Feedback and critique

Feedback or Editing: What Sort of Input to Get When

Should you—could you—be getting feedback on your book from peers or readers, or is it time to get professional eyes on your manuscript? My latest post as a resident writing coach at Writers Helping Writers explains when it’s time for what in your book’s development. Much of the choice hinges on what you can afford. Read more about Feedback or Editing: What Sort of Input to Get When[…]

Best places to find a professional editor

Best Practices for Working With a Professional Editor

It’s actually happening: You’ve hired a professional editor and it’s time to send off the manuscript. Congratulations! Now it’s business time. What should you expect from the editing process? Are there contracts? Deadlines? When should expect to owe payments, and how much? How long will editing take? Will the editor check the grammar of the Read more about Best Practices for Working With a Professional Editor[…]

Is my writing good enough?

Is my writing good enough?

“Is my writing good enough?” is one of the first questions most writers ask when they get in touch about editing or coaching. Unfortunately, I can’t answer that because there’s an intrinsic problem with the question: Green-lighting manuscripts (for querying, for further development, for self-publishing) isn’t what manuscript editors do. Whether or not your book Read more about Is my writing good enough?[…]

When are you ready for professional editing?

Getting a manuscript ready for professional editing is notoriously painstaking work. It drags you into seemingly endless rounds of scrutiny: searching for plot holes, questioning the characters’ motivations, adding zing to the dialogue, and squashing typos and grammatical errors. With so much ground to cover, a revision plan ensures you’re not overlooking anything. What’s not Read more about When are you ready for professional editing?[…]

Developing story skills

Updated: Best books on writing for writers

Do you get sucked into spending more time reading about writing fiction than actually doing it? I’ve just updated my short list of the best books on writing, so you can level up and take the techniques back to your manuscript. One of my favorite ways to help writers is recommending books that will help Read more about Updated: Best books on writing for writers[…]

Words to revise

Words and phrases to revise or delete

It’s all too easy to overstuff your writing when you’re striving for a natural, unstrained tone. We lean on filler words in conversation to soften our speech and build connections, but these words don’t convey enough information to be effective in writing. The internet is peppered with lists of “words to cut from your writing.” Read more about Words and phrases to revise or delete[…]

Tangled up in Track Changes?

If you’ve never used Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature before, the idea of getting your manuscript back from an editor filled with all sorts of lines and squiggles you have to do something to in order to keep your novel from plummeting precipitously through a fiery ring of digital destruction and disappearing into the black Read more about Tangled up in Track Changes?[…]

The Editing Podcast

The Editing Podcast’s 18 writing blogs for editors and authors

Just look at this lineup of writing craft blogs and resources for authors and editors from Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle of The Editing Podcast. Denise and Louise are two pro editors in the UK who help authors publish better books. I’m honored to be listed among these leading resources for writers and editors. Among Read more about The Editing Podcast’s 18 writing blogs for editors and authors[…]

Best books for writers

Updated for 2020: Best books for writers

Updated for 2020: Best books for writers of fiction It’s been a stressful year to try to write a novel. It feels easier for many authors to step back from their own pages and reframe their thinking. How do experienced authors go about developing a concept into a novel? What are turning points and what Read more about Updated for 2020: Best books for writers[…]

Best places to find a professional editor

Best places to find a professional editor

In an age when anyone can hang out a shingle on the internet as a fiction editor, sniffing out the best places to find an editor falls to authors. “I’ve been a bookworm all my life,” a prospective editor may exclaim. Or “I understand writing because I’ve written a novel.” But claims like these are Read more about Best places to find a professional editor[…]