The author S.A. Joo's Writing & Editing Advice & Tips

A YA writer, represented by Black Hawk Literary Agency. The book is titled BODY JUMPING. Soon to be released.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Twitter Writetip and EditTip #5

Hello. It's been a busy month on Twitter. Here are the selected writing tips I put on there. Thanks for visiting my blog, and please check out my editor website for my professional editing services. Remember. These tips come from a loving place.

If your MC’s doing things that defy the laws of physic or logic...give him a cape or something. Make me believe. Even in fantasy. #writetip
"Voice" has nothing to do with POV types. It has everything to do with words you use & how you put them together. Think, writers. #writetip
Don't put many subjects and action verbs in one sentence. That almost always ends up being a run-on sentence. Separate them. #writetip
One general advice. If is a public forum you're using to promote yourself or your books, don't be a douche. A word of mouth travels fast.
Authors. Facebook acct. can be viewed only by acct. holders & is more a personal forum. Plus, a blog/website looks more professional, IMHO.
It's ironic that writers who are firm in real life have the most "passive voice" in their writing. Don't pull back. Use your funk. #writetip
Use Read Aloud Apps to have the MS read to you. It's perfect for spotting missing words & checking for fluidity during final edit. #writetip
your/you're their/there its/it's necessity/necessary peak/peek staring/starring Come on, writers. Come on. Learn. #writetip #stabby
Subplots & supporting characters. They can't be one-dimensional page fillers. They must have merit & must relate to the main plot. #writetip
#amediting Just a note to YA writers. Check with real teens before using teen slang/lingo in your book. Make sure they're not from the 80s.
For me(editor), a synopsis is a clue. It tells me where you think your book is going. Your MS shows me where it went. Then I edit. #writetip
A query must introduce the protagonist, conflict, what's at stake, and what must be done. Synopsis? All of those with an ending. #writetip
I hate repeating. But I must. Again. PLEASE. For the love of everything literary, no fiction novels. It's like...female woman. REDUNDANT.
If your book has Romance element, don't make it "OMG, I have 2 guys. Which one do I do?" Add some real conflict, Okay? #writetip #amediting
Voice. Too much makes the book read like your memoir. Too little makes it read like a long, dry summary. Balance.
Writers. You can't put random sentences together and call it a paragraph. They need to relate. To a character/event/time. #writetip #stabby

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Voice in Fiction (Creative Writing)

Voice. We’re all familiar with this term. We’ve often heard agents and publishers describe a book by saying: “It had a great voice.” or “The voice was easy to relate to.” So it’s fair to say that the voice is one of the most important factor in fiction. But what is it exactly? Voice is a style of writing which conveys the narrator's attitude, personality, and character. Basically, it’s a persona of a writer.
One must ask. Does voice really matter if the plot is fantastic? My answer? Yes, because those two are not mutually exclusive. Let me explain. There are two types of fiction: character driven and plot driven. I’m aware they’re more complicated than that, but for the sake of this post, I’ll keep it simple. 
The voice (character) driven books make readers feel, hear, and empathize with the character in the most intimate way. Some readers can get so engrossed in the book and imagine themselves as the character. These books don’t necessarily offer the most thrilling, intertwined plot ever written, but it was the voice made it a good read. In these instances, the writing style or the voice will make or break the book. 
However, one could go over the edge with voice. This is when the writer injects too much of their own instead of making it the character’s. And in worse cases, all the characters end up having the similar voices. Remember. There’s a fine line one must not cross. Fiction isn’t about you. It’s fantasy full of realistic but fake characters. Sure, it’s important to make them feel real. Just don’t make them sound like you. All the time. In all of your books. 
Next. The plot driven books. This can be tricky. Writers could argue that their books are all about the great plot, and no other fluff was necessary. But is it great writing when there’s a lack of voice? Will readers continue to read if the story is told in such a boring way that all the characters appear flat and one-dimensional? 
I must admit that I’ve read tons of books which were badly written just to find out the ending. Of course, I got stabby about it afterward. The premise was fresh, the plot was tight, and the potential was clearly there. Yet, the writer had such a passive voice that the book came off as bland and boring. What a disappointment. What a missed opportunity.
The obvious conclusion. Voice is sacred in all fiction regardless of genre. It’s what makes the readers read beyond the jacket flap. So stop being so passive in your writing. Think and apply the five senses. Make your writing vividly active. Most importantly, be passionate, so others can be passionate about reading it. 

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Twitter Writetip and EditTip #4

This is my 4th collection of my Twitter writing and editing tips. Spaces are limited, so some are very short and blunt. And stabby… Just know that it comes from a good place (my wanting to help you and spread the good message). 

And you can't put a bunch of phrases together & call it a sentence. It's crazy. Subject-verb relation has to be there. #writetip #amediting
When two independent clauses are joined by a coordinating conjunction, use a comma to separate them. RUN ON SENTENCE HELL. #writetip #stabby
VOICE is EVERYTHING. Reading YA should make me feel like a 14 y/o girl. It should suck me into the world of shallow teen angst. #writetip
Hate to repeat my self but use ###,***,@@@ or anything for a scene break in your MS. Double double spacing is LUNACY! #writetip
Sanity returns. VOICE. Your MC must be proactive, not reactive. Give your MC a personality. They're not drones. SHOW ME THE VOICE. #writetip
Writers like to play with different POV, POV shifts, POV Type shifts. That's just it. You're playing. Keep that out of your books. #writetip
Writers. There's a limit to how much slangs and trendy terms you should use. Think long term. They might not make sense in 5 yrs. #writetip
Um....hello. How many times did I say to stop using LOL, ROFL, SRSLY in a book? Let alone in a dialogue? DELETE! #writetip
Vocabulary. You don't need a dictionary to read Hemingway. Sometimes, the simplest words can convey the most complex message. #writetip
Sometimes, the issue isn't the writing or the plot. It's the POV. Writers must learn about each POV types and use them correctly. #writetip
I appreciate writer's creativity to come up with maps & funky names in books. But taking notes just to remember who & where sucks. #writetip
Do not use UNDERLINE in the MS. Quote or italicize to emphasize or express words or thoughts. And certainly don't italicize the entire MS.O_@
Yes. There are many many many adverbs and adjectives. But you don't have to use them. Like all the time. In the same sentence. #writetip
Can one hiss angrily as he grimaced furiously, frowning causing his eyes to squint violently? Dunno. I'm no genius. Duh.
No need for fuc* sh** co** bit** Spell them out. That's what makes Adult Novels. Adult language. This isn't Disney books. Hello. #writetip
Readers get lost in Fantasy because the world in it is relatable and believable. Remember writers. Fantasy does not mean crazy. #writetip
Part 2. Soooo, leave some of your crazies out of your book. Even in fantasy, that is like **&*%%#@ crazy. Hello.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Click here  if you want to know about my professional editing services. Happy writing~

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Different Types of 3rd POV in Fiction

What point of view do writers use to narrate their stories? Some writers choose the First Person Point of View because they feel free to express the thoughts of the main character by injecting the voice of the character. It’s the most comfortable to write because it’s the most intimate point of view of all. But among newbie writers, the Third Person Point of View is exceedingly common. Why? Because it gives writers the freedom to go beyond what the MC can see from every angle. They think they’re playing it safe, but in actuality, they’re playing with fire.
First of all, they have to know that there are 3 types of Third Person Point of Views: 3rd Subjective (limited), 3rd Objective, and 3rd Omniscient. Beginners fail to distinguish between them and end up doing what’s known as “head-hopping.” The head-hopping occurs when a writer jumps into each character as if in 1st POV but while using “he” or “she.” So this is why I’ve decided to do a post on the different types of 3rd POV.
3rd Subjective (limited) POV is where the narrator can tell the entire story but by revealing the inner thoughts and feelings of one (main) character. The rest of the characters is shown only by their actions and dialogue. This is where the head-hopping can be prevalent. The writer must not go into the heads of the supportive characters.
3rd Objective POV is where the narrator doesn’t reveal the inner thoughts and feelings of any particular character. The readers are left to view the actions and dialogue of all characters. It’s almost like watching a movie. You know there is a main player, but the scene is from a distance and you’re not told of what’s in his head. 
3rd Omniscient POV is where the narrator becomes the god-like or the know-all story teller. Readers are privy to each and every character’s inner thoughts and feelings. The narrator can go inside of one character to another throughout the story. The downside of this is that the readers might feel too distant because there is no one character they can define themselves with.
So there it is. The answer you’ve been bugging me for. I could go into details by showing you examples, but that’s not for free. I’m a paid editor here. Thanks for the visit, and happy writing~

Monday, August 1, 2011

Share & Promote Your ebooks here!

I can't keep up with all of your requests, so I'd appreciate it if you post your link to your book here by putting it in the comment. I'll get to them in time....eventually. And I'll only "plug" the books I like and keep my mouth shut if I don't like them. For all the authors who visit this page, check out your fellow authors books. Some of them are very good. ^.^ Thanks!

*Please RT when I do plug this link on Twitter. After all, you're promoting your books.*

Update 8/11/11: Read :Ania Ahlborn's SEED, Chelsea Fine's SOPHIE & CARTER , Andrew Chistofferson's THE PEACE CORPSE , Dean Mayes's THE HAMBLEDOWN DREAM , Michelle Franklin's The Commander and the Den Assau Rautu: Book 1. My review? I like them. Some of these, I loved.