My Dreaded Homework Assignment: The Scene Outline

I loathe homework. I always have. I know that sounds ludicrous coming from a former teacher and assistant principal. I’m reminded of that old cartoon—a woman is standing at the foot of the bed, hands perched atop her hips and says, “Time to get up, you’re going to be late for school!” A muffled voice …
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The Yeti Inside My Brain!

She sneaks up on me. A snarl freezes me, my fingers dance between the send and delete keys. The caustic drip of saliva trickles over my shoulder, splashing down on my keyboard in icy pools. She perches next to me, urging me to backspace my wretched pages into oblivion. It’s the yeti inside my brain! …
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An Editor’s Perspective on Killing Our Darlings

In the life of any book, there comes a time when the writer has to step back from the creative process and move into editing mode. Once that first draft is down, whether written in spurts or a steady stream, the task of critical evaluation and tweaking begins. We go over our work multiple times …
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Story Edit Using The “Save The Cat” Basic Beats

Whatever your writing process, whether you outline or dive straight into prose, there’s one step we all must do – story edit. There are innumerable things to edit in a manuscript, but let’s start with the bones of the story. After all, adding metaphors and sensory descriptions won’t matter if the story is weak. So …
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Outlining – Method 1: Basic Story Beats

Just as there are many ways to write a novel, there are many ways to outline a novel. You can use all the methods, one of the methods, or none of the methods. The choice is yours! Go nuts with the freedom! Myself, I use all of the outlining methods I will explain in the …
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