Thursday, May 7, 2009

Techniques For Better Writing

by Shelley M. DuPont

Good writing does not just happen. It takes experience which means it takes practice. Not only that, but it is important that you learn how to edit and revise your work along the way. Many people believe that it is not important to have every little jot and tittle in place, that it is only important the reader get the main idea of the content. I disagree. So,I've included a few basic techniques for editing that will help present your work more professionally.


Look at each paragraph carefully. Do you notice any particular word or phrase used in excess? Take a colored pen and circle it. How many do you see in the first paragraph? Typically, there will be the same amount in each paragraph throughout the page. Find a synonym to replace it, or if possible, omit it. Once you train your eye to this, it won't take long before you can apply this to a whole page in a matter of minutes.


It doesn't matter how long you've been writing, starting a sentence with the words "so, then, or when" is common. Go back through your work and cross out any of these words that occur at the beginning of each sentence. You will find that the next word usually will work fine and will not detract from the meaning of your sentence.


Read your content backwards from the bottom up. Yes, that's what I said. You will be amazed at the mistakes you will find compared to reading in a normal manner. This causes the eye to read purposefully. It can be time consuming depending upon the length, but it is worth it.

Writing is like a room. Everything has a place and everything has a purpose. Too much gives it a cluttered feel. By following these 3 basic techniques, you will find your writing looks more professional. It will also enable the reader to get the point without stumbling through the wordiness. Your confidence level will increase and so will your desire to keep writing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Writing Tools - The Dictionary is Your Friend

By Lindsay Price

"The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." - Mark Twain

Writers love words. Some might say that writers are obsessed with words, with finding the right words. In each and every project writers journey on a constant and continual quest for the perfect words to express their thoughts, their visions, their characters and their stories. This is not a futile quest. Words are all a writer has at their disposal to tell a story. Words give flesh and bone to a character. Words create images in the minds of an audience. Words make an audience feel. The right word, the perfect word has a lot of power. Finding the right word differentiates good writing from great. The perfect word helps a writer become specific, effective, and efficient.

Unless you are blessed with a vast computer data base of a vocabulary to draw from, the easiest and best place to search for the perfect word is the dictionary. This is more than finding the correct spelling of a word. When it comes to the perfect word, the dictionary is your best friend. And you shouldn't just have one dictionary. All dictionaries are not created equal. Every writer should have a variety of dictionaries on their desk and at their at their fingertips:

Start with a standard dictionary (such as the Concise Oxford English Dictionary), a Thesaurus, and a Rhyming dictionary. Sometimes it's easier to open a book than to search online. Perhaps you're working intently with pen and paper and don't want to get out of that rhythm to open your computer.

Having said that, books are finite and are not always up to date. They may only have room for one or two definitions. Access to online dictionaries such as will provide an infinite number of solutions to finding the perfect word.

You should have access to a dictionary with archaic definitions. Sometimes the meanings of words change over time. If you're writing a period piece, hunt around for a dictionary of the era. Not only do meanings change, but words appear and disappear depending on their usage.

What else? Specialized dictionaries that have lists of words for a specific profession (such as a medical or law dictionary), phrase dictionaries, slang dictionaries.

Further to to finding the right word for a certain project, use the dictionary as an exercise tool. Open up your dictionary to a random page, and point to any word. Go to the word of the day on an online dictionary. Write 50 words on that one word. Describe the word using the five senses. What character would have their word as part of their vocabulary?

A writer should use every available tool to take their writing to the next level. Use the dictionary to create a specific vocabulary of a character. Use the dictionary to find the exact word you want to describe a location, a behaviour, an emotion. Use the dictionary to find the perfect word.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just a few words to introduce ourselves...

MPBP is a family owned business that was established several generations ago to provide authors with creative, high quality, time-effective, and profitable solutions to their publishing ideas and needs, free from agents.

MPBP publishes books, both paperback and hard cover in all literary genres.We also publish professional journals for learned societies and trade associations as well as conference proceedings for annual meetings sponsored by a wide range of professional associations.
Small quantity publications are also available.

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  • Identification of target markets for your book
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  • Editing services – copy editing, content editing, proof reading.

  • Design assistance - custom cover design, book jacket and layout of interior pages.

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