Writing Building Blocks: Paragraph Breaks & Voice

Close up of a keyboard's Enter key with text: Paragraphs Are about Voice?

From school, we’re probably all familiar with using topic sentences to break ideas into paragraphs in non-fiction, but the rules are different for fiction. Choosing where to put paragraph breaks is one of the most voice-dependent decisions we can make as writers.

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April 12, 2016

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Copyediting: When Little Changes Matter — Guest: Misti Wolanski

Close up of a water drop on a leaf with text: Getting the Little Details Right

Reader complaints about editing quality usually focus on grammar and word choice and usage. That potential of being called out in reviews is just one reason why copyediting is so important. Sometimes the wrong usage of a word or punctuation mark can even change the meaning of our writing, as Misti Wolanski is here to show us today.

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March 31, 2016

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Using Grammar to Strengthen Our Voice — Guest: Julie Glover

Dictionary open to "literacy" with text: How Grammar Can Strengthen Our Voice"

Many of us start down the writing path without knowing the grammar rules. However, it’s best to know the rules before deciding to break them, especially as the proper use (and abuse) of grammar rules can strengthen our voice. Today’s guest post from Julie Glover shows how grammar can make a difference.

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November 24, 2015

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Editing Mistakes: How Forgiving of a Reader Are You?

Wadded-up paper spilling from wastebasket with text: Do You Forgive Writing Mistakes

An interesting conversation grew out of Misti Wolanski’s guest post earlier this week. She mentioned that sometimes readers enjoy finding typos. Let’s take a closer look at what that means for readers and for us as authors? Should we leave typos in our work? What say you…

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September 10, 2015

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When Is a Good Editor Not Good for Your Story? — Guest: Misti Wolanski

Modern building beside old brick building with text: Fiction vs. Non-Fiction

Many writers write both fiction and non-fiction (even if the latter is just blog posts), but the two types of writing require different skills—from authors and from editors. The better we understand the differences, the better we can follow the right rules at the right time and the better we can judge whether an editor is skilled in the right areas to be a good editor for us.

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September 8, 2015

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Writing Craft: Watching Out for Bad Advice

Rotten apple on the ground with text: Watching Out for Bad Advice

In the comments of my post about the number one writing rule, we shared some of the bad advice we’ve heard. Many of the examples didn’t point out advice that’s inherently bad, but rather advice that doesn’t apply equally to all situations. Carradee shared the example of a writer who […]

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September 5, 2013

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The Hard Work of Writing: Do You Embrace It?

Woman hugging a tree bigger than she can get her arms around

When you first started writing, did you realize how much work it would take? Or were you like most of us, thinking that you’d written your share of emails, essays, or Christmas letters and that writing a whole story wouldn’t be—couldn’t be—that much harder? But at some point—maybe it’s when […]

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July 3, 2012

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How Do You Stretch Yourself?

Woman doing yoga stretch

With any job or activity, if we want to get better, we have to stretch ourselves.  Athletes strive to move faster or stronger.  Musicians aim to complete a harder, more intricate piece of music.  And writers… How do writers stretch themselves? We can collect feedback on our writing from beta […]

September 13, 2011

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Milestone Contest – Prize: Me! Wait…er, What?

Open gift box with streamers coming out

My one-year blogiversary is coming up on July 12th.  The occasion has me doing something I don’t normally do: math.  Eek! This is my 101st blog post, and during that time, this blog has passed 100 Google Friend Connect followers, 250 RSS subscribers, and 1500 comments (not including mine).  I […]

June 28, 2011

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