The End of a Chapter…Tricks-of-the-Trade; “What does it mean?”

This phrase is used so metaphorically these days, we writers almost lose our grasp of its significance in our world!

And yet it is our world, our very breath of life.

As an editor my opinion is where we end our chapters is more important than where we begin; even though, of course, that initial first sentence is crucial too. The end, however, is what keeps the pages turning. Without that, we are lost.

So, fellow writers, take that book you’re working on and flip back through the ending of your chapters. Does it compel you to go on, to turn the pages in excited anticipation?

Another exercise that is very useful to authors of all genres, fiction and nonfiction, is to grab a book, published or unpublished, that you wrote some time ago. Perhaps even your first book? Look at the Chapter endings and the beginnings as well. I think you will be amazed at how far you have come as a writer. If not, then this is something you need to address.

Just some advice on the Tricks-of-the-Trade that aren’t tricks at all … just good writing practices for all levels of writers.

I am available through my blog and comments area for any questions on the fundamentals of writing, editing, formatting, and publishing advice.

Deborah A. Bowman, Clasid Consultants Publishing






I love this soft watercolor that reveals my thoughts on editing…

I hope you always have smooth sailing working with your editor.



I know that we are dreaded like the plague

And good writers all have been known to beg

For leniency, or “for just this once”

“Let me please have my participles in a bunch…”

It’s not rocket science or even a hunch

There really are tried and true rules

That adhere to the ‘Elements of Style’ clues

The bible, so to speak, on traditional editing

There is a right way and a wrong way for betting

On your words, finding your way

To take your thoughts and what you say

And put it in verse for another day

Or lovely prose with descriptive highlights

To tickle someone’s fancy and take them to new heights

In appreciating a well-edited dialogue

So your momentous scene isn’t bogged

Down, dribbling with boring facts

Or inconsequential IT hacks

Who’d rather be staring at patterns in binary

Who cares about your words? So secondary

To your science, technical, and professional views

If you can’t spill the beans on the most recent news

In your industry and do it justice

Your words are just tracks of scuffs

Showing you’ve been there

But you just didn’t care

About the right ways to present

Your latest new plot or business event

When you need to get the word out

By better means than just a shout

Editors can make it delectable–

Extract the extraneous, enhance the essential

Let your words speak for themselves

Letting your editor proofread and clarify

With accuracy and consistency

What you need to in-print upon the masses

For all time, literate passes

Through the online super highway

To express your desires, put out the fires

On the subject matter that you share with your peers

Releasing your fears, making the syntax clear

Yeah, an editor can do all that…

–© 2016 by Deborah A Bowman.

books and journals

Editing from yesteryear…

Those Pesky Verbs! Do You Want to Risk the Challenge?

Ever feel overwhelmed by your manuscript? The hard work begins when the writing is done!

Editing is a fine art which allows a fresh pair of eyes to see what is really there. Your own eyes will play tricks on you. Illusions Abound!
Editing is a fine art which allows a fresh pair of eyes to see what is really there. Your own eyes will play tricks on you. Illusions Abound!

Pesky Verbs by Deborah A. Bowman

I’m so tired, my eyes are burning.

The story I wrote, however, is always yearning

For my attention and serious redemption.

How can I read it with total absorption

And miss the verb errors I didn’t even see?

So what about those “Pesky Verbs”?

After all, verbs are just words,

And I’ve written so many of those …

Lush descriptions and philosophical debates

In my character’s mind, but wait …

If it’s in my mind, has it already happened?

Or is it happening now, real-time reckoned?

But that’s in my psyche, not in my Protagonist.

Only with “verbs” can you defeat the Antagonist.

Does my character “see” or was it “seen” prior?

Was there a “fire” blazing or was someone “fired”?

Only the verbs move the story forward.

Without active verbs there would be boredom.

Those passive verbs don’t portray action, but what does that even mean?

I’m back to “did they see” or “was it seen”.

And what about “They saw it”?

When, why, how, how often, “the fire was lit”;

“They’re lighting the fire”. Now what do they “see”?

“Did they see”; “what someone saw”; “what was seen”?

First person present, third person past; is there even a second tense?

Of course there must be or there wouldn’t be a third tense.

Confusion, illusion reigns supreme

When all you want is for your story to be “seen”;

Now a past tense verb points to the future.

But I’m back to the premise, it’s just a word.

40,000 to 100,000 make a nice book,

But the printed inkspots have to work

With each other, in tandem, in consistency.

Think about the tense when you begin.

Try to stay true to it as much as you can.

If random thoughts are only in one character’s mind,

It’s like dialog. Yes? First person, present tense, okay fine!

Or do you have to guess?

Time for an editor, I would suggest

To bring those “Pesky Verbs” to rest.

Editing, past, present. What does the future hold?
Editing, past, present. What does the future hold?

My New Tag Line

While developing my new business card for the writer/editor/proofreader/designer hat I wear (oh hum, I know so boring, but so necessary), I had a little help from a business partner to come up with my new tag line:

Clasid Consultants Publishing: More Than Mere Words and Pictures!

What do ya’ think? Comments, suggestions, snide remarks?

My love and passion is still fiction. I just need to find the time to write it all down! Then the hard part begins: the edit, the proofreading, the cover design, the fonts, the leading, the layout, the graphics, the logo . . . on and on and on . . . but the better it looks, the better you look. Another tagline I may use at some point:

Words are your “real” first impression!

Deborah A. Bowman, author, writer, editor, ghost writer, proofreader, designer, publisher

I’ve been off-the-grid/Proofreading Tip

I was out of town–no wifi? I didn’t think such places existed anymore! Still going to do some editor, proofreader, publishing tips for all of you who follow me on WordPress and Twitter.

Tip for today: Proofreading. It is impossible, no matter how skilled and educated you are, to proofread and/or copy-edit your own material. The brain is an amazing organ. It retains and memorizes everything! We just don’t know it! Confusing, I know, but that’s how it works, folks. No matter how cold it is . . . and I’ve let them get “iced” . . . your brain remembers what you originally wrote and you read right over what is on the page or screen. You see what is in your subconscious, not necessarily what is actually there. Spell-check can be a friend and a foe. If it makes a word, spell-check will change it on WORD 2010, even if you don’t. Not a nice surprise after a 400-page book has been laid out for printing. I’ve tried to beat this self-proofreading, self-editing dilemma for many years more than some of your have been on earth, and I am a tough editor. I’m so disgusted with myself when I find an error . . . not me! Be kind to yourself and find a proofreader who is a stickler for accuracy to the point that you either get mad or get your feelings hurt. My feelings have been hurt and I have been angry, but it doesn’t sell books or impress an agent/publisher/editor. Sometimes proofreaders can be friends if they’re avid readers and know how to look for errors. It really is a science. Don’t blame yourself. It’s human nature. Or find and pay a good editor. It’s worth it. I had to learn all this the hard way. “Comments, suggestions, snide remarks are welcomed.” I can’t take credit for that quote. A sales manager used to tell me that. What was I doing in sales anyway? I’m a writer! Live and learn!