A Study in Best-Selling First Sentences (part 2)

As I thought about what I wanted to write about in today’s post, I remembered a post I wrote almost a year ago: “A Study of Best-Selling First Sentences.” In that post, I listed a number of popular books from the NYT best seller list along with their first sentence (or two), and then I suggested […]

Melodrama [Part 1 of 2]: 6 Ways to Spot It in Your Writing

Happy first day of May! In college, I took a course called “Writing Fiction & Poetry.” It was one of the first times I can remember actually exploring writing prompts and crafting short stories and then getting peer and professor feedback. The class was fun and challenging, and I learned a lot. I’ll never forget what […]

On Setting the Mood

I’m reading The Help right now. Well, okay actually I’m listening to the audio book. Yesterday there was a scene where a character was going over to another character’s house to talk. The scene was tense, awkward, and even a bit suspenseful because we weren’t sure what was going to happen during the conversation. As I listened, […]

I Think I Thought: How to Properly Show Character Thought

The problem of proper thought recently appeared (and not for the first time) in a book I was editing a week or two ago. For some, the difference between spoken dialogue, plain narrative, and internal thought is obvious, but for others it isn’t as easy. Spoken dialogue is usually noted in text with quotation marks. […]