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Hundreds of Helpful Articles

Hundreds of Helpful Articles

We have created hundreds of articles on topics all authors face in today’s literary landscape. Get help and advice on Writing, Marketing, Publishing, Social Networking, and more. Each article has a Comments section so you can read advice from other authors and leave your own.

Should You Use a Pen Name? New!

I’ve sometimes had writers ask me if they should use a pen name. I always say “perhaps,” and then ask why they’re considering it. Usually they struggle to come up with an answer, so here are a few reasons to think about using a pseudonym. You...

The Freelance Writer and Taxes New!

You’re on this web site because you enjoy writing and hope to earn money from it. Assuming you make money you’ll need to pay tax on your earnings. Freelancers are considered independent contractors, so in addition to Form 1040, you’ll use Schedule C (or C-EZ), “Profit...

English Words That Really Mean Something Very Different Than What You Think They Mean New!

“That’s awful,” he said, grimacing at the sordid image spray painted on the bricks. “Really awful!” Using the word ‘awful’ more than once, the character is emphasizing his point. But what does he really mean? Does him mean ‘awful’ as in ‘dreadful?’ Or ‘awful’ as in...

Avoid Misplaced Modifiers—Or Confuse Your Readers New!

One writing gaffe to be aware of is misplaced modifiers, which are sometimes called dangling modifiers. If your work inadvertently includes them, you’re sure to leave your readers scratching their heads, or worse, deciding they’re not going to try to figure out what you mean and...

Do You Cringe at Some of the Things You Write? New!

We may be writers, but we’re also human. And we do make mistakes. Some of them somewhat funny; others painfully embarrassing. I recall some of the comments my editor provided for my first novel. I had some doozies in that book. I was writing about...

Solving Two Problems: Subject/Verb Agreement and Compound Subjects New!

Writing is an art, not a science, and although that means we enjoy wide latitude in word use, it also means that situations arise that are tough to handle. One of those problems is subject/verb agreement, because in some constructions they don’t appear to match....

Want to Maintain Credibility? Get Your Facts Right New!

The importance of getting all your facts right in your story or book can’t be overstated. If you want to lose all credibility with your readers, make one mistake. That one error will make your readers doubt that anything you wrote is accurate. Your readers...

For Nonfiction Writers: Add Elements to Your Stories New!

We can assume that virtually everything we write is going to go online, where it’s going to have infinite competition for readers’ eyeballs. We also know that readers’ tastes are fleeting; they’ll quickly move on unless you’re doing something to keep them on your story. So...

Are We Writing Too Many Pandemic-Inspired Armageddon Stories? New!

Global pandemics and the end of the world, Armageddon stories have been around for a long time. The 2020 pandemic (which now threatens 2021 as well) was forecasted in earlier literature like Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel, The Eyes of Darkness, which predicted a 2020 Wuhan-400...

Things Writers Should Never Do New!

Did you know there are actually some things you should never do as a writer? For one thing, be careful with your assumptions: don’t ever assume there’s only one way to write. There are countless self-help books out there telling us how to become a...