Read Your Manuscript Out Loud

Nat Russo Basics, How-To, Process, Voice 32 Comments

“George, you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can’t say it.” – Harrison Ford to George Lucas. Harrison was saying that if George had taken the time to read Star Wars out loud, he would have discovered problems that reading it silently couldn’t reveal. I like his wording better, but let’s take a look at what we’ll find in our work if we take the time to use the spoken voice.

That vs. Which

Nat Russo Grammar, How-To, Misused Words, Writing 30 Comments

[DISCLAIMER: My grammar advice is trustworthy for American English. Not so much if you’re in the UK. Please keep that in mind.] Edited February 5, 2015 – Added reference to source of British usage rule. The words “That” and “Which” are two of the most confusing words writers come face-to-face with every day. Some of you are familiar with a grammar tip I share on Twitter: That/Which: ‘That’ should introduce a restrictive clause (necessary for meaning). ‘Which’ is for non-restrictive (parentheticals)” When limited to 150 characters, the whole “that vs. which” thing can seem somewhat cryptic. What the heck is a restrictive clause? What do I mean by “Parentheticals”? I think a couple of quick examples will make it easier …

My Facebook Page is up!

Nat Russo Facebook, How-To, Process, Publishing, Reference Books, Writing 2 Comments

It’s been said “if you build it, they will come.” Well, I decided to put that to the test!  If you’ve enjoyed the blog and would appreciate smaller-sized content that I don’t post here or on Twitter, I invite you to join me on my new Facebook author page: Nat Russo – Author. Please head on over and click the “Like” button for me. It will likely inspire me to continue producing quality content. But if nothing else it will give me a much-needed ego boost! 🙂 For some added incentive, I submit this picture of a skull on black…for no other reason than I like it…oh, and I write about people who play with dead things. What’s a little necromancy …

Anatomy Of A Love Scene: A Guest Post By Laura Oliva

Nat Russo Guest Posts, How-To, Writing 2 Comments

“Why should I be ashamed to describe what nature was not ashamed to create?” -Pietro Aretino   Have you ever read a love scene that just didn’t work?   What did you notice most about it?  Did it read like an electrician’s manual?  Did the characters suddenly morph into completely different people?  Was the prose stilted, or conversely, so flowery and over-the-top it made you snort?  Do you live in mortal fear of making these mistakes in your own writing?   Love scenes are scary to write.  There’s so much that can go wrong, a lot of people choose to bypass them altogether.  Well, I’m here to tell you: you can write a love scene.  Hell, with a little work, …

Using Twitter Effectively: Part 9 of 10 – Being Antisocial

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 2 Comments

If you’ve been following this series, then over the last 3 days you’ve discovered the evils of Auto-DMs, the tediousness of people who tweet their shopping lists, and the dark side of Auto-Tweets. Today I’d like to take us one step further and talk about antisocial behavior and how it can <ahem> harm your efforts to build a writer’s platform.

Using Twitter Effectively: Part 8 of 10 – Auto Tweets (The Bad)

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 2 Comments

In Part 4 of this 10-part series I covered the benefits of auto-tweeting, and I offered some links to automation tools that have helped me maintain a steady schedule of informational tweets. In today’s post I’d like to cover the dark side of auto-tweeting. This should be relatively short, as I think you’ll find most of it appeals to common sense.

Using Twitter Effectively: Part 7 of 10 – Tweeting The Minutiae of Your Life

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 4 Comments

Tweeting every little detail of your life is a great way to make your followers lose interest in you. “Ordering pizza lolz!” or “Need to scratch my foot” or just plain “lol!!!” with no further clarification. How many times have you seen tweets like these? My feed is loaded with them, and most of them have no context whatsoever.   Today, in part 6 of my 10-part series on Using Twitter Effectively we’ll cover the sort of things you probably shouldn’t share with the world. Let’s go!

Using Twitter Effectively: Part 6 of 10 – Auto DMs

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 5 Comments

During the course of the first 5 parts of this 10-part series on Using Twitter Effectively, I demonstrated some techniques that will add value to your Twitter experience and assist you in building a writer’s platform. Now it’s time to turn to the dark side. The next 5 parts of the series will cover the things you should not do…or at least do in moderation. Many of the behaviors and patterns I’ll cover will cause you to lose followers and see messages like “@PotentialAgent placed you on list Self-Promoting-Jerks07”. Let’s kick off the second half of this series talking about Direct Messages.

Using Twitter Effectively: Part 5 of 10 – Composing Effective Tweets

Nat Russo How-To, Twitter, Writing 5 Comments

In the last four parts of this ten part series we covered a lot of ground on what Twitter is (and is not), some of the mechanics of how to use it, and how to build a meaningful following. But we’ve yet to cover one of the most important topics:   How do I write effective Tweets? Heck, how do I write a Tweet at all?     It’s not as hard it may sound at first. Today, in Part 5 of this series, I’ll offer some advice on how you can take over the world in 140 characters or less.