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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.

How to Make the Most of a Scene

Colorful puzzle pieces half assembed

This post originally ran several months ago at the Girls With Pens blog.  It’s one of my favorites because I’m always looking for checklists to make sure I’m not missing anything while editing and revising.  I hope you find it useful. Whether we plot our stories ahead of time or write […]

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June 7, 2012

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Does Every Scene Need a Goal?

Page from chemistry book

I love when I make my readers think.  Even better is when they turn around and make me think even deeper about an issue.  *smile* Yesterday, K.J. Pugh blogged about my last post (where I talked about cliffhangers and hooks) and brought up the issue of sequels I briefly mentioned.  No, […]

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May 8, 2012

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MS Word Trick: Combining Changes and Comments

Sunflower with honeybees

We all have weaknesses.  Some people want to deny their imperfections, but most of us do what we can to overcome them. Like many writers, one of my weaknesses is my inability to interpret my words the way a reader does.  That’s not unusual.  We know what we meant to […]

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April 3, 2012

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Ask Jami: Editing Tips–Tightening Scenes

Tight hand squeezing a red foam heart

In my post last week asking if we can have too much voice, some great questions came up in the comments.  I decided to turn them into “Ask Jami” blog posts rather than bury the answers in the comment string. Earlier, I shared ideas on how to use color-coding to check if […]

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March 1, 2012

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Ask Jami: Editing Tips–How to Use Color-Coding

Blue highlighter pen

In my last blog post, where I shared the “two-paragraph guideline,” some great questions came up in the comments.  Rather than bury the answers in the comment string, I decided to turn them into “Ask Jami” posts. Today, we’re talking about how to make sure we’re using all the various writing […]

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February 23, 2012

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How to Revise for Structure, Part Two

Cover image of Larry Brooks's Story Engineering

Last time, we discussed Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat craft book and how we can use his writing tools to revise our work.  His beat sheet points out when story events (beats) should occur in a screenplay, and most of his advice applies to all forms of fiction writing. Whether we dig into […]

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February 14, 2012

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How to Use the “Save the Cat” Beat Sheet for Revisions

Cover image of Blake Snyder's "Save the Cat"

Before I start, thank you to everyone who commented, tweeted, and emailed me with support after my last post about losing my cat.  You all have filled me with virtual hugs and put a smile on my face.  Thank you.  *hugs back* In fact, after writing that post and reading […]

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February 9, 2012

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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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