Relax! Beta Readers Aren't Scary: Here Are 3 Truths About Them

Relax! Beta Readers Aren’t Scary: Here Are 3 Truths About Them

Have you ever written a terrifying character? Nate Williams is my latest antagonist, and each time he encounters my protagonist, his entire demeanor makes my skin crawl. But when writing Nate, I wasn’t nearly as terrified of him as I was scared about what my beta readers would think. If you’ve ever sent a manuscript out […]

5 Ways to Endear Yourself to Your Editor

5 Ways to Endear Yourself to Your Book Editor

Here’s the not-so-secret secret about your book editor: he loves books. Sure, sometimes a book editor loves being right, but on the whole he loves reading, working with words, and seeing writers grow into authors. A book editor does what he does because he wants to help authors put their best words forward. But if you’ve never worked with a book […]

A Quick Guide to Beta-Reader Etiquette

A Quick Guide to Beta Reader Etiquette

Writers love their beta readers. But let’s be honest. Beta readers also kinda drive us crazy. Some of them are perfection: as polite, professional, and talented as any in-house editor. But others… well, let’s just say their lack of tact and their questionable knowledge of the craft can sometimes leave us howling in frustration. Why isn’t there […]

5 Ways to Actually Enjoy Editing Your Novel

5 Ways to Actually Enjoy Editing Your Book

I recently found myself in the “writing” subreddit, offering my two cents in the discussion. One of the questions that seemed to ring a bell with a few writers was, “Why can’t I bring myself to edit?” Writing seemed to be the easy part. Editing your book? Not so much. Here at CompletelyNovel, we find that […]

How to Expertly Edit Your Own Writing

7 Ways to Expertly Edit Your Own Writing

Writing can (and should!) be a creative, uplifting, enjoyable process. However, once the initial writing is complete, the next step is editing your draft. And figuring out how to edit your own writing is usually where the writing process becomes less “fun” and more—let’s be honest—agonizing. How so? Overly critical authors will be convinced their […]

The Crash: Braving Your Second Draft

The Crash: Braving Your Second Draft

Tell me if you’ve been here before. It’s May, with finals lurking around every corner, and you’re stuck in your room barreling through the paper on which your entire future depends. Or at least that’s how it feels right now. You’ve worked on it all day, and all night, and also all of the previous […]

elephant in the room are you ignoring your story revision instincts

The Elephant in the Room: Are You Ignoring Your Story Revision Instincts?

We’ve all had those fluid writing moments in which everything just seems to pour onto the paper with grace. The words come from a place you can’t always call upon. In the moment, everything seems eternally beautiful and poetic, and you fear someone will walk through the door and shatter your fragile thoughts. Sometimes, we […]

is a professional editor a waste of money?

Is a Professional Editor a Waste of Money?

Should you hire a professional editor? I’m asked that question often, and although my knee-jerk reaction is always a resounding Yes!, it’s a qualified answer. Hiring an editor is a decision that involves many factors, including your level of experience, your intent for your book, and your budget. 3 Reasons Not to Hire a Professional […]

what if you've chosen the wrong critique partner

When You’ve Chosen the Wrong Critique Partner

If you have a critique partner, you’re a lucky son of a gun. Every writer should be so lucky. Seriously. Because some writers aren’t. We all need the objectivity of an outside source who’s willing to dedicate the many hours necessary to read our hot-out-of-the-oven novels and offer some constructive criticism. If you’ve found such […]

why gut feelings are a writers secret weapon

Why Gut Feelings Are a Writer’s Secret Weapon

Most writers have better instincts than we may think we do. We just have to learn to trust them. Now, I’m a developmental editor. My ability to do my job is grounded in my faith in my instincts when it comes to analyzing and discovering the issues in other authors’ manuscripts. I know I have the […]