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Picking Editors: Tips for Finding a Developmental Editor

December 29, 2016 Writing Stuff
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When trying to find the best editor for us, we might struggle more with developmental editors because the usual technique of asking for sample edits doesn’t work. So how should we find a developmental editor who’s a good match for us?

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Writing Coaches: What Are They and Do We Need One?

December 27, 2016 Writing Stuff
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A question over at my guest post at Writers Helping Writers asked what a writing coach was, but there’s no definitive answer. On some level, a coach is anyone who gives advice, so before asking ourselves if we need or want a writing coach, we’d first have to dig into what we mean by the term.

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How Does Our Writing Affect Readers?

December 22, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Given world events, many people want an escape right now. Our writing—our stories—can give readers a breather, a chance to recover, an opportunity to regroup and build up strength or defenses. The crazier the world, the more the world needs our stories.

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Book Marketing: How to Get Feedback — Guest: Jefferson Smith

December 20, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Marketing a book—including its cover, title, tagline, and blurb—to appeal to readers is a different skill set from writing a book, and getting feedback on those elements can be tricky. Today Jefferson Smith shares a resource for improving those critical aspects of our writing.

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Overwhelmed by a Huge Revision?

December 13, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Many big-picture elements are related: A problem in one area of our story often weakens other areas. Luckily, if we understand those relationships, we’ll better see how fixing one aspect will strengthen the others, making our revisions easier and more efficient.

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When & How Should Series End? — Guest: Kassandra Lamb

November 22, 2016 Writing Stuff
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We’ve probably all heard the advice to create book series for better sales. We don’t hear nearly as much about the other end of equation: ending a series. Kassandra Lamb is here today to share tips on when and how we should end a series.

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Should Published Stories Be Set in Stone?

October 20, 2016 Writing Stuff
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In traditional publishing, authors (and their readers) are often stuck with errors, but with ebooks, POD, and self-publishing, files are easy to fix and upload. Should authors make changes, or should books be set in stone?

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Helping Writers: Writing Coaches, Guest Posts, & More!

October 13, 2016 News
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We’re talking guest posts—both my upcoming posts at the Writers Helping Writers site as one of their Resident Writing Coaches and an opportunity to guest post here on my blog during the month of November. And *psst* I need advice for NaNoWriMo too…

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Balancing Elements: How Can We Know the Right Amount?

September 15, 2016 Writing Stuff
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I’ve offered several posts here about balancing various elements of our story, but there’s still room for debate because we have to find the right balance for our voice, genre, tone, and style—for our story. That means there is no perfect amount of backstory or description or emotion.

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Backstory: When Is It Necessary?

September 13, 2016 Writing Stuff
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We often think about the purpose of backstory in terms of “what do readers need to know?” But with that perspective, it’s too easy to include too much backstory. Instead, we might be better off if we think about backstory from the perspective of what the story needs.

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