Editing Your Story

Editing tips and advice. Sample topics: saving broken stories, revising tricks, using beat sheets for revisions, making our writing stronger, MS Word tricks, fixing unlikable characters, etc.

How to Strengthen Our Characters with Strong Writing

May 30, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Readers can interpret our characters as weak for many reasons, such as being passive, foolish, or lacking an arc. Another way a character might seem weak is using weak sentences in our writing, making them seem more wishy-washy than we intend.

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How Should We Deal with Character Stereotypes?

May 25, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Clichés, tropes, and stereotypes all seem like signs of lazy writing. And they are—or at least, they can be. But it can be impossible to avoid all instances of stereotypical elements. So what should we do instead?

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When Readers Don’t Believe Our Writing

May 16, 2017 Writing Stuff
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One of the many reasons we need feedback is to help us fill in the blanks for things we can’t see or for understanding how others might interpret our words. But what happens when readers see our words and understand our intention, but they don’t believe what we’re telling them?

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What Advice Do You Ignore?

May 9, 2017 Writing Stuff
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There’s no shortage of writing advice out there for us to learn. Some of that advice is questionable, a few tidbits are outright harmful, but most of it is decent-to-good. Yet even if advice is good, we still might want to ignore it. Yes, really.

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4 Common Copy Editing Issues to Watch For — Guest: Julie Glover

April 25, 2017 Writing Stuff
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I’ve mentioned before that I write very “clean,” which saves me money on editing. If we learn what we tend to get wrong and then watch out for those issues when writing, we can strengthen the skills that can help us write cleaner.

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Re-Envisioning: How to Fix Big Problems with Small Changes

April 20, 2017 Writing Stuff
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When faced with a scene with issues, many writers have the tendency to get rid of the scene and start over, but more often than not, the new scene has issues too. Re-writing won’t fix every problem, so let’s see if we can find a different approach: re-envisioning.

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Story Beginnings: Creating the Right First Impression — Guest: Shaila Patel

February 16, 2017 Writing Stuff
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No matter how much we try different approaches, we often struggle with our story’s first pages. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for new ways of thinking about that critical opening page. Today Shaila Patel shares her insights on the right mix of elements for creating a great first impression.

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5 Steps to Avoid Overwriting — Guest: Christina Delay

February 9, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Many newbie writers try to perfectly replicate their ideas in their readers’ brains, even though overwriting slows down our pacing, repeats ideas, and prevents subtext. Luckily, Christina Delay is here with five steps to break the overwriting habit.

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Editing Tips: Top 3 Writing Craft Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

February 7, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Editor Naomi Hughes is here with the third post in a series to share her writing craft and editing advice. Today, she’s highlighting the most common issues she sees at the line-edit level—and giving tips on how to avoid them!

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Editing Tips: Top 3 Scene Issues — Guest: Naomi Hughes

January 31, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Editor Naomi Hughes is here with the second post in a series to share her writing craft and editing advice. Today, she’s highlighting the most common issues she sees at the scene level of editing—and giving tips on how to fix those issues!

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