13 Rules to Be a Better Beta Reader

Among the greatest gifts one writer can give another is that being a beta reader. A beta reader is a volunteer who reads over a rough manuscript and offers feedback on what’s working and what’s not. This feedback can span the gamut from simply a general reaction to a full-on critique. But not all beta […]

The Writer’s Inner Critic: 11 Ways to Tell if Yours Is Healthy

Ah, the writer’s inner critic. It’s that wily inner editor who has such a way of getting in the last word (and first and middle words) on any writing session or project. Most of the time when writers speak of the inner critic, there’s a fair amount of self-deprecating exaggeration of how ruthless that little […]

Should You Edit As You Go?

Should you edit as you go? This is a question just about every writer asks at one point or another. Part of the reason for the prevalence of the question is that the question is in fact complex and contextual. In short, the answer to “should you edit as you go?” isn’t always a simple […]

Editing Your Novel Q&A

Editing your novel can bring a host of its own challenges, concerns, and questions. Many of those questions are ultimately the same questions you ask when writing: How to properly structure a story? How to create a strong character arc? How to write a sentence that makes sense? But some of those questions are unique […]

15 Productive Tasks You Can Still Do Even When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

Don’t feel like writing right now? Or maybe you don’t have the time? Or maybe you’re just blocked as all get out at the moment? Whatever the case, there’s no reason you can’t still use what time and motivation you do have to feel productive about your writing—because “writing” is really about a whole lot […]

when writing how do you know when enough is enough

When Writing, How Do You Know When Enough Is Enough?

Last month, I invited you to tell me what topics you’d like me to write about. You flooded my inbox and comments section with suggestions. (I scheduled this as an “easy” post that wouldn’t require much maintenance while I was in the midst of the a big move. When I logged on that first day to […]

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Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 56: Unfulfilled Foreshadowing

Sometimes writing feels like magic. You look back at the story you’ve created and it seems like it came from beyond you. One of the coolest examples of this is with foreshadowing. Some little something you wrote in the early chapters without even thinking about it ends up being a huge clue or bit of symbolism […]

The Most Common Manuscript Malfunctions (and How to Avoid Them)

Editors see hundreds of manuscripts every year, from new and veteran writers alike. Almost all of them fall down on the same points. To help you avoid the common pitfalls of fiction writing, here are the manuscript malfunctions editors see most often, with tips on how you can avoid them! Manuscript Malfunction #1: Clichés Clichés are at top […]

5 Steps to A Thorough Book Edit

5 Steps to a Thorough Book Edit

Nothing can strike fear in the hearts of writers like editing. But if you’re going to improve your story, a thorough book edit is something that must happen. With the right tools, mindset, and preparation, it doesn’t have to be scary at all! The fun thing about the writing and editing process is that everyone approaches […]

How to Find the Right Critique Partner: The 6-Step Checklist

Sometimes figuring out how to find the right critique partner feels about as daunting as finding the right marriage partner. First, you just have to find someone who’s interested, and then you somehow have to make sure this someone is the right someone. No pressure, right? There’s a lot on the line in choosing the right person to critique […]