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

While I’m off tending to family business this week, I hope you enjoy this oldie-but-goodie post from the archives. Happy critiquing! 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 […]

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

E. B. White declared, “The best writing is rewriting.” In other words, the best writing is editing. We find all kinds of info on how to write. But editing can be a little more slippery. Basically, this is because good editing skills are no different from good writing skills. If you know how to write a good plot, you’ll […]

The Importance of Professional Editing

I have been a ghost writer online since 2003, and a professional editor on and off since before 1980, so you might want to consider this article on how editing is very important for book authors. In fact, it’s also about how editing is important to ghost writers–many ghosts make their “main money” from book editing, so a lot of […]

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 […]

Why Writers Should Never Hit Delete

The delete button is both the writer’s best friend and worst enemy. It gets the best friend nod for saving us from being stuck with every little (or lotta) bit of dreck we happen to write. (Can you imagine the mess we’d have at the end of a manuscript if we had to keep every single word we […]