Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tip O'Day #261 - "One Sentence Tips I"

Over the holidays, I asked folks in my online network to share one-sentence writing tips. I’ve received sixteen so far, and will put up three or four a day while inventory lasts. If more tips dribble in, I’ll make room.

MaryChris Bradley and Melanie Jackson contributed variations on “Plant your butt in the chair and write.”

Gail Buesnel – “Dangle participles at your literary peril.”

Jonnie Comet – “All good stories are about characters.”

Dixon says: These are all excellent. MaryChris and Melanie remind us of the difference between writers and wannabes - the discipline to sit down and write something on a regular basis. Gail's tip makes me think of the poorly edited self-published books I've seen lately that were rife with misspellings, run-on sentences, misplaced modifiers, tense confusion, and subject/verb mismatches. If you're a lover of language, it's enough to make you cringe. Finally Jonnie reminds us that, even in a tightly-plotted tale, character is what keeps the reader turning pages.

Tomorrow will see concise tips from Kathy Dunnehoff, Ellie Mack and Charles O. Maul.


  1. Your protagonist cannot be a perfect person because he/she must have room to grow or improve or change in some way.

  2. I like Gail's comment: strikes my funy bone, yet applies never the less.

    Firm believer in th ABC - apply butt to chair part. At the moment I'm forcing myself to go to the gym because of the too much butt in my chair aspect of writing.

  3. Since I write best on the floor: Lay flat on the floor and dream
    If you have a vivid imagination, it will just flow.