The Writer's Cookbook

Writing, productivity, publishing.

Author: Kristina Adams (Page 1 of 16)

Looking for a great editor? Here's 7 ways to find the one for you.

7 Signs of a Great Editor

In the two decades that I’ve been writing, I’ve worked with editors of fiction, newspapers, blogs, and even poetry. I’ve met some great editors, and some not-so-great editors. Sometimes the differences are subtle, sometimes they’re stark.

Many writers believe that because they can write, they can edit, too. However, writing and editing are two very different skills. The longer you stay in one mode, the more difficult it becomes to switch back to the other.

When writing, it’s important to get an objective point of view on your work. No matter how objective we think we are, at the end of the day, it’s a piece of writing that we’ve invested our time and maybe a little bit of our soul into, too. That’s why editing our own work is so difficult. And why getting a separate editor is so important.

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Does Exercise Really Affect Your Productivity Levels? I’m About to Find Out…

Everyone always harks on about how great exercise is.

It helps you sleep better, it improves your memory, it stops you from ageing as quickly, and it increases productivity.

Or so they say.

I’ve heard all these claims and always felt inclined to exercise more, but the truth is, I just don’t enjoy it.

Exercise is also one of the main things that triggers my asthma, so that just puts me off further.

I was fairly fit as a child, dancing and swimming regularly, but when I hit my teenage years and suffered from nasty period pains, I stopped going.

(Yes, I know it’s good for them, but when you’re a teenager and no painkillers help, are you going to choose exercise or bed?)

With the exception of a few brief stints of gym-going, I’ve been pretty unfit for the last ten years or so.

This wasn’t such a big deal when I was in my early twenties, but as I get older, I can feel my body starting to protest.

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EXCLUSIVE: Read the First Chapter of What Happens in London!

There’s less than a month to go until What Happens in London is published!

I’m so excited to share it with you!

Since I’m so excited, I shared the opening chapter with members of my fiction mailing list (you won’t have gotten it if you signed up for the free fiction-writing checklist, but you will have if you signed up for Liam’s short story) at the weekend.

If you missed out, never fear!

You can read the opening chapter of What Happens in London below!

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Discover how to write sarcasm.

How to Write Sarcasm

Ignore what they say—sarcasm isn’t the lowest form of wit. It’s also not the highest form of intelligence (sorry). But it is fun. It doesn’t always translate well into writing, though.

My characters use sarcasm A LOT. Why? Because they take after my friends and I. Some of us use it occasionally while others use it hourly.

And, since we’re millennials, most of our communication is done digitally. That means that understanding when the person is being sarcastic and when they’re being sincere is crucial. Some of this comes from being friends and having known each other a long time, but not always.

In the digital age emojis can make it easier to get the right tone across, but how do you write sarcasm that comes across as sarcasm and not you being an arse without using emojis?

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The Different Types of Fiction in a Way That Won’t Make Your Head Explode

When we think of fiction, we often think of novels. But just what is a novel?

Categorising fiction between short stories, novels, and novellas is about so much more than just the number of words. It’s also about genre, the story’s complexity, and character development.

Word counts vary depending on whom you ask, but the general consensus is that a novel is over 50,000 words, a short story under 20,000, and a novella anything in between.

However, this can be broken down further. And, to make matters complicated, some things overlap.

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How to Write About Grief

Death. It comes to us as much as it comes to our characters. With it being a ubiquitous part of life that everyone will experience at some point, it’s important to write about it sympathetically and realistically.

Throughout the course of What Happens in New York, Fayth deals with the loss of her mum and older sister. Even though it’s been almost six months since their deaths, she hasn’t dealt with it because she bottles up her emotions.

This was a topic I’d never written about in-depth before, and hadn’t experienced at the time. I had to do a lot of research into death, the stages of grief, and the different ways in which people cope with loss. It helped to ask people who had been through such things and were willing to share their stories. They also gave me some pointers to make Fayth’s grieving more realistic.

According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the five stages of grief are denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. How long it takes to go through these stages—and how long each stage lasts—varies from person to person.

Whether your reader has experienced the death of a loved one or not, they should still be able to empathise with your character after their loss. The deeper you can get into how your character feels about the loss, the more of a connection it will create.

Here are just a few ways you can do that.

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How to Structure a Blog Post

Writing effectively is as much an art as it is a science, and blog writing is no exception.

Having a blog can be a great way to connect with your audience and share your knowledge. It’s also a way to establish yourself as an expert in a particular area.

However, there are literally millions of blogs published everyday. How do you stand out in that? How do you ensure you have exactly what your audience is looking for so that they stay on your site and don’t go elsewhere?

When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. Truth be told, I’m still not sure that I do sometimes. But one thing I have learnt is that structure in a blog post is very important. Blog writing is a lot more like essay writing than it is writing fiction.

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How to get into the Writing Zone

Life is stressful. It’s even more stressful when you have to come home from a tough day at work then sit down and write. How do you shake off the day’s stresses and focus on your fiction? (Or nonfiction or poetry?) How do you give your characters the attention they deserve?

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Are Creative Writing Classes Worth it?

Ever considered taking a creative writing class but then wondered if it’s worth the time and money?

Ever thought that you could just learn everything you need about writing from a book?

Ever wondered just what creative writing classes teach anyway?

While I can’t speak for every writer or every creative writing class, I’ve studied my far share of writing. I’ve got a BA and an MA in creative writing, and regularly take part in classes at the local writers’ studio.

With writing, there’s always more to learn, and the best way to do this is by engaging with other writers.

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6 Writing Myths That Are Holding You Back

We’ve all dreamt of creating a world as well-respected and worshipped as J.K.Rowling’s Wizarding World. We’d be lying if we said that we didn’t. Unfortunately, this just isn’t possible for most of us. It’s sad, but true. While it’s important to aim big, it’s also important to be realistic in what we can achieve as writers. The truth is, no matter what path we choose, fewer and fewer writers each year make a living from what they write, whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, or even journalism.

Here are 6 writing myths and the realities behind them.

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