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Copyediting: When Little Changes Matter — Guest: Misti Wolanski

March 31, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Reader complaints about editing quality usually focus on grammar and word choice and usage. That potential of being called out in reviews is just one reason why copyediting is so important. Sometimes the wrong usage of a word or punctuation mark can even change the meaning of our writing, as Misti Wolanski is here to show us today.

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Four Tips for Beta Reading Outside Our Genre

March 17, 2016 Writing Stuff
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During our search for beta readers, we might come across other writers willing to exchange–but they write in a different genre. Should we try a critique partnership anyway? Here are 4 tips for beta reading outside our genre.

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Story Description: Finding the Right Balance

February 23, 2016 Writing Stuff
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For every aspect of our story, we have to find the right balance. One element many writers struggle with is description: too little leaves our readers floating without an anchor, and too much drags our story’s pacing. So how do we find the right amount and know whether we need more or need to cut?

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How to Make Beta Reading Work for Us

February 9, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Ever struggle to make readers’ interpretations of your writing match your intentions? We probably all have. As writers, we’re so close to our stories it’s impossible for us to know how readers will interpret our words. A good beta reader will give feedback about what we can’t see. And that’s just one reason why we all need beta readers.

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Writer Karma: Don’t Be a Taker

January 5, 2016 Random Musings
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Everyone who knows me and follows my blog knows I love to help others. Most people who contact me are appreciative, and I really am happy to help. But there are a few… *sigh*

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Digging into Research: Consider the Source

October 27, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Last week, we talked about how we can add diversity to our stories in a respectful way, and no matter what kind of story we write, we’re probably going to need to research something. Whether we’re referring to an aspect of diversity, a setting, or a character’s job, we can’t know everything about everything.

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Writing Diversity: How Can We Avoid Issues?

October 22, 2015 Writing Stuff
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The real world is filled with diversity, and our stories should be the same way. There’s no “one right way” to portray diverse characters, but there are wrong ways to portray diversity. However, there are steps we can take to minimize—as much as possible—the potential of “getting it wrong.”

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The Risks of Offering a Freebie

September 29, 2015 Writing Stuff
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A common suggestion for how to attract readers is “offer a freebie.” However, there are risks to that strategy that we should be aware of. We can’t make the best decisions for us unless we have the information we need to make an informed choice that takes the pros and cons into consideration.

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Criticism & Reviews: How Do You Handle Feedback?

September 24, 2015 Writing Stuff
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For many writers, the point of writing is to connect with others through our words. Because of that desire, it’s hard to ignore feedback, and during editing, we don’t want to ignore suggestions. But what about after we publish? Should we read reviews of our published work?

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Character Likability and Subtext

September 17, 2015 Writing Stuff
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How are villains, character likability, subtext, and point-of-view all related? In many stories, our antagonist is a non-POV character, and for non-POV characters, my previous tips about likability will be limited to subtext. So even though we might not be trying to make our villain likable, we might struggle to make them layered.

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