How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels

Punctuation rules for dialog? Here’s a primer provided by author S. Katherine Anthony that is solid and rife with helpful examples! Please, read on!

Writers After Dark

Writing dialogue is messy. Am I right?

It has so many rules, it makes me wish I’d gone with my original plan in life. I’d intended to become an all-in-one supermodel-psychologist/part-time medical researcher. What? I thought I wanted to save people, discover things, and change the world wearing a tiara and killer heels. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I just wanted to sit on my couch drinking coffee and writing all day while wearing no pants.

Plus, apparently my status as a supermodel got cut short (no pun intended) by my lack of height. And love of cake. Also, had I continued studying psychology, I’d have been forced to stop listening to the voices in my head . . . and that was SO not cool. The thing was . . . I didn’t know how to properly punctuate any of my internal…

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7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

Frustrated writing book blurbs? Join the club! S. Katherine Anthony gifts us with some solid advice and an illustrated example. Please, read on…

Writers After Dark

7-tips-to-write-book-blurbI’m here to help stop the madness. You know the one. The insanity that accompanies the “fun” of writing a book blurb. Attacking is more like it . . . I could stab it upside the head if it had one. But alas. Don’t let my bitterness get to you. In fact, use it to rise above me . . . with my own help, ironically. So let’s just get straight to it:

What on earth is a book blurb and why do you need one?

A book blurb is an important tool in convincing your readers to buy your book. Essentially, it’s a sales pitch. And you want it to be KILLER.

A reader will browse the shelves (or Kindle), and will find themselves intrigued by that amazing book cover of yours. Yay! You caught their attention. But you need more than that. You need to make…

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Infographic: How to stay productive when you’re tired

Kim Cox thoughtfully provides us author types with an infographic that suggests some practical strategies we can use to stay productive when fatigue sets in. Please, read on…

Kim's Author Support Blog


How to stay productive when you're tired

How to stay productive when you’re tired [Infographic] by the team at STL

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Weaving History into Contemporary Fiction—RRBC Tour Stop

Author Staci Troilo gifts us with a lucid explanation and practical examples about using research in your stories. Please, read on…

RRBC Springtime Book and Blog Party Hi! Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’sSpring Book & Block Party. (For all the stops and oodles of chances to win a myriad of prizes, check out all the RRBC posts throughout the month-long tour.)

This stop? Staci Troilo’s site currently hosted in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA.

Today I’m Giving Prizes to Two Lucky Winners:

First Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card
Second Prize: Medici Protectorate SWAG Pack

Medici Protectorate SWAGSWAG Pack Contains: 1 Pen, 1 Magnet, 1 Bookmark, & 1 Sticky Note Pad

Prizes awarded to US commenters only.


Today I want to talk about weaving history into contemporary stories. I like a good historical tale every once in a while, but I tend to read contemporary fiction a lot more often. That doesn’t mean history has to be abandoned, though.

One of my favorite things to do is research. I used to love writing research papers in school. Sure, I…

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Stop Using Crutch Words and Immediately Improve Your Creative Writing

Nicola Auckland gifts those of us who write with solid advice about weeding “crutch” words out of our writing. Please, read on…

Sometimes Stellar Storyteller

We all use them but what exactly are crutch words?

Crutch words slip into your writing when you’re back is turned. They are comfortable, familiar words your brain falls back on in everyday speech and which migrate, unbidden, to your creative writing.

Using crutch words is weakening your writing voice. Consciously or unconsciously, readers notice them. Be it a ‘lazy’ word or an oft repeated phrase, identifying and eliminating yours will improve your creative writing instantly.

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Creating Your Character – A Checklist

S.Katherine Anthony provides us with a useful checklist for the characters we create as authors. Please, read on…

Writers After Dark

creating character post1
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that characters are kind of big deals when it comes to fiction writing. They’re the heart of the story and the main reason our readers gift us with hours of their lives. Let’s face it: without characters, the reading experience wouldn’t really be electrifying. Like, at all. May as well hand them a book on mathematical physics, I say.

I mean, sure, some readers enjoy plot-driven stories, but almost every great story is about the people. Even a fantastic plot-driven book would feel empty without well-developed characters. Why? Because there’s nothing like connecting with a story on an emotional level. And having rich, layered characters in your book is the way you achieve that. How? By making them realistic. I know, I know. This goes without saying . . . but it’s best to add a reminder. Just in case.

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Listening To Your Manuscript

Terry Odell presents an interesting article about the aural factor that needs to be part of the editing process. Please, read on…

Kobo Writing Life

by Terry Odell

As authors, we want to provide the best possible experience for our readers. That means providing a well-edited book, and I don’t put anything out there that hasn’t been run past my critique partners, beta readers, and a professional editor. The more eyes on the manuscript, the better. But I’ve learned you need ears on the manuscript as well.

A couple years ago, I started putting my books out in audio, and as part of that process, I had to listen to the narrations to make sure there were no errors. That drove home the point that I should have read my work out loud before submitting it.

Skipping the ‘read it out loud’ editing pass means you’re going to miss things.

Heck, even when you do read it out loud, you can still miss things, because your eye sees what’s supposed to be on the page…

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