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Spencer

Spencer Adams is a teacher, musician, writer, and author from Houston, Texas.

Writer’s Block – Keep the Writing Momentum

How to Avoid & Crush Writer's Block

How do you keep the writing momentum up? What are some ideas to help with writer's block - what to do when you just can't write! Writing Help!

How to Write a Song – Part Three – Imagery & Repetition

How do I create imagery in songwriting?

How to write a song - part three - imagery and repetition in songwriting.

Imagery in Songwriting

Songwriters use flowery or descriptive imagery in place of the actual things they describe.

Think Bob Seger in Like a Rock, or Poison’s Every Rose Has It’s… Continue reading

How to Write a Song – Part Two – Lyrics, Theme, Title

How do I write the best song lyrics?

How to write a song - part two - title, lyrics, and theme of songwriting.

When writing lyrics, the first rule is never to take yourself too seriously.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking all your lyrics must be deeply profound or meaningful to… Continue reading

How to Write a Song – Part One – Methods & Formula

The Nuts & Bolts of Songwriting

How to write a song - the basics of how to get started - Part One.

A song can be broken down into four constituent elements.

  1. Words – or Lyrics – which are sung along to a:
  2. Melody – which is the part of a tune you hum… Continue reading

What is a Synopsis and How Do I Write One?

How do I write a synopsis for my book?

How do I write a synopsis for my book?

At its most fundamental level, a synopsis answers the question:

What is this book about?

A synopsis should cover (in abbreviated form) all the major points of your book… Continue reading

Clichés – How Can You Use Them?

Clichés - Enemy? Or Friend?

How can a writer use cliches? Check out awesome ideas for how to make cliches your writing friend!

Every time I turn on the television or pick up a new book at the bookstore, I see yet another cliché or variation on a cliché, and I roll my eyes.

“Again?” I… Continue reading

Do You Need to Avoid Clichés?

How Cliché is Using Clichés in Your Writing?

Are you using too many cliches in your writing? Do you need to avoid cliches?

This one’s a tough nut to crack.

Avoiding cliches is like avoiding headaches. We’d all love to, but there’s no way we’ll ever completely avoid them.

With hundreds of cliches,… Continue reading

Story Pacing – Urgency – Hooking Readers

The First Fifty - Crucial - Pages of Your Book

Using urgency for your characters and putting them in peril to keep your readers engaged and turning the page of your book.

The first fifty pages of your book are crucial for setting the hook in your readers. Something has to happen. Something exciting, or intriguing, or you risk losing… Continue reading

What is the Best Point of View to Use in Fiction?

Benefits and Drawbacks of Each POV in Your MS

How to use different points of view in your novel manuscript for fiction.

As a beginning writer who chose to write my first book in first-person narrative, I discovered the drawbacks of such an approach the hard way.

Halfway through the book,… Continue reading

Adverbs – Part Three

The Dreaded LYs

Do I really have to avoid adverbs in my novel manuscript? Should my story have less adverbs? How to use adverbs in fiction without overdoing it.

When discussing adverbs in regards to writing fiction, the kind we’re usually talking about are the ly words – like clearly, dearly, and madly.

Many high-brow critics complain that the use of… Continue reading

Adverbs – Part Two

What Words Serve as Both Adjectives & Adverbs?

Adverb lessons - what do adverbs modify in writing? How do I use adverbs in writing my book novel manuscript? Is it okay to use adverbs in fiction?

Yes, some words can serve as both adjectives and adverbs.

  • He swung hard with a right hook.

Here, hard serves as an adverb which modifies the verb swung.

Adverbs – Part One

What is an Adverb?

 An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

Here’s some examples:

Adverbs in writing your story - what are adverbs? What do they modify? How to use them - or not - in your novel.

Adjective Form:

  • happy
  • clear
  • close
  • dear
  • perfect

Adverb Form:

  • happily
  • clearly
  • closely
  • dearly
  • perfectly

Of course,… Continue reading

World Building – Information Dumps in Your Story

Are You Overwhelming Your Readers?

World-building in science fiction novels and stories - are you giving readers too much information at a time?

Have you ever run across a prologue like this:


(usually in sci-fi books)

Captain Briggs took the helm and began shouting orders. “Ensign, optimize the traspositional filtration valves to ignite the gravitational destabilizers.”… Continue reading

Sentence Fragments – Stylistic Choice?

Should I Use Sentence Fragments?

Should I use sentence fragments in my book manuscript? Is this bad writing or style?
Sentence fragments.


Who cares? You? Me?

Anyone?

Depends.

Writing nonfiction?

Probably wouldn’t.

Work, that is.

Writing fiction?

Could be.

Depends.

On what?

Style.

With some authors?

Might work.

Others?

Not so much.

A… Continue reading

Rewriting and Revising Before You Edit

How Many Manuscript Drafts Should You Go Through?

How many times should you revise and rewrite your book? What should I do about editing my manuscript?

When working on a book of any kind, if you haven’t gone through a minimum of three drafts, you probably don’t have a finished product.

The first draft should be… Continue reading

Edit Your Book

Why You Should Edit Before You Send to An Editor

Editing your book - what's the point of editing before sending to an editor? Does a book editor charge extra if my work is bad?

Whether you’re publishing your book yourself, sending to an agent, or to a publisher follow these important tips.

When you’re getting ready to send your manuscript off, always… Continue reading

Active Versus Passive Voice

Engage Your Reader with Active Voice in Your Writing

How to write and revise your novel manuscript with active voice - passive examples.

While it has it’s uses – mostly in business writing – passive voice is considered weak and unappealing.

Technically speaking, voice is determined by the property of a transitive… Continue reading

How to Write a Book – Tips & Ideas

What's the Best Way to Write a Book?

What is the Best Way to Write a Book? Here's How to Write the Best Way for You

There are as many answers to that questions as there are authors. And while no answer is inherently better than another, a few examples should serve to set the aspiring… Continue reading

Fine Tuning Your Manuscript – Part Three

Engage Your Characters in Their Setting

How to make your characters engage and interact in their surroundings and create real a world setting in your book.

When you’re characters interact through dialogue, make them interact as well with their surroundings.

There should be a continual interplay of character and setting. Examine your dialogue sections to ensure they don’t… Continue reading

Fine Tuning Your Manuscript – Part Two

The Three S's - Scene, Setting, and Senses

How to know if your book novel manuscript is ready to be published or sent to an agent.

Stories don’t occur in a bubble.

They have to be set in a real and believable place. And what makes a scene or setting, is detail.

And what makes the… Continue reading