Three Things Thursday

from Brenda Bensch

Keep your platform visible, suggests Chuck Sambuchino, author of Create Your Writer Platform (available at Writer’s Digest Books):

Now that you’ve contacted an editor, an agent, a publicist, fans, or wherever you are in this crazy world of working to get published and READ, you need to do a few more “chores”: create, and keep an active website; check your email (and other contact spots like Twitter, etc.) briefly, but DAILY; make your contact info easy to find, but difficult for spammers (i.e., spell out your email address, etc.); even if you have an agent and/or a publicist, list YOUR information too so people can contact you when time is short or they have questions that can’t wait.
from Cheryl Van Eck
Today I want to talk about the dreaded “passive voice.”

We all know it’s evil. And yet we all do it. Why?

It’s because we have trouble knowing when a sentence is passive and when it’s not. Here’s a simple rule:

If you can insert the words “by zombies” after the verb, it’s passive.

Easy, right? Let’s look at an example:

“She was attacked by zombies.”

Bor-ing! This should be intense, terrifying, but…it’s boring. So to fix it, we try to add one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad adverbs.

“She was attacked viciously by zombies.”

But guess what? It’s still a bad sentence. Now try this:

“Zombies attacked her.”

You can see the blood and guts all over! When you get rid of the passive voice, you stop sounding like a textbook and start sounding like a writer. The passive voice forces the reader to process the words, and an active voice lets the words paint a picture.  

Now it’s time for you to throw out all your passive voice sentences. Add “by zombies” to the end of all your sentences, and leave us a comment of the funniest one you find!

from Carol

What is your favorite book for kids or teens?

Why?

What about the novel you’re writing?

Does it have any of the whys you answered for your fave read?

How can you improve your novel–looking at that favorite book–so that your book takes on some of those qualities.

I am not suggesting you steal anything from that pubbed inspiration. But, is it style? Voice? Subject matter? The way you feel when you read it?

How can you add those bits to make your novel a favorite for others?

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