Posts by Vicki M. Taylor

Dialogue in a Nutshell

Dialogue. It sounds easy right. You get two or more characters together and you start them talking. Ah, but did you know there are rules to writing dialogue?Of course there are! But, don’t worry, I’ll try to make them easy to understand and follow. So, let’s get started. We all know that dialogue is plain and simple just easier and faster to read than narrative. It keeps the reader interested and moves the story along. That’s your first rule. Dialogue has to move the story along. As Dwight V. Swain says in The Things They Say article, “…ever and always dialogue must
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Writing Style Reminders

Trying to explain a style of writing is something like trying to nail jello to a tree. You can try all you want, but it’s just not going to work. Writing style is as different as there are writers in the world. Everyone has their own style of writing. A way or combining words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs that is uniquely their own. In the Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, they devote an entire section to style. Do they explain it as a set of rules? No. Not hardly. But, what they do is give
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10 Techniques to Spark the Writing

From Gotham Writers’ Workshop Inc. and from an article in The Guardian comes writing advice from the Poet Laureate of the UK, Andrew Motion.   10 Techniques to Spark the Writing   1. Decide when in the day (or night) it bests suits you to write, and organise your life accordingly. 2. Think with your senses as well as your brain. 3. Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary. 4. Lock different characters/elements in a room and tell them to get on. 5. Remember there is no such thing as nonsense. 6. Bear in mind Wilde’s dictum that “only mediocrities develop” – and challenge it. 7.
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Wordiness – Cutting Until It’s Right

Good writing is concise writing. That means cutting and editing until you’ve said exactly what you want to say without extra words or phrases or saying things.   How do you go about doing this? Well, lets see how we can correct wordiness. The book The Least You Should Know About English is the perfect “go to” book for finding information about wordiness. There are several examples of wordiness that we can learn from:   1. Don’t say something in ten words when five can do.   “At the present time” should be “at present” or “now” “In this day and age”
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Active vs. Passive Verbs

When writing fiction, you will want to use active verbs as much as possible. It helps keep the story active and the reader engaged. Do you know the difference between “active” and “passive” verbs? Well, don’t worry, we’re going to discuss them here. In ACTIVE sentences, the thing doing the action is the subject of the sentence and the thing receiving the action is the object. For example: Todd threw the ball to Jane. Thing doing action = Todd Verb = threw Thing receiving action = ball In PASSIVE sentences, the thing receiving the action is the subject of the
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The Least You Should Know about Grammar – Possessives

Possessives can be tricky. Do you add an “s”, do you add an apostrophe? Will the world end if you don’t? I don’t know about you, but if you make a grammar mistake on the Internet, i.e, FaceBook, Lord help you and all you know. So, let’s take a look at writing possessives. The best question to ask yourself is “Who does this belong to?” Or, if you want to be particularly proper, I guess the correct question is “To whom does this belong?” But, I’m not going to hold you to that. Remember, the key word is belong. Who does
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10 Things I Learned about being an Independent Author

Becoming an Independent Author was a huge learning experience for me. I’ve always gone the traditionally published route, having a publisher who took care of book cover images, editing, and Pre Release reviews. However, when I released GOOD INTENTIONS in e-book and print format I had a huge learning curve to maneuver. I was so far behind the eight ball it wasn’t even funny. I made mistakes, asked questions, and basically floundered a bit until I got into my groove. However, by then, I’d missed my Pre Release and Release opportunities. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes
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The Least You Should Know – Punctuation

When writing, using punctuation helps your reader navigate your story and interpret it properly. There are several rules when using punctuation. Some you may know, others may not be as familiar. Sometimes we all forget the basics. And,  that’s okay. This may be a refresher for some of you or just the right tip you were looking for to enhance your writing. Webster’s defines punctuation as: 1. The use of standardized marks in written material to separate structural units and clarify meaning. 2. The marks used in punctuating written material. There are six tips below to get you started on the road
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