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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.

Pitch Prep: What Makes a Great First Page?

Series of outdoor entrances, pulling the eye deeper into a garden

It was a dark and stormy blog post.  *snicker* We’re continuing to prepare for the January 10-16th Pitch Your Shorts pitch session by tackling the issue of story openings.  (Check out Tuesday’s post for everything there is to know about pitching.) While the purpose of a pitch is to get a request, […]

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January 5, 2012

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How to Force a Story to Evolve: 6 Revision Tips

Collection of butterflies and chrysalises

*Quick Reminder: Don’t forget the Pitch Your Shorts pitch session coming January 10th.  Get your 10-60K stories ready.  More details to come.* I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season, no matter what holidays you celebrate.  While I’m enjoying some time with my family, I’ll share this post originally written […]

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December 27, 2011

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Story Climax: The Whole Point — Guest: Victoria Mixon

Picture of Victoria Mixon

I’m excited to share today’s guest post by editor A. Victoria Mixon with everyone.  Her new book The Art & Craft of Story: 2nd Practitioner’s Manual recently came out and is a great addition to our writing craft library. In fact, her blog tour posts have been excerpts from this […]

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November 15, 2011

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What Makes a Story Feel Unrealistic?

Sepia-toned drawing of nighttime on fantasy planet with large moon and hot air balloons

With fiction, a fine line exists between stories we can relate to (no matter how fantastical the setting, characters, or plot) and those we can’t. We’ve all heard the phrase “suspension of disbelief” in relation to movies and books to explain how we accept the impossible. Every genre has different […]

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November 10, 2011

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What Makes a Character Unlikable?

Frowning

Believe it or not, I sometimes actually follow my own advice.  *smile*  Recently, I helped score a few contest entries, just like I recommend in my post about why all writers should volunteer to judge contests. One of the entries was—I’m afraid there’s no nice way to say this—dreadful.  The […]

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June 21, 2011

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

Stack of pipes reflecting light like a flower with text: Revisions: Find a Different Perspective

We’ve heard of rewriting, revising, and even re-imagining, but what does “re-envisioning” mean?  I recently came across the word in a great post by Juliette Wade about how to redo a scene without rewriting. When a scene isn’t working, it’s tempting to blame the scene and get rid of it. […]

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May 24, 2011

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A Perfectionist’s Guide to Editing: 4 Stages

Red funnel

Yes, I’m still under deadline, but an interesting issue came up in the comments on my last post about perfectionism.  Perfectionists tend to be nitpicky, no surprise there.  But there’s a time when that trait is very helpful, and a time when we need to ignore the compulsion to tweak. […]

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March 3, 2011

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When Should a Perfectionist Call Something Done?

Edited page

Yes, I’m still in the deadline cave this week, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Yay!  While I’m hiding, I wanted to share this post I originally wrote last summer.  The lesson is even more relevant to me right now.  (That’s a look at one […]

March 1, 2011

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What Do Readers Expect?

Sad girl

We’ve all been disappointed at some point during our lives.  As a child, I once discovered my Christmas presents early, hidden in my parents’ closet (it was by accident, I swear!).  My fingers ached to play with all those toys and I couldn’t wait for the big day. But when […]

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December 23, 2010

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