If you're like me, when you get to the end of a manuscript, you're a few thousand (or maybe ten thousand) words over the optimal word count for your genre. A lot of common editing advice can make a difference in MS length. Directives like “find stronger verbs” will eliminate some adverbs, while “make sentences … Continue reading 3 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Word Count
In the craft of writing, editing is accepted as a necessary evil. We all realize that our sentences must be properly punctuated, our noun/verb combinations must agree, our sentence and paragraph structure must meet certain recognizable norms. Yes, there are exceptions. Books are written in verse. Writers experiment with no dialogue tags, single-sentence paragraphs, and … Continue reading Edit or Revise? Why not both?
Some absolutely pertinent advice, especially for Pansters like me!
by Kelsie Engen
Today we’re going to talk about how to approach the next revision step: developmental edits. Basically this means addressing the major, structural issues of your WIP before moving on to the minor things.
This step comes after you’ve read your first draft, made some comments or jotted down ideas.
Of course, whether you’ve merely jotted down ideas, or come up with new pacing suggestions, or discovered some character motivations, etc., at this point you should create a new outline.
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There is a great benefit to automated checkers, because they'll alert you to the possibility that you're spelling a word incorrectly, using an inordinate number of adverbs, repeating pet phrases. But there's more to good writing than that, and here are four of the reasons that you need a great editor. 1.) SPELL CHECKERS: No … Continue reading 4 Reasons Automated Checks will Never Replace an Editor
Your relationships with Critique Partners and Beta Readers are all-important. But let's face it, you and your partner(s) start out strangers (or at least you should most of the time, see previous articles here and there). So partnering is going to be trial and error, at least at first. What, then, happens when the relationship … Continue reading Critique Partners: What if the Relationship Bombs?
First of all, as with Critique Partners, you'll notice that the question isn't “Do I need them?” because that's a given. You need them. Period. So what are they and how do you get them? First you might ask: how does a Beta Reader differ from a Critique Partner? Both are all about helping you create … Continue reading Beta Readers: What are they & why do I need them?
First of all, notice that the question isn't “Do I need them?” because that's a given. You need them, and they need you. So what are they and how do you find them? A critique partner is someone who reads your manuscript after you've gotten it to a somewhat polished state. A critique partner should … Continue reading Critique Partners: What are they & why do I need them?
If you've noticed that the blog has been quiet for the past few weeks, it's because I got a request from a publisher to “revise and resubmit”. You might think publishing houses accept a manuscript “as is”, but reality teaches us differently. Almost everyone is asked for some revisions to their manuscripts, whether it's to fall in with a … Continue reading What If You Get a Call to Revise & Resubmit?
No matter how careful a writer is, or how much research s/he does, there’s always the possibility of anachronism showing up in historical fiction. What’s an anachronism? It something that doesn’t fit into the time period you’re writing about. King Tut would not have worn a Stetson, nor could Marie Antoinette have worn nylon stockings. … Continue reading Anachronism in Historical Fiction
Sometimes bad news is a very good thing. A little background: my manuscript, WHISPERS IN THE CANYON, was (in what I thought was a cut and polished state, like a rare diamond if you will), 120,000+ words long. But feedback from many quarters said "That's too long", "It's not the optimal size for publication", "Agents … Continue reading Bad News, Good News