What Is Passive Voice And How You Can Stop Using It – by Derek Haines…

If there’s something vague and it don’t sound good — who you gonna call? PASSIVE VOICE BUSTERS! The original post contains examples and explanations on why passive voice sucks the life out of good prose. Most importantly, how to fix it!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Just Publishing Advice:

What is passive voice and why should you avoid using it in your writing?

Whenever I edit or proofread a text or manuscript, one of the most common corrections I make is to turn passive and causative forms into active sentences.

It is almost always better to use the active voice instead of the passive voice because it clarifies who or what is performing the action of the verb on the object.

Using the active voice allows a writer to describe people, places, things and reasons in much more detail. A story or an article resonates better with a reader when they know exactly what, when, where, who, how and why.

By contrast, the passive is like scientific writing; quite cold and devoid of information or vivid detail.

But to avoid using passive forms, you first need to know how to recognise them, and then how to…

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FINAL COUNTDOWN: Yecheilyah’s 2nd Annual Poetry Contest Ends Soon! Enter TODAY

Tomorrow is the last day to enter Yecheilyah’s 2nd Annual Poetry contest! Here’s a direct link to the guidelines and fabulous prizes: https://thepbsblog.com/2018/05/09/yecheilyahs-2nd-annual-poetry-contest-2018-rules-guidelines-entrance-and-prizes/

The PBS Blog

It’s the final countdown people!

You have until midnight tomorrow (Tuesday, 7/31) to enter your poem into my 2nd Annual Poetry Contest.

The contest is heating up and we have some very talented poets out there!

…and some awesome prizes! We are giving away money, publishing, promotion, books and more! DO NOT miss out on this. There is NO entry fee to enter.


Submit a poem on self-love / self-care in some way, subscribe to the email list (you need to subscribe so you get updates on the contest) and then email your poem to: yecheilyah(at)yecheilyahysrayl(dot)com

Go Go Go!!

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How To Write Better Stories: Red Herrings and More Tension

How to Write Better Stories . . . 🙂

Dan Alatorre

head shot your humble host I’m using Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets to show examples of great storytelling that you can use in your writing.

The transition from chapter 11 to chapter 12 is a split scene really for drama, not necessity. End of 11: this must be where Dumbledore lives. Start of 12: they knock on the door. (You’re not supposed to do that. Time is supposed to pass or you’re supposed to go to a different scene, not just pick up where you left off.)

Again, I like those. What’s up with my editor anyway?

And again we are made to consider Harry’s possible expulsion so the stakes for his actions are always present.

Clues We Get From The Writer’s Style

From his importance, we don’t ever really get a lot of descriptions of Dumbledore, but when Harry goes into Dumbledore’s office, Rowling takes a paragraph to…

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5 Ways to Create Red Herrings in a Mystery Novel

Great ways to create and incorporate red herrings in your novel!

Global Mysteries

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Killer IdeasRed herrings play two important roles in a mystery novel. They heighten suspense and add greater challenge to a mystery puzzle by misleading the reader and/or the sleuth. A red herring is a false clue that a mystery writer uses to send readers and sleuths off in directions that do not lead to the apprehension of the real villain. Here are five strategies for creating red herrings:

1. Choose an innocent character and give him a motive that makes him a strong suspect in the murder of a victim. Near the climax of the novel, reveal something that proves the character’s innocence. Maybe the victim was blackmailing the red herring character—strong motive. However, the red herring was in the drunk tank the night of the murder.

2. Put an innocent character at the scene of the crime. Maybe he had come to drop something off for a friend who lives…

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7 Tips to Writing Battles: Let The Owies Begin!

Everybody was writing fightin’, but some cats prose were unexcitin’. Whoa-oh-oh-oh. Bah! 7 Tips to Writing Battles by Charles of Legends of Windemere! 🙂 #WriterWednesday

Legends of Windemere

Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury

One thing that Quest of the Brokenhearted did is push my limits on writing fight scenes.  Many people thinking writing an action scene is easy because you just have to put in ‘fighting stuff’.  This includes punches, kicks, soliloquies, gloating, guns, swords, and whatever you can consider as basic combat stuff.  If only it was really like this because a flat and lame action scene can really do some damage.  Imagine a great warrior who has battles that last no longer than a paragraph.  Really doesn’t make much sense unless his until purpose is to find a real battle, but that can get boring after awhile.  Even ‘One Punch Man’ (which has that plot) makes sure to put in exciting battles to keep the audience interested.  So, what are some things to consider to up your action game?

  1. Banter should come second to the actual…

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How to Protect Against Plagiarism If You Post Fiction Online

“One more time for the people in the back: PLAGIARISTS, YOU ARE THE WORST.” Yes, Sarah, yes they are. Thank you for writing this amazing post on how writers can protect themselves against plagiarism! 🙂

A Writer's Path

by Sarah Pesce

Let me start this off by saying plagiarists are the WORST.

Unfortunately, plagiarism is made easier than ever with self-publishing these days. If you post your work online – on fanfic forums, on Wattpad, on critique sites, on your own website, etc. – you run the risk of that work being stolen and put up for sale as an ebook, with someone else potentially making money off of your labour.

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Mom’s Mood

Music, Mother’s, and Thelonius Monk. Wow. This is a great read filled with introspection, longing, and wonderings. On a personal note, I don’t possess much Jeopardy-type knowledge about the composer, Erik Satie, but I do know that I love his Gymnopédie No.1 ever since the first time I heard it spilling from my oldest brother’s room when I was 16. Great post, Tony!


Me and Mom at Leake & Watts Children’s Home, Circa 1965

In 1972, after scouring our dresser drawers, plumbing the

spaces between the seat cushions of our family car, and
running our fingers through the living room carpet, my sister and I pooled our loose change and bought our parents Christmas presents.
Pop got an electric razor, and we got my mom an
album by Chicago. This was pretty good for an 11-year-old with a bunch of pennies. But I could have done better. Not for my pop – he still needs to shave – but for my mom, who would’ve liked a recording by Thelonious Monk.
Me and my mom weren’t real close. It wasn’t a matter of not loving her, just that being a “boy” – at least according to the pathologically old-school mentality that ruled in my house meant living in a world where the line…

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A Death by Skin Cancer? The Bob Marley Story

Repeating Islands

Dr Cleland Gooding MD., F.A.A.D., a physician with a specialty in Skin Diseases employed by the Bahamas Government, has penned this intriguing article about Bob Marley’s failed treatment for skin cancer, which eventually progressed to the brain cancer responsible for his death at 36. Here are excerpts, with a link to the original article below.

Bob Marley the charismatic beloved Jamaican singer, who introduced reggae infused with Rastafarian themes died from a cancerous brain Tumor on May 11, 1981 in Miami. Florida. He was only 36 years old.

It’s been 30 years since his death; and there have many rumours and speculation about the cause of death. Did he really die from a brain tumor? Or other nefarious causes? Like the CIA? Poison in his boots etc? Bob Marley’s medical records were never made public. However from several sources I managed to piece together the story of his illness and…

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LeVar Burton Reads…

LeVar Burton — yes, people, THE LEVAR BURTON — READS Rebecca Roanhorse’s short story (*Nebula Winner) “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience”. 🙂 #amlistening Also, vote for her Hugo nominated story as soon as possible! I’ll post the link as soon as I find it!

Rebecca Roanhorse

levarI have the distinct and mind-blowing honor of having LeVar Burton (yes, THE LeVar Burton) read my story story, “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience(TM)” on his podcast. This is a #lifegoal achieved. Even if you’ve read the story, what he does with it, how he brings it alive, is amazing. And there’s special effects and music and and, and… And go check it out for yourself.

Also a reminder that this story is nominated for a Hugo, and if you haven’t voted (voting ends July 31, 2018) pls consider it. Thanks!


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Are you a healthy author?

Exercise is a writer’s best friend. The work is often done in a sedentary position. I love writing and exercises such as H.I.I.T., Tabata, Pilates, Piloxing, Zumba Fitness, weight lifting, and even belly dance has kept me in shape physically and mentally. This is a great post, Deborah! 🙂


I’ve noticed quite a lot of posts on this topic this year, and I think the subject deserves plenty of attention.

Being an author is, for the most part, a sedentary occupation (not to mention solitary!) which can cause plenty of health issues.

I chose today to talk about this because I was prompted by the arrival of my new ‘healthy living’ toy.

This is a ‘spinal mobiliser’.

Now of course most of you know I’m pretty active – in fact, I’m still a sports professional as well as author – and this, in itself, can cause added problems. I only ride 2 horses a day these days, where it used to be up to 7, but I’m getting older, and over the years of doing such a risk sport (yes, even dressage horses dump their riders on the ground, as well as treading on them and knocking them around)…

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