing?

As a sophomore in high school, I took an introduction-to-journalism course where I fell in love with writing. I started writing for a weekly newspaper covering high school sports.

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Marti Pieper_HeadshotSpringtime greetings from Florida. I just returned from teaching at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and one of the first people I saw back home in Florida was my good friend, Cheri Cowell. Cheri is a prolific writer and speaker and also happens to be one of the first authors from whom I learned marketing tips. I'm delighted to share an updated interview with her today!

Cheri, how many books do you have published? 4 What are a few of your latest titles?

Living the Story: Reaching Outside the Church Walls, and Parables and Word Pictures of the New Testament in the Following God Bible study series from AMG.

 You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2009. What are the chief lessons Cheri Cowell_Headshotyou’ve learned about the writing life since then?

We need to have a long-term view of things. A longer view helps me not get so stressed about the little things and allows me to enjoy the fruits of my labor along the way.

 That's great advice not just for marketing, but for life in general. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about promotion since your last CAN interview?

 We can't be experts on everything. Find what you are good at and what you enjoy and do those things well. That implies we've tried everything, so we do need to know about everything, just maybe not as an expert.

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Pic for website 2012     Hello, again! Maureen Pratt here with my monthly blogpost about the craft of writing. Today, I'm going to focus on techniques to employ to find and write distinctive voices for each of your characters or individuals in fiction or non-fiction.

    I began my professional writing career as a playwright, earning my Master of Fine Arts in Theater Arts with a concentration in playwriting from UCLA and later having a number of plays produced. Unlike writing for the movies, playwriting "runs" on dialogue. A professional script for live theater contains very little, if any, description except to set the scene, and actor's notes should be non-existent. (Once a play has been published, which assumes it's been produced, these notes are usually inserted as guidelines for subsequent productions, however, original scripts do not include them.) So, it's vital that a playwright master the art of dialogue, crafting lines that contain meaning, emphasis, and character without "indicating" these in the script.

Example: "Mary: He did what? How? I don't believe it" instead of: "Mary (raising her voice and her eyebrows): He did what? (She sits down on the sofa) How? (She sighs) I don't believe it."

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