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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.

A Prologue Will Help Our Story When…

Knife with text: Prologues: When to Kill

Last time we touched on beat sheets because of a guest post I wrote for one of my Blogiversary winners. Today we’re going to talk about a subject that came up with one of my other Blogiversary winners: prologues. Prologues are hated by many editors and agents. Surprisingly, I’ve heard […]

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July 25, 2013

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5 1/2 Steps for Making Feedback Work for Us

Dumpster with text: Garbage? Or Feedback? Make It Work for You

We’re in the dog days of summer here in the U.S., so this is a great time for me to update one of my older posts. Actually, there’s never a bad time to talk about beta reading and critiquing. *smile* If we want to improve our work, we first need to […]

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July 18, 2013

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A Pantser’s Guide to Beat Sheets

Map with text: A Pantser's Guide to Beat Sheets

I’ve mentioned many times that I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve also expressed my love of beat sheets—by creating several of them. I have beat sheets that focus on plot points, another focused on character arcs, and yet another focused on romance arcs. Wait, someone who writes […]

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July 9, 2013

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Ask Jami: Can This Story Be Saved?

Puzzle missing a piece with text: Can a Broken Story Be Saved?

I do a lot of beta reading for friends, and sometimes they come to me with a question along the lines of: “I’ve really struggled with x aspect of this story, and I’m wondering if I should just abandon it. Can you take a look and see if this story can […]

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June 4, 2013

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How to Revise for a Stronger Theme

Rope with text: Revising for a Stronger Theme

Last time, we talked about using our story’s and characters’ themes to keep us on track as we draft. But no matter how well we know our themes during drafting, we can probably make them stronger in revision. Maybe we thought a character’s arc would focus on one theme, but […]

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February 21, 2013

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Four Tips for Fixing the Infamous “Info Dump”

Old VW Bug in a dump with text: 4 Tips to Avoid Dumping Information

While I’m on holiday vacation this week, I’ll share a post from my early days of blogging. We’ve all heard of those eye-rolling, telling “information dumps,” yet at some point, we all have to get chunks of information across to the reader. My usual technique with world-building is to show, […]

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December 27, 2012

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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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