Writing

Sentence-Level Mishaps Can Have Story-Level Consequences

(My new superpower revealed.)

Have you ever wondered about that mysterious part of a writing journey between story development and fixing your grammar? A magical place exists called line editing or substantive editing, in which an editor goes through your writing line by line to make your writing stronger, clearer, more elegant, with flow and rhythm and shine.

Do You Have a Healthy Relationship With Your Editor?

This blog post is a little bit different than my others. I was discussing this subject with a writer friend, and I realized this isn't really talked about enough. When choosing a developmental editor (DE), there are a bazillion articles and posts about what to look for: training, skill, rates. And while all of that is important, a writer-editor relationship is so much more than that. And it may or may not be a healthy one.

You'll Never Be as Good as That Other Writer

I read the most fantastic book the other day. It made me laugh out loud and made tears prick my eyes and made my heart ache. And I highlighted all of my favorite lines that simply, quietly blew me away. I was mesmerized and reverent, like holding the softest baby chicken in the cup of my hands for the first time. Then I sat in something like a post-coital trance, replaying the favorite parts in my head and mentally snuggling into my love for this great storytelling. I run to my laptop, dust off an old WIP, and proceed to write All The Things.

This is a dangerous thing to do.

On Writing: How to Craft Emotion that Unfolds Incrementally (And Hits You in the Gut)

I came across a blog post the other day that discussed how to write emotion—a subject not new to us—but explained in a new way. I don't like to regurgitate information if someone blogged it better. So I had to share.

Writing Action: Act First, Explain Later

You may have heard the common writing craft advice: Act first, explain later.

This doesn't work out when you're pouring your fifth glass of wine and drunk-texting a confession to BFF about eating the last bag of Cheetos your husband had been pining for (I would never!).

But it's great if you're giving a story beginning or a scene instant momentum, engaging readers to follow something exciting, and showing how a character reacts or makes decisions under pressure. 

On Writing: DNF (Did Not Finish) is Better Than a Disappointing Ending

One of the lessons I’ve learned over the years in blogging is not to write about a subject if someone already wrote it better. It’s like that time I re-told a joke, except I fudged the ending and didn’t do it justice at all. (And for the first time, you hear what polite laughter sounds like.)

So, I’m pulling your attention to a lovely blog post, where Jenny Cruise talked about story beginnings and endings in a linear structured plot.

The Rewards and Pitfalls of Early Revision

In my last post, I mentioned why it can be beneficial to self-edit before we finish writing our first draft. If we leave big issues in the beginning, they're harder to fix later without breaking the story. Problems in a manuscript can snowball faster than your neighbor’s flooding bathtub leaking through your ceiling. 

Going back to fix a problem actually helped me move forward with a stronger story. But as we know, there are rewards as well as pitfalls to going back when we're trying to power through a manuscript.

Why You Should Self-Edit Before Finishing Your First Draft—Gasp!

As soon as you step outside in the morning, you see that raccoons overturned your garbage bins and left piles of trash all over your driveway. Cleaning it up left you frazzled and running late that you hit traffic. After an hour’s commute, you get to work and realize you forgot your security badge to enter the office.

On Writing Romance: 8 Steps to Writing a Great Sex Scene

I have two reactions to writing sex scenes. So much fun, oo-la-la! And—Ugh, intimacy. I mean, I enjoy reading these moments in novels. But writing them makes me squirm sometimes. Also, it's really overwhelming to think THIS BETTER BE GOOD OR READERS WILL HATE EVERYTHING. It's so much pressure. But it doesn't have to be.