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Expanding Our Vocabulary

May 15th, 2020

First, thanks to Yen Cabag for last week’s post on dialogue. I must apologise, as at the end of my previous blog I said we would be hearing from Ryan Pell. My mistake! But don’t worry; Ryan will be with you next week.

On the subject of dialogue, Coronavirus appears to be expanding our vocabulary and because of this the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) has taken the unprecedented step of updating the words they include outside their usual quarterly cycle. Whenever we read or listen to a news report we are bombarded with new vocabulary from epidemiology and medicine; new acronyms and words to express social imperatives and imposed isolation and distancing. It’s always been the case that great social change brings great linguistic change and it has never been truer than in the last few months. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Importance Of Walking Away

January 12th, 2018

We’ve all been there. The thrill of typing ‘The End,’ the realisation that it’s perfect. It’s time to show it to the world.

STOP! Step away from the Send button. Don’t print it yet. It may not be as ready as you think.

I know it’s hard. You’ve been working on this for weeks, months, maybe even years. You’re finally finished and can’t wait for the rewards: first place in the competition, centre spread in the magazine, the big book deal, the lavish reviews. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Writer Who Breeds …

September 21st, 2015

DrSeuss_BlogLooking back through some old copies of E-Zee Writer, I spotted an article about editing by Janie Slater – The Gentle Art Of Surgery. Now, I know editing isn’t everyone’s favourite subject, but don’t go falling asleep just yet because … I love it. It’s like out in the garden, taking on a raggedy border full of weeds and dead stalks then, after a couple of hours graft, standing back, completely satisfied. It really makes a difference, and it’s never wasted time.

Course, I understand, most people don’t ‘get’ the editing thing. I’ve been having a running argument about it with one old friend for over a decade. She keeps a note book by the bed so that, if an idea pops into her mind at two in the morning, she can write it down (it drives her husband nuts.) But as far as she’s concerned, that’s it – job done. She never re-writes because: “What comes out at two in the morning is the truth.” To which I say: “That doesn’t mean it’s any good.” Read the rest of this entry »

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

June 12th, 2015

free_895142-blogThanks to Margaret for last Friday’s post – the point that she makes about letting your work ‘rest’ before sending it out to publishers is a really important one.

It’s amazing how many flaws you’ll spot when you come back to it after a break. You’re seeing it with a fresh pair of eyes (and probably more objectively). It’s not just about the plot and structure of your novel/short story but also whether your characters look and behave in a consistent way. It’s about the style – picking up on problems in grammar, spelling and punctuation – and making sure that what is clear to you is clear to your reader without over-explaining anything or patronising them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ten Top Tips for Proofreading and Editing

January 12th, 2015

First-Draft-blogOkay, here we are, just twelve days in and it feels like the new year was months ago. How are your resolutions getting on? Mine are … just about alive. I did two workouts last week, though I lapsed when it came to the chocolate. Writing came off best – I managed some time on fiction every day, writing or editing (research doesn’t count).

I’ve been working on a short story which, some of you may recall, came out of missing a competition deadline back in November. It’s called ‘The Little People,’ and I’m now at the ‘whittling’ stage – shaving out words, shifting, checking and tidying things up so that, hopefully, it’ll become a publishable manuscript.

So, as much for myself as anyone else, here’s some handy hints to spruce up your scribblings: Read the rest of this entry »

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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