The Importance of Being Yourself

Dear Writers: So you have a manuscript you think is ready to be shopped around. What’s next? The query letter. The query process is quite terrifying. And that’s even before you even find out that every agent has a different idea of what makes a good query and writers’ resource guides and forums offer different

Be positive!

As in life, so it is in writing. Be positive! Express yourself in positive language. Say what it is, not what it is not. It isn’t clear to say “it wasn’t this” or “it wasn’t that.” I would rather read something that tells me directly what something is than make me have to figure out

Stay in the Same Verb Tense

Whether one is writing an essay, narrative, or a Web bio, choose the appropriate verb tense and stick with it throughout. Otherwise, it will feel like the writer is veering wildly from the present tense to past tense and the reader will be thoroughly confused. Decide from the outset which verb tense to use and

Write Now, Edit Later

Writing and editing take place in two different parts of the brain. If you try to do both at the same time, you won’t get very far. It’s like trying to move your hand across the page while erasing what you wrote with the other hand. There is a better way. Start by brainstorming. Just

Less is more

Pick the best words to express your thought clearly. If you say it clearly, there is no need to repeat yourself. Each sentence should state something new or introduce a new detail to the previous idea. Don’t take the approach of some middle school or high school students by just writing a thought in various