#IWSG Reading Pet Peeves


Crap, where did June and July go? It’s time for the August edition of Insecure Writers Support Group where we share our fears and successes.

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month’s co-hosts!
Co-Hosts:


IWSG Question: What are your pet peeves when reading / writing / editing?


After working with professional editors for seven novels, I’ve become a stickler for grammar and spelling. One word I see consistently misspelled (even in traditionally published novels) is BLOND.

My editor taught me that the only time to use the spelling BLONDE is describing a female as a noun. 

The sassy blonde approached me.

When using blond as an adjective (or as a noun for a blond man), THERE IS NO E!!!

The sassy, blond woman approached me.

I fell for the blond dude in a heartbeat.

Holy Leo DeCaprio, he’s hot! I fell for that blond in a heartbeat.


Speaking of pet peeves, do you ever read an early work of yours and cringe? Adverb abuse was rampant in my debut novel, romantic suspense With Good Behavior. So I edited the hell out of it and we re-launch it on 8/14/17.

If you have a moment to share my re-release the week of 8/14, signups are HERE. Thanks!

#IWSG: Tighten Your Writing


Time for 2015’s first Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a chance to share our hopes and fears, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.


Since starting as a writer eight years ago, I’ve grown. (I’ve gained about twenty pounds, but that’s for another post.) The kind of growth I’ll discuss today is writing skill development. While I still have so much to learn, one area I’ve improved is tighter writing.

Be gone, verbal diarrhea!

So I want to share this excellent post, 25 Ways to Tighten Your Writing by Betsy Mikel with YOU.

A few of those tips that resonate with me:

1) Stop the adverb abuse. (I was a big offender). Dump the adverbs and choose more descriptive verbs. Instead of “I moved slowly”, try “I trudged.”

2) Knock out the highfalutin’ vocabulary. When I first started writing, I wanted to impress everyone with my intelligence by using words like avocation, prescient, and anathema. Then I learned NOBODY CARES how smart I am. Readers just want a good story with compelling characters, and bigass words might interrupt the flow.

3) Use contractions, which help dialogue sound more realistic. I can’t believe how long I’d write without contractions.

The article provides a link to 200 Common Redundancies. My critique partner Nicki Elson and I felt overwhelmed by reading that list!

In 2015, may your writing be loose and your editing tight, writer friends.