Personal editing. Professional results.
March 15, 2024
Can that character be you?

Autofiction is one way that writers mine their lives for a novel's story. Classic novels have been disguised as autobiographies. There's David Copperfield, Look Homeward Angel, On the Road, and The Things They Carried. Yes, you can write that sort of book, presenting your life as fiction. Frankly, many readers will assume a novel is […]

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February 2, 2024
How Memoirs Make Meaning

Memoir is writing based on a portion of our life, a part filled with meaning that a reader can grab for their own. Understanding, compassion, inspiration, education, empathy; we can get any of those from a memoir, Perhaps you're starting from the idea of a loose memoir: limited structure, at first. Or maybe a story […]

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November 17, 2023
How good memoirs make a point

Sometimes when a memoir author starts a book, they don't know the point of their story. Memoirs are built out of personal experience, but the events need to stand for something universal. I took a fine baseball tour with my 11-year-old Little Leaguer in Stealing Home. The story stood for the faith that you can't tell […]

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January 14, 2021
Know the difference between memoir, autobiography and biography

Memoir, autobiography, biography: People do get these three narrative nonfiction types confused. After you examine them, you’ll want to write a memoir — because it’s the most dramatic tale, and so the most entertaining. The two which you write about yourself are stories using the first person, with the word I. Memoir A memoir doesn’t […]

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November 28, 2020
Investing to send your books into the world

We need to know if we'd like our books to become a part of a bigger world. Many like to call that publishing, but I consider that a business term. Getting a book into the world is all we can count upon. If you’re honest, you might find you’re not counting on it — and […]

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November 6, 2020
How authors can win with critique groups

It’s hard to know how much help a critique group can be until you see its authors in action. You’ll get more help from a group with a few authors who have published. If you’re lucky, it’s traditional publishing at any level (small press and un-agented counts) or even self-published (using editorial rounds from an […]

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October 9, 2020
Where mental health can aim us, or end us

Tomorrow is National Mental Health Day. Unless we can treat mental health with compassion and bravery every week, one commemorative day on the calendar won't make enough of a difference to save lives that end in suicide. It's an act that often happens with a gun when men commit it. I recoiled from the pain […]

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August 17, 2020
How long should your memoir be?

Authors ask me if their memoir is long enough. Actually, they usually ask if it's the right length. How long should your memoir be? There's a wide range of answers, and one of them is the right answer for you. The skill you will need from an editor of your memoir is knowing which length […]

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January 30, 2020
I want a great cover. What is that, anyway?

Everybody wants a great cover on their book. That's a few things at once, the greatness. Sales. Storytelling. Beauty. Creating a cover concept meets one or more of those needs. If the cover does none of those things well, you won't know until the book goes on sale, or when your novel is considered for […]

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January 10, 2020
Buy books if you read. Pay authors, to be fair

Some studies show that only 35 percent of Americans read a book last year. Out of that modest number, there might be the same percentage who read paperback editions. The paperbacks which pay authors are purchased new. Those paperbacks are available at bookstores, at spots like Amazon, even from the authors themselves. Authors get paid […]

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