Tag Archives: fiction

What Exactly is Poor Writing?

Quoth The Wordsmith

What Exactly is Poor Writing?Any of you who have editing experience can back me up when I say that it is a very tiring process, especially when the piece you are reviewing is poorly written. And while the perceived quality of writing is subjective, there are a few key indicators that it isn’t just you, that the writing itself is the problem.

Poor writing doesn’t necessarily mean bad spelling and questionable grammar. It can refer to the structure and style as well. When reviewing your work, or that of others, be sure to pay attention to the following things to see if the piece just doesn’t mesh with your preferred style, or if it really does need to be reworked.

Beginnings. Whether it’s a blog post, a short story, or a paragraph of copy, every piece of writing needs to have an opening line at the very least, if not an entire paragraph…

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7 Lessons I Wish Someone Had Taught Me Before I Started Writing

Warning: a few bad words but good writing lessons.

Sacha Black

lessons learntWhen I first started writing, I was worse than a kid in a toy store. I wanted it ALL…NOW. I was desperate to be ‘good’ at writing. I didn’t want to just ‘be’ a writer, I wanted to Stephen King that shit.

I was deluded. Not because of my dream, but because I was unconsciously incompetent!

I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Which frankly, at that point, was less than fuck all. So I set about rampaging my way through everything that had even the faintest whiff of ‘writing tips’ attached to it.

The problem was, I got overwhelmed, saturated with conflicting advice and utterly bewildered as to which direction to go in. I didn’t know what to learn or how to learn it.

I realised there was no avoiding the fact it really does just take time to develop your writing muscle. However… along the way, I also picked up some pretty nifty tricks that…

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The Turner House & The Twelve Tribes of Hattie


I’m not sure what took me so long to read both The Turner House and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie but it made sense to read them together as companion pieces. Both of these books are so amazing that I don’t want it to seem as if they are interchangeable. While both examine African American life and feature large families living out The Great Migration, the writing in each is distinct. I could write so much about these books so examining both at once does not mean each is not each worthy of an individual post. And I don’t often say this, but both of these books would make great movies.

When I was young, my mother, who had a parent and grandparents who were part of The Great Migration, hung a museum poster of a picture from this time period in our living room. At the time I…

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Cynthia Bond’s “Ruby”

chronic bibliophilia

“They all kinds of crazy. Some folk drink theyselves to stupid. Others so empty, gluttony take they belly hostage. And some get so full up with hate, it like to crack they soul. Hell, ain’t nothing strange when Colored go crazy. Strange is when we don’t.”


Cynthia Bond’s “Ruby” is a brutally difficult novel to read. The misogyny is venomous, deadly. Women in general, and the title character in particular, are savagely used and abused in a way that made me wince and gasp. This barbaric cruelty was deeply ingrained in the ethos of the small Texas town in which it is set, with ties both subtle and overt to religious teachings. At the center of the story is a preacher (who is more demon than human), who at one point in his early sermons openly lays  his community’s plight on the shoulders of womankind.

“Otha watched her husband’s eyes go black…

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Writing Tip: Know Your Target Audience

Creative Talents Unleashed

Photo 10

Writing Tip: Know Your Target Audience

Everything we write has a target audience. Some writers are dedicated to a particular group of people, such as young adults, and others are focused on an audience with a particular interest, such as historical fiction. Audiences can be based on age, gender, race, religion, country, social class, interest and many other things. When we write, we should think about our target audience and what they would like to read.

For example, you wouldn’t include a graphic sex scene in a piece of fiction aimed at teenagers (leave that for a adult fiction!). You also don’t want to include explicit language. Equally, if you’re writing a poem about love, you main audience probably isn’t going to be middle-aged men (though I’m sure some of you really enjoy a good love sonnet if you’re perfectly honest). When you choose the language to include in…

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Goodreads: An introductory guide of authors

Into Another World

If you want to sell books, go where readers congregate. And that place is Goodreads. Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Eighteen million readers and authors have registered with the site since it began in 2007. An estimated 570 million books with 24 million reviews are on the site. With numbers like those, no author should be neglecting to connect and be on Goodreads.


The people on Goodreads tend to be serious readers. These are not the people interested in collecting free ebook downloads. These are readers, book buyers, reviewers and bloggers. These are readers who want to buy, talk about and review your book.

Signing Up

If you aren’t already a member, your first order of business is to sign up for a free account. It is as simple as entering your name and email address and creating a password. Once you are…

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9 Resources for Showing, Not Telling

Word Nerds

writing, show, don't tell, writer, novel, book, ebook

Show, don’t tell. How many times have you heard that? How often do we scour our work for signs of telling to eagerly correct the problem?

What exactly does it mean? Well, it’s the difference between:

Delilah felt excited.


Delilah’s eyes widened as she bounced on her toes. Her pounding heart thudded hard against her ribs and her pulse was deafening in her ears as a grin spread across her lips.

I’ve gathered some resources to help you show instead of tell! Some of these are absolute favorites of mine and I use them frequently as reference. Some also have links to purchase on Amazon.

1. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
I love, love, love this. It’s my go-to guide when I need help conveying a character’s emotion. It includes 75 different emotions your characters might feel. The beauty of…

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