Manic Monday

10 Writing Tips

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Know Your Genre

Know Your Genre

When submitting a query letter to an agent be sure to include the genre. Agents don’t publish everything they get their hands on; they are specific about which types to select. It is essential to know what category your project falls under, and research agents who publish that genre.

 

 

Fiction genre

 

Adventure

Christian

Middle Grade

Family Saga

Horror

Mystery

Science Fiction

Western

Chick Lit

Commercial Fiction

Graphic Novels

Humor/Satire

Military/Espionage

Offbeat/Quirky

Short Stories

Woman’s Fiction

Children’s

Crime

Fantasy

Historical

Literary Fiction

Multi-Cultural

Romance

Thrillers/Suspense

Young Adult

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 1.47.52 PM

 

Adventure/True Story

Business

Cultural/Social Issues

Film & Entertainment

Gardening

Health & Fitness

How-To

Juvenile

Military/War

Narrative

Pets

Pop Culture

Science

Sports

True Crime

Art

Celebrity

Current Affairs

Finance

History

Humor

Medical

Multi-Cultural

Nature/Ecology

Photography

Self-Help

Technology

Women’s Issues

Biography

Cookbooks

Dating/Relationships

Food & Lifestyle

Gift Books

Home/Design

Journalism

Memoirs

Music

Parenting

Politics

Religion

Spirituality

Travel

 

Most of the genres listed are self explanatory. I might have missed a few and the sub-genres, but these are the top categories.
If your project has more than one genre, choose the dominate role.
Agents will list which ones they are interested in reading and reviewing on their websites or in forums. Do your research before sending query letters.
Good luck.
Take care, my friends. 🙂

Distractions

focus

I would be in the middle of writing the most important part of the entire book, but then a child would scream “Mom“, there’d be a knock on the door, or the phone would ring. Let’s face it, life is a distraction.
How are you suppose to finish that world-renown novel when the television is blaring in the background?
When my girls were a little younger, I locked myself in a room to write. Sounds like the problem was solved, right? Wrong. It just made them more determined to get my attention. I decided to let the world around me stay as is — noisy. I needed to work on my perception and concentration. I learned to filter though and drown out the unimportant sounds. It wasn’t easy to achieve, but I managed it.
It might not work for everyone. Some may need absolute silence. But it’s worth a try.
Good luck
Take care, my friends 🙂

Scissor Words

scissor

 

Scissor words are overused words which can be eliminated. Here are some helpful tips:

 

 

1. “To be” verbs: is, are, am, was, were, be, being, been.

 

          Try reworking your sentences, and cut back on using them. You cannot wholly avoid “to be” verbs, but limit their usage.

 

2. “That” can be overused within a sentence. Take out some in your story; it may make the sentences flow better.

 

3. Just, like, & as are used for emphasis or comparison. But, they can turn into writing crutches.

 

4. “ly” adverbs are lackluster descriptive words. Even though there are some situations you cannot avoid using adverbs. Do not go overboard. Using “ly” adverbs too much will weaken the story. Use other descriptive words to strengthen it.

 

5. Now means: NOW. It’s an immediate response. If you choose to use it, avoid placing now at the beginning of the sentence.

                                     Now we can go.

                                    We can go now.

 

Don’t worry about following these steps until after you’ve finished your work. If you edit in the middle of writing, you will only get frustrated. I usually print a chapter off at a time and then rework it. Once you start looking for specific words, they will stand out. 
Good luck.
Take care, my friends 🙂

Kill the Clichés!

cliches

 

 

Kill the clichés!

Cliché—a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.
Wikipedia’s definition:
cliché or cliche (UK /ˈklʃ/ or US /klɪˈʃ/) is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.

 

When starting out as a writer, I did not know the rules of clichés. Many readers and definitely literary agents frown upon the usage of them in stories. Why?
Clichés are basically a phrase that has been overused. It reflects the lack of your opinion and/or originality. They can become annoying, and might possibly get your manuscript rejected.  Apparently, literary agents  loathe clichés; however, I’m sure some are willing to overlook a few.
Avoid them *like the plague*, unless you are doing it to be cheeky.
Here is a website of abused sayings:
http://clichesite.com/alpha_list.asp?which=lett+1
As you read several overused expressions, it’ll become more evident that clichés kill our uniqueness.You will see them as beacons in literature, and *the rolling of the eyes* will be entirely yours.

 

Are you an avid cliché writer, and your work is crawling with them?  STOP IT!   I would advise to revise.  Find different ways to express or define a situation, emotion, or description. Use your own words.

 

Good luck.

 

Take care, my friends. 🙂