Personal editing. Professional results.
May 25, 2021
Point of View: how many do you need?

Writing stories in first person is an electric thrill for many authors. You have easy access to emotions and sensations, plus the mystery of solving the problems of the plot is intense, too. Sometimes it’s tempting to want to use multiple first person points of view. Consider why you need more than one.

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May 24, 2021
Paths to publication

Some authors like publishing. Others just like books. Some just like storytelling. The wide range of publishing paths is mapped in Jane Friedman’s annual report, Key Book Publishing Paths. The 2021 edition contains a new path: hybrid publishing. These are companies that package services authors need in one bundle. Friedman’s report only gets better with […]

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May 14, 2021
Remove filters to get your POV closer

Some easy writing advice to follow, offered all the time, is show instead of tell. But it takes careful work to preserve the showing while you remove filter words from your writing. These are words that make a story less vivid and make the writer more obvious. You don’t want the latter to happen. We […]

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April 25, 2021
Know if you've got what it takes to be published?

Sometimes, in the course of coaching an author, they ask if they’ve got what it takes to be successful. The harder question is whether their book that we’ve development-edited can be published. Everyone who’s ever written a book has this question, asked every time. Asking it is the way you know you’re serious about your […]

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April 3, 2021
Why hybrid publishing produces your book, without gimmicks or fraud

Some of my editing clients publish through hybrid presses. No skullduggery there; it's a straight-up hybrid. A hybrid press is another way to purchase a publishing services package. Some hybrids are more open than others, and plenty will tell authors that they're meeting a higher standard than Everybody Gets Published. It's true. When you consider […]

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February 5, 2021
15 Questions for Your Beta Readers

Beta readers can help your book develop. They'll need specific guidance, though, or you'll get a lot of "I thought it was great." You want to hear that, but the book needs more specifics. It's good to use beta reading as a backup to a complete development cycle. Craft the book first, then check your […]

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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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January 6, 2021
Your reputation should precede your publication

If you've ever self-published a book, then you're likely to get a phone call from a publishing house. At least that's what the caller will tell you they're representing. The call might well come from Author Reputation Press, like the one I got this week. They'd heard that my 2012 novel Viral Times was for […]

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December 13, 2020
Give your characters agency to drive a story

When I coach authors on their stories, I advocate the relentless use of agency for their characters. Agency is not a term that is common to writing instruction. I first heard about agency in a seminar taught by novelist Jim Shepard at the Tin House Writer's Workshop. Shepard was dynamic in those classes, teaching from […]

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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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