Category Archives: Grammar

Tools to Make You a More Powerful Writer in 2020

The start of the year is when I pay close attention to what is happening in our industry: what publishers and organizations are focusing on, the changes occurring on sales platforms, and what author advocates are suggesting writers pay attention … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Focus, Grammar, Motivational, One Stop For Writers, Publishing and Self Publishing, Revision and Editing, Show Don't Tell, Software and Services, The Business of Writing, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 9 Comments

Improve Your Novel Writing: 11 Tips For Newbies

Writing a novel is flipping difficult. It often takes years to complete your first novel (and even more years after that to write a good one). You heard that right — writers’ first books are usually a hot mess. That … Continue reading

Posted in Critique Groups, Critiquing & Critiques, Grammar, Pacing, Plotting, Reader Feedback, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Voice, Writing Craft | 16 Comments

Story Feedback: Free and Paid Options for Writers

It’s a sad fact, but most writers don’t have a basement full of money, meaning the word BUDGET is kind of a big deal. We want to publish but to do it, we have to think carefully about where we … Continue reading

Posted in Agents, Critique Groups, Critiquing & Critiques, Editing Tips, Grammar, Motivational, Publishing and Self Publishing, Reader Feedback, Rejection, Revision and Editing, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Stripping Down My Prose: Risking the Removal of Adjectives

Happy to welcome Margaret McNellis to the blog today. She’s tried an interesting experiment with her writing to create stronger, tighter prose, so please read on! When I was a Masters of Arts student studying English and Creative Writing, one of … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Grammar, Guest Post, Revision and Editing | 21 Comments

The Fatal Flaw of Underwriting

Hi everyone–I hope you had a terrific weekend and are in the mood to learn. Today I’m handing over the blog keys to Rachel Starr Thomson, one of the editors who have jointly written 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Grammar, Guest Post, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Inside the Metaphor

Metaphors. Most of us know we should use them, that they’re a good way to describe, but not everyone has a solid understanding of what they are. Seeing as metaphors are one of the most powerful communication tools between writer … Continue reading

Posted in Description, Grammar, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 35 Comments

Seven Deadly Sins for Novel Writing: Sin V

Sin # 5: Flat Wordsmithing We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘The writing is flat.’ The question is, what does that really mean? Flat writing is where the prose lies dead on the page. Descriptions, characters and stakes are conveyed in … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Description, Editing Tips, Grammar, Seven Writing Sins | 19 Comments

Grammbo Speaks: The Manuscripts Editors Don’t Want to See

Angela and Becca have asked me to comment on the most common “mistakes” I see in the manuscripts I assess and edit. I’ve tried to used more of a big picture view here, rather than a list of nags about … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Grammar, Writing Resources | 27 Comments

Grammar Answers Round #2

Hello again, everybody. Lots of punctuation questions this time. My answers address punctuation in fiction, which is a little more flexible and not quite as rigid as scholarly writing or journalism. Punctuation is a tool that some writers use to … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar | 6 Comments

Long Live Grammar!

We are pleased to announce Grammbo, the Grammar Guru will be returning to the Bookshelf Muse to answer more grammar-related questions. For those who are new to the Muse, Grammbo is a successful editor who does manuscript evaluation, style, and … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar | 7 Comments