RWISA WRITING & MEMBER STANDARDS
“Good Writing Serves the Reader, not the Writer…”
The intention of the RWISA WRITING & MEMBER STANDARDS is an evaluation guide to ensure RWISA authors’ writing is presented in a consistent and professional format in all forums.
o Conduct yourself in a way that reflects positively on your author brand and RWISA. If you care about your brand and reputation as an author, that will reflect in your writing.
o Do NOT ever engage in any dialogue (online or off) that is less than the professional entrepreneur that you are.
o Consistently put out writing on every medium that is free of glaring typos and punctuation errors.
o Social Media content should enhance your professional author brand. This includes your blog posts as well as your comments on the blog posts of others and on social media.
o There is an art to putting words together so that the reading flows smoothly and the meaning is easy to grasp.
o Unnecessary waffle or repetition does not move the story forward and often bores readers.
o Active voice speaks for itself. It defines action while passive voice often puts the reader to sleep and is found in narrative or information dumps. It’s best to keep it at a minimum.
POINT OF VIEW and DIALOGUE
o Avoid head-hopping. The general rule is to stay in one point of view within a scene.
o Create believable dialogue. Let the characters speak in a way that shows who they are and what they are about.
o Use any alternative dialogue tag sparingly.
o Create non-stereotypical characters.
o RWISA authors must be fluent with how to structure an engaging story.
o ‘Show and not tell’, ‘Showing’ immerses the reader into the story so their reading experience unites them on an emotional level with the characters and the action. Showing expresses the story through sensory perception (taste, touch, smell, hear, sight, and instinct).
o Avoid filler words and only use adjectives which add to your story.
o Use active verbs instead of –ly words.
o Avoid excessive use of exclamation marks. Strong writing will convey the emphasis.
CONFLICT, MOTIVATION, AND GOALS
o Understand what drives your protagonist (and antagonist).
o External and internal conflicts.
o Opposing goals between characters.
o Consequences (personal and big picture).
UNIQUE AUTHOR VOICE
o Define your own style.
o Expectation that books by RWISA authors have been professionally edited and proof-read prior to publication.
WILLINGNESS TO LEARN
o Always be open to learning. No matter how good you are or think you are or how many books you’ve published or how many years you’ve been writing, there will forever be new things to learn in this craft.
o Have you discovered a new app, writing or editing technique or resource book that takes your writing to a new level? Always be willing to share what you learn.
o Enough cannot be said about this. It embodies the very essence of what RWISA stands for in addition to great writing.