Quick Tips #8: Voice

"What is voice?" "How do I find it?" These are questions I hear often from clients, and there's no clear-cut answer. There's no "formula". Your voice simply means your particular way of placing thoughts on the page; your style of writing. What makes you distinctively "you" as a writer. And the way to discover it…

Quick Tips #7: How to write better sentences

Consider the following sentence: The green grass was full of doctors, all dressed in their dazzlingly white surgical coats. Now consider Sylvia Plath's version: The lawn was white with doctors. (from The Bell Jar) I don't think you'll even have to think about it when I ask: Which is the better sentence? But what about…

Quick Tips #4: Dialogue

Dialogue is one of the trickiest things to get right. It requires a good ear, and the ability to make speech sound natural even though it is probably the most carefully constructed, "artificial" component of any fictional work. What I mean: Counterintuitively, dialogue in fiction should not mimic everyday speech. Humans say a lot of…