Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Cindy A. Christiansen, an author of sweet romance with comedy, suspense...and dogs is spending the week with us on our blog here in Texas..Her inclusion of dogs in all of her books shows her love for them and she donates time and money to organizations that help abused and abandoned dogs.She lives with her wonderful family and delightful dogs in West Jordan, UT.

Cindy will appear again  on Friday with an excerpt of her newest book. Don't forget to comment at the end of the post.

Here we go with the next 25 writing tips.

TIP #26. Try to eliminate unnecessary words and keep sentences simple and direct. Don't use flowery sentences.

TIP #27. Put notes, emails, newspaper articles, journal entries, letters or diary entries within your manuscript in italics.

TIP #28. Spell out words and avoid abbreviations. If you do use them, spell out the title in the first reference and then use the initials. Example: Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI.

TIP #29. Italicize sounds and foreign words.

TIP #30. Be careful with dialogue tags to make sure the action tag refers to the person saying the dialogue. Two characters should never speak in same paragraph.

TIP #31. Use more than one of the senses to describe a scene, not just sight.

TIP #32. Even though your manuscript is fiction, make sure your facts are accurate.

TIP #33. Each main character needs at least one internal goal and one external goal.

TIP #34. Each main character needs a long-term goal as well as short-term goals.

TIP #35. For romance, the hero and heroine need some type of relationship conflict as to why they can't be together.

TIP #36. By the end of the book, your main characters should come to some kind of epiphany.

TIP #37. Conflict is what drives your book and makes a reader keep turning pages.

TIP #38. Know all about your characters and their background, even if you don't include all of it in your book.The character's baggage is what drives them to make the decisions they do.

TIP #39. Remember that all characters have secrets.

TIP #40. Emotion is at the heart of a good book and you must clearly give your characters 
emotions and explain the reasons for those emotions.

TIP #41. Know exactly what is at stake for your character and what they're willing to do or not do if a situation arises. For example: Would your heroine really shoot a gun? Why or why not. You need to know what motives her to do one or the other. It will usually be something related to a past experience.

TIP #42. Increase the intensity of the character's situation as the plot thickens-whether by their reaction to the event or the severity of the situation.

TIP #43. Your antagonist needs strong goals and motivations. Explain them.

TIP #44. If you have a character that isn't particularly likeable, give him/her a strong, important goal so that the reader can sympathize.

TIP #45. As the author, keep dangers high on your list of goals. This includes physical danger, psychological danger, or emotional danger. Use a combination. Keep time of the essence for your characters.

TIP #46. Know your five W's for every scene you write.

TIP #47. Write each scene from the character's POV who has the most at stake to lose.

TIP #48. Write your query in the same voice as your book. For example: humor - funny. This lets the publisher/agent know you can write from that angle.

TIP #49. Come up with a tight blurb that defines each main character in one or two words that are pertinent to the book and uses the same voice as the book.

TIP #50. Start promoting before you've sold. Be prepared and ready for when it all hits.
Good luck with your writing. If there's a tip here that  you like or if you have a helpful writing tip let us know.  Please come back on Friday when Cindy will share an excerpt of  her book BRAVING THE BLAZE.


Jeff Turner said...

While I write non-fiction many of your points apply to that. One big one is making sure your facts are straight - afterall non-fiction is a set of facts right? One that you might not think applies is "every character has secrets". In non-ficiton there ARE things you shouldn't write about.......

Caroline Clemmons said...

Cindy, thanks for sharing your great tips. They're a mini-craft writing class. :)

Cindy A Christiansen said...

Thanks, Jeff. I'm glad some of the tips helped with your non-fiction writing as well.

Cindy A Christiansen said...

Glad you found the info helpful, Caroline. Happy writing!

George said...

Thank you Cindy.

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