My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Archive for the category “Style”

“It’s Not You, It’s Me.” When You and Your Manuscript Need to Have a Talk

This is such a refreshingly honest piece. Sometimes our skills are simply not up to par with the story we’ve envisioned.  There is no shame in admitting that.

Don’t get discouraged.

Work on other things. Read. Learn. Write. Grow. One day your ability will exceed your vision and that perfect piece will flow uninhibited.

Don’t give up.

“It’s Not You, It’s Me.” When You and Your Manuscript Need to Have a Talk.

Exclude Us From Novels

Print this and post it at your workstation as a self-editing guide.

A list of what shouldn’t be included in novels, including words and common fiction elements. Use this list to safely exclude unnecessary elements from fiction.

via Exclude Us From Novels.

Mastering Scene Transitions

Good scene transitions are vital for making your novel move forward without dragging and to keep you, the author, from giving too much importance to every

via Mastering Scene Transitions.

Novel Boot Camp – Lecture #13: Handling Romance

Excellent advice.

Ellen Brock


Full disclosure: I am not much of a romance lover. In fact, I rarely enjoy romance even as a side plot. This is mostly because it is typically done in a way that is so shallow, predictable, and annoying that I want to throw the book (or throw up). That said, I have edited a few romances over the years that I truly enjoyed because they had fantastically lovable characters and conflicts that were different and unique.

So here is my best advice on writing a romance that even I (and my fellow non-romance-lovers) will enjoy.

Don’t be Disgusting

No, not that kind of disgusting… I’m talking about the really disgusting part of romance – the mushy-gushy lovey-dovey, OMG I love you sooooooo much kind of disgusting.

You don’t want your readers’ eyes to roll back in their heads with exasperation, nor do you want them gagging into their e-readers…

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Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft

If you want to write a novel or other fiction, learn the craft. Don’t fake it. You can learn how to write, learn the rules and the elements of fiction.

via Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft.

Novel Boot Camp – Lecture #1: The First Page Promise

Ellen Brock


So here we are at our very first lecture for Novel Boot Camp! It only makes sense to start at the beginning – the very beginning – the first page of your novel.

If you follow my blog, then you know that I put a lot of stock in first pages. I provide free first page critiques every week in my blog series First Page Friday. I’ve probably written more about first pages and first chapters than anything else. And for a very good reason!

If your first page sucks, you’ve got nothing. Harsh? Maybe. But writing is a tough business. And because I’m an editor and love analogies, I’m going to compare it to another harsh business: the movie business.

Your Submission Package (An Analogy)

Most aspiring writers think of their first page as the setup, the part of the novel that just gets things going, the calm…

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Novel Boot Camp – Lecture #3: How to Avoid Info Dumping

Ellen Brock


Info dumping is a problem for many writers. Sometimes it’s lazy writing. Sometimes the writer can’t come up with an alternative way to convey the information. And sometimes the writer doesn’t know what an info dump is at all.

For those who don’t know what an info dump is, it’s an extended form of telling (rather than showing). An info dump is a big chunk of information that is “dumped” in the reader’s lap all at once. These info dumps are usually done through narration but can be found in dialogue as well.

Sample Info Dump:

Jessica was her best friend. They met in high school and spent every day together. On the day they met, they were at dance class, which they both thought was kind of dumb, but had attended on a whim. Jessica stood right next to her and they laughed together about how goofy the boys…

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On Making Sure Your Characters Aren’t MIS-motivated by Love and Hate

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

flames It’s so interesting how both love and hate can be symbolized by a blazing fire….

Today I want to start of series of posts on the forces that motivate characters, and I’d like to start with some reflections on topics that are often overdone, overemphasized, made cliche, or glossed over because they are such basic human emotions: love and hate.

I understand how cliche an author’s treatment of love and hatred can become in fiction. I understand it well enough that I feel like this post is a big risk. I worry that I can only give a cliche treatment of such a topic. So please bear with me. I think if we can cut through the cliche there’s a lot of consider.

The first thing that occurred to as a direction to take this post was the quote from BBC’s “Sherlock” that says:

Bitterness is a paralytic. Love is…

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It’s Not Cheating to Use Writing Tips and Tools

It’s not cheating to learn from other writers. Take advantage of the experience of writers and use their tips and writing techniques for your own stories.

via It’s Not Cheating to Use Writing Tips and Tools.

Review: Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction

Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction
Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction by Marcy Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short, sweet, and to the point. Marcy has provided lots to chew on in this practical guide to showing and telling. She breaks down the examples used to clearly point out opportunities for deeper POV and guides the reader/writer through revisions. Her ‘Take it to the Page’ section will be a great benefit to my writing and editing. I’ve already purchased a few more of Marcy’s titles; I like her teaching style.

This is a great addition to any writer’s reference library. I know I’ll be coming back to this one often.

View all my reviews

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