Archive for October, 2013


This is a subject that drives me up a wall. I hate when I am reading a book and I start to hear the same words over and over. To me it’s just lazy writing and a sign of really bad editing.

Using the same a few times is common in your first draft. But by the time your book gets published you shouldn’t have the issue.

Your character walks to their car, gets in their car, and then drives their car. How many times do you really need to say car? It’s annoying and distracts the reader.

Out of the last 20 romance novels I’ve read this year, at least 15 of them had them problem and all but one of them were from real publishers, not indie’s.

So how did that even happen? I think (and again this is just my theory) that writers get it in their head that if they get an agent and a “real” publishing deal, that the publishers will take full responsibility for every little bit of editing your book, but in the end it is your book with your name on it, so you can’t leave it up to someone else.

The best thing you could ever do is to HEAR your words. Sometimes hearing your written words spoken out loud, will help you spot mistakes you just don’t notice when reading it. What I do is use a TTS (text to speech) program on my iphone called Voice Dream. I think I paid $1.99 for the app. I load up my entire word document and then have it read it back to me, chapter my chapter. I close my eyes and just listen.

If you don’t do this for your book then you are making a huge mistake. While your publisher will no doubt do their best, it is still your book and you want it to be perfect, right?

SO STOP REPEATING WORDS. Seriously. You don’t need to say door 3 times in a single paragraph.

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NA romance stands for new adult romance, just as YA romance stands for young adult romance.

While young adult romance covers those teenagers (or young adults) in love, NA or new adult romance novels covers those who are typically a bit older, as in legal age (18) but still new to adult hood, so under 25. Usually those who are in college, not yet out there experiencing the real world and still figuring out their lives.

New Adult isn’t about young adults having explicit sexual encounters because there are quite a few NA romance novels without those. No it’s more about a classification of age. Young Adult = 18 and Under. New Adult = 18 to 25 (or so).

But again keep in mind there aren’t any hard and fast rules and it could vary from story to story, author to author. In the end it’s really just a marketing classification. A way for retailers and book bloggers to easily classify material for the type of reading it includes.

Oh and for the record, someone else asked me this recently too…. HEA means Happily Ever After. Most people who read romance novels expect them to have a HEA or happily ever after. It sort of defines the romance genre. Life can suck in your book, you can brutalize your character but in the end, most people who read romance novels of any sub-genre usually want that happily ever after.

Today’s writing tip is a simple but tried and true method to improve your writing. Simply put, avoid words that end in ING. But why? Typically that is because those words are weaker than their active counterpart.

Passive voice turns your characters into bystanders, casually allowing the story to happen to them while the active voice makes them active participants. So let’s look at a specific example ….

“She was standing in a red room” is not as strong as saying, “She stood in a red room”.

She was standing is passive. It sounds almost like it was something happening to her, whereas she stood is active, it is her doing it.

You don’t have to delete every sentence in your entire book that uses the passive voice or a word that ends in ING, but do look at them and consider if maybe that line would be improved if you did change it to an active voice.  Just remember that words that end in ING often weakens the sentence, so consider alternatives.