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?[…]

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[…]

writers group

Top 10 reasons to join a writing community

Writing is a supposedly solitary endeavor, but successful authors know that a supporting writing community is worth its weight in gold. Like-minded colleagues keep you aloft during the long, parched weeks of revision. They’re friendly allies when you need an outside eye on your story or writing. They’re seasoned repositories of first-hand publishing and marketing Read more about Top 10 reasons to join a writing community[…]

The Conscious Writer: Taking back your creative power

When a manuscript isn’t firing on all cylinders, there are so many ways to shift responsibility: Characters that run away with a life of their own. Plotting systems that strip nuance and meaning. Agents who press for writing to market. It’s not my fault, writers think; the characters (or this dumb outline, or my annoying Read more about The Conscious Writer: Taking back your creative power[…]

Half dozen

Prewriting: 6 parts of the writing process that aren’t writing

This article is about the parts of writing a novel that don’t involve writing. It’s not about the business side of being an author. It’s not about book design and production. It’s also not about book marketing or promotion. This article is about the process of getting your story onto the page, and a lot Read more about Prewriting: 6 parts of the writing process that aren’t writing[…]

Memoir

How to Begin Writing Memoir

Many authors are first called to writing by the lure of memoir. Exploring the interior of one’s own life is heady stuff. And in a world held at arm’s length by Covid-19, bestselling memoirs (Wild, Becoming, Educated …) have captured the imaginations of readers eager to bridge gaps and slip into someone else’s shoes. New Read more about How to Begin Writing Memoir[…]

Productivity for authors

Productivity for Fiction Writers: Small strategies to keep you inching along

Stories demand so much from us. Taking apart the engine of a story and putting it together—that’s hard work, my friends. Much as your brain tugs at the knots of your story while you’re in the shower, or at the kitchen sink, or in the car, I too worry and fret over your stories. That Read more about Productivity for Fiction Writers: Small strategies to keep you inching along[…]

Momentum for writers

Keep It Rolling: Writing momentum hacks for authors

We’re all familiar with the idea of getting the ideas on the page first, then revising and polishing later. You’ll spin your wheels endlessly if you indulge your desire to polish every chapter, every scene, and every line before moving on the next. Finish first, fiddle later. There’s more to succeeding at this than Herculean Read more about Keep It Rolling: Writing momentum hacks for authors[…]

Build your writing habit

Productivity for Fiction Writers: Giving yourself the opportunity to write

When writing is a habit and not merely a goal, tackling a creative project as large as a novel becomes manageable. Despite everything happening in the world today, writing can serve as your refuge if it’s something you’re used to turning to in your daily routine. Build your writing habit When writing is a habit Read more about Productivity for Fiction Writers: Giving yourself the opportunity to write[…]