Rewriting: Tightening Your Word Count

Rewriting:  Tightening Your Word Count

When a drafted novel is in the “hot mess” stage, the word count may exceed original expectations. Many times, this problem boils down to the sentence and paragraph level, where repetition, overexplaining and unnecessary description inflates the total word count. But you can fix it! Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about ways to trim […]

Rewriting Chapter Endings: Get Readers to Turn the Page

Rewriting Chapter Endings: Get Readers to Turn the Page

Rewriting your scenes will require attention to each chapter’s ending scene. At the end of every chapter, you need your readers to turn the page. Reader engagement will be higher if your last scene in a chapter pulls readers to the next chapter. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s examine a few ways you can improve […]

Rewriting: How to Make Sense of Your Hot Mess

Of course, your rewrite will be a snap—you don’t have a hot mess of a draft. Right? For the rest of us, rewrites can feel overwhelming. Where do you begin? Writing Tip for Today: Here are a few tips for beginning a rewrite of your novel or memoir: Stand Back Storyboard Last post I mentioned […]

Next Steps for Rewriting Your Novel

Any writer who has completed at least one draft of a novel should celebrate. You have done something that few who aspire to publish have done. But what are the next steps? Writing Tip for Today: Let’s talk about next steps in rewriting: Organize Your Manuscript   If you’ve received feedback from an editor or […]

Writing the Somehow: Pacing and Characters’ Changes

It’s a story’s pivotal moment—the one where everything changes for your character. One moment, this protagonist thinks all is lost, then somehow finds inner strength to meet the biggest challenge. But how do you write this? The key word is in the somehow. Writing Tip for Today: Stories are more satisfying and believable if character […]

Roleplay and Scene Writing

One of my students struggled with some proposed changes to her novel. We meet weekly, and I asked her to reimagine and write a pivotal scene. When we next met, her work was outstanding—and she’d used roleplaying to make it believable and exciting. Writing Tip for Today: Let’s look at some ideas for using roleplay […]

Writing 3-D Protagonists

Writing 3-D Protagonists

Do you have work that has languished in a drawer or been rejected?  I have at least three novels that are sitting around. Instead of immediately self-publishing or throwing the pages into the fire, it could be time to take a second look at the protagonist. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some ways to […]

Writing Argument or Revelation Scenes

Writing Argument or Revelation Scenes

Last post, we talked about how to keep the tension going higher with each scene. Now, let’s discuss how to write effective scenes where characters argue or uncover revelations about each other. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some tips for writing argument or revelation scenes: No Speechifying. One of the most common mistakes I […]

Writing Rising Action

Writing Rising Action

A writing adage warns writers not to burn down the tree in the first chapter. Think of this as a plea to save writing your story’s jaw-drop moments for the best spot in the story timeline. Writing Tip for Today: Here are some ideas for building tension by saving those high-stakes moments: Tell Yourself the […]