A Hint--Okay, Maybe a Handful--of Sparkle

So, I was watching Dancing with the Stars a couple nights ago. If you know me at all, you know I've always had a secret dream... well, maybe it's not that secret... of becoming a professional dancer and figure skater. And during the show, I thought to myself, "Man, Cheryl's dress is sparkly."

See, I love anything with sparkle, anything that says, "Hello world, I have pizazz!" I'm one of those women who shamelessly wore sparkly bangle bracelets until my early twenties when suddenly I realized the accessories might have a minor impact on my credibility as an instructor.

So naturally, I notice things with that Wow! factor. You can insert your old-school Batman jokes here.

The question is, how do you get your writing to sparkle like Cheryl's dress? For me, the trick is adding Southern charm and humor. Know how I stumbled across that? By realizing that in the first draft of my book, the setting was virtually nonexistent. I'm not kidding! After I started paying more attention to adding a setting in revision, it really came alive and has now become one of the cornerstones of my brand.

But I want to hear from you! What tricks and tips do you have for making your own writing shine and giving it that wow factor?


  1. I use "very short sentences" occasionally, and ellipses too much... Use a few sentence fragments. Repeat a word or phrase here and there, just because. And sprinkle in some of my favorite words, accompanied by definitions sometimes for clarification. Conversational intros like, "You know."

  2. Those are all such great examples, Mary Beth! I use a lot of shorter sentences also to sort of punctuate the thought. Thanks for your input!