Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Two Writing Tips (Bonus: Helpful References) by Joanie Bruce

If you dream of becoming an author, I hope you will find something helpful in this post. I remember how thirsty I was for information on writing techniques and tips when I first started writing. Being able to talk to an author and ask questions would have been amazing, but fortunately (for them) I knew no authors personally to pester. (lol) In this post I’d like to share two of the most important tips I’ve learned about writing as well as some of my most valuable resources.

1)Listen to and learn from your critics.

Hearing harsh words about your new “baby,” (your story) hurts … especially when you receive that first one-star review. Man, did it smart! But when I listened to the reasons for the low rating, I almost always learned something. If one reader doesn’t like it, then there are bound to be others who feel the same way. Granted, sometimes they say, “I just didn’t like it,” or “It wasn’t my thing,” and that teaches you nothing as a writer, but most critics have a reason they dislike the book. Even if you don’t agree with them, look long and hard at their suggestions before you ignore them. My writing improved little by little, and some of it was because I studied the bad reviews and tried to improve upon those weaknesses.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret … even the best-of-the-best writers have bad reviews, lots of them … even one-star reviews. So if you receive a bad review, consider yourself right up there with the big-time authors. You’ve arrived. 😊

2) Read your manuscript out loud before you send it to the publisher.

My husband loves to listen to my completed manuscript before I send the final draft to my publisher, and I almost always find typographical or grammatical errors while reading it to him. I think reading out loud works because while reading the story this way, you read slower than you do when you read silently. Try it. I think you will like it. 😊

And for the last tip of the day, I would like to share with you several links to my favorite writing resources. Every person has their own style and way of doing things, so I’m not saying all the references I recommend will suit everyone, but I hope you will find something in this post to help you eventually get your own book published.

Thank you for reading my post, and I hope you will feel free to message me if you have any type of questions about your writing.

Joanie's Recommended Resources:

Evoking emotions for your reader: The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass:

Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King:

Rivet your Readers with Deep POV by Jill Elizabeth Nelson: https:

The Emotional Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman:

The Emotional Wound Thesaurus:

The Positive Trait Thesaurus:

The Rural Setting Thesaurus:

The Urban Setting Thesaurus:

Conflict and Suspense by James Scott Bell:

Mystery Writers Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America:

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain:

Do you have any writing resources you can recommend?


As an avid reader, Joanie welcomed the transition from reading to writing and considers it a wonderful way to honor the Lord. She has written three published Christian suspense novels, a Christmas Trilogy, and a novelette. As an artist, Joanie recently illustrated a picture book which released in April.  She lives with her husband on their Black Angus cattle farm and enjoys writing and painting from her home in the country. She also enjoys playing with her grandson, various hobbies, and taking long walks on the farm.