How to add words without bloating.

So you have a killer story and want to send it to a publisher who you know will love it. Only they insist submissions be a few thousand words more than what you have in your book. Here are some ways of adding in words without making your story feel

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The Joy of Nuance

The slow death of boring beats One of the things I see over and over again as an editor and critiquer is the two word beat. It looks like this: “Hello,” John said, “how’s it hanging?” “Mmmhp.” Bill shrugged. “Not so good these days. John nodded. “I know what you

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Writing Emotionally Gripping Text

At the beginning of Romancing the Stone, Kathleen Turner’s character is banging away on her typewriter as she bawls her eyes out over the conclusion of her story. A nice scene and one I heard other writers talk about playing out in their own writing life. Here they are finally

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Ready for your close-up?

Jim Bondo rolled under the table with his gun. He always had his gun handy for situations just like this one. He squeezed the trigger and a carefully controlled stream of glue was forced into the space between the loose leg and the rest of the old wooden table. He knew Sara loved this table and fixing it was

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Weight, or Keeping things in Balance

Weight is the term I use to talk about how important something should be in a story. In a lot of stories authors feel that the only way to make their characters real is to create some tragedy that they have to survive. The problem with this approach is that some things

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Getting Conversant with Conversation

If you have more than one character in your story you will have to write dialogue. Even with just one character dialogue is possible. One of my favourite resources on dialogue is Dave King’s Self-Editing for Writers. Actually, it’s a terrific book all round. Here’s a brief dialogue. “Ayyoop, them stars shur

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The Swamp in the middle of your story.

The beginning of your book is exciting. You’re meeting new people, new relationships form. Stuff is happening! As you get past the beginning, all the people who are going to populate your book, with a few minor exceptions have been introduced. You know who likes who and who is hoping

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I get my ideas under cabbage leaves: the creative process.

I see lots of writing sites that are driven by giving people help with their writing. I can understand needing help. Lot’s of people tell me that I need help, but that’s a different post. The problem is the way many people need help is not very helpful. What I see writers asking

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Writing Articles

Over the last couple of years I have been on and off active at Wattpad. I have a fair collection of stories there, but I also have a large collection of articles on different aspects of writing from dialogue to character to avoiding cliches. I am going to port them

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