Useful Tips for Self-Editing a Manuscript

Sorry I haven’t been writing original content of late; I’ll talk through it during my next WIP Wednesday blog.

A Writer's Path

 

by Emily Nemchick

Whilst there is no substitute for hiring a professional editor, self-editing is an important skill for any writer to hone. For one thing, the more passes a manuscript gets, the fewer errors will remain in the final product. If you are using an editor, be sure to self-edit thoroughly first so they can focus on the things you have missed. If you are not using an editor, then self-editing is doubly essential. Here are a few tips to make sure you catch as many errors as possible.

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NO ADVERBS: The Reason Behind the Rule

Going Verbal

If you’ve read any guide about improving your writing, you’ve heard the “No Adverbs” rule. Cross them out, delete them, take a tiny lighter and burn a hole through every –ly word that dares rear its ugly head until your manuscript looks like Swiss cheese, but don’t you ever, under any circumstances, ever use an adverb!

… Really?

Come on, folks. Adverbs are perfectly functional members of language society. It’s not their fault they’re so easily misused.

Adverbs are descriptors for verbs and adjectives, just like adjectives are descriptors for nouns. They tend to end in –ly, though there are adverbs that don’t (fast, regardless, seldom) and other non-adverb words that do (lovely, imply, gravelly).

(To quote a certain pirate movie: “Hang the code, and hang the rules. They’re more like guidelines anyway.”)

The problem arises when you use an adverb to support a word that’s not pulling…

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To All the People-Pleasers Trying to Write for a Living

Novelty Revisions

There’s something you need to know.

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or you’re just starting out, sometimes one of the most difficult parts of the job is something completely unexpected.

It’s not the actual writing. It’s not accepting critiques, making changes, doing what’s asked of you.

Actually, it’s something internal.

It’s having the self-respect to assert your needs as a writer.

I’ve written probably one too many times here about how writers are treated by other people (most of the time, it’s not well). I don’t write often enough about how we treat ourselves.

Sometimes I think we forget that, even though all we do is sit in a chair and type stuff all day, things happen. We need to ask for things from others. And we’re often either made to feel like we shouldn’t, or don’t believe we deserve to.

There are many things we cannot change about ourselves…

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Filter Words and Phrases to Avoid in Writing Fiction…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Filter words act like a veil between the reader and the character

by Kathy Steinemann  on Anne R. Allen site:

This article provides a list of writing filters, with practical examples of how to replace them. You’ll also find exercises that can double as story prompts.

All words exist for a reason. Use them wisely to create engaging narrative.

Why the fuss?

Filter words form a barrier that distances readers from a story.

Bertie felt the warm sand between her toes as she walked.

Bertie’s experience is relayed secondhand. When word economy is critical, this approach works. However, wouldn’t you rather become so involved that you almost feel it yourself?

With a few tweaks, we can strengthen the sentence.

The sand trickled between Bertie’s toes, radiating warmth with every step she took.

Strong verbs, trickled and radiating, amplify the sensory impact.

Five senses? Six? Twelve?

Most people can name…

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7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

I’ve read multiple times that blurbs are things people struggle with. Here’s some tips and a useful formula!

Writers After Dark

7-tips-to-write-book-blurbI’m here to help stop the madness. You know the one. The insanity that accompanies the “fun” of writing a book blurb. Attacking is more like it . . . I could stab it upside the head if it had one. But alas. Don’t let my bitterness get to you. In fact, use it to rise above me . . . with my own help, ironically. So let’s just get straight to it:

What on earth is a book blurb and why do you need one?

A book blurb is an important tool in convincing your readers to buy your book. Essentially, it’s a sales pitch. And you want it to be KILLER.

A reader will browse the shelves (or Kindle), and will find themselves intrigued by that amazing book cover of yours. Yay! You caught their attention. But you need more than that. You need to make…

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Contractions

No, I'm not talking about a woman in labor. I'm talking about grammar, and how it effects the play of your sentences. I'm talking about how to use it to give your writing more umph. Contractions, I'm sure most of you know, is when two or more words are combined into one, shortened form, using … Continue reading Contractions

Creating a Fantasy World

CreativeMinds101

Hey everyone!  It has been a while, but I am back!  And I have decided to dedicate a blog post to creating fantasy worlds.  So let’s get started.

When creating a brand new world, writers need to employ logic and emotion.  They need to capture the power of the reader’s imagination in a way that allows them to experience the world as if they too were living there alongside the characters.

So what are some ways that we can do this?

Well, to be honest, I have struggled with creating new worlds in the past.  I get carried away and have to backtrack so that everything makes sense.  So let me give you  seven things to do when creating your fictional world.

1) Draw a map.

Seriously this helps.  I used to get all turned around, forgetting where certain towns were located or which direction characters were even headed.  But…

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Writers and Authors: 5 Reasons to Drop the Word ‘Aspiring’

Writer's Blog

Aspiring-Author

There is no such thing as an ‘aspiring writer.’ You are a writer. Period.” – Matthew Reilly

The term ‘aspiring author’/’aspiring writer’ is thrown about in literary circles without anyone giving it so much as a second thought.

It certainly seems like a harmless enough phrase. You’ve no doubt used it yourself, I certainly have. But harmless as it may seem, the term ‘aspiring writer’ is actually quite problematic, and could even be holding you back in your writing career. So the sooner you quit employing the phrase, the better.

Here’s five reasons why you should never refer to yourself as an ‘aspiring author’ ever again:

1. ‘Aspiring’ is an abstract term

Aspirations exist only in thought, not in actuality. To ‘aspire’ is to think, not to do. In this way, the term ‘aspiring writer’ allows for a state of inactivity. Or, as author Chuck Wendig puts…

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The Main Characters – 10 points

The Writers Bookshelf

Here are 10 points that you need in every main character, something to turn them from two-dimensional to three-dimensional. Bringing your characters to life and making your readers feel for them.

Weaknesses

Characters need to be flawed. Your story is no the just the plot, it is also character growth. Your character can become a better person from your story as well. This is normally shown by a moral flaw or a psychological flaw. A moral flaw is when the characters hurts other, weather it is pushing people away or physically hurting them. A psychological flaw is when the character hurts themselves, weather it is by self-sabotage or another way. Your character will always have a weakness for someone to exploit, if they don’t, your character becomes to ‘perfect’, they become unbelievable.

Goals

The whole reason characters exist is for something they want. It doesn’t always have to be the…

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Write Badly

Adam Buker

Just recently I came across this bit of wisdom in this quote from Joshua Wolf Shenk. It reads:

“Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly.”

How true.

I started writing notes for my novel in 2011. I spent about a year and a half in this phase of this project as I had so many ideas for the story. Too many in fact. I went through numerous plot and structure changes. I originally planned to have an adventurous young boy and a timid teenage…

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