Category Archives: advice about writing

Using Commas with As, Since and While

This is actually very easy, but people often get it wrong. Most people whack in a comma at the end of all opening clauses that contain a verb. In Australia, at least, this is not the right way to go … Continue reading

Posted in advice about writing, advice for indie publishers, advice for writers, advice on commas, Australian manuscript appraisers, commas, Danielle De Valera, editing, editors, fiction editing, good editors, Patrick de Valera, Since and While | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conflict in Novels

Every good novel needs conflict, something that prevents its hero from achieving his or her aim. Superman wants a safe world, Lex Luthor wants to take it over and doesn’t care who he kills to do it. Girl wants boy, … Continue reading

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Finding an expert you can trust

If you’re an indie writer, these days you’re often dealing with people you’ve never met and probably never will – cover designers, interior designers, manuscript assessors, editors. I have never met the woman did the cover and the interior for … Continue reading

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Collateral Damage as Amazon Applies the Thumbscrews to Reviews

Have you spent more than $50 on Amazon in your lifetime? (I think it’s in your lifetime.) They’re now instigating this rule where they won’t let you post a review, even though you’ve bought the book, unless you have spent … Continue reading

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Commas – inside or outside quotes?

In my work as a manuscript evaluator and developmental editor, it’s clear to me that writers are still having a lot of trouble with commas. One of the instances that always seems to cause confusion is the one where sometimes, … Continue reading

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The proper use of italics

The proper use of italics can be a vexed question for writers, especially when they’re starting out. We’re all familiar with the usage for a word needing emphasis, e.g. “That film was awful.” But there are many other instances where … Continue reading

Posted in advice about writing, advice for writers, Australian manuscript appraisers, Danielle De Valera, editing, fiction editing, indie publishing, manuscript appraisers | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Thumbs Down Publishers List

What indie writer trying to juggle the demands (and costs) of cover design, ebook design, print book design, and possibly a full time job as well, hasn’t been tempted to toss the lot to one of those publishers who promise … Continue reading

Posted in advice about writing, advice for writers, Australian manuscript appraisers, Danielle De Valera, editing, editors, getting published, indie publishing, manuscript appraisers, manuscript assessments, manuscript assessors, Patrick de Valera, publishers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments