September 1, 2018

When people talk about book editing, they often seem to think “an edit” is a one-step process, as if you send your manuscript to an editor and they go through it once and send it back ready to publish. In reality, there are several levels of editing, depending on where...

August 1, 2018

I’m sure you’ve all heard the advice: kill your darlings, cut ruthlessly, make every word count. We all know that we’re supposed to eliminate anything in our novels that doesn’t move the plot forward or teach us something about a character, but it can be hard to know w...

July 2, 2018

When you write a novel, you hope that it will make your future readers feel something. Whether you want them to feel terrified or sentimental or angry, you want to move them. And in order for your readers to feel something, your characters have to feel it first. It is...

April 23, 2018

I edit a lot of fiction, which means I edit a lot of dialogue. I’ve written several blog posts about writing good dialogue over the years (Say What?: Giving your characters their own unique voice, As You Know Bob: Info dumping in dialogue , and Are You Talking to Me?:...

March 15, 2018

One of the things I love about my job as an editor is that every day is different. No two manuscripts have the same combination of strengths and weaknesses, so the work I do always feels new. But even so, there are errors that show up repeatedly, even in manuscripts th...

February 16, 2018

Last June, I decided to finally get started on a bucket-list item by learning how to play the guitar. I’m a songwriter, and I really wanted to be able to play my songs, not to mention all the great guitar songs out there by other artists (yeah, I’ll admit it, I’m a Joh...

January 15, 2018

Imagine that your best friend invites you over because she needs some advice. She’s finally decided to leave the job she’s been complaining about for the last two years and has been offered two great jobs. One is her dream job, but it’s halfway across the country and h...

December 13, 2017

Think of the characters from your current work in progress. Are they all women (or men)? Do they all have blond hair? Did they all get a BA in English literature from an Ivy League university? Of course not. A book where every character was exactly the same would be bo...

November 14, 2017

Hang out on any writing-related website, and you’ll see authors discussing the cost of editing. While plenty of these authors feel the edit they received was worth every penny, there are also quite a few people who feel the quotes they received or the fees they paid we...

August 9, 2017

In fiction, characters need to move about. They might be moving from one city to another, from uptown to downtown, or across the room. Just like people in the real world, characters reach for things, look around, and smile at those around them. Just as a real person mi...

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