Do you want to write dialog like a pro?

Of course, we all do.

Quote on editing by Don Roff

I’ve been a big fan of and save many of her articles. Here is one of my favorites.

Perspective: Self-Editing Your Dialogue and Characters

She explains how to avoid stilted dialog and shows us how to add dimension to enable the reader to relate to your characters.

Do you need to tweak character dialog?

If so, read Kristen tips to make your character come alive.

Read her article, then go back and read some of your WIP.

Do you see any stilted conversations? 

Do you have a tip for adding life to characters?








How to Make EVERY Page of Your Story Interesting

Kristen Lamb knocked it out of the park again with this post by Alex Limberg.

I mean, who doesn’t want to make every single page interesting?

I know I do!

Click, read and enjoy!

Source: How to Make EVERY Page of Your Story Interesting

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Publishing mistakes I made this year

First, let me say my mistakes were expensive.


Now that I’ve got that off my chest I’ll try to share something constructive.


  • I rushed the process.

Those who know me, stop snickering. I’ll admit patience is a problem for me sometimes. But after working on the same project over and over and over and over until I was sick of it and ready to put that baby to bed. I ended up submitting it three times due to errors found in the proof copy.

  • I didn’t understand the IngramSpark process before I started.

That turned out to be a very costly mistake. They use different templates than Createspace and well, everything is different. I’d read it was the easiest and cheapest self-publishing platform to use and it was.

So if you are looking for a step by step way to get a book self-published with little cost Createspace is the way to go.

This is something I didn’t realize. I know ignorance is no excuse, but it’s all I’ve got. Apparently many, not all but many reviewers want an advance copy of the book before it is released to the public. Go figure. In the link below Kristen Lamb explains how very important reviews are for writers, click and read. Review are our life blood.

  • When doing a book with illustrations or pictures use a heavier paper.

I’d read the suggestion somewhere by someone, don’t remember who or where but unfortunately didn’t. A mistake. The finished product, especially with the IngramSparks book would’ve looked much more polished.

  • I didn’t ask questions.

When in doubt, ask. That’s what the help line is for. The people at IngramSparks were very helpful. I should’ve called them sooner. Would’ve saved me $$$ and a lot of frustration.

  • Self-publishing a book without knowing anything about marketing.

And I still don’t have the vaguest idea how or where to start.

Did I learn anything? Yes.

  • I will probably make several mistakes but I do hope not the same ones.
  • Createspace is quicker, cheaper and easier than IngramSpark. However, I will continue to publish on both.
  • Ask questions!

How about y’all? Which platform do you use to self-publish? What has been your experience? I’d love to know.

The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers by Kristen Lamb

Self-Publishing and Living the LLC Dream by 

How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book? 4 Authors Share Their Numbers by  

Leave a comment and tell me what you think. Together we can learn the latest writing tips, and look for me @jeancogdell on Twitter and jean.cogdell on Facebook!

Have a safe and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Is it an error or a tale?

What’s the difference between telling and POV-error?

Ever read a book and felt like the author had you head-hopping? Before long keeping up with who’s doing what gives me a headache.


Now I understand why. Maybe hoping from one POV to another isn’t the problem with the story, maybe the book has a few POV-errors.

Marcy Kennedy posted a terrific explanation on Kristen Lamb’s Blog.

I have to be honest, this is something I didn’t understand. That is until reading this post.

When we make POV errors? It shatters the fictive dream. That is why getting really good at POV is vital. We must maintain the magic. Here’s the secret that a lot of writers don’t realize about POV.

Source: The Secret Ingredient for POV Magic—Capture Your Reader & Never Let Go

I hope you’ll read this and have an ah-ha moment too.

Let me know. Leave a comment and don’t forget to follow me me @jeancogdell on Twitter and jean.cogdell on Facebook!
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