A is for Adverb

Aisforadverb[Blog posts, too? Sure! Why not add another log to this writer’s fire.]

My friend Patty Wysong is starting up an A to Z meme and I thought, hey, great opportunity to look at least 26 of the (kazillion) things I’m trying to watch with my editorial eye. So, here’s my first contribution to the meme. These will be short and sweet.

A is for Adverb.

I will admit a fondness for these grammatical nuggets. They are candy to me, and like the real waist-growers and cavity-inducers, they need to be a “sometimes” food. When I first started writing, like many of you did, I adored them and used them in proliferation! I liked that movie very, very, very, very, very, very much! I love you so so so so so so so much, truly! And like our pals over at Schoolhouse Rock taught us, they’re good things to be enjoyed (in moderation). Hmm… that’s kind of punny, moderation, an adverb? *smiles*

Schoolhouse Rock: Lolly, Lolly, Lolly

Adverbs sneak into my writing like a creeping mold, and it means I have to be careful to pluck them out, or my critique partners will spill virtual red ink all over my perfectly (oops, there’s one now) good story.

This isn’t news to you. No, just like you know how you’re supposed to balance a diet, you know that your adverbs should be sparing and add a zest to your work. So I will stop there.

How do you find the adverbs in your manuscript?

Open up a search in your manuscript and enter “ly” in the search box. It’ll highlight about 90% of your MS (if you’re like me) and then you can go through them and delete most of them, rephrasing your sentence with a stronger active voice. This won’t catch all your adverbs (they don’t all end in -ly) but it’ll get a fair share of them.

Use this clever app which will also help find other weak writing wobbles. Hemingway

Happy writing (and editing)!

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A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

A busy writer is a happy writer?

It’s October, and that means there’s less than a month until NaNoWriMo. I didn’t think it’d appeal to me this time around, but an idea has grabbed me and I’m going to let it run around in November. I’m also editing the novel I’ve been working on, and I’m writing up a biography of my grandmother-in-law. It sounds like a lot, but it’s been helpful to have a very different set of things to work on throughout the week. It means everything gets done slower, but the juices keep flowing (creative and editorial) and that’s a good thing.

Do you have tricks to keep your creative juices fluid? Do you thrive in the planned chaos of many projects or are you loyal to one project at a time?

For NaNoWriMo, I’m prepping with Holly Lisle’s Professional Plot Outline Mini-Course, but she’s got a lot of great hints for NaNoWriMo here. PenandMuse also has a great set of links to help you get through NaNoWriMo.

Happy Writing!

Plot, Character/Story Arc, Edits

I’ve been trudging through the edits and one of the things I secretly feared was that there wasn’t enough going on. I couldn’t be sure there were enough sub-plots, and character changes happening until I sat down and wrote them out. I rooted around a few websites and blog posts looking for useful information and was able to identify a few of the plot types in my story but this quirky post was actually quite useful so I’m sharing it. My last WIP was definitely modeled on the Hero’s Journey but I knew this story wasn’t, but I couldn’t quite sort it out until I read this. So Veronica Sicoe, many thanks. You’ve saved me a bit of work and right now, that’s worth a lot.

This is the link to her post: The 3 Types of Character Arc– Change, Growth, and Fall– Veronica Sicoe

Now, onto setting. I really thought I’d done better at that, but it’s stark stark stark.

Editing Wellies on. Forward!


It’s been fun rediscovering my story. And thankfully, I still like this story. The last time I wrote an MS, I was about 70% done with it when I started in on the edits and it was dreadful. I think I wanted so badly for it work, but the main character (no matter how hard I tried) came across whiny and the plot was so dry. This story didn’t have as much research initially, but I had a clear idea of where it was headed. So far, it’s not disappointing me. There is much to be done for enrichment- bringing the bones to life. That tends to be my way. I get the rough ideas down and then I have to breathe into it, wake the characters and setting up.

I still have many miles to go, but I’ll try to update here once a week.

Bonus fun fact: that picture in the header is from one of the scenes in the book.


I’ve been sitting on my novel-in-progress for a good six months now (longer?). We moved house and other stuff pushed itself in the way (or I let it) and now here I am, no closer to having it agent-ready. But… I spied a lovely little contest where the prizes aren’t big, but the benefits are immense. My manuscript would be looked at by agents and writers already published in women’s fiction and they would supply detailed feedback. So, in these next few months I will be cramming in a cover-to-cover revision and submitting my MS in a few months. Wish me luck!