The Diamond-Buyer’s Guide to Writing a Literary Gem

Photo by Steve de Polo

When determining the value of a diamond, gemologists look at four factors, collectively known as the Four Cs. By a convenient coincidence, all four coincide with important points of writing. So here are a few pointers on writing a novel that shines.

47 words and phrases that slow your reader down

Packed car trunk

Photo by Alan (click for credit)

Your neighborhood is about to be blown up by alien invaders. You have 24 hours to pack your car and get out of the city. What do you bring?

How to edit your novel: 5 more practical tips that really work

 Continued from last week’s Part One: The Forest


photo by David Mellis

Now we move in for a close up, a focus more on the words and sentence structures than on the story itself. But let’s say you’ve got the grammar stuff down. How else do you clean up your prose?

How to edit your novel: 7 practical tips that really work

You’re drowning in words. There are a million things wrong with this book. And you’re so busy trying to figure out why page thirty-five sounds so blooming doofy that it’s months before you notice the whole first half of the book drags and your characters are totally flat.

Word search: the magic diet pill for novels recently published a guest post I wrote called 3 Things the Novelist Can Learn from the Copywriter, roughly 1/3 of which was about brevity. Let’s expand on that!

Brevity is the soul of wit. The fewer the words, the harder they hit.