This blog post is based off a recent workshop I took at Context. The shop was presented by author Gary A. Braunbeck. I found his class gave some really great advice, so I thought I’d pass it along for others who might find it useful too. The following is an accumulation of handouts, and notes I took. His advice covered everything from dialogue tags to punctuation. Enjoy.
- First Rule of Editing. ALL editing should be left to second draft and beyond. A first draft should not be edited until it is completed.
- Had. Avoid using the word “had” anywhere but in dialogue; when this happens, you will be telling the reader something instead, not showing. Consider the word to be a warning bell if you see it in the body of your narrative.
- Character Names in Dialogue. Avoid having characters use each others name too much when in conversation; shift the focus by using a simple physical action.
I’ve had clients ask if I did a referral program, so here it is! Starting today and for the foreseeable future, I will be offering 3,000 words of free consultation for anyone who refers a writer to me for consultation AND the person being referred. So that’s 3,000 for you and 3,000 for your referred friend. And there is no limit to how many people that can be referred. If you have three referrals, then that’s 9,000 free words for you!
Anyone can refer. You don’t have to be an old or current client. It can be your first time! If it is the first time, I will look at 3,000 words for free (up front for new clients to give a preview of what I can do) and then you can decide who and how many you want to refer. If you send more than one my way, then that’s more free words I can do for you.
There are only two weeks left to try out my story consultation services for free! The whole month of July I will be offering to consult on any story that is 5,000 words (anything above that will be charged the regular fees). Do you have a story that needs editing? Or perhaps you’re stumped on a character, or where to take the plot? I can help with all of that and more. Just fill out the form below. I look forward to hearing from you!
Check out my Story Consultation page for more information.