Love Your Editor

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By Ian Acheson It was finally finished. I’d just typed “The End.” Now what do I do? September 2003. Yes all those years ago. I’d set out on a mission to write that novel that I was always going to write. The previous December I’d read Stephen King’s “On Writing” (it’s excellent BTW – part memoir, part lessons on writing). …

Writing Your Manuscript a Third at a Time

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By Johnnie Alexander Every manuscript begins as an idea-perhaps a character whose voice won’t leave us alone or a situation that demands to be explored. Our challenge is to turn that idea into a story. What blueprint, plan, or method will we use? One popular approach is to write the draft fast. Anyone who has participated in NaNoWriMo understands the …

Never Underestimate the Value of a Power Edit

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By Dianna Booher My most valuable learning experience in graduate school also happened to be my most humiliating. Having read the first hundred pages of my master’s thesis, one of my thesis directors, a literary prize-winning novelist himself, handed back my novel with downcast eyes and mumbled something about “needs to be tightened.” One line of his review of my …

Five Ways to Tell You’re Not Mrs. Muir

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By Cathleen Armstrong Have you seen The Ghost and Mrs. Muir? That 1948 movie about a widow who lives by the sea and writes a book with the help of a ghostly sea captain? From the time I first saw the old film, it was my fantasy to be Mrs. Muir. But the more I wrote, the more it became …

Rewrites…

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By Katherine Reay We like to call them edits. Or perhaps macro-edits, if we want to sound crafty. But sometimes, they are simply re-writes – a ponderous process to push the story where it should have already been. I’ve just been through a bout of these and it was a humbling experience. I tried to push myself and attempt/accomplish new …

Tips to Supercharge Your Story

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By DiAnn Mills When our stories lack a certain edge, we’re back to the drawing board looking for what we’ve missed. Our novels are like well-oiled machines, each part has to be fine-tuned to work effectively. When are skills, methods, and storytelling abilities creak and moan, the whole novel comes to a grinding halt. Sometimes we’re able to reach into …

Love Does Stay True

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By Martha Rogers Today is our 55th wedding anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than to tell how my novel, Love Stays True, came to be. It’s a story loosely based on my great-grandparents love story after the Civil War. The idea sprang from three letters my dad gave me in 1995. His father had given them to him …

Dissecting The Old To Make It New

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by Gail Gaymer Martin By the time novelists sell to a traditional publisher, they’ve donated a large amount of time honing their craft. Rejection points out a weak writing technique: pacing, dialogue, point of view or other flaws. Learning to write a good book is a craft. Many people say someday they’re going to write a book. They sit down, …