Here it is, my offering to the education of authors: The Elements of Active Prose: Writing Tips to Make Your Prose Shine. I wrote this book to address the main issues I found in books submitted to the Awesome Indies for approval. They’re the kind of things you don’t find in books that have been properly line edited, and because a lot of indie authors, unfortunately, are not prepared to pay for line editing, I’ve written this to help rescue written English from its present massacre. Am I putting myself out of a job by sharing these tips? I don’t think so, because there’s a big leap between reading about or even understanding these things and being able to apply them. These tips, as I say in the book, aren’t ‘rules’ you can apply in all situations. They’ll help authors write better prose, but they’ll never replace a proper line edit by someone who not only knows about these things, but also knows how and when to apply them.
About the Book
Anyone studying writing will have heard the advice to ‘show, don’t tell,’ but what does that really mean? And how do you actually do it? Many books lay out the broad strokes of writing fiction—characters, plot, pacing, dialogue and so on—but they rarely get into the word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence explanations of how to write good prose. This book rectifies this imbalance. It examines how many writers use effective, striking words and phrases when constructing sentences, and offers pithy tips for making your prose as exciting and engaging as possible. It also includes great tips on how to self-edit, along with excellent advice on working with editors, applying ‘rules’ and dealing with criticism.
Drawing on her considerable experience as a line editor and as a reviewer for the Awesome Indies, the author explains the influence various word usages have on the reader’s experience and points out the traps to avoid if you want your writing to look professional.
What readers are saying.
“Tahlia Newland has written a concise and valuable guide for authors who want to make their prose dynamic and engaging.” Mary Maddox, BA Hons Creative Writing, and recipient of a Writer’s Grant and two Literary Awards from the Illinois Arts Council.
“If you only buy one writer’s reference book this year, this pithy, full-of-good-information book on how to jumpstart your prose should be it.” Charles Ray, journalist, writing tutor and reviewer.
“Elements is a really useful ‘go-to’ book for writers wanting to self-edit their early drafts, and for editors themselves to use as a checklist or quick reference. Concise, punchy and clearly written, it’s a goldmine for anyone working with words.” Kevin Berry, Editor.
“I can definitely recommend this book to authors who are swimming in the void without anything in the way of concrete advice on how to beef up prose. This book is concise, well written, and laid out with reference in mind. It’s easy to navigate as well, with clear examples of where many writers get hung up.” Brent Meske, Assistant Professor, English at JoongBu University
It’s only out on Kindle at the moment because I figure that all authors have one, but if you want it in a different format, please let me know.