Self-editing Checklist for Authors

Congratulations! You've finished the initial drafts of your manuscript. Maybe you even went through developmental edits or critique partners already. Now, you think you're ready for content editing or line edits. Not so fast. You want everything to be as clean as possible - you want to save yourself the time and money of making [...]

How to Outline Your Novel or Nonfiction Book

In my years as a developmental editor, ghostwriter, and book reviewer, I've come across a few tricks to breaking down a good story, and a few tips for assembling one. In the discussion about different types of writers -- "planners" vs. "pantsers" -- I tend to come down closer on the side of "planner." I [...]

Tips for Consistent Quality Writing

There's a problem with doing something well: Once is rarely enough. When you do something well, two things can happen: Other people begin to expect more of you, and You begin to expect more of yourself For a writer, this can be great. A well-done piece deserves the admiration it receives, and you should be [...]

Using Personality “Tests” in Fiction

Who are your readers? Who are your characters? How do you connect them? In essence, this is the challenge of the fiction writer -- replacing real people with believable ones, and then somehow making them real for the real ones. The connections? Personality. (Not even "humanity" because even non-human characters need to have a personality.) [...]

Writing Challenge: Include sensations of movement

The universe is in constant motion. This is my understanding of its oh-so-important laws of physics. Movement is as natural and as important to the world condition as anything. Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, it's important to address your characters movements through space. How can you describe the movements of people in their mannerisms and [...]