Indie Writers: Make MS Word Work for You Instead of Against You

QA Productions

A Quick Primer for Fiction Writers in using Microsoft Word in the Digital Age

It always saddens me a little when a writer sends me an overly formatted Word doc to turn into an ebook or print-on-demand. It’s not that I have to clean it up–I can strip and flip the messiest files in less than an hour. What bugs me is how much thought and effort the writer wasted on utterly useless manuscript styling.

Example of a Word doc that has been overstyled. Example of a Word doc that has been overstyled.

The majority of writers I work with use Word. The vast majority have no idea how to use Word for their own benefit. I understand. I was a fiction writer for over two decades and even though I have been using computers and a variety of word processing programs since the late ’80s, it wasn’t until I started learning book production that I figured out how…

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This coming Tuesday will be Canada's 147 birthday. In that time we've seen many changes, some good, some not so much. July 1, 1917: The 50th anniversary of Confederation. The Parliament buildings, under construction, are dedicated to the Fathers of Confederation and to the courage of Canadians who fought in Europe during the First World …


Welcome to the WRITING PROCESS BLOG TOUR. Last week my guest was Sylvie Grayson. We learned about how careers and experiences in her past led her down the road to living her dream of becoming an author. This week, Sylvie passed the torch on to Helena Korin, a member of our local RWA chapter. Please …

Jilly: Crafting the Perfect One-Liner. Help!

Eight Ladies Writing

Crafting the Perfect One-LinerCan you tell from a one-line description whether you want to read a book or not?

This week I’ve been working on my query letter, and especially the single sentence near the beginning that sums up my story. I could have written another 10k-15k of new words in the time I’ve been sweating over this sentence, and I’m still not happy with it.

On Thursday, I was cross-eyed from wrestling with The Sentence when

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An important milestone in my life happened this past week. My DH and I shared our thirtieth wedding anniversary. We've had our share of ups and downs but through it all, our love for each other held strong. If there's one piece of advice I could share with young couples it would be, don't give …


Today I'm hosting a good friend of mine as she shares her writing process with you, Sylvie Grayson. I hope you'll give her a warm welcome, 🙂 My name is Sylvie Grayson, and I was so pleased to be invited to take part in the Romance Writing Process Blog Tour to talk about how I …

4 Reasons to Keep Going When Editing Gets Tough

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

1148655_vintage_fountain_pen_3Today my mind is on editing again, because I’m still editing my second edition of the Herezoth trilogy. And as much as some days I REALLY feel the itch to be writing again and feel that the autumn can’t get here fast enough, editing is cool, even if it’s tough. It’s worth doing, and it’s worth doing well.

It’s not all fun and games, but here are five reasons to persevere when editing makes you want to pull your hair out:


The most enjoyable, but in a lot of ways, the most challenging part of writing is discovering your story. If you’re editing, that’s DONE. You might cut some things. You might rearrange some things. But generally, once you’ve gotten your draft down and you move on to editing, your basic story is in place.

How reassuring is that? It’s a great relief. In a…

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Recreational Sex in Writing: Writer Responsibilities?

S.K. Nicholls


I sometimes wonder just how much responsibility to the world at large us writers have. I did a post recently concerning triggers and got much interesting feedback about that. A trigger can be anything, a taste, a touch, a scent, words read in a book. The general consensus seemed to be that it was the readers’ responsibility to watch for those things that might trigger an untoward response or memory.

As writers, we should write about whatever we want to. There should be no censorship. To rate books like movies seems ridiculous; G, PG, R, X. And who, or what organization, would govern that?

I recall a friend bringing a paperback book to junior high school.  It was Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar”. There was a passage in that book where she describes her own breast development and compares them to apricots and cantaloupes. We sat in the library and…

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Today was a good day. For some Friday 13 immediately brings visions of world catastrophes, witches, goblins, plight or afflictions. For me it brought family closeness, phone calls from old friends, and internet connections with new ones. It brought sunshine and strawberries. Blooming roses and pineapple plants. photo by ANTHONY AYIOMAMITIS, TWAN on National Geographic …


I was delighted to be invited to join the Romance Writing Process Blog Hop. A new friend of mine, Claire Gem, from the Yahoo group, Romance Critique Group asked if I'd be interested in participating and I jumped at the opportunity, my first time. 🙂 Claire has a book coming soon, Phantom Traces (about a …


In honour of the fallen mounties in Moncton, New Brunswick, His heart heavy at the news, he dropped the flag to half-mast before sending a prayer to a God that seemed not to hear, "Please, Lord, forgive him, for he know not what he has done." My own prayers are with the families of the …

Saturday 7th June – Programme of Events

A great opportunity to pick up advice from the pros

romance festival

Saturday 7th June is our professional development day for authors. There are several streams of activity happening on Saturday, with different activities happening on different forums.

Schedules for all streams can be found below.

Please note that all times are British Summer Time.

Stream one: Join us on Twitter

  • 2pm – YA #ScriptDoctor Hour
    Ask the editor about your manuscripts and get their tips
    Follow #ScriptDoctor to take part
    Emily Thomas (HotKey) & Anna Baggaley (Mira UK
  • 3pm – Digital #ScriptDoctor Hour
    Ask the editor about your manuscripts and get their tips
    Follow #ScriptDoctor to take part
    With Charlotte Ledger (HarperImpulse) & Lucy Gilmore  (Carina)
  • 4pm – Women’s fiction #ScriptDoctor
    Ask the editor about your manuscripts and get their tips
    Follow #ScriptDoctor to take part
    With Kimberley Young (HarperFiction) & Sally Williamson (MIRA)
  • 4pm – advice and tips for new authors
    Twitter Q&A with Orna Ross, author and founder of Alliance of Independent…

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I'm so excited, I've been asked to join a blog hop, my first one!! One of the ladies I've met online through the Yahoo group, Romance Critique Group was kind enough to invite me to take part in this great opportunity. My post will be HERE next week, June 9, so please come and check …

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