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 […]

5 Ways to Choose the Right Word (Without a Thesaurus!)

5 Key Ways to Choose the Right Word (Without a Thesaurus!)

Figuring out how to choose the right word is probably only the second most difficult writing trait to master (right after ideas). Your word choice is a crucial part of your writing that directly correlates with your readers’ reactions to your content. Sure, you could have a spectacular idea, but without the appropriate words, you’re […]

Questions for Critique Partners

17 Questions for Critique Partners

If you’re blessed, as I am, to have some of the best critique partners (or, as we fondly refer to each other, “critters”) going, you undoubtedly realize the benefit of having a watchful pair of eyes to run over your manuscripts, a merciless tongue to point out the weak points, and a gentle (and sometimes […]

Is Crowd-Sourced Editing the Future of Self-Publishing?

Crowdsourced Editing: The Future of Self-Publishing?

Sites like Kickstarter, IndieGogo, and other “crowd-funding” platforms have been all the rage lately. Without ever leaving your home, you can tap into your networks of friends, family, and followers, and raise startup capital for things like your fantasy board game idea, a local food truck, and even an initial print run of your fan-fiction […]

SmartEdit Software Tutorial

Smart-Edit Software Video Tutorial

Today, I want to introduce you to a fantastic little program—Smart-Edit. I have never been impressed with the idea of using a program to edit your book for you. Editing involves too much creativity to be left up to the mechanical algorithms of a computer program. But Smart-Edit is different. It doesn’t edit your work, but what […]

How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps From First Draft to Publication

As an author constantly striving to enhance your craft, one crucial aspect is the ability to self-edit your novels. The process of refining your own work not only sharpens your writing skills but also ensures every word on the page contributes to a compelling and polished narrative. E. B. White declared, The best writing is […]

How to Cut the Filler and Tighten Your Book

This guest post is by Laura Carlson. Have you ever read a book that was underwhelming, but you just couldn’t put your finger on what was wrong? The characters were okay, but the book just never went anywhere? That might be because the author had too much filler and not enough plot-driven scenes. I was […]

Why Non-Writers Are Important Beta Readers

What qualifies someone as a beta reader? The term itself tells us this person is someone who reads an early draft of a story. But beta readers are so much more than just that. Something that was reinforced to me over and over again during my years-long journey with my portal fantasy novel Dreamlander was […]