Precious words: an exercise in concision for writers

Here’s a great exercise in trimming down those wordy narratives.

Online Writing Tips

Words are precious! Here are some thoughts on editing and trying to be grateful for every word you can cut.

A narrative in need of shortening: The story of Jimmy and his brother in 500 words

Suggested solution: The story of Jimmy and his brother in 33 words

Here’s a link to a useful online resource to help authors practice writing concise sentences.

Video transcript follows below:

Words are precious! Words are precious! Words are precious! You should handle words the way a Scotsman handles 50 pence pieces in a charity shop!

Imagine you have a limited budget to finish your book or story, and every word you use costs a dollar. Don’t use a word unless you feel it’s definitely worth it.

And you should feel happy if you manage to cut a word! If you manage to cut a sentence you should feel delighted. Cutting a paragraph…

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Writing Your Own Ebook Part Six – Creating the Ebook Framework

This is so helpful, thanks for posting it Sally.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

If you decide on the DIY approach and are stuck with, e.g. Word, how do you get a clean result when you convert to Ebook?

Remember the “Garbage in Garbage out” maxim; you need a clean input file to get a clean output file.

There is no way around it, you are going to have to learn about some of the functions of Word that you may not have had any need to know about before. Specifically, you need to learn about:

  • How to Show all formatting tags
  • How to set up & use Style sheets (fiction writers may be able to get away with only three or four paragraph styles)
  • The Find/Replace function
  • Using Formatting tags

Key points about formatting your book!!!!

  • Remember that you will NOT be printing your Ebook file so it really doesn’t matter what the source file looks like. You don’t need to make it…

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Writing your own Ebook – Part Four — What Ebook format should I use?

Thanks for this. Reblogging if you don’t mind.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Let’s get straight to the point — there are only 3 formats to go for: EPUB, MOBI and PDF. There are many other specialist formats for specific readers but these 3 formats will cover you for almost all the market.

Now that you know the answer, here is the thought process:

We have looked some of the technical aspects of E-books but how do we decide on the format to focus on. This may be a trivial question, especially if you are planning to write narrative fiction and are planning to go with Amazon only. But if you have any other kind of book and want to get to a wider market you have to think again.

Will my book work as an Ebook?

Before you start work on formatting your book, you have to decide if your book is going to work as an Ebook.

The Ebook is a…

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Update WordPress

Thanks for the info. Reblogging this for any other bloggers like myself who’ve been confused about this issue.

A Momma's View

Here is an update I’ve received after posting the same question in the Blogging101 course today. For me this is enough of an answer. I hope it is okay for you guys to. Thought I let you know:

“Hopefully, I can clarify a few things. No blogs have been shut down by There are a few bloggers whose ability to like and follow other blogs has been paused, in these cases because the volume of likes/follows was quite high — in the many thousands a day. The bloggers are considering shutting down their blogs themselves, but our support team is also working internally to figure out the best way to respond to the issue of non-spam bloggers using likes and follows at a volume typically associated with spam accounts.

I’m happy to answer any questions to to clarify anything that’s unclear about this — let me know. Again, these…

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Writing, Promoting and Publishing: Things I have Learnt

Very helpful post about writing, publishing and promoting your books. Included are links to some great advice about self-editing and social media. Many thanks to Nicholas C. Rossis for sharing this.

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThis post was inspired by the Writers’ Digest blog column 7 things I’ve learnt so far and written as a guest post for Fabulosity Reads. The column features various authors, who list 7 things they have learnt so far, regarding writing, editing, inspiration, promotion and marketing. Here are some of my favorite ones, along with my notes!

read out your dialogue

Dialogue can be such a challenge. Do it realistically, and everyone will be bored to tears:

“- Hi!

– Hey!

-‘What are you doing?

– Erm, nothing much… Just… Give me a moment to finish up what I was typing… Yes, that’s it. Sorry, you were saying?”

When I started writing, my dialogues just didn’t sound … human. They seemed out of place, vague and monotonous; every person sharing the same voice. Browne & King’s Self-editing for Fiction Writing gave me a handy tip: read out loud your dialogues and see how…

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Author Etiquette for Contacting Book Bloggers

Tricia Drammeh

Hello, everyone! It’s me again with another author advice post. Warning: This post isn’t for everyone. If you’re an author who finds etiquette posts tiresome, this post isn’t for you. If you’re already an expert on book marketing, this post will probably seem pretty basic, but I hope you’ll read on and add your advice in the comment section. This post is for people like me – people who came into the writing world with limited social media knowledge. It’s for people who didn’t realize book bloggers existed until they were told to go out and promote their book. If you’re intimidated or overwhelmed by the idea of contacting reviewers and bloggers, or if you’ve sent requests to bloggers and only received a lukewarm response, this post is for you.

  1. DO read the blogger’s FAQs, Policies, or Submission Guidelines. Each blogger is different. Some bloggers want you to contact them by email. Others have…

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Oh, Readers . . . where art thou?

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

My editor, Rachel Small, is co-conspirator on this post.

Hello, READERS! Yes, you – those people who are not attempting to write their own books but simply enjoy reading the fruits of others’ labours. How are you doing? Have you read any good books lately?

We’re addressing you specifically today because we (my editor and I and many other professionals in the book business) want to get to know you. We’re all so busy talking to other writers and authors about how to write, how to get published, and how to promote books that we sometimes forget the most important person in this entire equation – the READER! (Although Rachel never forgets – she’s always reminding the authors she edits to remember their readers!) If it weren’t for you Readers, this business wouldn’t exist. It’s kind of a “If a tree falls in the forest . . .” conundrum.

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Slow Burning Posts

Very good point made her, thanks Suzie.

Suzie Speaks

imageFor those who are interested in their stats and want their words to be read, it’s always a buzz when a post immediately does well. However, what I’ve discovered is that some of my most popular posts are not ones that have achieved this instant success. I refer to these as ‘slow burners,’ as they slowly build up my stats on a monthly basis, constantly bubbling away in the background of my weekly ramblings.

A year ago I posted ‘23 Things You Should Actually Do Before You’re 23′ in response to one of the most popular articles of 2013 on Freshly Pressed. It did quite well, being shared across Twitter and Facebook numerous times. However, while it didn’t light the blogging world on fire, over the last year I have found it to be a consistent feature in my daily stats, being viewed between 10 and 50 times a…

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