Search Results for: editing

Making Clichés Work in Your Writing

3 Ways to Make Cliches Work in Your Writing

True story: Sometime last year, I encountered a man named Howard (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent) who had written a fantasy novel that he couldn’t seem to sell. And he just couldn’t understand it. “My work is 100-percent cliché free! I hate, loathe, and despise clichés. I’ve scoured my work and eliminated every single […]

5 Ways to Capture Brilliant Ideas for Your Novel

5 Ways to Capture Brilliant Ideas for Your Novel

I think it’s safe to open this post with a broad, sweeping generalization: We write because of inspiration. Not only because without inspiration we wouldn’t have anything to write about, but also because inspiration is the writer’s version of runner’s high. It’s this top-of-the-world, explosion-of-joy experience that makes the personal sacrifices and hard work of […]

The Best Writing Advice From 10 of the Best Writing Teachers

The Best Writing Advice From 10 of the Best Writing Teachers

I spent the better part of last year, re-reading my “writing library.” The wisdom packed into those bookcase shelves is too wonderful for me to horde, so today I’d like to share the best writing advice from ten of the best writing teachers in my library. 1. The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot by Charles Baxter “To make […]

Killing Your Darlings: Learn to Self-Edit Like Joss Whedon

Let’s just admit it. We all get the urge to throttle someone from time to time. Annoying coworkers, overbearing family members, and just plain nasty members of civilization—they all bear the brunt of our frustrations and our mumbled threats. When it comes to our fiction, however, we tend to be a little more lenient about […]

The Most Important Lesson Any Novel Can Teach You

The completion of a novel is always a cause for celebration. And as I step down from the wild two-year train ride of my latest completion, I can assure you my knees are still sore from dancing the Charleston all over the house. That two-inch pile of paper sitting on my desk is the receipt […]

How I Edit Fiction

No two writers write in the same way. But even fewer writers edit in the same way. We all wield our red (or blue) pens (or pencils), hacking flabby words and injecting strong verbs and nouns in their places. We all share the end goal of a crisp, clean, beautiful final draft. And we all pull […]