Personal editing. Professional results.
June 10, 2023
Deep-third person is POV magic

Making your storytelling invisible and powerful is not easy. Not all at once, anyway. You can be invisible, but there's no power. Academic writing walks that tightrope. You can be powerful but not invisible. That's the realm of melodrama. To be both these things at once in fiction, try the deep-third point of view. Third […]

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May 29, 2023
What makes a line edit special

Line editing is about expression. Do you have chop on the waters of your writing, where every sentence seems to be under 12 words? Or is there a setup sentence or a summary sentence that your line editor might add that would establish a place for a passage that follows? If there’s a place for […]

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May 12, 2023
The future of bookselling: keeping authors happy

Things are changing on a steady course for the trade of selling books. One analyst says the most important part of publishing has become keeping authors happy.   This book industry is all about the storytellers. The industry is not the companies which make stories available and try to lure readers toward them. Imagine the […]

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May 10, 2023
Tour book blogs, or find some podcasts

“And we gave her a blog tour” could turn out to be an education for you, even though a publisher is paying for it. The tour is sometimes a murky journey. It’s very hard to show how any blog tour sells books directly off the content on the blog. They often have few visitors. Success […]

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May 9, 2023
Old-school tools: Index cards

Plot is the enemy of character. At least that’s the advice you find throughout the writing world, usually delivered by authors and instructors who have whipped a plot into shape so they could finish a novel. The trouble with this advice: While plot might be the enemy, we still long for something interesting to happen […]

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May 7, 2023
Life is short. AI's arms are long.

Creators are looking over their shoulders at AI this season. Machine-based writing is not concise in an AI-written draft, especially in fiction. All of AI writing benefits from edits, unless you're asking your AI chat-bot to write Gregorian chants or rap lyrics. (No kidding, they can do that.) The AI sentences are borrowed, a word […]

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April 14, 2023
Agents and self-publishing pickups

In an author’s world, agents and self-publishing can lead to one another. Maybe you’re querying agents, once you’ve completed your fiction. You probably can skip to just completing the sample chapters if you’re querying nonfiction. (If you’re writing a memoir, see the advice for fiction.) After a lot of research in places like QueryTracker and […]

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February 12, 2023
What steps you can take for a bestseller

You need to get people talking about your book for it to become a bestseller. There are steps for a bestseller. Advance reviews, ready to release on your Day One, help accomplish this. You can get reviews into the world before the book drops. Even if you're publishing yourself, this kind of coverage is within […]

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February 11, 2023
Leap into dialogue, like Hoover

Colleen Hoover is white-hot now. Of the ten bestselling novels of 2022, she wrote five. Her output is impressive, too. Over the last eight years, she's released twenty-six novels. She gets started because she knows how to use dialogue. How does she finish three books a year, from halfway through Obama to halfway through Biden? […]

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February 10, 2023
How to do beta reading

Beta reading is the turbo-charger for revising a book. Finding a beta reader or three and delivering a good beta is not simple, but there are practices and rules that make this important task easier to accomplish. During my Workshop's in-person era, writers took on beta duties for each other, twenty pages at a time […]

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