How Should Writers Toss The Adverb?

Writing with minimal words to get your point across to the reader can be challenging for any writer. Over at Words In The Treehouse, Trish Nicolson has some great tips on how to make your point without saying alot and making sure your reader gets it.


Adverbs MyThoughts Mind Map

Adverbs MyThoughts Mind Map (Photo credit: MyThoughtsMindMaps)


How to Write Without Adverbs

This morning’s email from a friend, written in panic, and ending with “Help!” was sparked by advice from the judge of a story competition he wanted to enter. The advice was this: ‘Do not use adverbs.’

“But the second word of my story is an adverb!” he wailed, “Why can’t I use it? Why? Why?”This morning’s email from a friend, written in panic, and ending with “Help!” was sparked by advice from the judge of a story competition he wanted to enter. The advice was this: ‘Do not use adverbs.’

My breakfast sat on the table, my tummy rumbled, but a friend in need turns congealed porridge and cold tea to no account. I clattered out this advice on the keyboard:

An ‘ad-verb’ is added to a verb to condition it: make it stronger, say more, be more explicit. If you need to use an adverb; if you have to prop the verb up with a walking stick or a rod stuck down its spine, you are using the wrong verb – it is too weak to do the job you want it to do.  Stronger, appropriate verbs that say and do precisely what you want them to say and do, without face-lifts and crutches, give zest to your writing. And cutting adverbs reduces your word count. Read more here.




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Who Are Literary Agents and Editors Anyway?

Kristi Bernard:

Great information to know!

Originally posted on Writers In The Storm Blog:

Kathryn Craft

Kathryn Craft

by Kathryn Craft
Turning Whine into Gold

In response to a tweet promoting a recent Twitter submission event, I received the following response:

 “To put it delicately, f*** the agents and editors. Never pander to what they’re looking for.” (Asterisks mine.)

 I would like to thank this “delicate” tweeter. His 92-character comment is so chock full of negativity and cynicism that it will easily power three blog posts here. I delight in the opportunity to turn this kind of whine into gold.

Since it is conference season, this month I’d like to address this tweeter’s obvious assumption that agents and editors are “those who are trying to keep him from publication.”

If you suspect this is true, yet are still planning to pitch to these individuals at upcoming conferences, your hidden thoughts are simply abrading twitchy nerve endings in a way that could result in hives the moment…

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By Kristi Bernard Posted in Writers

Travel And Write With Amtrak



Amtrak is excited to announce the official launch of the #AmtrakResidency program.

#AmtrakResidency was designed to allow creative professionals who are passionate about train travel and writing to work on their craft in an inspiring environment. Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Routes will be determined based on availability.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a panel. Up to 24 writers will be selected for the program starting March 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015.  A passion for writing and an aspiration to travel with Amtrak for inspiration are the sole criteria for selection. Both emerging and established writers will be considered.

Residencies will be anywhere from 2-5 days, with exceptions for special projects.

There is no cost to apply for the #AmtrakResidency program. For more information, please read our Official Terms.


How Do You Exercise Your Brain To Write?

If you are not exercising your brain and building its muscle for writing, you might be missing out on some very important stimulation and information. Over at the Elephant Journal, Kim Haas has some great tips to share that she discovered when practicing her yoga.



5 Things My Yoga Practice has Brought to My Writing Practice. ~ Kim Haas

I’ve been writing for close to 30 years and practicing yoga for less than two.

But, as soon as I hit my mat, I could see the connection between the two practices and knew that the alchemy of both yoga and writing would be powerful.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Presence

Yoga is teaching me to be in the moment, whether it’s on my mat or off. Writing deserves nothing but my fullest, most focused attention I can bring to the page.

2. Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Practicing through tears, through challenging sensations in my body, in my heart, in my mind…yoga is teaching me to stay there, in those dark, uncomfortable places. Writing also takes me to those kinds of places. Before yoga, I might’ve found that the refrigerator suddenly needed to be cleaned from top to bottom rather than stay at my desk. Now, I’m learning to stay there. Stay on the page, stay with the discomfort and let the story that needs to be told, be told. Read more here.


Five Tips To Keep On Writing

What do you do if you’ve lost that writing fever after your idea has cooled down? Whatever you do, don’t stop writing, instead get rejuvinated and keep going. Here’s how you can make that happen with tips from Angela Booth.


Tip (Photo credit: ~fyrfli~)

5 Easy Ways to Sneak Up On Writing Your Book

What’s your biggest challenge with writing your book? For my students, it’s the writing, once the initial enthusiasm wears off. You’re happily writing along, and then you take a day off. And then another one. You tell yourself you’ll write next week… Next month, when you have more time… Before you know it, your book’s vanished in the rear-view mirror of your life.

Tip: this is normal. Writers call it “hitting the wall.” Every book hits a wall at some stage. With fiction I slam into the wall at page 100. With nonfiction, I usually run smack into the hall after the third chapter. You WILL hit a wall at some stage. It won’t hurt as much if you expect it.

Writing shorter books, as you do when you’re writing ebooks, helps. As does having a process – I’ve shared my “8 hour” process with you. Judging by the feedback, it works. Read more here.

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