Category Archives: Writing Help

Women in Horror

Glenn Rolfe posts his recommendations for #WiHM

Glenn Rolfe

What does that mean to me?  It started with Anne Rice. I, like many, fell in love with the saga of Lestat, especially the 2nd and 3rd novels in the Vampire Chronicles, THE VAMPIRE LESTAT and QUEEN OF THE DAMNED.  Those two books pulled me under. At the time, I didn’t care whether it was written by a man or a woman, why should that matter?  I loved the story and the characters and that’s all that mattered.

And that’s all that should matter.

It took me a few years to really get into reading, but about 14 years ago, I dove in head first. Since then, I’ve discovered a plethora of amazing writers. Among my favorites are super-talented ladies like Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason (the Sisters of Slaughter), Damien Angelica Walters, Mercedes M. Yardley, Somer Canon, C.W. LeSart, and most recently, Amber Fallon.

Whether its the mesmerizing prose…

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Here is my interview with John T. M. Herres

My Interview With Fiona McVie!


Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.


Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Howdy! First, let me thank you for inviting me to be here!

My name’s John T. M. Herres and I’m 52… for now.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Sticky question. I’m an Air Force brat, so moved around quite a bit in my younger years. Born in California, been to more States than I can remember, and settled in Austin, Texas. Ended up living the better part of 38 years in that Central Texas region.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

Well, I did graduate High School, class of ’83. As for family… We tend to go our own ways, but communicate as often as possible. According to modern psychobabble, I come from a…

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Rob Lyons: My First Published Book

Fresh news from Rob Lyons:

Tales of horror

I just published my first novel Werewolf First Moon at smashwords

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Editing Blues #writing #amwriting #amediting #writerslife #writerwoes

I know these thoughts and feelings…

G.L. Cromarty


Love it or loathe it, it’s a necessary part of the writing process. But it does present some challenges.

Life is sweet…

“Oh, look at that sentence.

So beautiful and so perfect!

Who says you can’t write a sentence right the first time, go me!”

Punctuation woes…

“Why did I put that comma there?”

…deletes comma

“Nope, it was right before.”

…replaces comma

“Nope, it’s a semicolon!”

…replaces with a semicolon

It works better as two sentences. Ha!”

…splits into two sentences


…removes all punctuation and joins using an ‘and’

The duplicate…

“Why do I have three sentences in a row starting with ‘He’!”

Thesaurus woes…

“I don’t like that word…it feels clunky…I need a better word.”

…opens thesaurus

…replaces word


…opens thesaurus

…replaces word


…opens thesaurus

…replaces word


…puts original words back


When nothing works…

“OMG! This sentence is so bad! What…

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EDITING 101: 61 – Passive Voice versus Passive Verbs…

Are you using Passive voice in your writing? I know I struggle with it. Here, The Stroy Reading Ape offers some advice.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Passive Voice versus Passive Verbs

You may have heard of the great advice to get rid of the extra “to be” verbs as you self-edit. I concur with that task. Not only is it boring for the reader, but using passive verbs makes your writing weak. That’s why they’re termed…well…passive verbs.

However, contrary to what some people believe, every use of “was”—or another form of the verb “to be”—is not inherently using the passive voice. “Was” is the legitimate past tense of “to be” and in many cases is 100% correct. Unfortunately, some people who call themselves editors don’t recognize the difference and ruthlessly edit out every instance of “was” in a manuscript.

These are legitimate, correct uses of the past tense of “to be” (although in the last one, you could get rid of the “to be” helper verb and just write “waited”):

The sky was blue.

The man…

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OPEN SUBMISSION: The Sirens Call – Issue 35 ‘The Classics’ | #Horror #ClassicMonsters

Open Call for the October issue of Sirens Call. Check out the basic rules and get to submitting!

The Sirens Song

Sirens Call Publications is pleased to announce its next open call…

The Classics

eZine_Submission_ImageFor the October issue of The Sirens Call eZine, we’re looking for horror stories, prose, and poetry celebrating classic monster stereotypes.

Whether it’s vampires, swamp men, werewolves, witches, evil trolls, or… whatever, we want your spin on what these creatures are up to. What we do NOT want is Fan Fiction! No tales of Dracula or Frankenstein’s Monster; let’s leave the copyrighted names alone.

The only trope we’re NOT allowing: Zombies – NO EXCEPTIONS! We’re saving that genre for our year end issue.

Send us pieces that are creepy, sullen, emotive, freaky, humorous, elegant, bizarre; or just flat out scary as hell.

The basic rules:

  • write the piece well
  • make sure it involves a classic monster but not a classic name (for example, don’t send us a story about Dracula-we’re not looking for Fan-Fic here)
  • the work…

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(A Writer’s Corner) A Shiny Star is Not the End…

Glenn Rolfe with some encouraging advice on how to handle poor reviews!

Glenn Rolfe


Over the course of my relatively short writing career, I’ve noticed varying reactions from writers you and old,  new and well-worn, when it comes to that truly horrifying thing – the 1-Star Review  Duh-duh-daaaahh!!!

What you really should be concerned with just how many you have for any given piece of work. Trust me, we all get them. There is absolutely no way to please everyone. And you won’t. You’re not that special. I mean it. I’m not being a dick, I’m just sayin’,  everyone that writes and releases their books to the public will have a number of people that do not get it, do not like it, do not want it near anyone that they care about….seriously.

For newbies, this first low rating/bad review can be devastating. It doesn’t have t be. Just consider it another of those  “Welcome to the Club” moments. Honestly, this is the age…

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A Mini Thesaurus for Writers – Infographic…

An infographic one can save for a mini-Thesaurus.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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To Double or Not to Double- the last consonant of Verbs

Verb Usage

I always had troubles back in school when it came to these types of rules for word usage. As a result, I often get the incorrect spellings. Makes me glad they came up with spell checker in these instances.

We all know there are some drastic differences when it comes to American and British words and how they’re spelled and used, not to mention how they’re understood. Of course, it is the British belief (and arguably the truth) that theirs is the “proper” way.

On with today’s English lesson:

The word travel has come to exemplify a common spelling quandary: to double or not to double the final consonant of a verb before adding the ending that forms the past tense (–ed) or the ending that forms the present participle (–ing.) We see it done both ways—sometimes with the same word (travel, traveled, traveling; travel, travelled, travelling).

As readers, we accept these variations without even thinking about them.

But as writers, we need to know just when we should double that final consonant and when we should not. Because American practice differs slightly from British practice, there is no one answer. But there are well-established conventions.

In American writing, when you have a one-syllable verb that ends with a single vowel followed by a single consonant, and you want to add a regular inflectional ending that begins with a vowel, you double that final consonant before adding -ed or -ing: stop, stopped, stopping; flag, flagged, flagging.

This principle also holds for verbs of more than one syllable if the final syllable is stressed: permit, permitted, permitting; refer, referred, referring. If that syllable is not stressed, there is no doubling of the final consonant: gallop, galloped, galloping; travel, traveled, traveling.

British spelling conventions are similar. They deviate from American practices only when the verb ends with a single vowel followed by an l. In that case, no matter the stress pattern, the final l gets doubled. Thus British writing has repel, repelled, repelling (as would American writing, since the final syllable is stressed). But it also has travel, travelled, travelling and cancel, cancelled, cancelling, since in the context of British writing the verb’s final l, not its stress pattern, is the determining factor.

Verbs ending in other consonants have the same doubling patterns that they would have in American writing. An outlier on both sides of the Atlantic is the small group of verbs ending in -ic and one lonely -ac verb. They require an added k before inflectional endings in order to retain the appropriate “hard” sound of the letter c: panic, panicked, panicking; frolic, frolicked, frolicking; shellac, shellacked, shellacking.

Canadians, of course, are free to use either British or American spellings.


To Blog or Not to Blog

Some advice to heed:

Have We Had Help?


In this day and age, if you are a writer, one particular tool you definitely should make use of is a blog. In my case I have been regularly contributing to this blog since February 2010. A few days ago the number of my posts finally exceeded one thousand, something I never envisioned happening way back then.

Your readers want to know what makes you tick; maintaining a blog helps to ensure that. Despite what some may think we don’t spend every waking hour at our keyboards writing several thousand words each day. We’re not automatons. Like you we also lead normal lives.

A lot of writers still don’t make use of the humble blog claiming it is a waste of their valuable writing time. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a far better medium to advertise your work as well as engaging with your potential readers than…

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