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Archive for April, 2015

#AtoZChallenge: N is for Nice… and other boring adjectives you can do without

Here’s an excellent reminder.
I’m printing out a page to post by my computer to remind me of these vague words that creep into my own writing.
And on that note — Have a ‘nice’ day!

Alison Williams Writing

A-Z Challenge

For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing.

N is for Nice… and other boring adjectives you can do without


In a past life I taught creative writing to children. I spent hours going on and on about adjectives, writing down example after example, and using the words to ‘improve’ boring sentences. Now I spend hours working with authors advising them to cut adjectives from their work to make it less boring.

Of course, in the case of the children the goal was to extend their vocabulary and to teach them about words. With my authors, the goal is to help them weed out all those things that drag their writing down.

Adjectives, as I have noted in other posts, should be used with caution. And broad adjectives shouldn’t be used at all (except in dialogue).


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#A-Z Challenge: G is for Guilt

Alison Williams Writing

For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing.

G is for Guilt


If you spend any amount of time writing, whether for pleasure or for work, then the chances are that you probably feel guilty.

  • Guilty about writing when the house is a tip
  • Guilty for doing some research when the dog is pleading for a walk
  • Guilty for stopping to look at Facebook when you have a deadline looming
  • Guilty for popping out to the Costa drive-thru when you fancy a soya latte
  • Guilty for doing something you enjoy, that makes you happy, when there are a hundred and one other things to do that will make you miserable instead (ironing, washing, cooking, paying bills)
  • Guilty for not earning enough to justify what you’re doing
  • Guilty that some days when I’m writing it actually looks a lot like…

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If you’re waiting for something to happen in publishing…

Carly Watters, Literary Agent

timeIf you’re waiting on beta readers…

Throw yourself into critiquing others; attend a writer’s conference, webinar, or workshop; outline your next book; set up your author website.

If you’re waiting for an agent…

Start working on (or finishing) your next book; avoid reading too much into agents’ social media posts; tidy up your author blog or website or revamp for a new look; decide on a blog or social media schedule that you can keep up with.

If you’re waiting for an editor…

Strategize with your agent about next steps; ask your agent questions so you’re up to speed when you talk with editors; avoid reading too much into editors’ social media posts; keep social media contact with editors to zero or a bare minimum; polish up your next project.

If you’re waiting for your book to come out…

Plan your personal publicity and marketing roll out; schedule a call…

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#A-Z Challenge: A is for Action

Great thoughts on writing action here!

Alison Williams Writing

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For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing. Today, I’m looking at writing action scenes.

A is for Action


Action scenes don’t necessarily mean huge battles, violence, gunfights or crime. While this might be the case in Hollywood blockbusters, action scenes are important in your fiction – they create drama, interest, allow characters to develop and move your plot forward.

An action scene can involve something as seemingly simple as an unexpected phone call or a surprise visitor. What’s important is to carry your reader along with the action, and to write scenes that move your characters forward, building tension and giving your characters opportunities to develop and grow.

Here are a few tips for writing effective action scenes:

  • Have events happen in real time. This helps your reader feel involved in the scene and brings them closer to…

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