Celebrating 100 Post with My 100 Favorite Blogs

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imagesThis being my 100th blog post, I wanted to write something special to celebrate. I was going to post a list of the 100 most popular Fantasy books of all time since I’m a fantasy writer–scratch that. Next, I considered making a list of the 100 things I love the most about being a writer, but I have a hate/love relationship with writing, so to be honest, I actually struggled to come up with 100 things–that I like. Still determined to do something in a list format, I thought to myself, why not make a list of my 100 favorite blogs.

Below is a list of my favorite blogs in no particular order. I could have ranked them from favorite to least favorite and so forth, but that would be difficult and time consuming–not to mention hurtful. If you are not on the list, I apologize. I still like you. I would love to list all 200+ blogs I follow, but 100 is the number of post I’ve written, and the number of post I’ve written is 100. 100 shall I list. 200 is right out.

Whether you are listed or not, please check out these blogs because they are amazing–and it took me a hundred years to insert all of these links . . . one by one. I’m pretty sure it took me longer to create this list of 100 blogs than it did for me to write 100 blog post. Once you’ve checked out some of my favorite blogs, feel free to comment below to share some of your favorite blogs. It’s that time of year where we should share and care, so support your fellow bloggers and give them a shout out.

  1. Book Chat
  2. One Writer’s Journey By Chris Owens
  3. 2HelfpulGuys
  4. Susan Finlay Writes
  5. Random Ramblings
  6. The Rolling Writer
  7. Books & Such
  8. Mandy’s space to space
  9. Charles French Words Reading and Writing
  10. MT McGuire Authorholic
  11. Your Writing Lady
  12. Archer’s Aim
  13. Author Mysti Parker
  14. Bluchickenninja
  15. Storyshucker
  16. No Wasted Ink
  17. Authors Interviews
  18. Princess of Light: Shining the Light for All
  19. Suffolk Scribblings
  20. Blot the Skrip and Jar It
  21. Kristen Lamb’s Blog
  22. Ana is the Bookworm
  23. Sarah J Carlson, Author
  24. Deborah Kelly
  25. Shannon A. Thompson
  26. Nail Your Novel
  27. Rather Than Writing
  28. Nicholas C Rossis
  29. Story Medic
  30. Inside My Worlds
  31. Just English
  32. Carol Balawyder
  33. Writing Is Hard Work
  34. SloopJonB
  35. A Writer’s Path
  36. The Owl Lady Blog
  37. Therefore I Geek
  38. Storytime with John
  39. Ingrid’s Notes
  40. The Writer’s Cafe 247
  41. Confessions of  Geek Queen
  42. Knite Writes
  43. Tara Sparling Writes
  44. A Tolkienist’s Perspective
  45. Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog
  46. Bare Knuckle Writer
  47. Chris McMullen
  48. Strange Writer
  49. CommuniCate Resources for Writers
  50. Write Lara Write
  51. Lit Chic
  52. Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams
  53. Ellen Brock
  54. The Nerdy Book Club
  55. Fiction All Day
  56. MJ Wright
  57. Poor Writers
  58. Inkspelled Faery
  59. Writing with Michelle
  60. Elaine Jeremiah
  61. Legends of Windemere
  62. Avid Reader
  63. Rachel Carrera, Novelist
  64. The Letter Vy
  65. Cindy Fazzi
  66. Geeky Book Snob
  67. WordDreams
  68. Words Read and Written
  69. Tricia Drammeh
  70. There and Draft Again
  71. Michelle Joyce Bond
  72. Turning My Dream Into A Book
  73. Sweating to Mordor
  74. Committed and Caffeinated
  75. My Literary Quest
  76. 101 Books
  77. Eli Glasman
  78. Jean’s Writing
  79. Random Ramblings
  80. Interesting Literature
  81. Live to Write–Write to Live
  82. The Bewildered 20-Something Writer
  83. The Write Transition
  84. Staci Reafsnyder
  85. Blood & Ink
  86. A Writer & Her Adolescent Muse
  87. The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh!
  88. Shirley McLain
  89. I Can’t Possibly Be Wrong All the Time
  90. Anibundel: Pop Culturess
  91. My Little Book Blog
  92. Carly Watters, Literary Agent
  93. Writers In the Storm
  94. Jaimie M. Engle
  95. Just One More Edit
  96. Daily (w)rite
  97. The Editor’s Desk
  98. Tipsy Lit
  99. The Girl Who Reads Books
  100. Kev’s Blog

Tuesday Tip

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tip#1This week’s Tuesday Tip is about something essential, something crucial that you MUST have in your writing. Without it, the scenes between your action sequences will fall flat, and readers will get bored and take a break from reading your book or–gasp–stop reading it altogether!

Are you sweating yet? Nervous? You should be. Keep reading.

This Tuesday’s Tip is about–

Dun, Dun, Duuunn!!!! Tension and Suspense.

Do you see what I did there? That’s what you should be doing in your writing. Tension and suspense go hand in hand with conflict. To read that Tuesday Tip, click here. Suspense keeps the readers turning the page, asking questions, and wondering what will happen next.

When do you add Suspense and Tension?

You may think suspense and tension belong in your action scenes, and you would be correct, but mainly they belong in the scenes between the action scenes. Suspense creates build-up, anticipation, the promise that something will happen–usually something bad. Think of it as the foreboding dark clouds before the storm.

How to add Tension and Suspense

Foreshadow

Tease the reader with future events. Let the reader see the problem before the protagonist does.The reader will fear for the characters, knowing that they are in danger.

One way of doing this is to change perspective. The reader will learn information the protagonist does not through the eyes of another character. This is a great way to show information the protagonist might not be aware of or understand clearly.

Reveal the Plan

You might be tempted to conceal what your character plans to do to add suspense, but contradictory to belief, revealing their plans and motives adds suspense.

But you just gave it all away! Now all that’s left to do is stop the villain and save the day, and the protagonist just said how he’s going to do it, so I might as well stop reading this book now. Wrong. All you gave away was the plan, not future events. This is where you add a dilemma, a twist, something your character didn’t consider or can’t predict. Let them make the plans. Make sure they feel good about them too, and then sweep the rug out from under them. The characters–and your readers–will be surprised.

Don’t forget the Antagonist’s plan. Knowing their plan when the protagonist doesn’t will add suspense.

And what better way to reveal a plan than in song!

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In The Lion King, Scar’s plan (plot might be a more accurate word) is told in the song “Be Prepared.” Really, considering how dumb hyenas are, this was a rather catchy way to help them remember their part in it, don’t you think? Before Mufasa dies, we know he’s toast. We totally see it coming. This does not ruin the moment for us when he actually does. If anything, the viewer is rewarded with the feeling of foreboding doom while we watch Scar’s plan unfold, unhindered before our eyes. We shout at Simba to stop meowing at a lizard and to get the Hell out of the ravine. Run, you idiot! Watch out Mufasa! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Deadlines

You feel the pressure when you have a task to complete by a deadline. Your character and your reader can feel it too. Add a sense of urgency by creating a deadline for your character to complete their mission.

Example: The Hobbit 

The dwarves have to get to the Misty Mountain by Durin’s Day before the last light fades in order to locate the hidden keyhole. If they don’t, they won’t be able to enter the Misty Mountain and reclaim their home.

Add a Dilemma

When the protagonist isn’t battling the antagonist, they should be battling their mind. Give the character something to sweat about between action scenes. Create a dilemma, a choice, a conundrum that they have to resolve.

Example: The protagonist must choose for one person to die in order for another to live.

Example: They must do something they swore never to do again.

Tip: Let the reader be privy to your character’s thoughts during these scenes. Their doubt, dread, and anxiety will fuel suspense and keep the reader hooked.

Apply Murphy’s Law Generously

If something can go wrong in life, it usually does. In literature, it SHOULD. Give your protagonist a full-proof plan and then foil it. Don’t let your character’s plan succeed without a hitch.

Cliff Hangers

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Do not, I repeat, DO NOT end your chapters on a peaceful note. This is a great place for a reader to rest their bookmark … and stop reading for good. End your scenes, chapters, and series with a shocking revelation, a precarious predicament, or other suspenseful event.

George R.R. Martin does this well in his Game of Thrones series. But I’m tired of using A Game of Thrones as an example, so I’m going to reference The Walking Dead.

Example: In season two, when the farmhouse is overrun by walkers,the season ends with the characters getting separated and running for their lives. Who lives? Who dies? Who is that cool, badass character with the zombies on leashes. Dun, Dun, Duuunn!!!

It happens again in a later season when the prison is overrun by the Governor. Once again we are left with unanswered questions. Cliffhangers almost caused me to purchase cable; they will sell books. Trust me.

That’s all I have to say about suspense . . . for now. Dun, Dun, Duuunn!!!

Hope you enjoyed. Please comment below. I love hearing from you. Praise is nice. I get a lot of it from my Tuesday Tips, but how about some praise for authors who use suspense well. Who is an author that left you hanging?

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Tuesday Tip

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Let’s start at the very beginning–a very good place to start–but also the hardest place to start. If you’re like me, the beginning of your novel is the first and the final chapter you write. I’ve rewritten the beginning of my WIP three times already, and I may rewrite it again. The beginning is the most important part of your book. This is the chapter that introduces your readers to your story. It’s how you say hello and how do you do. If done right, the reader will do that one thing we want them to do more than anything else in the world: turn the page. Here’s some advice about what should and shouldn’t be in your first chapter.

What needs to be in the beginning

By beginning, I mean chapter one. A lot of stuff has to be in the first chapter, if not the very first paragraph. When baking bread, if you forget an ingredient, it won’t rise. Similarly, if you miss an ingredient in your first chapter, your story will fall flat. I’m not a very good baker; I once made cookies that tasted like shrimp. When it comes to writing, I always measure my ingredients carefully. So how do you make sure you don’t leave anything out? There are a lot of elements that need to be in the beginning, so to make it easy, they’ve been condensed to this very handy mnemonic device.

The three C’s: context, character, and conflict

  1. context Give the reader a sense of where they are. I’ve read a lot of books lately where I don’t know where the characters are or even who they are. It’s like trying to read a hand-made map written on a sticky note. If you’re wondering what you should tell your reader, think of the five W’s from elementary school (who, what, when, where, and why). You don’t want your readers to be disoriented, but this doesn’t mean you have to explain everything upfront or else your first paragraph becomes a major infodump. Establish only what the reader needs to know to enjoy the ride. Like a roller coaster, give them a handle bar and a lap belt so they don’t fly out of the cart on the loops and dips.
  2. character The reader will assume the first POV is the main protagonist. It’s kind of like how baby ducks assume the first thing they see is their mother.This doesn’t mean the first POV is the main character. There are exceptions to the rule, but it is a good idea, when you can, to start with the main character. Once you introduce them, you need your reader to connect with them. Make them care. Many beginner writers start with the least important information: what they look like. The most important information is what they want. Also what are your characters main positive and negative traits. These are important to know because they are the traits that will influence the character’s decisions. They  may be his foible, his downfall, what he must overcome, or how he achieves his goal.  If those are the only three things your reader learns about your character in the first chapter, that is fine. Physical appearance and back story can be sprinkled in later.
  3. conflict Conflict is simply what’s at stake. Whatever the main conflict in your story is, it should come out in the first chapter.

The hook I can’t type this without thinking of Mr. Krabs from Spongebob. Many of you have probably heard about hooks, but may not know what they are or how to include them in your opening. To quote Mr. Krabs,

 “They dangle down and draw you close with their pleasing shapes and their beguiling colors . . . they grab you by the britches . . . “

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I don’t think I could explain it better than that, especially that last part. That’s essentially what you want to do: Grab your reader and not let them go. It’s like snapping your fingers to get someone’s attention. Where do you put the hook? Why, the very first sentence, of course.

Types of hooks

  • scenery
  • action
  • foreshadow
  • dialogue
  • philosophical statement

how not to start your novel

Recently I reblogged an article about this subject. There are a lot of things you want to avoid, but based on my research, these seem to be the most unpopular beginnings.

  • starting with a dream sequence.
  • too much exposition and description (info dump)
  • starting too slow
  • starting with the wrong POV e.g., a one-time POV to introduce the main character
  • too little or too much action

I’d like to elaborate on this last one because it’s a pet peeve of mine. Action doesn’t always mean a battle. It just means the characters should be doing something. I’ve read a  lot of books where, way too early on, things start exploding, characters are dying, and cars are going through billboards. I don’t even care because I’m not invested in the characters yet. This would be like starting “The Lord of the Rings” with the scene where Frodo is being chased by the Nazgul out of the Shire. Do you know how confusing that would be? Who is Frodo? Why is he being chased? Who are these people with him? What is a Hobbit? Why do I care?

On the flipside, it’s aggravating when a story starts off too slow, like a Jessica Black song. Consider how bored you would be if the author described their character waking up at  7 a.m.  in the morning, getting dressed, going downstairs, eating a bowl of cereal, and going to the bus stop. After all this, her biggest conflict is whether to sit in the front or back seat of a car. Very little payoff.

Now you’re ready to tackle your beginning. Grab your readers by the britches and don’t let them go.

 

Tuesday Tip

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tip#1This week, I really didn’t know what to write about, which gave me an idea. Ironic, yes? I thought, many of you could be facing the same dilemma, so what would I tell you to do? This Tuesday, I’ll discuss how to find topics for blog post.

I wish it was as easy as having manatees select idea balls from different tanks and putting them together. Those of you who watch South Park will totally get this. Unfortunately, it takes a little more effort than that.

When fishing for ideas, sometimes it takes awhile to get a nibble. I typically run out of ideas about halfway through the month. I’ve been blogging about a year (anniversary in September), and I write an average of 11-15 post a month. Many of you I follow write even more than that, making me look lazy. So how can you keep wood on the fire? Where can you get ideas that are fresh.

Take notes

Instead of counting on your brain to remember all those spontaneous (and hopefully genius) ideas, keep notes. For instance, I carry around a notebook to record ideas. I also have an app on my phone to record thoughts when I’m in public. Whenever I think of something to write about or discover something I want to research, I write it down. How many ideas have you lost to short-term memory?

Check out other blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook

To be clear, I’m not instructing you to steal someone’s idea, but to look for inspiration. Do not copy a post word for word, change the title and call it your own. Follow or find people in your niche. Chances are they will cover a topic you want to write about, a book you’d like to review, an author to interview, a trend you didn’t know about. You may even come up with a better idea than them or a different angle to tackle it from.

Go online

Google (old reliable) is my go to. If you blog about writing, check out Writer’s Digest, Goodreads, and other sites dedicated to the craft. Websites are usually up to date on the latest news and trends. You can also look into new search engines like Bottlenose, Quora, or Topsy. These real-time search engines follow what’s trending on social media sites, which helps you come up with fresh material.

Bounce ideas off of a friend

If your brain isn’t working, go borrow someone else’s.This is easy to do. Just tell your friend you need something to write about. Unless they are in the same rut, chances are they’ll give you some ideas or a starting point. I don’t know how many times my sister has asked me for an idea and vise versa. Usually we don’t know what we should write, but we know what our sister should.

Read a magazine or a book

Next time you’re at the doctor’s office, don’t ignore that old pile of magazines. My last post idea came from reading a magazine. The article was about weight loss, but I thought the information was pertinent to writers.

Find experts in your niche

If you don’t have something to say, find someone who does. Interviews make great blog post. If you blog about writing, talk to an editor, published writer, or publisher. Twitter is a great place to find professionals and experts in your niche.

Hopefully, that gave you a starting point if you’re still bashing your head against a wall. Leave a comment below. How do you get ideas?

 

Tuesday Tip

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tip#1Saturday, I encouraged you to write even when you don’t feel like it, but I didn’t explain how exactly. It’s easier said than done, and there isn’t one answer. There are more than one ways to start a fire.

Identify why you don’t feel like writing. For some of you it will be easy to pinpoint the cause.

  1. You just don’t know what to write
  2.  You had a bad day at work
  3.  You had a fight with a spouse, sibling, or parent
  4. You are experiencing a loss or illness.

While it would be nice to put writing on hold until all your problems sort themselves out, you have to keep going. You do have to face your problems, but writing can be the perfect distraction from the things distracting you from writing. I know that sounds like a tongue twister, doesn’t it.

Outline

To get back into writing, start with an outline. You can outline the entire book, a chapter, or just what is going to happen in the scene you need to write.

Example: Buttercup goes on a horse ride and encounters three strangers on the road claiming to be lost circus performers.

I can hear your collective groans. I know a lot of people hate outlining. If you don’t like to outline, just call it summarizing. Same thing really.

Get some rest

It’s hard enough writing when you don’t feel like it. Now try forcing the words with no energy. If the thought of writing with no motivation makes you want to lie down and take a nap, go right ahead. Take a nap or a quick break. Once you’re recharged, get back to it.

Skip to the good parts

Someone once told me I had to watch “Brokeback Mountain.” I didn’t feel like watching it, so I skipped to the good parts. You know which parts I’m talking about. Don’t make me go into detail. It was a long movie, and I was just curious to see how Hollywood was going to pull that off. So I watched, collectively, about twenty minutes of the movie.

Sometimes, I feel this way about my own writing. I don’t want to write a particular scene because it’s boring. You can identify, I’m sure. Maybe you don’t want to write at all; perhaps it’s just the scene you are working on.

I prefer to write linearly from the beginning to the end. This is also how I eat cake and pizza. I start at one end and work my way back. Some people like to eat the icing-covered edge first or the crust of the pizza. They may even eat the bubble out of the center or scrape the icing off the top. This is how some people write. Feel free to skip to a scene you could feel motivated to write.

Play a movie or music

Whether it’s your inspiration, background noise, or the soundtrack to your novel, a movie or music can help you write. I like Pandora and YouTube. I created a separate playlist for each character.

Read to write

Reading can be very relaxing, inspirational, and motivating. A good habit to start: Read before you write. Everyday, I read ten minutes before I start writing.

Write

That’s right, just write. The very act of writing will help your writing flow. Be prepared to write utter crap. Be prepared to only write a hundred words.

There are numerous other ways to force yourself to write. Force is such an ugly word. How about motivate. Do what works for you. You must write. Remember you can’t wait for things to get better, for more time, or for more motivation. If you wait, it may never happen.

You, that’s right, you, staring at your computer screen. You’re reading this blog, you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, IWasteSoMuchTime.com. Close the extra browsers, like or comment below, and then get back to writing, right now.

Write When you Don’t Feel Like It

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untitledEveryone has bad days. Those are the days you won’t want to write. Those are the days when you have to write.

Imagine the ideal writing day: It’s your day off, and you have the entire day to yourself. You crack your knuckles and adhere your fingers to the asdfjkl; keys. Hours fly by like minutes, and you write thousands of words.

This isn’t what most days are like–a handful at best. Most days you sit at your computer with the intent to write, but the words won’t come. You start to write when the laundry timer goes off or your dinner boils over. You take a quick break after putting the kids to bed. The next thing you know it’s midnight, and you’re watching a man dressed up like Elsa singing “Let it Go.”

Some writers wait until they are “in the mood” to write. Waiting on inspiration is like waiting for a prom date. It might not happen.

You’re going to have days where you don’t feel like writing. I’m having one of those right now. I don’t even want to finish this blog post let alone touch my WIP. I just want to take a nap, maybe wake up in a pile of drool and old magazines and candy wrappers. It’s been that kind of day . . . week . . . month . . . year.

We all have mood killers. A fart can put you off sex or a meal. It usually takes more than that to kill a writing mood, but there are things that hinder us from writing. Note the keyword is hinder, not stop. Things will make it harder to write, but nothing should stop you. The only thing that actually stops you from writing is you. Things will get in the way, but they only make it more difficult, not impossible.

My Hindrances

  1. a recent move
  2. a full-time job (9-6 everyday including Saturdays)
  3. chores and errands
  4. Game of Thrones
  5. lack of energy
  6. cats
  7. a six-year old son
  8. a serious illness in the family
  9. dr. appointments
  10. iFunny and IWasteSoMuchTime.com

Does this sound like your life? Without going into detail, I got some really bad news on Thursday. I took off work to deal with said bad news. I spent a couple of hours just crying, doing research, making calls, and visiting relatives. This left me five or more hours to do whatever. I could have spent them either crying, napping, or eating emotionally, but I chose to write. Most people when they get told life-altering news may forgo writing that day, or entirely. But I told myself all I had to do was finish a scene I’d been working on the last couple of days. Not only did I finish that scene, but I wrote the entire scene after it.

The thing is, life is going to be hard for a while, or indefinitely, because the older I get the more life sucks. If I wait for life to “settle down” to write, I will never finish a manuscript. That’s like waiting for an elephant to become a giraffe. I’m not saying it’s easy to write through grief. Some people may be too distracted by their grief to write, but I think writing should be the distraction from pain. There are only so many hours you can obsess or dwell on the hardships of life before it makes you tired and sick. I’ve worn myself down in the past worrying and obsessing over problems. So you have to give your mind a break. When writing becomes an escape, the act is less like a chore, and the words will come.

Don’t let anything stop you. Write when you’re glad, when you’re angry, when the words on your page blur in front of your teary eyes. Write when you feel like it and when you don’t. Write no matter what.

Tuesday Tip

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tip#1Happy Tuesday, everyone. Does anyone look forward to Tuesdays? At least it’s not Monday, right? Tuesdays seem to be a little underrated. We like Wednesday because it’s halfway through the week, Friday because it marks the end of the work week, and Saturday because it is the weekend (unless you work Saturdays like I do). There just isn’t anything special about Tuesday except for  Blu-ray and DVD releases. Here’s something new to look forward to. Beginning today, I’m going to start giving out writing and editing tips every Tuesday.

For my first Tuesday tip, I want to talk about sentence variety.

With over a million words in the English language (approx. 1,025,109.8 according to the Global Language Monitor), how is it possible that sentences can become redundant?

It’s always a good idea to start at the beginning. So, let’s look at the first word of the sentence.

Opening words

Here’s a quick exercise you can do with your writing. Pick a chapter, any chapter. Circle or highlight the first word of every sentence. Do you see a pattern forming? Do you notice a lot of repeating words such as the, it, I, in, he, she, or this.

While a strong sentence often starts with an article or a subject, a good writer uses a variety of sentence openers. The solution is to rephrase or rewrite the sentence so that the article, name, or pronoun doesn’t come first. No one likes rewrites, but small changes can have a big impact. Below are some suggestions for rephrasing.

Example: Bob walked down the street and waved at the dancing children.

*This sentence starts with a subject. If you’re tired of reading Bob’s name, take the action Bob performs, add -ing to the word, and place your new word at the beginning of the sentence.

Revision: Walking down the street, Bob waved at the dancing children.

IMPORTANT: These types of sentences are tricky because you can accidently create dangling participles. Remember this trick: The subject following the comma is the person or thing doing the action.

Example: Walking down the street, the  children were dancing.

*This is wrong because the children are not the ones walking down the street. Bob disappeared entirely from this scenario. This sentence implies the children were dancing while they walked down the street.

Another way to add variety is to start your sentences with transitional words or phrases such as a prepositional phrase.

after all, afterward, also, although, and, but, consequently, despite, earlier, even though, for example, for instance, however, in conclusion, in contrast, in fact, in the meantime, indeed, meanwhile, moreover, nevertheless, regardless, shortly, still, that is, then, therefore, though, thus, and yet

 

Example: The cat sat on my book.

*There’s that pesky the at the beginning.

Revision: When I sat down to read, I noticed my cat was on my book.

Revision: Even though my cat has a bed, she sat on my book.

Now that articles and names aren’t  always at the head of the line, let’s look at your sentences to eliminate repetitive sentence length.

Read your sentences out loud. Do you sound halting and choppy like you’re talking in Morse code? Or, do you need an inhaler at the end of your long-winded sentences to catch your breath? Alternating long and short sentences throughout your manuscript is a great way to add rhythm and sentence variety.

Example: I went to Walmart. My family came with me. I was looking for bananas. Walmart did not have bananas.

*Too many short sentences.

Revision: I went to Walmart with my family to buy bananas. Alas, there were none.

*By following the long sentence with a short one, the sentence flows and sounds more natural.

If you have too many short sentences, combine them to make longer ones. Don’t forget your conjunctions (and, but, for, or, so) and subordinate connectors (after, although, as, as if, because). I also recommend combining sentences when several sentences are about the same topic.

Example: McDonald’s has a high turnover rate. McDonald’s doesn’t pay employees enough money.

Revision: McDonald’s has a high turnover rate because employees aren’t paid enough money.

You can also use relative pronouns (which, who, whoever, whom, that, whose) to combine short, choppy sentences, or sentences that give away redundant information.

Example: My car caught on fire. I got it for my birthday.

Revision: My car, which I got for my birthday, caught on fire.

There you have it–multiple ways to add some variety to your sentence wardrobe. Please check out my blog next Tuesday for another tip.