Monday, October 28, 2013

Ten Writing Tighteners Series: Echoes

Photo by Frank Kovalchek
 Photo by dave_mcmt
Children love to yell into canyons or across gymnasiums because their voices echo. Who can blame them? The effect is fun—words seem to multiply themselves.

However, when a reader picks up a story, they won't enjoy echoes as much as kids in a rocky gorge. When repetitive words or phrases are used in writing, the prose become redundant and cluttered. Authors who don't weed out these pests chance aggravating their readers. Who wants to be that writer?

Many, if not most, of you probably know what echoes are. However, to be honest, when I got my very first critique I had no idea what echoes were or why they're a problem. So, in case there are others like myself, below is a brief example.

Before:


 Photo by S.C. Asher

As I shut the front door behind the exiting potbellied sheriff, I leaned my forehead against the window next to it. I held up pretty well while the man stood in the front entry, looking uncomfortable. He told me my dad was missing at sea, presumed dead. Apparently, whoever was in charge of these things decided that they'd expended all the man hours and resources they could, in search of Dad and his three companions.


I didn’t know Dad’s companions, but I wondered if somewhere there was a similar local officer giving their families the bad news. Did those officers ask the same sort of questions of them? Questions like, "Do you have a family member you can call to come and stay with you? And how old are you?" 




After:


Photo by Katrina Sincek

As I shut the front door behind the exiting potbellied sheriff, I leaned my forehead against the window next to it. I held up pretty well while the man stood in the entry, looking uncomfortable. He told me my father was missing at sea, presumed dead. Apparently, whoever was in charge of these things decided they'd reached the end of the resources available to search for Dad and his three companions.


I didn’t know the other guys, but I wondered if somewhere a similar local officer was giving their families the bad news. Did those cops ask the same sort of questions of them? "Do you have a family member you can call to come and stay with you? And how old are you?" 


The only difference between the before and after is that the echoes have been silenced. The meaning of the passages hasn't change, nor did the feel. Remember, repeated words or phrases aren't always one sentence or paragraph apart. Sometimes there is a page or more between them.

Authors may have to be inventive to keep echoes at bay, especially when the culprits are nouns that might seem to be the only available options for certain objects, places, or people. In these cases, my suggestion is to get creative and stretch one's comfort zone. 

Tools I've come across to search out echoes are few, but perhaps they will help some authors.

Foremost, critique partners. Good CPs are worth their weight in gold. If you don't have any, get some. Mine help me cut back on the junk in my manuscripts all the time. If you do have them, be thankful. I'm always grateful for my awesome critique group, The Off Beats.

Another handy tool I ran across is a Word Counter & Text Analyzer on Sporkforge.com. This little baby has several functions. This is how it's described on their website:

This tool will analyze your copy, essay, or other text for word usage & frequency, as well as recurring sequences of words and other measures. Specifically, it will report the following:
  • Total word count.
  • List of all words used, and their number of occurrences, both total & at the beginning and ends of sentences.
  • Total estimated sentence count, as well as the min, average, and max sentence length.
  • Punctuation usage info.
  • List of recurring sequences of words.
  • List of consecutively repeating words.

One of my CPs turned me on to Wordle.net. The site gives this explanation of what it is:

This Wordle cloud represents
Cathering Scully's book White Hollow
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Please note: I am not affiliated with Sporkforge.com or Wordle.net, nor am I endorsing them. 

Do you have any websites or tools you use to eradicate echoes from your writing? Please share them in the comments. 

There are seven more Writing Tighteners coming in the weeks ahead. Next, we'll tackle Sentence Structure Stagnation. 

Ten Writing Tightener Series includes:

1. Filters 10/14/13
2. Dead-weight Words 10/21/13
3. Echoes 10/28/13
4. Sentence Structure Stagnation 11/4/13
5. Redundancy 11/11/13
6. Telling vs. Showing 11/18/13
7. Voice Not Character Appropriate 11/25/13
8. Brevity Blunders 12/09/13
9. Head Hopping 12/16/13
10. Underestimating the Reader 12/23/13


If this post has been helpful to you, or you feel it might help others, please share it on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter. I'm working to grow my readership, and would appreciate all the help I can get. Sign up to receive these posts by email (above/right side-column). I also invite you to join this blog as a member. Thank you for visiting.




Monday, October 21, 2013

Ten Writing Tighteners Series: Dead-weight Words

Photo by crabchick
My first novel’s rough-draft page count was 402. That’s a reasonable length for a novel, right? After all, many books gracing my shelves contain well over that number of pages. What I didn’t understand is page count isn’t what agents and editors are interested in when considering a manuscript. It’s all about word count (and quality writing, of course.)

Photo by Horia Varlan
If words had weight, my book would've been hospitalized for morbid obesity. It weighed in at a hefty 171 thousand words. The fact that I'd written a novel, and one of such impressive length, made me as happy as a bird with a french fry. Then I almost had a heart attack when my research told me I’d have to cut it by half in order to even get a passing glance from agents or editors.

HALF!

As Sr. Airman Rivera, my Air Force TI*, used to say, “You have GOT to be shittin’ me!”

How could I hack my word count without gutting my story?

I needed to tighten it. Among other qualities, tight writing consists of as few words as possible. Too many will bog down the prose, causing readers to labor unnecessarily to get to the point. Tightening can be as simple as dumping dead-weight words.

Dead-weight words are fillers writers add that aren’t missed when removed. Authors can use the find function on their word processor to locate and eradicate most of these words from their manuscripts.

Some Dead-weight Words:


About
I jotted down everything I could remember about my kidnappers, the place they held me, and their car.

I jotted down details of my kidnapping.

Adjectives (descriptive words)
The hairy little alien started wriggling around trying to free itself from his grasp.

The alien wriggled to free itself from his grasp. (see started below)

Adverbs (pesky –ly words)
The monster was definitely closing in.

The monster closed in.

All
Why couldn’t they all just get a freaking-clue?

Why couldn’t they get a freaking-clue? (see just below)

Almost
My cut-offs are so long they could almost be considered capris.

My cut-offs are so long they could be considered capris.(see could below)

Around
I turned around when the explosion shook the ground.

I turned when the explosion shook the ground.

 Photo by @Doug88888
Back
I went back out to saddle the hippo.

I went to saddle the hippo. (see out below)

Been
I’ve been waiting for almost a year to ride the tortoise.

I’ve waited for almost a year to ride the tortoise.

Began, Begin, Begun
The fifty-foot bunny was getting closer to me and my heart began to pound.

The fifty-foot bunny got closer and my heart pounded. (see was below)

Being
My own screams coincided with the snap and crunch of my bones being broken.

My own screams coincided with the snap and crunch of my breaking bones.(see own below)

Could
My cut-offs are so long they could almost be considered capris.

My cut-offs are long enough to be capris. (see almost above)

Down
He counted down, “Three, two, one!”

He counted, “Three, two, one!”

Photo by Melbourne Water
Even
There was even a platypus milk machine.

There was a platypus milk machine.
(For more showing, less telling: The platypus milk machine fascinated me.)






Going
I didn’t know how I was going to wrestle a unicorn into the horse trailer.

I didn’t know how to wrestle a unicorn into the horse trailer.

Got
We got back to the North Pole and everyone piled out of the sleigh.

At the North Pole, everyone piled out of the sleigh.

Had
I had on my Princess Leia outfit.

I wore my Princess Leia outfit. (see on below)

Have to
I have to keep telling myself I know what I saw.

I keep telling myself I know what I saw.

It
It took only a few more seconds to pass, and the dragon landed in the burned out crater.

A few more seconds passed and the dragon landed in the burned out crater. (see more below)

 Photo by Auntie P
Just
Why couldn’t they all just get a freaking-clue?

Why couldn’t they get a freaking-clue? (see all above)

Me
I looked around me.

I looked around.

More
A few more seconds passed and the dragon landed in the burned out crater.

A few seconds passed and the dragon landed in the burned out crater.

Off
I took myself off to the troll’s bridge.

I went to the troll’s bridge.

On
I had on my Princess Leia outfit.
I wore my Princess Leia outfit. (see had above)

Only
The water was only about five feet deep.

The water was five feet deep.

Out
I went back out to saddle the hippo.

I went to saddle the hippo. (see back above)

Over
I crossed over to the giant panda.

I crossed to the giant panda.

Own
My own screams coincided with the snap and crunch of my bones being broken.

My screams coincided with the snap and crunch of my breaking bones. (see being above)

Quite
It was quite difficult to slay the monster.

It was difficult to slay the monster.

Rather
I woke on the floor and thought it rather strange.

I woke on the floor and thought it strange.

Real/ly
There was a really big dude dressed as the Easter Bunny.

There was a giant dude dressed as the Easter Bunny. (See there below)




Right
The wildebeest looked me right in the eyes.

The wildebeest looked me in the eyes.

Seem
I can’t seem to get the damned gum out of my hair.

I can’t get the damned gum out of my hair.

So
The aliens came so swiftly and in such quick succession we couldn’t kill them fast enough.

The aliens came swiftly and in such quick succession couldn’t kill them fast enough. (see such below)
Photo by bredgur

Some
I had some green eggs and ham for breakfast.

I had green eggs and ham for breakfast.

Start/ed
The hairy little alien started wriggling around trying to free itself from his grasp.

The alien wriggled to free itself from his grasp. (see adjectives above)

Such
The aliens came so swiftly and in such quick succession we couldn’t kill them fast enough.

The aliens came so swiftly and in quick succession couldn’t kill them fast enough. (see so above)

That
I was determined that I’d do whatever I could to make it easier.

I was determined to do whatever I could to make it easier.

There
There was a really big dude dressed as the Easter Bunny.

A giant dude came dressed as the Easter Bunny. (See real/ly above)

Up
She stood up and yanked off her high heels.

She stood and yanked off her high heels.

Very
The ferret was very content.

The ferret was content.

Was (used before –ing words)
The fifty-foot bunny was getting closer to me and my heart began to pound.

The fifty-foot bunny got closer and my heart pounded. (see began above)

Were
Sally and I were standing under the mistletoe.

Sally and I stood under the mistletoe.

 Photo by wwarby

Wonder, Wondered
I wonder what to do with a deranged llama.

What can I do with a deranged llama?


This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you have your own dead-weight words, throw a bird a french fry and share them in the comments section. There are eight more installments in the Ten Writing Tighteners Series. The first was FILTERS. Next up is ECHOES. If you sign up to Follow By Email you'll automatically receive the post. 

I'm working to grow my readership. If you found this post helpful, please share it on Facebook or tweet about it. Also, I invite you to join this site and become a follower. (see above/right side column)

Ten Writing Tightener Series includes

1. Filters 10/14/13
2. Dead-weight Words 10/21/13
3. Echoes 10/28/13
4. Sentence Structure Stagnation 11/4/13
5. Redundancy 11/11/13
6. Telling vs. Showing 11/18/13
7. Voice Not Character Appropriate 11/25/13
8. Brevity Blunders 12/09/13
9. Head Hopping 12/16/13
10. Underestimating the Reader 12/23/13


* boot camp training instructor

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Jessa Russo's Blog Tour: Author Interview


Great news everyone! EVADE by Jessa Russo has finally been released. EVADE is the second book in the EVER Trilogy. I read EVER quite a while back and it's been so difficult waiting for the next in the series. I encourage you to grab your own copy; you won't regret it.

I am so happy to have Jessa here today for an interview. So, let's dive right in.


KH: Where is your favorite place to write?
Jessa: I don’t have a favorite place to write, or even a favorite place to read, if you can believe it. Although, I occasionally grab a pen and a stack of notebook paper and leave my house to write by hand. My mom made me do that the last time I had a bit of writer’s block going on, and somehow, the change of scenery actually worked. O_o
The words began to flow, my hand began to cramp, and I was a happy camper.

Photo by kahunapulej
KH: Finish this sentence: If I could live anywhere…
Jessa: I’d either live an hour or so outside of New Orleans, or in a tiny hut-like house on a remote island somewhere. I can’t tell you how badly I want to sell everything I own and move my family to the beach. I want to leave the chaos and struggle of the money-driven rat-race behind SO BADLY, focusing instead on teaching my daughter to live a calm and loving life, surrounded by nature—as I think God intended. I could homeschool her, and really, I can write anywhere . . . and hubs could run some sort of business fixing the cars for the locals or something, since he loves wrenching on engines. It sounds divine. (Too bad he doesn’t agree. Lol)  

KH: What inspired your latest WIP?
Jessa: ARK OF DREAMS is an edgy, new adult contemporary—a modern day spin on Noah’s Ark . . . and honestly, two things inspired it. I’d been wanting to do a redux, but wanted to stay away from fairytales as they’ve already been done—overdone, unfortunately—and I’d just finished DIVIDE (Beauty and the Beast redux), adding to that stack. I kept trying to think of new ways to spin biblical stories instead of retelling fairytales, but hadn’t come up with anything yet. So that “idea” was spinning around in my head for a while. When I woke up from a dream one night, with the vivid image of a girl riding a horse up and out of demolished rubble burned into my brain, the two concepts came together, and ARK was born. In my dream, it was like she rode up the side of a sink hole or something; I didn’t know exactly where she was, or even who she was, but the vision of that girl riding to freedom, escaping whatever crumbled walls had imprisoned her, the wind in her hair and the sky lit up behind her stuck with me—and I hope it forever will. Eventually, that girl became my Ana, the female lead in ARK OF DREAMS. I won’t give too much away, but there is a scene where Ana rides away from the wreckage of the ARK, and I hope readers find it as vivid and moving as I still picture it in my mind.

KH: Is there music or television on while you write?
Jessa: The only time I can listen to music while I write is if it’s Lindsey Sterling, but even those moments are few and far between. I really just need silence. Of course, in a house with a husband, two dogs, and a ten year old, silence isn’t really the background noise either, but you know what I mean.

KH: Outside of your own, what's your favorite book?
Jessa: Hmmm. I don’t think I have one. I have a lot of favorite series, and favorite authors, but I can’t think of any ONE favorite book. I LOVE anything by Jeaniene Frost or Richelle Mead, and you can consider me a lifelong, die hard fangirl.  I’m also a pretty huge fan of some of my friends’ books, like Krystal Wade’s Darkness Falls series, or Cait Greer’s EYRE HOUSE, or 18 THINGS by Jamie Ayres. OH! And earlier this year, I totally fangirled over WARM BODIES and EASY. Such fantastic books, IMO.


KH: As an author, are you a planner (outline) or a pantser (by the seat of)?
Jessa: Pantser. Painfully so. Every single time I try to plot, I write.

KH: Chocolate or vanilla?
Jessa: Chocolate.

KH: Phobias? Do your phobias ever work their way into your writing?
Jessa: I’m terrified of scorpions and June bugs. I also hate clowns but love the movie IT. *shrug* I don’t know if my phobias ever work their way into my writing, but my life definitely does.  Or has. My dad died when I was sixteen. It was sudden and completely unexpected at that point. He’d had a pacemaker put in (due to lifelong heart issues) and the doctor looked at my mom and dad and said, “I give you two at least 25 more years together.” He died two years later. When writing EVER, this life experience crept its way into the story. I’ve seen comments from reviewers who wondered why I wrote that scene, since it wasn’t really anything to do with driving the story forward or twisting the plot, and frankly, I have no answer. I guess that, like my own father’s death, shit just happens. Not everything is a plot twist.

KH: Which authors inspired you as a young adult?
Jessa: Christopher Pike. R.L. Stine. Sandra Brown. Dean Koontz. Stephen King.

KH: Best advice you’ve ever received about writing/publishing?
Jessa: Ignore reviews. <----Gah! So genius, right!?
Unfortunately, I ignore that advice, as sound as it is.   

KH: Looking back, what’s the one thing you wish you knew before starting your first novel?
Jessa: Ha! I wish I’d had SOME idea that you don’t finish a book and then get published. I honestly thought, “Sweet. I finished a book. Now I have to figure out how to send it to Random House.” GOOD GRIEF.

KH: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Jessa: I recently answered this question for Tawney at Twinning for Twins. I hope you don’t mind, but I will use the same response because I’m sticking with what I said.
Photo by rkempjr
Take your time. This isn’t a race. Don’t rush. Don’t make rushed decisions. Follow your gut. Take advice from people who know what they’re talking about, but know when to disregard those same people, because every journey to publication is different. WE are different. I may have decided to leave my Indie pub, but they might be the perfect fit for you. I may have chosen to self-pub some books and seek traditional pub for others, but that is MY path. You can do your own thing, too! And I’m still going to support you. Do your research, always, regardless of which path you take. Get a critique partner, or two, or three! But remember that ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ applies to writing, as well. Know when to heed critique and when to ignore it. Find your voice, then work hard at polishing that voice. It’s yours, it’s beautiful, but it is constantly growing and changing, as you are. Be respectful. ALWAYS. Even if your path is different than mine, we can disagree–even passionately–but be respectful. We’re all doing this for ourselves, sure, but we’re in this together. Readers, writers, agents, editors . . . we’re here because of a love for reading. It’s our common tie that binds. But most importantly, my first statement is the one I most adamantly want to get across: TAKE YOUR TIME. 
KH: Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?
Jessa: Yes! My husband and I met at a bar, and frankly, from the moment I realized he couldn’t keep his eyes off me, I knew. We went on our first date that very night, and were inseparable from that day forward. Eleven+ years later, and still going strong. So, maybe it wasn’t technically “love” yet, but it was definitely something.

KH: What is one characteristic about yourself that you love?
Jessa: Wow. Um . . .
Um . . .
Um . . .
Is this question supposed to be so difficult? What does that say about me?   

KH: Well, Jessa, we've "known" each other for almost a year now (online) and I can tell you one characteristic I have noticed about you; you are super encouraging to others, which is an amazing gift, so keep it up!

KH: Why did you decide to write the genre(s) that you do?
Jessa: Honestly, I think I’m just YA at heart. My critique partner, Tamara Mataya, says I’m the most YA person she knows. I take it as a compliment. J (Hey! Be sure to check out Tam’s erotic romance: THE BEST LAID PLANS . . . coming 11/12/13 from Swoon Romance! <---shameless CP plug!) Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything more emotional than those feelings of first love and first kisses, first relationships, first time having sex (even if it’s with someone new, but not your first time), first heartbreak, etc. I mean, I’m married now, happily, with a mortgage, a kiddo, dogs, bills, debt . . . I’ll never experience that pure innocence again. There’s just something so exciting about the coming of age years. I love YA. I love NA. I love anything that takes me back to those butterfly-feelings, childhood freedom, and the awkwardness of my youth. Because, as bumpy as the road may have been, my teen years were amazing. I love transporting back to those years in the stories I read and write. 

KH: I love learning new things about fellow authors. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your world with us, Jessa. I wish you all the luck with your EVADE and the EVER Trilogy.

Jessa Russo
About Jessa:
An unashamed super fan of all things paranormal romance, Jessa Russo reads, writes and breathes paranormal YA, rarely straying from her comfort zone. When not writing or reading--or raising the coolest kid ever--Jessa enjoys making memories with her amazingly supportive family and friends, while secretly planning her next trip to New Orleans. She will always call Southern California home, where she lives with her husband and daughter, and a Great Dane who thinks he's the same size as his cranky sister, the Chihuahua.





EVADE's Links:

Buy EVADE here:

EVER's Links: 

Jessa's Links:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ten Writing Tighteners Series: Filters

Photo by Kain Kalju

First, you should know, I originally wrote this as a guest poster on my good friend Lizzy Charles' blog a few months ago, so you may have read some of this, though it has been revised.


Photo by Wendi Dunlap
It's an author’s job to unite the audience with the character in such a way the person with a book in their hands isn’t reading a story about the character, instead they’re living through the character’s point of view. Readers crave this. Writers should help the audience see what the character sees, hear what they hear, and feel—physically and emotionally—what they feel. But they need to do it in such a way the reader experiences it with the character, not as though they are looking in from the other side of a window.

Most writers understand using all five senses to describe their character’s world and experiences makes their work more realistic. After all, readers live every day through their own senses.

It’s the difference between:


Photo by MugurM
Maggie ran from the witch’s flying monkeys one rainy night.

and

While rain sluiced into her eyes, Maggie stumbled, her legs pumping harder. The witch’s monkeys blocked the street lamp's glow as they closed in.

Both give the same information, but one brings the reader into Maggie’s experience. The first sentence tells, the second shows. Telling the reader what’s happening, but not showing them what the character is going through, leaves the reader separated from the action. Disconnected.

This problem can be solved by the removal of as many filter words from the manuscript as possible. What the heck are filter words? Filter words are the windows, reminding the reader they aren’t really in the action at that moment. Instead, they’re on the outside looking in.

Here are some examples from my book DEVASTATION. (As a note: DEVASTATION has undergone a change in tense, from past to present. For the purpose of this blog, I reverted these passages to past tense.)

 Photo by niseag03
Early version:
A flag whipped in the wind, at least, that’s the sound I heard. As quick as I could blink, a pair of dark wings, the same as the guy in the water had, appeared behind Dad’s back. They flapped a couple of times; I felt their wind brush past me. I felt my jaw go slack.

As it is now:
A flag whipped in the wind and a pair of dark wings, like the ones in my reflection, appeared behind Dad. As they flapped, their breeze stirred the dust and grass at my feet. 


Early Version:
Photo by Allie's.Dad
I decided to just go for it. So I whipped off my t-shirt, trying to not think about it, or I probably would’ve chickened out.

As it is now:
I went to my towel and, with shaky hands, I whipped off my t-shirt before I could chicken out. 


Early version:
I felt his finger trace the top edge of my cami on my back.

As it is now:
... his finger whispered along the upper edge of my top, across my back, leaving a trail of heat imprinted on my flesh. 


 Photo by Toms Bauń£is
Early version:
There below me, in the darkness of the cavern, by the light of a stream of fire spewing forth from its mouth, I saw the dragon.

As it is now:
Below in the darkness, a stream of fire spewing from its mouth, a dragon lumbered into the cavern.


Which examples bring the reader closer to the experience? By cutting heard, feltdecided, and saw, the reader can be part of the action. They’re right there with the character, in the moment.

How does a writer rid their manuscripts of filter words? All they must do is use their word processing program’s search or find function.

Search for these words:

decide, decided (when a character acts the reader will understand it was a decision to do so)
feel, felt
hear, heard
look, looked
realize, realized (SHOW a character realizes something by the experiences the character has, not by TELLING the reader the character realizes it.) 
see, saw
seem, seemed
sound, sounded
think, thought
wonder, wondered (In  my opinion, it would be better to simply show the thoughts of the character, or figure out another way to express this if not showing thoughts.)

Once the words are located, rewriting most sentences is fairly simple. A lot of times, the filter portion can just be deleted, other times it may require a little more creativity, but hey, that's what writers do. Right?

Before:
I heard footsteps rushing behind me, but I turned and saw no one there.

After:
Footsteps rushed behind me, but I turned and no one was there.

The audience knows the character heard the sound of footsteps simply because the footsteps are mentioned in the text. Similarly, readers will assume the character saw no one was there, it doesn't have to be spelled out for them. So, unless our character is like Helen Keller, these things will be understood.

However, if the footsteps were felt, instead of heard, then the writer can describe the manner in which that manifests. The same can be said for the character's lack of sight. It's the writer's job to lay out exactly how the character knew no one was there.

Example:
Vibrations thumped the soles of my feet; someone was following me. When I turned, hands groping the darkness, there was no one.
Can a writer tell rather than show without using filter words? Sure, but this blog post only deals with filter words. Removing the majority of filters will create tighter prose and a more enjoyable reader experience.

Of course, as with all rules, this one can and/or should be broken in certain circumstances. 

Do you have other filter words you search out and remove from your manuscripts? Share them in the comments and help your fellow writers.

Check back next week. We will take a closer look at Dead-weight Words as the Ten Writing Tighteners Series continues. If you sign up to follow by email, it will come to you automatically (look near the top right of the screen).

I'm working to grow my readership. If you found this post helpful or know others who might, please let your friends and followers know about it. You can share on Facebook or tweet about it. I would really appreciate it, and I would also love for you to join this blog as a follower. Thank you.


Ten Writing Tightener Series includes

1. Filters 10/14/13
2. Dead-weight Words 10/21/13
3. Echoes 10/28/13
4. Sentence Structure Stagnation 11/04/13
5. Redundancy 11/11/13
6. Telling vs. Showing 11/18/13
7. Voice Not Character Appropriate 11/25/13
8. Brevity Blunders 12/09/13
9. Head Hopping 12/16/13
10. Underestimating the Reader 12/23/13