Wattpad Wednesday featuring author Farah Oomerbhoy

This week’s Wattpad Wednesday post (although technically it’s almost Thursday—sorry!) is the very talented Farah Oomberbhoy! Farah’s journey on Wattpad began in March of 2014, when she first began uploading her Watty Award-winning Young Adult Fantasy, The Last of the Firedrakes. I had the pleasure of reading Farah’s story as she posted it in real time and I was completely captivated by her storytelling abilities! This lovely author went on to publish The Last of the Firedrakes in hardback, paperback and eBook formats. I’m proud to say I own a copy of my very own, which I hope to one day have Farah sign in person. Not only is she a future bestseller, but she is an amazing person I am honored to call a friend!

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About the Book:

The Last of the Firedrakes, book one of The Avalonia Chronicles.

A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way.  Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

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A map to Avalonia

Please enjoy an excerpt of The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy:

Chapter 7

The Midnight Market

     Later that night, after I had eaten well and rested, we set out for the midnight market. I followed Kalen along the small path, from Pixie Bush into the very heart of Goldleaf Forest.

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     It seemed to me that we had been walking for quite a while when I could suddenly hear voices and noises quite clearly in the quiet forest. We came to a large clearing, and the delightful sight left me spellbound. The forest was alive, radiant and subtly lit by pretty, different-colored lanterns hanging from the towering trees. Beautifully decorated stalls and multicolored tents had sprung up all over the place. Some were nestled between the tall trees, and some were haphazardly placed around the edge of the clearing, forming a slightly wonky circle. Fae of all sizes, shapes and colors wandered around, having a marvelous time. There were dryads, naiads, brownies, and little pixies with wings who flitted about the place in groups, laughing and eating at the food stalls.

     We came to a stall, which was manned by a small, funny-looking fae with a pointy nose and long ears. Kalen identified him as a gnome. He was selling some strangely colored liquid in glass bottles and was haggling unashamedly about prices with two old ladies, whom I thought were very sweet.

     As we walked through the market, Kalen chattered on.

     “Although some of the larger towns have shops that sell magical ingredients for potions,” Kalen was saying, “this is the only place you can find some of the really rare items.”

     I followed Kalen, who was entering a green tent, where the sign outside read: “Buy a plant for your home and garden.” That sounded quite interesting. Maybe I could buy a plant for Kalen’s mom—she had really helped me, after all—but I remembered I didn’t have any money.

     The tent was not what I expected at all. The inside was bewitched to look like a large green house; like the forest, it was much larger inside than it appeared from the outside. The moonlight shone through the glass ceiling, and rows of plants and flowers lined the sides of the tent. We decided to explore.

     I walked through the rows of plants, looking at the labels that were written next to them. There were strawberry plants in a small tray, growing wonderful, juicy strawberries, each one of which had a dollop of cream on the top. The sign near it said: “Grow your own strawberries and cream.”

     “Try one,” said Kalen. “No one is watching.”

     I couldn’t resist; I loved strawberries and cream. I popped the whole strawberry into my mouth. It was delicious and the cream was thick, fresh, and sweet. It was wonderful.

     “Lovely, yes?” said Kalen.

     “I nodded, since my mouth was full.

     “Ms. Herbchild is wonderful at growing things. These strawberry plants with cream are one of her new inventions, but you can only grow them on trays inside the house, or the gnomes lick off all the cream.”

     I made a face at the thought of eating a strawberry that had been licked by a gnome.”

About the Author:

Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.

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Connect with Farah:

Website  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Wattpad

Purchase:

Amazon  B&N  Apple  Kobo  Smashwords  txtr  Itasca Books  Book Depository  IndieBound

Awards:

Finalist in the Teen: Fiction (13-18 Years) category of the 2016 Benjamin Franklin Awards

Finalist in the Best Cover Design: Fiction category of the 2015 USA Best Book Awards

Winner in the Collector’s Dream category of the Wattpad’s 2015 The Wattys Awards

Awesome Indies Approved

What People Are Saying:

“…the narrative components echo the classics; the Academy of Magic at Evolon could be Hogwarts, while the Shadow Guards are reminiscent of Tolkien’s Ring Wraiths or Rowling’s Dementors…a beautifully drawn fantasy world.” Kirkus Reviews

“THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES is a magic-filled romp that carries you back to the fantasy stories of childhood…Lovers of classic fantasy will likewise gobble down Oomerbhoy’s scrumptious story.” – Dr Vic James, author of the Gilded Cage trilogy

The world building is beautiful…That really made the book more complex for me…it is the journey of discovery for Aurora and the reader that makes this an interesting story.”  Readers’ Favorite

The Last of the Firedrakes has all the elements of popular fantasy – an orphaned princess, Magical powers, an alternate sphere with seven kingdoms, a young girl with a destiny to fulfil. They are all elements of the Narnia Chronicles, The Faraway tree, The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings and a bit of Enid Blyton fun.” – Mid-Day newspaper

Wattpad Wednesday featuring author Adrian Birch

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Ready for a crazy ride? This week’s #WattpadWednesday post features author Adrian Birch or is it Bailey Simms … we may never know. This author has weaved together a creative tale unlike anything you’ve ever read before! Today Dead in Bed sits at #1 on the Horror list at Wattpad, an online writing community in which users are able to read and post articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems for free, either through the website or on the mobile app. This story has accumulated well over two million reads, and that number continues to grow every day. And it’s no wonder why. It’s basically a story within a story, but if I try to describe it I’ll never be able to do it justice. Instead, I’ll just leave you with the author’s bio and a short story blurb, then it will be up to you to see what all the rage is about!

Author’s Bio: 

Adrian Birch is the author of Dead in Bed By Bailey Simms, a popular meta-thriller that’s been #1 in Wattpad’s horror rankings more times than anyone can count. Part of Adrian’s novel follows Ashley Young as she tries to survive the outbreak of a sexually-transmitted plague that stimulates people’s libidos before killing them. Another part of the novel follows Bailey Simms, the fictional teen author of Dead in Bed who’s stuck at home with a rare medical condition and a strict father who has no idea that his daughter is secretly a famous author. But as far as Adrian Birch’s own background goes, no one really knows anything about who she or he is. Some people have speculated that Adrian Birch is just Bailey Simms’s pen name, and that Bailey’s story isn’t fictional at all. Others have guessed that Adrian Birch is Bailey’s boyfriend, the older boy named “Kyle” in the story. More ominous speculation has even suggested that Adrian Birch has kidnapped Bailey Simms and is taking credit for her work! But whoever Adrian Birch really is, people are counting on answers before the saga of Dead in Bed By Bailey Simms concludes.

You can connect with this author on their website (where you will have access to exclusive, uncensored material), TwitterFacebookAmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesGoodreads and of course on Wattpad as well.

Dead in Bed Story Blurb:

You’ve never, ever read a book like this. 

When a sexually-transmitted plague breaks out in Ashley Young’s small town, leaving its victims with a bizarrely amplified libido, everything about her life changes. DEAD IN BED is partly a suspense thriller with a strikingly unique story, partly a page-turning mystery about a disease that makes people hopelessly crave sexual contact, and partly a neo-western adventure in the American heartland. For readers who can handle a smart, controversial female protagonist who’s willing to do anything—no matter how difficult or morally questionable—in order to survive, the series pulls them in like an unshakeable addiction. 

. . . Bailey Simms, teen author of DEAD IN BED, is stuck at home with a rare medical condition. Writing is her only escape, so she’s determined to keep her salacious series hidden from her strict father. Soon an older boy starts to secretly help her, and Bailey finds new opportunities for freedom that she’s never had. But as DEAD IN BED grows in popularity, and Bailey’s fans start to clamor for the sequel, she learns that being a successful Wattpad author may come with a terrifyingly dangerous price.

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Sayonara, RT Booklovers Convention 2016!

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Wow, what a ride. For my very first writers’ convention ever, I really hit the jackpot (no gambling pun intended)!

For those of you who do not know, I attended this year’s RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada—six fun-filled days where I had the opportunity to mix business with pleasure! There were over 200 workshops readers and writers could attend featuring a wide range of topics, from YA Spooky Slumber Party to Charmed by the Cowboy (and everything in between). Feel like discussing New Adult trends with the very writers you read? There was an event for that! Are you an aspiring author ready to pitch your book to several eager agents and publishers? There was an event for that, too!

You could literally hob-nob with your favorite authors at one panel then go straight to another where you’d receive a gift bag full of goodies, including books—yes, FREE BOOKS! It doesn’t get any better than that (just make sure you have plenty of room in your suitcase to take them all home)! It truly was an amazing experience. And on the final day of the convention, more than 625 authors gathered at the Giant Book Fair to sign their books, including Brenda Drake, Jennifer Armentrout, Shayla Black, Sylvia Day, Kiera Cass, Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, Anna Todd … and the list goes on and on. Talk about a fan-girl experience! As an avid reader, this convention was a dream come true. And as an author, I found it to be very inspirational.

Participants could either register for the full six day event, which included several after-hour parties, or purchase individual day passes. Basically, it was a giant party where you could mix and mingle with readers, authors, bloggers, editors, agents and publishers. In fact, there was so much to do you had to pick and choose! It was impossible to fit everything in.

My advice to anyone hoping to attend a future event—besides wear comfortable shoes—is to go over the schedule very carefully and decide which workshops are most important to you. Every hour, new events and panels begin and often times there are several interesting topics taking place at once. You’ll need to know in advance which ones to hit so you do not miss out on something you really want to do. And don’t forget to leave room to eat or before you know it you’ll have missed meals!

After it was all said and done, I left Las Vegas feeling exhausted yet motivated. I met new friends and found something I would love to participate in every year—and plan to! Next year the convention will take place May 2nd—May 7th in Atlanta, Georgia. Who knows … maybe I’ll even be signing my very own book at that one. Eek!

So mark your calendars now! I promise—you won’t regret it.

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Authors Lindsey Summers, Ali Novak, Sarah Benson and me … living it up at RT Booklovers Convention 2016!

Countdown to the RT Booklovers Convention

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So, I’m counting down the mere hours until I head to my very first writers’ conference. And while I should be feeling like this:

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I’m feeling more like this:

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Don’t get me wrong. I am super—and I mean super—excited to have the opportunity to attend. Seriously, this is a dream come true. There are going to be so many talented authors there, authors whose books I’ve obsessed, and in some cases, down-right drooled over.

And then there will be me.

Gulp.

I will be flying into Las Vegas and stepping foot inside my very first convention one year to the day that I found out my story Strawberry Wine would be published. One year to the day. Woah. Talk about a crazy coincidence. And when I think about how much my life has changed over the past twelve months, I’m left speechless.

I’ve been told I’ll have a blast, and I am quite certain I will … especially since I’ll be meeting some writing friends (who I have only corresponded with online) for the very first time face to face. That alone is surreal.

But what have I gotten myself into? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared out of my mind.

I have no idea what to expect. None. But I do have my business cards. Can you believe it? Me … with business cards? I never would have guessed I would need business cards. I also have an itinerary: meet as many people as I can. I’m in the mindset to make connections. Networking equals knowledge, and I am prepared to soak it all in.

One thing I do know is that if it weren’t for Wattpad and Kensington Publishing I wouldn’t be facing this new experience at all. The amount of gratitude I feel toward them, my family for supporting me, my friends for their consistent encouragement and the lovely people who call themselves my “readers” takes my breath away.

So, to those of you I have mentioned … thank you. This is a gift not many people are given but for some crazy, wonderful reason I have received.

I promise to make the most of it.

Wattpad Wednesday Featuring Author Nikki D. Allen

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Hello and welcome to Wattpad Wednesday! Today’s featured story is called Words a Mother Never Heard by author Nikki D. Allen. This author is relatively new to the writing platform and already her story has made waves within the community. Having read it myself, I can say it is quite possibly the most touching piece I’ve encountered on Wattpad to date. It’s a cross between a memoir and poetry, with alternating viewpoints between a mother and her deceased daughter. Words a Mother Never Heard switches back and forth between the author’s memories of her daughter and the poetry she found in her daughter’s room after her unexpected death. It is currently being featured in the poetry genre and has over 228,000 views. When I first asked the author’s permission to feature her story, I didn’t realize that today is the day her daughter passed away twelve years before. Out of deep respect for her, this post is dedicated to the author and her daughter. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Words a Mother Never Heard story blurb:

A young woman who was always the life of the party, quick to tell a joke, always smiling and happy, tragically dies at the age of twenty-three. What her mother found after her death reflected a very different woman than who she’d come to know and love…her poetry. Her words showed a young woman crying out to feel loved, wanted, beautiful and worthy. Struggling to accept herself as the wonderful, happy, beautiful woman everyone else saw her as. Her words reflected the pain and torment she allowed another to cause her. 

It is her mother’s most heart felt desire to reach even one young person struggling to accept themselves. To encourage them to open up and talk to someone, to know they are never alone, to know their feelings are validated. She also hopes to reach a mother that perhaps feels her daughter is perfect and completely in charge of her life, as mothers often do. After reading her poetry, hopefully it will facilitate conversation, confirm unconditional love and help to end words that a mother never hears.

I am her mother and these are her words…

Words


 

Wattpad Wednesday Featuring Author A.V. Geiger

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Hello and welcome to Wattpad Wednesday! This week’s story is by author A.V. Geiger (who goes by the nickname Viv) and is known as adam_and_jane on Wattpad. She is a Wattpad featured author and member of the Wattpad Stars program with over 40 thousand followers! Viv recently announced a book deal for her Twitter-based teen fiction story Follow Me Back after it was discovered by a literary agent in 2015. Described in Publisher’s Weekly as “a romantic thriller for the online generation”, the complete first draft of Follow Me Back is still available on Wattpad! The revised and expanded version will be published by Sourcebooks Fire YA in Summer 2017.

You can follow Viv on Wattpad and on Twitter, where she runs her personal account as well as the popular “Wattpad Obsessed” account @FollowBackBook. You can also visit her website www.avgeiger.com.

Follow Me Back story blurb:

Tessa Hart has a secret, but she’s too scared to tell a soul. She dropped out of school six months ago for reasons she doesn’t dare to speak aloud. Not to her mother. Not to her therapist. Not even to her brand new twitter BFF…  
 
Eric Thorn has a secret of his own – one that none of the girls would guess. He’s dreamed his whole life of making it in the music industry, but no one seems to understand the harsh realities of fame. Not his manager. Not his record label. And certainly not the fan girl he starts talking to on twitter late one night, for reasons he can’t explain…
 
Now Tessa follows Eric, and Eric follows Tessa. But this is no fan-fiction fantasy come to life. This is a story of fan accounts and fake profiles, where no one is exactly who they seem, and where a simple tap of the “Follow” button has the power to lead to love… Or to something far more sinister. 
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Wattpad Wednesday Featuring Gabriela Cabezut

 

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ShyGabs, or Gabriela Cabezut as she’s known in the publishing world, joined Wattpad as a brand new writer back in 2011 and has since produced several stories. Her romance, Prince with Benefits, topped the Hot List at number 1 on numerous occasions and has racked up over 47 million reads! Because of that story, Gaby was contacted by several different publishers via Wattpad and she eventually signed with Summit Books, one of the largest publishing houses in the Philippines. Her second novel, Hopelessly Imperfect, will be released in May with Limitless Publishing then followed up with two additional novels to complete the series. Gaby’s most recent achievement came when she was invited to join the Wattpad Stars program. And here’s another fun fact about Gaby: English isn’t her primary language, but it’s the only language she writes in! Her current Wattpad work-in-process is called Take-out Chef. Click here to check out that story and more!

To learn more about Gaby, follow her on Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter as well as on her Website (and don’t forget to sign up for her email list when you’re there)!

Take-out Chef Story Blurb:

Jessie is enrolled in a new experimental program to help young delinquents find a job. Only she isn’t really a delinquent. She goes along with the plan in order to meet her life-long crush Tom, a TV chef who inspires her to love cooking. But Tom’s not alone. Bryan, his partner in crime, is as arrogant as he is handsome and Jessie is intrigued by his mysterious character. He spices up her life in unexpected ways.

She embarks on a life-long journey where she discovers that sometimes, things aren’t always how they seem … they’re even better.

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Welcome to Camp NaNoWriMo!

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April is right around the corner and you know what that means: it’s Camp NaNoWriMo time!

What is Camp NaNoWriMo?

Well if you’re familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where you commit to writing 50,000 words during the month of November, you’ll find that Camp NaNoWriMo is somewhat similar, only a little more laid back. At camp, YOU get to set your own writing goal! Whether you want to write a novel, edit a first draft, tackle a script or maybe some short stories, Camp NaNoWriMo will be there to encourage and support you along the way.

How does it work?

During the month of April (and then again in July), you will challenge yourself to write every single day. That’s the first step to establishing a habit that will last throughout the entire year (and with any luck result in a completed manuscript).

Camp NaNoWriMo offers several online writing groups, which they cleverly call cabins (to give you that whole camping vibe). You’ll meet other “campers” by being sorted into a cabin based on your age, genre, or writing goals.

Already have a group of writers you’d like to bunk with?  You can create a private cabin for you and your friends to share! How cool is that?

According to the Camp NaNoWriMo website:

To join a public cabin, you must first make sure you’ve:

  1. Created a writing project for the current session of Camp
  2. Filled out your profile.
  3. Set your preferences on the Cabin Settings page:

If you want to be sorted into a cabin randomly, select the “Surprise me with random cabin mates!” option and click “Submit.”

If you’d prefer being in a cabin with writers that share similar interests, select “I’m looking for campers that match specific criteria.” Then, you’ll be able request cabin mates within your age group, writing in your genre, and/or with similar word-count goals in mind. Once you’ve selected all the preferences you’d like, click “Submit.”

Cabin assignments will begin shortly before the start of the event and will continue throughout the month on a rolling basis.

Joining a private cabin is a little different:

  1. If you’re acting as the cabin administrator, go to the Cabin Settings page and select “I want to create a private cabin.”
  2. Once in your cabin, you can invite your friends by typing their usernames into the invitation field. You can invite up to 11 Campers. A Camper must have created a profile, a novel, and deselected “I don’t want cabin invitations this session” to be eligible.
  3.  First, make sure you have defined a project for the upcoming event.
  4. On your Cabin Settings page, make sure you have: 
    • Selected “I don’t want to be included in a cabin” so you are not sorted into a random cabin. 
    • Deselected the “I don’t want cabin invitations this session” option.
  • When you’re invited to a private cabin, the invitation will pop up the next time you log in to the website or refresh the Camp NaNoWriMo page. “Join Now” will take you to your new cabin home and “No Thanks” will delete the invitation.

You’ll find all sorts of inspiration and conversation on the Camp NaNoWriMo website and there’s even a camp store where they sell a variety of merchandise, from t-shirts and hoodies to pencils and books.

Not enough? Visit Camp NaNoWriMo on Facebook and Twitter and start networking!

One of the great things about the NaNoWriMo community is that you’re never alone. Whether you’ve been writing for years or just getting started, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other authors and forge friendships with people who share the same interests as you.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your bug spray and head on over to camp!

Self-Editing for Dummies

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Self-Editing for Dummies:

Hey now, don’t be offended! I’m a dummy, too. But I’m continuously striving to improve.

Some lucky people are born storytellers. They have a good sense for story structure and the ability to create seemingly flawless sentences. They make it look as if they came out of the womb with a pencil and notebook in their tiny little fists weaving tales together like nobody’s business!

But what about the rest of us?

What I’ve found most beneficial is to writewrite, write. Write every day if you can. Write and then edit. Take those precious words you slaved over and look ’em right in the eye.

This can be very difficult. No, it can be downright painful. But there are some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way that actually help take the edge off.

That being said, not all of my work is edited.

Wait, what? True story. But there’s a reason for that. I mean, I always try to make certain there are no spelling or grammar errors…and no matter how many times I go over a piece I still tend to miss a few. But the reason I do not dive right into a hardcore edit is because after I write something I need to step back for a moment. I need to take a break from that story, those characters, that plot so I can go back and look at it with fresh eyes. It’s amazing the mistakes and weaknesses that pop out after you take a mini vaca from the manuscript you spent X-amount of time working on.

First of all, let me be the first to congratulate you! Do you know how many people dream of completing a manuscript? I read somewhere it is more than eighty percent of the population. Eighty percent! Wrap your brain around that for a moment. And you did it. YOU. DID. IT. Go on; get that extra scoop of ice cream—you deserve it!

Okay, now it’s time to edit. Here is my disclaimer: I am in no way perfect or anywhere close to. I’m just as flawed as the next guy…if not more so. But I have discovered a handful of gems on my quest to improve and I would like to share them with you.

1.)  Like I said before, take a break. After you’ve completed a project, put some distance between yourself and the words you wrote. When you come back from your vacation, be it a day, week, month (you get the picture) you’ll be more likely to spot the mistakes.

2.)  Read your story out loud. Go ahead; no one is listening (unless you’re reading it at Starbucks). It will be much easier to catch the awkward words and phrases when you hear them out loud with your own ears. You can do this yourself, enlist the help of a friend, or use an app that will read your manuscript back to you. Yes, apparently there is such a thing!

3.)  Pay attention to dialogue. Does it sound natural? Would you speak the way your characters are speaking? If it sounds choppy, repetitive or just plain weird chances are it’s not right.

4.)  Watch out for adverbs and adjectives. It can mean the difference between telling the reader a story and showing them. And you want to show them. It’s not as easy as it sounds; I struggle with it myself. But it’s getting easier to pick up on the more I write.

Here’s an example of telling: Jake’s fingers moved slowly down Addy’s back.

Here’s an example of showing: Addy’s heart raced as Jake’s fingers slid down her back.

See the difference? Which sentence do you prefer?

5.)  Almost always use the word “said” as a tag after dialogue. Stay away from words like laughed, spit, giggled, etc.

Example: “I don’t know what you mean,” she laughed.

Your character can’t really laugh something. Nor can they spit or giggle, etc.

Try this instead: “I don’t know what you mean,” she said, batting her eyes at him.

The “said” becomes silent, that is, the reader doesn’t even notice it. Occasionally it is acceptable to throw in something else like “asked” or “answered”, but use those sparingly.

6.)  Did you know there are lists upon lists of words to avoid when writing? Seriously, it’s true! And I’ll be first to admit I am guilty of most of them (I’m sure I’ve even used some in this post). I’m only going to touch on a handful of them, the ones I find to be the most overused.

My biggest pet peeve is the word that. Sure, sometimes it’s necessary, but most of the time it’s not. If you pay close attention you’ll find you can exclude it without any loss of meaning.

Other filler words include just, really and very. If you eliminate these words often times the sentence becomes stronger.

Try to avoid using words ending in “ly”. These are adverbs which are typically a big no-no (this is the telling not showing I mentioned in #4). It’s the lazy way to write.

Stop using the word got—it’s ugly. Just don’t do it. Please.

And was…don’t even get me started on was. Was is a passive voice, which you want to stay away from. Rewrite the sentence to make it active. Brittanie Charmintine, an insanely talented author friend of mine, once said, “Good writing is all about the verbs. If you feel the urge to use the word was try to come up with another way to write the sentence to get the same thought across.” Please note there are times when it’s okay to use a passive voice. I’ll save that for a different post.

There are many more words which could easily be cut with various reasons as to why, but I’ll let you do the research.

7.)  For goodness sake, do not be afraid to hit Spell Check. It’s there for a reason and I promise—it is your friend. Make sure you use it.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? Yes, it is. But it’s all part of the craft. After the blood, sweat and tears you’ve already put it, you owe this to yourself and your manuscript. Happy writing!