Stephen King's writing advice

Kill your darlings

Before you get alarmed and click away from this post, when I say “kill your darlings” I don’t mean your family members – James and Buster are both alive and kicking. I’m talking about ruthlessly editing your work to ensure the most polished product is published.

Stephen King is the master and kill your darlings is his most famous craft advice. But what does it mean? Some folks advocate finding your favourite sentence in your manuscript and deleting it, but you don’t have to do that to prove you could if it was warranted.  Continue reading “Kill your darlings”

How many drafts should a novel have

How to know when your novel is done

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a book called Big Magic and it was a life changing read for me. I don’t typically re-read books, but with this one, I go back to it whenever I need a reminder to keep going with my writing. I previously shared other books that made me a better writer because I highly recommend devouring craft books if you want to be an author. One of my favourite quotes from Big Magic explains how to know when your novel is done.  Continue reading “How to know when your novel is done”

Professional editing before submitting your book

Professional editing before submitting your book

Landing a traditional publishing deal is challenging especially if you dream of working with a literary agent. Rejection and failure are par for the course and aspiring writers need to quickly develop a thick skin to reach their goals. There are distinct schools of thoughts regarding whether professional editing before submitting your book is required. Now that I’ve landed a deal for my debut adult contemporary novel, Twist of Fate, I thought I’d weigh in on the debate.   Continue reading “Professional editing before submitting your book”

Writing advice from Stephen King

Adverbs in genre fiction

Have you ever heard the acronym KISS, which stands for Keep It Simple Stupid? This holds true in writing and is one of the reasons you should avoid adverbs in genre fiction (not to mention the master Stephen King told you to in his cult classic, On Writing). When people use too many words, it’s because they don’t know what they’re trying to say – it’s the equivalent of “filling dead air” on the page. Continue reading “Adverbs in genre fiction”

Healthy Smoothie Bowl

Chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie bowl

I love peanut butter (check out my recipes for protein cookies, pancakes, oatmeal protein balls, chocolate chip protein balls, and even dog treats for proof). I also love bananas (check out my easy 2 ingredient cookies and healthy bakery style donuts for further evidence). I’m combining my love affairs in a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie bowl that is part of my healthy January detox. Chocolate as part of a detox? Yes, please. Deprivation doesn’t work, friends, and dark chocolate is good for you!   Continue reading “Chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie bowl”

How to get started on a goal

Don’t wait to start

It can tempting to put things off until tomorrow (or some other arbitrary date in the future that will probably never happen) when you have x, y or z. You’ll take more pictures with your family when you lose weight, you’ll write your book when inspiration strikes, you’ll eat better when you have more time, you’ll go on a date with your spouse when your kids grow up…The list of excuses is endless and my best advice is: don’t wait to start. For further reinforcement, you can read my past Motivation Monday post entitled “start now” (are you noticing a theme here?).

Continue reading “Don’t wait to start”

Weasel words

Avoiding weasel words

I had a professor in university who said “you know” like it was going out of style. We made a game out of counting how many times he’d use his weasel words during a one hour lecture just to pass the time (it remained the most interesting part of class all semester).

Weasel words are qualifiers that make statements (and writing) inconclusive and vague. Most of us use these terms and they are distracting from the overall message. If you pair them with passive voice, you have a recipe for disaster. Continue reading “Avoiding weasel words”

What do Himalayan salt lamps do

Benefits of Himalayan salt lamps

I’m always researching the latest health and wellness information. It’s a good thing James is patient to a fault because I’m always bringing home random things, creating new recipes, and reading the latest books while I regal him with the exciting ways we’ll improve our lives this week (and many of these ideas make their way into my books). The benefits of Himalayan salt lamps recently came to my attention. Of course, I added one to my Christmas list of dream gifts and my mom delivered.

Continue reading “Benefits of Himalayan salt lamps”