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Top 10 Posts of 2023

It's always enlightening to visit past posts. Sometimes it's difficult to predict which posts will resonate with readers while others are a success right out of the gate. Either way, I'm happy to help even a few aspiring authors or beginning writers with tips, info, and inspiration.


Wordy Tips & Tidings garners new followers every day. Many have probably not read some of the posts being honored today. If there's a post that's an encore presentation for anyone, you may want to take a gander at it again. Sometimes info is missed the first time around. Click the blue links to read the articles.


The countdown begins with:

I wasn’t always a writing warrior. At one point in my life, I looked for passion I felt was missing. I took stock of myself by recognizing my strengths, weaknesses, habits, hobbies, fears, dreams, time constraints, goals, accomplishments thus far, and everything in between. I zeroed in on my courage and love of books and reading. It finally dawned on me that I loved to write.

I needed to fulfill the dream of one day authoring a novel and becoming a published author. I created a vision board with images pertaining to my dream, book titles, and terms like, best-selling author. I then dug deep, focused, created an outline in my mind, and let my fingers do the typing. I quickly became a writing warrior.

Click the article to go from writing weakling to writing warrior.

The concept of SHOW DON’T TELL is a must-have for anyone writing a book. It sounds simple yet it remains one of the most baffling notions for new writers and aspiring authors to understand and implement. Fear not, I’m here to shed some light on this intimidating monsta. The easiest way to explain it is – show readers what’s happening instead of telling them what’s occurring. Still not picking up what I’m throwing down? Click the article to find examples that may do the trick.

Take back your writing power and learn how to show not tell.

"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." This quote by John D. Rockefeller is a poignant one for aspiring authors. Simply put, it means don’t be afraid to let go of what's good but may not be working.

You love your WIP that’s approximately 8,000 words over the acceptable word count for your genre. I feel you; every word is like your baby. You cannot possibly fathom how you could part with even one word, much less thousands. The task seems insurmountable. But I promise you, it’s not only possible, it’s doable. If you've completed your first draft, it's time to start pulling the weeds. Prune that word count and edit the hell out of your story.

Are you ready to give up the good to go for the great?

Shiva Kumar, a Manhasset, NY resident, grew up in a traditional Tamil family, where the epics, mythologies, and fables of Hindu life enveloped him like the humid dawn of a steamy Madras day. He has written and released the second book in The Lanka Chronicles, A New Reality.

In the continuation of this fascinating reimagining of the classic Indian epic, The Ramayana, our heroes find themselves drawn into a war prophesized centuries ago.

Shiva Kumar opens up about the indie author process, beta readers, editing, marketing, and more.

If you love fantasy and science fiction, you will love this series.

AI or artificial intelligence is all the rage right now in various industries and is making its mark in the realm of literature as well.

"An app that can help draft a novel?" I ask. "Woo-hoo," you answer, "I’m in, sign me up." Slow down buckaroo. Let’s dissect this before we rush into letting a computer-generated app do the heavy lifting for our novel, novella, or short story. Artificial intelligence, while beneficial, lacks emotion. Feelings, sweat equity, and passion for the story, your baby, are missing from the AI equation.

Giddy-up my darlings, it’s 2023 and AI is like the wild, wild west of technology. Get back in the saddle with the help of this informative article.

Character flaws are shortcomings or weaknesses that limit the protagonist or others in some way. We all have imperfections and quirks that make us unique. Characters are no exception to this rule. Afford your characters that same uniqueness by dishing out a few foibles and idiosyncrasies. Internal glitches live in the belly of a character’s being and spring to life as personality traits. Take time to brainstorm a few core traits that depict what’s at the heart of your character’s claim to fame. Physical splotches like in-your-face birthmarks, wicked scars, wild streaked hair, a butterfly nose ring, etc., practically write their own impactful scenes that can slam characters negatively or shake things up for them in desirable ways.

Think outside the character box, and booyah you’ll invent a cool character.

Gabi Coatsworth was born in Britain and work brought her to America. She’s an award-winning writer and lives in Connecticut in a cottage that’s American on the outside, and English inside. Her first book, Love's Journey Home, is an ". . . honest and romantic memoir" that "doesn’t shy away from the realities of life" and "proves that love—and a sense of humor—can conquer anything, even death."

In her groundbreaking first novel, A Beginner's Guide to Starting Over, "It’s time for widow Molly Stevenson to stand on her own two feet. With blind dates, a needy ghost, and her small-town bookstore in trouble, she’s going to need all her inner strength to prevent another unhappy ending."

In this interview Gabi shares how she took the leap from memoir to novel and why she decided to take the hybrid publishing route. She discusses the benefits of writing groups, the creation of her own group, Writers Rendezvous, and how the support of a wonderful community of writers is so helpful.

This collaborative interview features guest blogger, Lisa Bernard. Lisa is a successful blogger, writer, and aspiring fiction author. Her blog, Words to Elevate and Enlighten spans 55 countries on 5 continents.

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Kathryn Orlando is the mother of two, Kara and Rick, and Nana to seven grandchildren, Kalina, Kayla, Christian, Kiara, Wayne Jr., Kaliese, and Benjamin. She has a passion for her family, writing children's books, and writing song lyrics. The Cardinal and the Kitten, Dusty and Kit is her newly released book, but she also coauthored The Magical Adventures of Katinka and Darinka, a whimsical tale of identical twin girls and their amazing imaginary odysseys. To read Kathryn's first interview with Wordy, click the link: 

The Cardinal and the Kitten, Dusty and Kit is about two loving creatures who are always together in an enchanted meadow. Kit watches her beloved pal Dusty cross over. Dusty's soul soars across the illuminated sky to depict spiritual rebirth. It's a story of love beyond the physical realm. He may never be in her life as he once was, but he will always be her angel. The enchanted meadow represents a place where souls that have crossed over and souls that are still in the mortal world co-exist. It's a magnificent place where the bonds of love are eternal.

Kathryn talks about what inspired her to create this poignant children's book, how she decided on the title, envisioned the characters and worked with the illustrator to bring the characters to life.

She is very candid about the self-publishing route, why she chose that avenue, and how she cherry-picked the options that best suited her and her book. She urges all aspiring authors to make time for their passion in this fast-paced world.

Premise and plot are important. Building strong characters with unique quirks, interesting traits, and appearance beyond mundane and predictable is crucial. Balancing prose and dialogue is fundamental to any story worth its salt in the literary world. All play a role in the drafting of an amazing story or novel, but the building blocks for any fiction tale, that are sometimes overlooked, are the beautifully crafted scenes that ultimately do the heavy lifting for any narrative.

One of the jobs of every fiction author is to pack their book with convincing and gripping scenes that not only propel the protagonist forward, but the reader as well. While nuggets of ideas probably swirl around the brains of most aspiring authors, turning those sparks into valuable scenes isn’t as straightforward as one might think.

Hey aspiring authors, check out this article to learn how to keep readers turning the pages of your beloved novel.

Ta-da! And the #1 post from 2023 is -

You’re writing your little heart out, banging out chapter after chapter with the essence of your voice and style front and center. You came out of the writing gate, keyboard blazing, fingers on fire, thoughts smoking hot. Your opening line is slaying it. Starting in action grabs the reader’s attention and fingers crossed, they’re all in. Plot and subplots are on point. Conflict and stakes are kicking butt. The protagonist, sidekicks, and minor characters are speaking their truths or lies, (whatever your story warrants) with their own distinctive speech. Each, with well-defined mannerisms, quirks, and appearance. Story momentum is building. It’s reaching the climax zone. Whoo-hoo. You go, aspiring author!

Hold up, dark side coming at ya! It’s time for one of your darlings to bite the dust. Oh, yes, I did say that. Killing off one or more of your precious characters is popular writing advice first introduced by English writer, Arthur Quiller-Couch who said, “Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it — wholeheartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”

Oy vey!

You can write death scenes down and dirty, grisly, drawn-out, sacrificial, or dignified. Characters can get slaughtered in battle, slain by the villain while protecting others, meet death as a result of their mistakes, a big fat ego, or arrogance, or your beloved darling may lose their life to murder or suicide. Told ya, this was doom and gloom territory, but oh, so good for your fiction novel.

Killing your darlings makes for interesting reading and is another way to keep readers engaged and turning pages. So, figure out who dies, when they die, and how they die, and don't forget the wrap-up about the impact of that death when the dust settles.

Wordy breaks it all down in this impactful article from 2023.

And on that solemn note . . .


Hi. I'm Liz Ambrico, freelance proofreader and aspiring author. I too am querying agents, editors, and publishers in hopes of becoming a published author.



Wordy is the get-in-the-know hotspot for writers. From grammar to publishing find info, tips, and inspiration to take your WIP (Work In Progress) to the next level.


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I co-founded and managed a successful author and writer group on Long Island for five years. During events with publishers and authors I learned what matters, what agents are looking for, and the benefits and pitfalls of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

I've gained a lot of tips and tidings on my writing journey and want to share what I know.

Besides my passion for writing, I'm a fitness enthusiast, and I love coffee, chocolate, and animals. I'm mom to two amazing young men, and I live on Long Island with my husband, four zany cats, and the sweetest dog ever.

Whether you're new to writing, ready to query, or about to submit your manuscript,  welcome, you've come to the right place.

About Me


Alyssa is Wordy's website administrator and tech guru. She holds a degree in Communication and has always enjoyed writing and marketing, both of which are highly useful skills for aspiring authors. 

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