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?[…]

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[…]

Productivity for authors

Productivity for Fiction Writers: 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: 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: June 2020

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: June 2020[…]

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[…]