What Good Music Can Teach Us About Writing

I was thinking about this the other day while on hold. I was waiting for a break in the music that signaled that someone was going to rescue me from the unending monotony, so when the music would change from stringed instruments music to a pause, I'd get excited...only to have the music start another … Continue reading What Good Music Can Teach Us About Writing

How Useful is the Bechdel Test in Writing?

For those who may not be familiar with it, the Bechdel Test is a gauge of whether a work of fiction features independent female characters. The requirements are that there must be two women who have at least one conversation together in which they don't talk about a man. The idea is that women should … Continue reading How Useful is the Bechdel Test in Writing?

Introducing New Book Coaching Options

Getting published can feel like taking a gamble and rolling dice. Sometimes, your number comes up; sometimes it doesn't. But there are ways to increase your chances. You can rework your story so it makes more sense, so the characters are more relatable, the plot more believable. You can get a better cover design or … Continue reading Introducing New Book Coaching Options

Four Ways to Plan Showing Vs. Telling in Your Novel

As writers, we've been told over and over how it's much better to show a reader something rather than tell them, and recently, I wrote about how one can use dance to show a character's thoughts and how she changes. As a general rule, showing means giving the reader details: letting them see what the … Continue reading Four Ways to Plan Showing Vs. Telling in Your Novel

How Your Emotional State Can Affect Your Editing

I've been thinking about how we humans clean things up. Sometimes, we do it begrudgingly, sometimes compulsively. How we feel (and how close we are to a deadline) usually determines whether our efforts are frantic or methodical. When rushed or pressured, we can get rid of stuff we really should've kept, and I think this … Continue reading How Your Emotional State Can Affect Your Editing

Widget Images Are Here!

So I recently had a suggestion that I create image widgets about my book coaching so they can be put in sidebars, so I did. Thanks, Trix!   You're welcome to copy them and post them on your own site, Facebook, etc. Thank you all so much for your interest and support! Copyright 2017 Andrea … Continue reading Widget Images Are Here!

4 Ways to Make a Scene Matter

In writing, we're told to "kill our darlings" and get rid of the bits of writing we love if they don't serve the story. But what if we could those little scenes and transform them into something useful, incorporating the elements that are near and dear to our heart with the plot? It won't always … Continue reading 4 Ways to Make a Scene Matter

Introducing Blurb and Summary Coaching!

Today a new service joins the Book Coaching portfolio--Blurb and Summary Coaching. It's designed to give authors feedback on their blurbs (the paragraph or two that goes on the back cover) or their full page summaries (used primarily for agents and publishers), and for this month, both services will be half off. So if your … Continue reading Introducing Blurb and Summary Coaching!

Plotting a Novel is Like Playing a Game of Rummy

I've been thinking a lot about plotting lately (as my works-in-progress have been at that stage), and it occurred to me that it's kind of like a game, played between reader and writer. In some ways, it reminds me of the game of rummy, where the goal is to collect a certain group of cards--so … Continue reading Plotting a Novel is Like Playing a Game of Rummy

Guest Post: The Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue Tags

Not so long ago, I came across narration in which the dialogue tags were all but gone, reminding me of the format for plays. It went a bit like this: Bob: Do you really think that's necessary? Jane: It's high time we did something. Bob: So... Jane: We act now. And it reminded me how … Continue reading Guest Post: The Dos and Don’ts of Dialogue Tags