The blogsphere is a very large place. It can also be a very intimidating one. There are so many blogs out there, how can anyone find their way around? And how can they possibly find little old me? That’s one of the reasons I like WordPress. It’s a fairly tight community and, as I’ve discovered, …

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Many authors are comfortable writing about their characters, but cringe when it comes to writing about themselves. Yet it must be done! Part of selling your book is selling yourself … but this doesn’t mean making readers doze over your life history. Keep in mind that as an author you’ll need more than one bio. …

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Do you feel exhausted after working on your book day after day? Do you feel that nothing you write is good enough? Are you starting to resent writing and wish you were doing something else? It could be that you are verging on writer’s burnout. Burnout isn’t the same as writer’s block, which tends to …

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Have you ever heard of auto antonyms? They are words that contradict themselves. Also known as contronyms, or words with contradictory meanings. No wonder non-native speakers complain that English is a hard language to learn. It’s not just the spelling! I had a lot of nerdish fun putting together this list of contronyms. Can you …

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Are you near your writing desk? Have a look at what’s lurking on it right now. Do you really need the [select from below] scented candle, outdated newsletters, empty drink bottle, chocolate wrapper, tiny cactus, stuffed toy, CD, old birthday card, etc etc? Our surroundings reflect our mental state. Messy desk, messy mind. Some people …

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You’ve probably heard the old dictum: ‘Write only what you know’. The unspoken ending for this line is ‘… or run the risk of looking like an idiot.’ Okay, then. Let’s run the risk! When I first started writing fiction seriously, I took the quote to heart. I’m a lawyer, so I should write a …

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One sign of weak, unclear writing is the overuse of the passive voice. If you want your work to radiate authority, be active and root out those passive sentences! Active sentences are clear, direct and strong. Passive sentences are indirect and carry far less impact. I’ll explain the difference in a moment, but first here’s …

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Listening to my kids talk to each other made me realise how rapidly the English language changes, even from one generation to the next. Awesome and epic both mean cool, of course, but to different degrees. Luckily cool still means cool, but if you say groovy then you clearly are not. Swag was once a bedroll, as …

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I gave my workshop participants a writing prompt last weekend, and decided to share some of their responses. Prompts are a great way to stimulate story ideas and overcome writer’s block. I’m sharing them because it’s enlightening to read other writers’ takes on an idea – and also because they’re plain good fun! Here are …

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