By Tiffany Colter
Today’s blog is going to be lots of fun! I also think it will be tremendously helpful and is worth printing off and keeping with your writing notes. That is because today I’m going to talk about a few of the things I continually tell writers during edits. You may see similar comments in your own critiques or contest entries. Now you’ll know what to do with them.
I’ve been a full-time writer for more than a decade and for the last 6 years I’ve also been a contest judge and content editor. I’ve started to see some very clear patterns when I edit writing for people of all levels [newbie to multi-published]. In fact, I realized there was such a pattern that I’m finishing up a book called, “Wisdom from Writing Career Coach: Volume I”. Don’t worry, this isn’t an advertisement. It is simply a statement.
This week, I’m going to clip some of the pieces from this book and share it with you. I have taken only a few things, but watch out for these in your own writing.
These tips are from the book, “Wisdom from Writing Career Coach: Volume I” by Tiffany Colter. 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Don’t draw conclusions for the reader, present information that leads them to draw conclusions for themselves.
Think about how you’re trying to move the plot in each section and then decide if you are actually moving it forward.
I need to see growth of the character, developing relationships, or other movement [growth or retreat] in each section. Show me more about the danger that I assume is coming. Describing houses, mountains and car rides may be lovely, but how is that advancing the storyline? Make me feel it.
Avoid info dumps. This is where you decide you need to explain something and so you stop the story to follow a rabbit trail for a few sentences or paragraphs. It is really important for the author to know the backstory so you can write in the proper motivation/reaction to events, but just like life, a reader must learn these things by watching the characters.
It is as much what you leave to assumption as what you say outright that will lead your reader down the false roads that later give those great, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming” moments.
Well, that continues for over 100 pages in the book, but I hope these few things have given you some cool ideas to play within your own writing.
And Write-to-Publish is only two weeks away! If you can get to Wheaton, IL [outside of Chicago], go! I’ll be there teaching [and giving gifts to my blog readers]. There is an amazing line up of teachers, panels, and even a free critique of some of your writing. Pretty cool. Finally, there will be free appointments. I have room for 20 people to meet with me for 15 minutes of free coaching. Make sure you sign up when you get there. And if you’re not registered yet, register at www.WritetoPublish.com and, no, I’m not paid to do this. It is simply a great event and I’d love to meet my readers in person.
If you’re in the US, have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day on Monday! And if you’re a Vet, thanks for your service.
See you next week as we cover the last installment of this series on how to use critiques.
Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter, The Writing Career Coach
Don’t miss a single posting! Subscribe here to receive these postings by e-mail. Tiffany Colter is a writer, speaker and writing career coach who works with beginner to published writers. She can be reached through her website at WritingCareerCoach.com.