Articles by Kathy Edens

Kathy Edens is a blogger, a ghost writer, and content master who loves writing about anything and everything. Check out her book The Novel-Writing Training Plan: 17 Steps to Get Your Ideas in Shape for the Marathon of Writing or contact her at www.kathy-edens.com.

How Not to Write a Sales Letter

by Kathy Edens Mar 28, 2018

How Not to Write a Sales Letter

Sales letters are excellent tools for companies to generate leads. Whether you’re strictly online only or a brick-and-mortar business, both snail mail sales letters and emails can drum up hot leads that you can convert into sales. But—and this is big—only if you get it right.

Copywriters and content marketers should hone their sales letter skills. At some point, a client may ask you to write a bona fide sales letter, prospecting email, or a landing page. They all need certain elements to convert.

There are plenty of "experts" out there who spout off how best to write a sales letter. Let’s focus on what not to do when writing your sales letter so you can avoid these common pitfalls.

Read More »

Writing Characters & Making Decisions: "What Kind of Story Are You Telling?"

by Kathy Edens Mar 28, 2018

Writing Characters & Making Decisions: "What Kind of Story Are You Telling?"

Let’s take a look at the four types of stories that Orson Scott Card says comprises every novel. He uses the acronym "MICE", which stands for milieu, idea, character, event.

Within this framework, Card argues something deeply contoversial: not all novels require in-depth characterization.

Read More »

Why an Editing Tool is Like a Hovering Librarian

by Kathy Edens Mar 28, 2018

Why an Editing Tool is Like a Hovering Librarian

Imagine a kindly, bespectacled woman with fresh, minty breath hovering over your shoulder as you pour words out on the screen. Her critical task is to help you make every word choice the best and to guide you to clearer, more concise sentences. She has your literary best interests at heart.

Read More »

Using Adverbs: An Easy Guide

by Kathy Edens Mar 28, 2018

Using Adverbs: An Easy Guide

Here’s the truth about adverbs. They aren’t inherently good or bad: it’s all in how you use them. Let’s unpack when you should—and shouldn’t—use adverbs.

Read More »

Why You Should Learn to Tell a Good Story

by Kathy Edens Mar 12, 2018

Why You Should Learn to Tell a Good Story

Stories have been with us since the beginning of time. Before the written word, if you wanted to pass information to the next generation, you told a story. The same is true today. We’re all storytellers.

Storytelling is a skill anyone can learn and it’s one you need for both speaking and writing. Here’s how to hone your skills and captivate others’ attention.

Read More »

How to Create Your Best Writer’s Life

by Kathy Edens Mar 12, 2018

How to Create Your Best Writer’s Life

Writing is a business like any other. You’re creating a product you hope customers will buy and fall in love with. That way, you can continue creating new products people want. Regardless if you’re a fiction writer or a copywriter, you run your own business. And you must approach it like a business if you want to be successful.

Fiction writers who understand the publishing industry and what readers want will thrive. Copywriters who can engage and compel readers to act will succeed. Both must become master marketers to promote their business and make money.

Here are the building blocks of a solid business that will help you create your best writer’s life.

Read More »

How to Write a Mind-Blowing Plot Twist Like Gone Girl

by Kathy Edens Mar 12, 2018

How to Write a Mind-Blowing Plot Twist Like Gone Girl

As an author, don’t you want to create the mind-blowing plot twist that leaves readers begging you to write more books? Maybe the kind that result in big movie deals…

Wait. If your writing is a means to an end, it’s doubtful your plot twist will make the big bang needed to get on the big screen. Because you can’t force a plot twist; readers will smell it a mile away.

Do it authentically and you’ll create a feverish tension that keeps readers turning the pages to see how this new twist will play out next. Or you’ll end on a final piece of information that changes everything, resonating with readers long after the last page. Here’s how it works.

Read More »

Have You Considered Syndicating Your Blogs?

by Kathy Edens Mar 06, 2018

Have You Considered Syndicating Your Blogs?

Syndication is giving other parties on the internet permission to post a copy of your already-published content, in part or in whole, on their website. You’ll get an attribution back to the original content on your website. But what does this trade-off mean, and is syndicating your blog posts worth it?

Read More »

Writing Characters: Digging Beyond Life

by Kathy Edens Mar 05, 2018

Writing Characters: Digging Beyond Life

Start with a real-life person—yourself. Plumb all your deep, dark places and put yourself in the shoes of your main character. You are a well of inspiration. Make this your jumping-off point to create truly believable characters.

Read More »

Writing App Reviews: the Outlining Your Novel Workbook

by Kathy Edens Feb 18, 2018

Writing App Reviews: the Outlining Your Novel Workbook

Whether you are a planner or a pants-er, if you haven’t checked out the Outline Your Novel program, you’re missing out. I spent hours with this software and have never felt a more powerful urge to create.

Read More »

Why I’m Not Writing This from the Beach

by Kathy Edens Feb 08, 2018

Why I’m Not Writing This from the Beach

The Writer’s Life is fantastic, isn’t it? Nothing better than setting your own hours, working when you want, and taking time off when you need it. It’s all bliss, rainbows, and unicorns.

Not that I want to shatter your illusions, but there are five good reasons why I’m not writing this from the beach. Here's the truth about freelance writing and vacations.

Read More »

"-isms": How to Cover a Controversial Topic with Sensitivity

by Kathy Edens Feb 08, 2018

"-isms": How to Cover a Controversial Topic with Sensitivity

Race, politics, gender, religion, money, sexual orientation… are they taboo subjects to avoid? If you’re like me, conflict avoidance is your modus operandi; smile brightly and move on. At some point, however, you may need to write about a controversial topic—so how can you do it with sensitivity?

Read More »

Grammar Rules: Passed vs. Past

by Kathy Edens Feb 08, 2018

Grammar Rules: Passed vs. Past Homophones are fun, aren’t they? Unless they’re easily confused like "past" and "passed." What’s the difference? Let’s discuss these two homophones' difference and set the record straight.

Read More »

How to Improve Your Style with ProWritingAid's Writing Style Report

by Kathy Edens Feb 08, 2018

How to Improve Your Style with ProWritingAid's Writing Style Report

Do you know all the ways to edit your work for better readability and a clearer writing style? ProWritingAid's Writing Style Report checks for a multitude of improvements you can make to strengthen and clarify your writing. Let’s look deeper at this most popular and comprehensive report.

Read More »

How to Write Historical Fiction (without a history degree)

by Kathy Edens Feb 08, 2018

How to Write Historical Fiction (without a history degree)

If you are an HF writer, hats off to you! I learned haters will find the smallest discrepancy in your writing and crow it from the rooftops. Perhaps HF writers have extra thick skin. Whatever their impetus, they don’t necessarily have a love of history per se—and certainly don’t need a degree. They find either a period, an event, or historical person thoroughly interesting and decide to dig deeper.

Read More »

Belief, Emotional Involvement, Clarity: What Every Character Needs

by Kathy Edens Feb 05, 2018

Belief, Emotional Involvement, Clarity: What Every Character Needs

We’re continuing our monthly installment series on creating amazing characters using Orson Scott Card’s seminal book, Elements of Fiction Writing: Characters & Viewpoint. This month, we cover the three elements every characters needs and why you must deliver.

Read More »

Style Guide: Why You Need One & How to Create It

by Kathy Edens Feb 05, 2018

Style Guide: Why You Need One & How to Create It

Every brand needs content, lots of it. When you have several cooks in the kitchen, resulting meals can look and taste quite different from each other. For your brand’s reputation and image, you need to make sure all written communications follow your style guide.

Read More »

The Best Historical Fiction Books of All Time

by Kathy Edens Feb 05, 2018

The Best Historical Fiction Books of All Time

If you are anything like us, your favorite way to learn about history is by immersing yourself in a fictional world shaped by actual events. For this list, we specifically chose works covering events or time periods over 30 years before the time of writing.

Read More »

Why Writers Must Use the Toilet Paper Test on Professional Content Topics

by Kathy Edens Jan 16, 2018

Why Writers Must Use the Toilet Paper Test on Professional Content Topics

Everyone has an opinion on the proper way toilet paper should unspool. But the chances of alienating or damaging the relationship with your readers over this subject is very low.

Choosing a topic with low-level controversy doesn’t mean something ridiculous or banal. It does mean choosing something with differing opinions that you can support with facts and/or experiences. Find a topic that is timely, interesting, and relevant to your audience without being offensive.

Read More »

The Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time

by Kathy Edens Jan 08, 2018

The Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time

We culled some of the biggest reader polls from Goodreads and National Public Radio’s Books. The following top 25 best Science Fiction books ever published were voted on by thousands of devoted science fiction readers.

Read More »

Our Blog

We love writing. ProWritingAid helps turn your writing into great writing. We publish articles about writing software, writing techniques and other useful information for writers. Subscribe to be notified of new articles.