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Saturday, April 30, 2016

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Alicia Dean @Alicia_Dean_ with Two Minute Writing Tips!

Good Morning Friends,

Today's guest, Alicia Dean is no stranger to our blog but today she returns to share with us her brand new book, Two Minute Writing Tips (compiled from her weekly blog post of the same name) and her other writing book, Find the Magic (How to Plot a Story in 10 Easy Steps). So without much further ado....here's Alicia!

In today’s busy world—and writers are far busier than the average human being—there is little time for lengthy, detailed, intensive writing courses and writing manuals. 

Knowing how rare and fleeting a writer’s time is, Alicia Dean posts a weekly ‘Tuesday Two-Minute’ writing tip on her blog where she shares her knowledge, experience, and wisdom in tiny, bite-sized pieces so as not to squander more than 120-second increments of a writer’s precious time. 

Now, you can get those tips all in one convenient place. In simple, quick and easily digestible servings, this book shares loads of advice for writers. Tips such as… 

• Recognizing and eliminating filter words that distance your reader 
• Understanding Point of View – How to fix it and why 
• Writing Faster Drafts 
• Clearer, concise writing 
• Tips for more effective Tweeting 

No matter your level, from novice to experienced author, you will find something beneficial in Alicia’s handy, quick reminders. 

Excerpt: ‘Began’ and ‘Started to’ Make Your Writing Inactive

Phrases like 'began to' and 'started to' show up in manuscripts more frequently than you might expect. When you really think about it, though, they do not quite work for what you're trying to convey. Plus, they are weak and inactive.

·         He started running.
·         He began coughing.
·         He placed his hand on the door and began to open it.
·         Her legs started to tremble.
·         Her heart began to race.
·         She started to laugh.

When I see wording like this, I have to ask myself, these questions, and I'll admit, some strange images appear in my mind.

Did he start running but only take a few steps and pause mid-air? Did he hack out half a cough? How do you 'begin to open' a door? Did he turn the knob or pull on the door but not really open it? Did her legs give a few trembles, then go still? Did her heart speed up, then suddenly come to a halt? (OUCH!) Did she open her mouth, and laughter started to come out, then she sucked it back into her throat? 

See...kind of gives you some strange visuals. 

You can easily fix these to make them more active and stronger:
·         He started running. - He ran.
·         He began coughing. - He coughed.
·         He placed his hand on the door and began to open it. - He turned the knob. Or, He pulled the door halfway open.
·         Her legs started to tremble. Her legs trembled.
·         Her heart began to race. Her heart raced.
·         She started to laugh. She laughed.
See how simple it is? It's a good idea to go through your MS and check for phrases like this and revise them. That way, your writing is move active, more immediate. PLUS, you can give your characters the satisfaction of actually completing that cough, tremble, run, or laughter.

Two Minute Writing Tips can be purchased at Amazon and it's on $ale for a limited time at only .99¢ !!

Now here's a little about Alicia's other writing book....Find the Magic...

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does! 

Find the Magic can be purchased at Amazon also.

Award-winning author, Alicia Dean, began writing stories as a child. At age 11, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who shared the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. She is a freelance editor in addition to being an editor for The Wild Rose Press.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching (and rewatching) her favorite televisions shows like The Walking Dead, Dexter, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, Vampire Diaries, and The Originals. Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Find Alicia here:

 *** Sign up for our Novel Notes Newsletter, a multi-author newsletter where we give away a $25 gift card each month: https://www.facebook.com/NovelNotesAuthors

her website: AliciaDean.com, or feel free to drop her a line at: AliciaMDean@aol.com

Well friends, I hope you enjoyed today's spotlight. 

Remember, once you've written a book and had it published, you'll have to promote it! Need help? Check out the book, Simple Promotional Tools for Authors which I wrote with my friend Penny Carlton and is available on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords

ALSO if you're interested in learning how to write, don't forget I'm hosting a beginning writers' workshop at the Silver Spur guest ranch in Bandera, TX July 8th - 10th and I'd LOVE to see you there!

Until next time...take care and God Bless.


Alicia Dean said...

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today!

Susan Coryell said...

I check these tips every week and use many of them for improving my own writing. Thanks, Alicia, for sharing your extensive editing/writing knowledge!

Darcy Flynn said...

I also love your tips, Alicia and find them very helpful to my writing! Hope there's a paperback someday! *hint-hint*

Maureen said...

Great tips! I check them every week on Alicia's blog- they're so helpful!

Anonymous said...

Great tips Alicia, thank you. I try to pop by each week if I can and have found them really useful.��

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you so much, ladies. Actually, Darcy. I do plan a print book before long. Believe me, you'll be notified when it's available. :)

M.J. Schiller, Romance Author said...

I, too, find Alicia's tips helpful. She even throws in marketing tips sometimes. Even things that I've been taught before, it benefits me to be reminded of them. I definitely try not to miss her posts.

Taylor Anne said...

I love reading these tips. And yes, I think they have helped my writing. Guess I will see how well I listen and learn when I send my next manuscript to my editor... Thanks Alicia!

Tony-Paul de Vissage said...

Good points, Alicia.

Two I find in novels a great deal are"he turned" and "He reached for." Most of the time when someone changes direction or goes anywhere, they "turn" and generally reaching for something involves doing another actin also. So instead of having someone "turn and walk away" why not simply have them "walk away?" Instead of reaching for someone's hand and clasping it, why can't they simply "clasp someone's hand?"

Toni V.S. said...

You brought up two points I cured myself from doing...

Alicia Dean said...

Thanks, M.J. Actually, one reason I started doing this was because I needed to remind myself of many of these tips. :)

Ha, Taylor Anne, I think, as your editor, I can say you learn pretty well! You've come a long way since that first submission you sent me. :) Looking forward to your next one!

Yes, Tony-Paul, so true. Our writing can be much tighter and cleaner without extraneous words. Thanks for stopping by and sharing those helpful tips!

Good for you, Toni. It seems to me like as soon as I cure one issue in my writing, at least a couple more pop up. I'm forever learning. :) Thanks for stopping by!

Leah St. James said...

I read your Two Minute Tips every week and really love the clear examples and simple way of explaining. I have my copy of the new book, too!

Alicia Dean said...

Aw, thanks, Leah! I appreciate the support and kind words!

Kara O'Neal said...

Gosh, these are great tips! Thanks! I learn something new every time you post these Two Minute Tips.

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you, Kara! I appreciate you stopping by, and the kind words. :)

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Thank YOU Alicia for being my guest. Sorry I'm so late replying....out of town today.

Thank you ALL for stopping by!
Good luck and God's blessings.

nora snowdon said...

hey Alicia. yup short bite sized writing tips are so much more useful for us short of attention span authors. longer ones and I wander off for tea. sigh. I'm pretty sure I used to be able to concentrate for more than five minutes, once upon a time...

marilyn leach said...

Thanks Alicia. I appreciate your expertise. Cheers

Alicia Dean said...

Ha, Nora, I agree! :) I think that our attention span has shrunk because our minds are filled with so many stories and other things. Thanks for stopping by!

You're welcome, Marilyn...thank you!

Diane Burton said...

Love those tips, Alicia.