How to save time and money with a manuscript consult

Have you ever written most of the first draft of your novel, only to realize there are major problems in your plot and character arcs that will require massive rewrites? I have. It’s so incredibly frustrating. You have to throw out whole scenes, chapters, even the majority of your manuscript because you were so in love…

Show vs. Tell: Draw Your Reader into Your Story

In my career as a full-time fiction book editor, I’m sometimes asked the most common problems plaguing manuscripts. And I always know exactly what to tell writers. Show versus tell. No matter how interesting the characters or unique the concept, telling instead of showing in your prose will kill your story every single time. Most authors…

DON’T WRITE EMOTION IN ALL CAPS

Have you ever had that happen to you? You’re going along, calmly minding your own business when *ding* you get an email or text message from your friend or relative. You grin, humming the tune to “You’ve Got Mail,” and click on the message. HELLO!!!!! HOW ARE YOU?????!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 😛 😉 The…

Home for the Holidays: Writing Family Roles in Fiction

There’s one in every family. You know who you are. (If you don’t know, it’s probably you). There’s always a black sheep of the family, just like there’s the quirky aunt who gives you horrible knitted sweaters for Christmas, or the grandparent who forgets you grew into an adult 10 years ago, or the screaming…

Your Novel Check-Up (Part 2)

Welcome back to the novel doctor’s office! This week we’ll be taking a look at your story structure and whether it hits all the key notes. Inciting Incident: What jump-starts your story and takes your character out of their normal into their not-normal? Terrorists attack a key government building. Harry receives his letter to Hogwarts/visit…

Musical Cues for the Creative Writer

Few creative mediums instantly set the tone and affect our emotions so immediately and powerfully as music. Think about the Indiana Jones theme. Now the Imperial March from Star Wars. You’re humming it, aren’t you? How did they make you feel? Were they different emotions, or the same? Now think about Lily’s theme from the last…