Author Archives: dhallaj

About dhallaj

Co-Founder of the Short & Helpful Online Writer Workshops and author of four novels, Dixiane holds a PhD in Literacy and Adult Learning from George Mason University. She lives in rural Northern Virginia with her husband of 55 years and her cat named Dog.

Is Your Chair Killing You?

Writing is a sedentary occupation, and writers who are serious about their efforts to live by the pen often worry about the effects of sitting for many of their waking hours. It is often said that the only way to … Continue reading

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Proofreading Your Work

Proofreading your own work is one of the most demanding tasks required as you ready your manuscript to meet the world.  Why? Because the brain sees what it thinks is there. Count the number of errors in the excerpt above.  … Continue reading

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Conquer Your Computer

The first thing to understand is that, contrary to outward appearances, the computer is not deliberately trying to frustrate you. Kicking it or throwing it against the wall will not make it behave any better, and is probably not covered … Continue reading

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Polish Your Prose Word by Word

No, I’m not talking about checking each word for spelling errors or typos, although that is also part of the final polish. What I’m talking about is rooting out particular words that are so common in everyday speech, but make … Continue reading

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Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Preparing for the unexpected is not the same as expecting the unexpected. We prepare for the unexpected in real life—why not in our writing? Think of all the things we do to prepare for the unexpected, and even the unthinkable. … Continue reading

Posted in Character tip, editing, Organizing, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment