Beta Readers: What Should Writers Look For?

Beta Readers: What Should Writers Look For?

  Writers hear a lot about “Beta Readers” these days. A Beta Reader is someone (ideally NOT related to you!) who agrees to read through your revised and polished manuscript and then offer feedback. But writing is a curious pastime—it can be very subjective. Do you know what to look for when gathering your Beta […]

Your Writing’s Driver

Your Writing’s Driver

I recently got an alert on my computer: Warning—your driver is out of date. It got me thinking about what drives my writing. Passion, to be sure, and in fiction, characters who just can’t stop doing what they’re doing. What about your work? Who’s driving your stories? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s examine other “drivers” […]

Market Your Writing Right

Market Your Writing Right

  With traditional publishing changing so quickly, many writers turn to independent or self-publishing to get their work out there. OK, it’s “out there.” Now what? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s discuss a few easy ways to market your work: But It’s on Amazon I do a lot of coaching, and many who have self-pubbed […]

Writing Deep POV

Writing Deep POV

  Writers of fiction hear the term “Deep POV” bandied about on writing sites and in critique groups. Brave writers will whisper, “Psst. What’s deep POV anyway?” Some say it’s leaving out obvious sensory info. Others point to lack of dialogue tags and close-up camera shots. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s demystify Deep POV and […]

Is Your Writing Project Book Worthy?

Is Your Writing Project Book Worthy?

Recently a literary agent (not mine) commented on an essay I wrote that is part of a book proposal. “This isn’t a book,” she said, “but a magazine article.” I disagree and so does my literary agent, but the comment reminded me of a dilemma many writers face: how to tell if your idea is […]

Twelve Days of Wordcraftmas!

Twelve Days of Wordcraftmas!

For a fun change of pace, today I’m presenting a short “Craft Talk” about symbols and metaphors in fiction on Wordcrafters (Wordcraftersineugene.org)  “Twelve Days of Wordcraftmas.” Check it out! And enter to win a copy of my book, Five Editors Tackle the Twelve Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing! it’s a great reseource with before and […]

Rewriting: Fixing It Up

Rewriting: Fixing It Up

  Last post we talked about ways to get your drafts down, especially when you’re staring at a blank screen. Freeing isn’t it, when you realize you don’t have to be perfect when you create? Now let’s move on to the other half of the task: fixing up your draft, or rewriting. Writing Tip for […]

Getting Your Writing Down

Getting Your Writing Down

Anne Lamott has advised writers to first “get it down,” and later, “fix it up.” The important piece of her counsel is to keep these two sessions separated—you don’t want Editor You to interfere with Creative You. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s take a look at the first part of the writing equation—getting it down. […]

Writing 101: Paragraph Length

Writing 101: Paragraph Length

Whenever I tried to help my daughter with papers she was assigned in college, she always felt uncomfortable with my tendency for shorter paragraphs. I usually compromised with her, but with a reminder: In English class we’re subjected to rules that don’t always translate to writing for publication. Writing Tip for Today: Is there an […]

Writing Characters to Life

Writing Characters to Life

Writers are often encouraged to fill in a grid of specifications about the characters they write. Height, age, hair and eye color are entered as well as education, occupation and location. These character forms are useful as a start. But readers will identify more with characters who speak to their emotional core. Writing Tip for […]