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[…]

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[…]

Ready for editing

Are your editing expectations sabotaging your writing?

Cleaning up messes is standard operating procedure for editors. Whether we’re handed story messes such as plot holes, writing messes such as head-hopping, or mechanical messes such as three different spellings of a character’s name, we’re ready to take on the work you need help with. We just want to make sure you’re not creating Read more about Are your editing expectations sabotaging your writing?[…]

How many drafts is enough?

The simple six-pass revision plan

How many passes are enough to prepare a manuscript for professional editing? If you take away anything from this article, let it be this: No editor wants to work on your first or second draft. It’s not ready for editing. A manuscript isn’t edit-ready until you’ve set it aside for weeks or months to regain Read more about The simple six-pass revision plan[…]

Writing your first novel

What every writer should know before writing a first novel

Your first time attempting anything you value is fraught with risk. Most authors I know tackle their first novels with little more than hopes and dreams under the hood. Under these conditions, writing eighty thousand words can seem like an impossible exercise, and publishing those words remains an inscrutable business best left to the rich, Read more about What every writer should know before writing a first novel[…]

Revise your manuscript

Revision: The essential work of creating a novel

Writing is such a minuscule part of the writing a novel. People who’ve never written anything longer than a school paper have a hard time imagining that pouring all those words onto the page isn’t the major part of the battle, but experienced authors know better. While the writing process hogs the public spotlight, revisions Read more about Revision: The essential work of creating a novel[…]

Ready for editing

Is your book ready for editing?

Nothing makes an editor sadder than slogging through a manuscript that isn’t ready for editing yet. Let’s not embark upon a journey your manuscript isn’t ready to take. Really. As exciting as it feels to move one step closer to publication, typing “The End” is only the close of the very first step. The majority Read more about Is your book ready for editing?[…]

RAM

Help! My edit is choking my computer!

Bad news: You just got your manuscript back from the editor, and your computer has collapsed in a fit of pique. Every time you open the document, Microsoft Word stalls out. The only thing still moving is your cursor, chasing its tail like an eternal puppy. How can you process your revisions if you can’t Read more about Help! My edit is choking my computer![…]

story revision

How to revise the early drafts of your novel

Nobody wants to scale the stony gray wall of revision. Nobody. Not even those crazy Spartan racers. (You go, Spartans.) A novel revision stares you down with the same inscrutable gaze of a blinking cursor on a blank page. How on earth should you begin? You start rereading your manuscript. Something’s misfiring; you can hear Read more about How to revise the early drafts of your novel[…]