Finishing a November Novel

Treat it as it is: a first draft.

Are you scrambling to meet your deadlines for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Consider again the experience of my friend Chandler Birch, who in 2013 decided to try to write a novel in a month.

The challenge gave Birch his start. “Prior to that,” he says, “I … Continue reading

Spelling, Grammar, and Facebook

Before you post, check what you’ve written.

It’s only a social media post. But it carries your name, and you want to build credibility as an author.

Before public speakers step on stage, they check they don’t have broccoli in their teeth or TP stuck to their shoe. It’s hard enough to deliver … Continue reading

Perilous Pairs

Will you — or your editor — know to pick the right word?

The sentence in a recently written Sherlock Holmes story stopped me cold.

“There were besides some more mundane elements: drafting tables laden with dusty blueprints, labels and vices and tools, chains for heavy lifting suspended from the ceiling.”

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