Interview with Fiction Author Jeff Kozlowski

This is the first of many interviews that we plan to publish on Daily Writing Tips. Below you will find the questions that Gregg Donaldson, a contributing writer for the blog, asked to Mr. Jeff Kozlowski, a fiction author and English teacher for college preparatory students with learning disabilities. Donaldson: Tell me about your latest … Read more

Jane Austen Did Not Write Epics

A recent film on a romantic episode in the life of 18th century novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817) has called forth a lot of commentary on the web. Here’s the blurb that prompted this article: Becoming Jane: Author Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway) eventually became famous for writing epic novels like Pride and Prejudice and Sense and … Read more

Kickstart Your Writing with Nanowrimo

If you find your writing suffering lately–perhaps due to the shifting weather and gray skies–Nanowrimo may be just what you need. Founded nine years ago, the yearly “write a novel in a month” event will have more than 100,000 participants from across the globe trying to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That’s … Read more

Becoming Your Characters

“It sounds like you,” said my friend, the playwright, when I asked him about the script I had given him. Coming from a successful writer, it wasn’t a compliment. If all the characters in your novel sound like you, maybe you should forget about the novel and write an autobiographical monologue instead. You’ll find, if … Read more

One Size Does Not Fit All

Creating a piece of writing can be compared to building a house. Both activities involve practical and aesthetic considerations. A builder needs to know what is to be built and who will be using it. A writer must have a clear purpose and an intended audience. A builder who specializes in building houses probably would … Read more

Novelist, Read The Bible!

Whatever your religious affiliation or views, if you wish to enrich your writing in English, it’s in your interest to familiarize yourself with the language of the 1611 translation known as the Authorized Version (AV) or King James Bible. More recent translations are preferable for purposes of textual criticism, but for the lover of English, … Read more

Lying in State: Changing Perceptions Change Language

Ladybird Johnson will lie in repose in Austin… This business of “lying in repose” is a fairly new phenomenon in American speech. The custom of exposing the dead body of an important person in a ceremonial manner before burial has been around for a very long time. The English expression for describing it has too. … Read more

Point of View: Following the Rules

I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final installment in J.K. Rowling’s series. I adored it, but as with any popular media, some people were less than pleased with the way the story played out. One of the complaints that I take issue with is this: a fair number of readers … Read more

Dealing with “he said” and “she said”

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I once had a high school English teacher who encouraged her students to use as many synonyms for “said” as possible, for example: “he gasped,” “she grumbled,” and “they snorted.” Maybe she was just trying to get us to stretch our vocabularies.

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Dialogue Dos and Don’ts

In the post Show, Don’t Tell, I mentioned dialogue as one of the ways you can “show” your reader what’s happening in a scene. Effective dialogue is an essential part of both fiction and creative nonfiction writing.

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Don’t Overload the Bridge

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Every good writer is burning to say something, and fiction writers are no exception. Though their job is to tell a story well, they often have a message they want to get across too.

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Show, Don’t Tell

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Anyone who’s ever written a short story or taken a freshman composition course has heard the words “show, don’t tell.”

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