10 tips to prepare for NaNoWriMo

It’s the first of October today, which means that we have just one more month until NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins. What is NaNoWriMo? For those of you who haven’t heard of it before: NaNoWriMo is an international writing event tha...

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The 10 most common punctuation mistakes and how to avoid them in your writing

Today is National Punctuation Day, so I thought I’d celebrate by writing a blog post to help you avoid common punctuation mistakes in your writing. Punctuation mistakes might seem like a minor thing, but punctuation guides readers’ understanding and helps ...

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How to write a great romance novel—the five core elements of romance novels

I recently read a review of my newest romance novel, Perfect Rhythm, which seemed to confirm the secret fear that has plagued me since I first set out to write that novel. While I think that in many ways, Perfect Rhythm is a typical “Jae” novel that has ev...

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Is third-person limited POV limiting?

Third-person limited is probably the most common point of view in contemporary genre fiction, yet as an editor, I have often worked with authors who struggle with this POV. What is third-person limited POV? In third-person limited POV, the story—or a part of...

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Point of view in fiction

What is point of view? Point of view is the answer to the question “Who is telling us the story?” (or at least this scene). Are we watching everything from the outside, and a storyteller/author is telling the story? (= omniscient POV)? Or are we experienci...

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6 tips for using dialogue tags

Dialogue is one of the most important parts of writing a novel or a short story, so every writer has to know how to use dialogue tags. What are dialogue tags? Dialogue tags are things like “Tina said” that tell us which character is speaking. How to use di...

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How to use action beats in your writing

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The golden rule of writing: Show, don’t tell

“Show, don’t tell” is probably the advice writers hear most often from editors and writing mentors. But many writers struggle to understand what it really means. “Telling” means you give readers your interpretations and conclusions, while...

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How to punctuate dialogue tags and action beats correctly

One little thing that drives many editors crazy is incorrect punctuation of dialogue and action beats. Let’s start with a definition: A dialogue tag is a speaker verb such as “Tina said.” It tells your readers which character is speaking. An action beat ...

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How to use participial phrases in your writing

Before I explain what the problem with participial phrases is, let me start with some definitions so we’re all on the same page. What is a participle? Participles are verbs that function as adjectives, which means that they modify a noun or a pronoun. There ...

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