Common Sense and the Author

I have news to share this morning! As of last week, I am now the part-time personal assistant to Melissa Miller, CEO of Solstice Publishing. As part of my duties, I’ll be filling the role of EIC (Editor in Chief) for their newest line, Solstice Shadows. I’m stoked! Head over to the Solstice website, check out the submission requirements for the line, and start sending in those paranormal stories!

On to the topic for today!

There’s a lack of common sense in the world today, and it’s bleeding into our writing. To fight this, authors need to think about the words they put down on paper (virtual or otherwise) before they do. Sometimes, reading a section aloud helps. 

For example, if you’re sitting there talking with your friends around the living room, are you truly going to say their names each and every time you talk to them? 

“Sally, I love your hair!”

“Thanks, Jane. My new stylist down at La Grande Dame is Louis. He’s amazing!”

“I can tell, Sally! Is Louis at La Grande Dame taking new clients?”

“I don’t know, Jane. I can call La Grande Dame and see if Louis is taking new clients for you next week.”

Anyone else ready to throw something at my blog post yet? 

When you write, the best way (in my opinion) to breathe life to your characters is to use common sense and have them react, speak, like those around you. Readers are intelligent, no matter what age group you’re writing for. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to spell out things for them. They get it. They retain it. 

They’re going to understand  you.

“Sally, I love your hair! Who’s the new guy?”

“Thanks! Louis is a genius! So glad they hired him.”

“He’s down at La Grande Dame, right? Over on 5th and Main?”

“Yep. Give them a call, Jane. Not sure if he’s taking new clients, but I wouldn’t wait. The man’s going to have half of Georgetown wanting him by next week.”

That sounds more natural, more like me and my friends would talk. It’s giving out more information about who these women are. The flow is better, not stilted or formal.

It won’t make the reader want to throw their e-reader out a window.

I’ve read books that have done that. It’s frustrating, no matter how much it cost you. Even free does not make up for a book being poorly written. Engage your reader, draw them into your world, let them get to know your characters like they were old friends.

After all, what author doesn’t want to hear from someone that their characters stuck with them for decades?


3 thoughts on “Common Sense and the Author

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