X is for X-Ray

What does “x-ray” have to do with writing craft? I didn’t choose it just because I needed an “X” word for the #AtoZChallenge, or because I already used “x-rated” for last year’s post (X-Rated: Should YA Books Have a Rating System?), but because all writers need to be able to check the spine of their …
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Tired Sentences? Put Your Prose To The Test

Every writer wants to create prose packed with energy and vitality. They know dull, lifeless writing disappoints the reader. Tired sentences are often the cornerstone of bad prose. They disrupt the flow and bore the reader. Take these tests and find out if your sentences pass, or if you’re writing tired sentences. Same Sentence Starts: …
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Self-Editing Redux: Spot Checking

I’m in the final stages of polishing my latest manuscript and going through my checklist for those tiny little nits that always manage to slip through. Rather than doing a complete read-through for like the millionth time (which at some point becomes counter-productive because you know it too well), I pick random passages and scrutinize …
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Is Killing Your Darlings Murdering Your Book?

We’ve all heard it. Murder your darlings. But what does it mean? Is it just another tip in the ever-growing list of misunderstood writing advice? Or is it the cornerstone of every successful writing project? First the history lesson. It appears this advice originated from Arthur Quiller-Couch. He made this comment in 1914 and all …
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Write, Revise & Repeat – Are You Stuck in a Rut?

I’ve been working on my current novel since May. Back then it was a vague one-sentence idea. I wrote about four beat sheets a month, feeling out the story and figuring out how to shape it. In October I started outlining, and as I outlined I’d find problems and head back to the beat sheet …
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Self-Editing: How To Pull the Weeds From Your Manuscript.

Exhilarated that I received several requests for full reads on the manuscript of my first novel, I saw myself on the fast track to getting published. Most of my writer buds had sent out tons of queries and received “thanks, but no thanks” that’s if they received any response at all. I’d only sent out …
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