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 […]

Revising Your Book: Do’s and Don’ts

This guest post is by Dara M. Beevas. The day my copyeditor sent my edited manuscript to me, I actually thought the revisions process would be pretty painless. As I sat down to pore over my editor’s suggestions for the first time, it was exciting. I eagerly devoured every suggestion.  I enjoyed her objective feedback. I delighted in reviewing […]

Strengthen Your Writing by Listening to Pet Peeves

When your writing has to answer to someone, you’re going to be faced with a number of annoying “suggestions” from your editors or clients. Even when your copy is grammatically impeccable, they request you change the word “comedic” to “comic” because of some professor they had in college! I received this request from a real editor. It’s nothing but […]

A Quick Ode Against “That” (Or, Eliminating Filler Words)

Too often, we bloat our writing with needless filler words. Some of these fillers take the form of a phrase of three or four words in the place of a single word that would get the job done—such as “took a step” instead of just “stepped.” But some are even sneakier, and one of the […]

How to Get Feedback on Your Writing (and Sort the Good from the Bad)

One of the fastest ways to progress as a writer is to get feedback. But how can you get feedback on your writing? However many books you read, however many conferences you attend, direct advice about your work-in-progress will let you see exactly what’s working well and, more importantly, what isn’t. But if you’re fairly new to writing, […]

Why You Should Kill Your Darlings

This post is by Adrienne Giordano. As writers, we often face deleting our beloved words. Words we spend an excruciating amount of time crafting, and sweating over. Yes, you have to kill your darlings or they’ll destroy the pace of the story.   I like to think I write a fairly lean book, but my editor for my upcoming romantic […]

Improve Your Editing by Writing Yourself a Bad Review

We all hate the critic in our heads. You know the one—talks with a nasal accent, uses words like “deluded numbskull” and “insufferable incompetent,” and never fails to announce that your latest story is tripe. This critic of ours never seems to have a good word to say and is always running us down. So, […]

One Dish of Critique—But Hold the Criticism!

Critique. Just the word alone makes authors cringe. Why? Because it reminds us of another word that has a negative connotation: criticism. Yet, as authors we understand the need to have another pair of eyes look closely at our manuscript and give us constructive advice and direction so we can make our book the absolute […]

5 Fun and Easy Ways to Lengthen Word Count

We see a lot of hype these days about books that are too long for agents or editors to consider. But what about books that are too short, in which we need to lengthen word count? In comparison to putting a too-long manuscript on a diet, fattening up a story often feels like trying to […]

Can You Edit Too Much?

This post is by Elisabeth Grace Foley. I’ve heard a lot of people say short stories should be written quickly, on the spur of the moment, and shouldn’t be edited or fussed over. I’m an exception to that. Occasionally, a short story will come out almost the way I want it on the first try, […]