Category Archives: Revision and Editing

Yesterday: Looking Back at the First Act

“Yesterday.” A beautiful, beautiful song that easily applies to our writing process. Confused? Go with me for a minute. It doesn’t matter if we’re a pantser, a plotter, a plotser, a puzzler, or some other mash-up of a writing process … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Motivation, Motivational, Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Theme, Writing Craft | 2 Comments

How To Avoid A Half-Baked Idea

Half-baked ideas are everywhere in the spec pile. But what does ‘half-baked’ mean? After all, whether a script reader, agent’s assistant or intern LIKES the idea behind a story is another matter. Let’s look to the dictionary to agree on … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Focus, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Time Management, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

Character Introductions: Making the Right Impression

Many aspects of writing can be hard to get right, especially in our first draft. For just two examples: With our story beginning, we might struggle to find a good balance between a throat-clearing boring scene (before getting to the … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Description, Emotion, Motivation, Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, worldbuilding, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 12 Comments

This Happened…and Then This Happened: The Dangers of Anecdotal Writing

Does your story suffer from anecdotal writing? It’s an important question, because that’s what happens when we write this way: our stories suffer. Michelle Barker is here to explain what anecdotal writing is, how to identify it, and ways to … Continue reading

Posted in Endings, Guest Post, Pacing, Plotting, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

3 Ways to Differentiate Your Characters

We’ve invited Resident Writing Coach Sacha Black to give us an extra dose of wisdom as she’s just released a new book that I think will help a lot of writers: Anatomy of Prose: 12 Steps to Sensational Sentences. This … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Description, Dialogue, Editing Tips, Emotion, Focus, Pacing, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 27 Comments

How to Find Critique Partners & Beta Readers

Outside feedback is vital to the success of your manuscript.  As I’ve quoted many times before on my YouTube channel, according to Terry Pratchett, “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” Our first drafts are imperfect translations … Continue reading

Posted in Critique Groups, Critiquing & Critiques, Reader Feedback, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Groups | 7 Comments

Tools to Make You a More Powerful Writer in 2020

The start of the year is when I pay close attention to what is happening in our industry: what publishers and organizations are focusing on, the changes occurring on sales platforms, and what author advocates are suggesting writers pay attention … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Focus, Grammar, Motivational, One Stop For Writers, Publishing and Self Publishing, Revision and Editing, Show Don't Tell, Software and Services, The Business of Writing, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writer's Attitude, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 9 Comments

Mastering Show, Don’t Tell

We hear it over and over: Show, don’t tell. You can’t get away from this advice, not in writing workshops, at conferences, or heck, even when visiting this blog. Writers Helping Writers and the thesaurus work we do is all … Continue reading

Posted in Balance, Characters, Mood and Atmosphere, One Stop For Writers, Revision and Editing, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, worldbuilding, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 15 Comments

Improve Your Novel Writing: 11 Tips For Newbies

Writing a novel is flipping difficult. It often takes years to complete your first novel (and even more years after that to write a good one). You heard that right — writers’ first books are usually a hot mess. That … Continue reading

Posted in Critique Groups, Critiquing & Critiques, Grammar, Pacing, Plotting, Reader Feedback, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Voice, Writing Craft | 16 Comments

Story Feedback: Free and Paid Options for Writers

It’s a sad fact, but most writers don’t have a basement full of money, meaning the word BUDGET is kind of a big deal. We want to publish but to do it, we have to think carefully about where we … Continue reading

Posted in Agents, Critique Groups, Critiquing & Critiques, Editing Tips, Grammar, Motivational, Publishing and Self Publishing, Reader Feedback, Rejection, Revision and Editing, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized | 2 Comments