Category Archives: editing

Huge debate: Prolog or Prologue? (Encore)

Actually, I’ve known writers crazy enough to get into arguments over nonsense like this. Toe-may-toe or Toe-mah-toe? Prologue or Prolog? Seriously? The awful truth is they’re completely missing the point. Either spelling is okay, but using either is not. At least, … Continue reading

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The Spice Rule (Encore)

One of the many things those who are new to novel writing fail to ask is, “How much is enough?” I’m not talking about length; I’m talking about specific kinds of content, something that impacts all writers in all genres, … Continue reading

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Mistakes can be blessings (Encore)

Usually when I make a mistake, it’s something that continues to kick me in the head no matter whether I admit it or not. There’s always payback. Bent nails, split wood, crooked trim, creaky hinges–the list goes on and on. And … Continue reading

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Write *Something* Every Day (Encore)

Writers write. It’s as simple as that. Good writers tend to write a lot. That’s a big part of how they became “good” writers. If you aspire to become a writer, or if you’re already a writer and you want … Continue reading

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The Curse of Backstory (Encore)

Of all the story-writing sins committed by beginning writers, by far the worst consists of dumping a trailer-load of backstory on the unsuspecting reader. Fortunately, this error becomes clear almost immediately, at least to the reader. As an editor, this practice … Continue reading

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Ya gotta have heart (Encore)

Though clichéd, it’s true that the building blocks of a good novel are the scenes. I imagine if one looked hard enough it would be possible to find a novel with neither scene nor chapter breaks, but it would definitely … Continue reading

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Who’re you lookin’ at? (Encore)

For the past few weeks, I’ve noticed folks in one of my writer’s groups, and several of my students, who are having some trouble dealing with the issue of point of view. It’s a topic that pops up frequently among … Continue reading

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Edit? You mean I’m not done yet? (Encore)

Whoa. Edit my own book? Where would I even start? For most writers, especially those who haven’t already completed at least a couple full-length novels, you need to let your work cool off before you do anything. Why? Because your brain believes your … Continue reading

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Oh, those damned middles! (Encore)

You know how it starts, and you know how it ends. Now what? For many, including most of my writing students, the gaping black hole which sits between the beginning and the end of a story can be daunting. How … Continue reading

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That Point of View thing

Television and the movies have had a tremendous impact on the way we perceive things. It’s rare when a TV show or film allows the viewer to see only what one character sees. And yet, such a limited viewpoint is … Continue reading

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