Tip: Be sure you have a good dictionary in your library or good dictionary sites (www.onelook.com is a good one) and use them. Reign does not mean the same thing as rain or rein. A compliment is different from a complement. Lightning may strike, but hopefully not while you’re lightening your hair. Yes, these are homonyms (words that sound the same), but they are often misused. Dictionaries can help with the meanings.

Thought: While plot and theme and pacing and every other element in fiction are important, the really key element in fiction is characters. Because if you’ve got characters that come alive, they tell your story. – Jean Auel

Teaser: Use the following in three different short scenes: landslide, red, bark. The scenes cannot be similar to one another (and no, changing the character names doesn’t count).