Saving the Cat

There’s this trope suggested by Blake Snyder in his book called (not surprisingly) “Save the Cat” that suggests a scene early in your story (screenplay, novel, whatever) that puts your hero in a situation that makes him look good. And not just makes him look good, but actually demonstrates the hero’s “goodness”. It’s a shortcut. In […]

Allow Yourself to #Pants

Yeah, I harp about structure, and how you need to know it, and then forget it, to write a compellingly structured story, but that doesn’t take away the thrill of discovering your story. If you write, you’re probably like most writers: Finding the story is most of the fun. Putting it on paper while you find […]

Self-Editing: Scenes that Matter

I’m going to start every post with the same statement: A professional editor will do a better job than you. If you can afford one, please have a professional editor look at your work. Always ask for references and examples of their work before parting with your hard-earned cash. That said, if you can’t afford a […]

Editing – Dialogue Tags

Not going to talk about authentic dialogue much, with one exception. That’s enough for a whole other post. But there a couple of things you can do with your dialogue that will either make it look as amateur as something from a bad online fan-fiction site, or as slick as something you’d pick off the […]

Don’t Get Ripped Off

I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but this excellent post by Derek Haines says it all. Now this may sound quite harsh, but to be totally honest, many, and perhaps most of those who profess to be professional editors on social media sites are indeed not. When I’ve asked some about their understanding of […]

Editing – Passive Voice Annihilation

I’m going to start every post with the same statement: A professional editor will do a better job than you. If you can afford one, please have a professional editor look at your work. Always ask for references and examples of their work before parting with your hard-earned cash. That said, if you can’t afford a […]

Editing – Head Hopping

Head-hopping There is only one place where you can head-hop without driving every editor (and most readers) nuts — if your POV is third-person omniscient. We’ll talk more about omniscience at the bottom of this post. Head-hopping is when you, as a writer, jump from one character’s thoughts or feelings to another’s in the same scene. Jane […]

Self-Editing Line Up

Because I write genre fiction, some of the advice/suggestions I give may not be completely appropriate for the genre you write. But 99% will be. A lot of these tips are expanded from “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” and “Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing“. If you aspire to write at the level […]

Self-editing That Works

Imma gonna leave the poll on the right. Poke buttons if you want to see something else, but the vast majority (of a very small base) have indicated that they’d like tips on self-editing. I need to precede any discussions on self-editing by imploring “Don’t do it!” If you can afford a good* editor, hire […]