Book seers

For writers, the question is never resolved, is it? Do you plot or do you start filling pages until a project is done? Which is the better approach?
Obviously there is no right answer.
But, here’s another installment in the debate. See if any of the suggestions helps you through one of your projects.

To Pants or To Plot, That is the Question. Or is it? | writingwenches

Commas, etc.

In my work, I deal with several writers who speak — and write in —  multiple languages. And that pesky comma shows up all over the place. But for the publications I work for — all intended for US audiences — I default to US grammar and punctuation rules. Here are a few reminders.

TED-Ed Blog» Blog Archive » Be a better writer in 15 minutes: 4 TED-Ed lessons on grammar and word choice

Read and read aloud

No matter how many times you hear it in your head, your work sounds different when you hear the sound of your words.
One of my writing groups focuses almost exclusively on the sounds of our efforts. When we read, we hear the too-long sentences, the oft-repeated words, the misplaced modifiers and more.
Reading out loud is the top tip on this list, but it’s not the only good one.

20 Simple Tips That Will Dramatically Improve Your Writing |

Everyone needs an editor

If you are done with your book, it’s time for an editor. Whether you publish traditionally or independently, you’ll want someone with fresh eyes to take a close look at your work.
One thing you’ll want is someone who respects your voice, but who can still find problems you may have missed.
Here are some tips for meeting your next best friend.

How to Find an Independent Editor to Review Your Work – Writer’s Circle

You pick the verb

When I finished my master’s thesis and showed it to my advisor, the first thing he did was mention that my opening sentence was in passive voice. I told him I knew it. I said I started the sentence with the piece I wanted to emphasize.
I’ve encouraged journalists to avoid passive constructions by telling them to make it clear who’s to blame. “Council members voted to …” versus “An ordinance was passed … .” (And, yes, I know that’s a sentence fragment.)
Be a concious writer. Use your verbs wisely.
Here’s a longer discussion of passive and active voice.

This Itch of Writing: What is passive voice, and why are you told to avoid it