Three Tips for Polishing Your Rough Draft

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By: Katie Powner As an adjective, the word rough means “having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level.” Boards can be rough. The seas can be rough. But how can stories be rough if they don’t have a surface? Well, they do. The surface of a story is the plot. Everything that happens, that you can see in …

The Beauty of Falling Leaves  

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By Kariss Lynch When seasons change, I celebrate. In general, I struggle with change, but something about nature changing and ushering in something new is exciting and familiar, even as things shift. As an adult, fall has become my favorite season. I love the color of the leaves changing, the crisp mornings and evenings, cozy drinks, firepits, and the permission …

Always Too Many Words

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by Ann H. Gabhart Have you ever been asked to condense a novel you have written down into one sentence? Perhaps fifteen to twenty words? You are talking about a story that perhaps took you one hundred thousand plus words to tell and now somebody wants you to give them a one sentence description?? Impossible, you say. I am there …

Six Reasons Why Authors Edit Their Manuscripts

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By Glynn Young Editing has been much on mind lately, and I’m learning that editing requires more of my time and focus than drafting the original manuscript. I’m working on the fifth, and final, novel in a five-book series. This one has taken more time to write; I’m aiming for something more ambitious than its four predecessors. I’ve been through …

What if We Could Start Over?

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by Frank DiBianca Are you a relatively new writer? What most new writers need isn’t learning to write perfect prose. Line or copy editors can easily fix those errors unless the language has been murdered. The problem is writing prose that’s stylistically appropriate for the modern reader, which editors can’t fix unless they rewrite large portions of the manuscript. My …

It’s a Conundrum

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By Ane Mulligan In this world, there are problems and there are conundrums. They do differ. Problems are your ordinary, garden-variety bugaboos. A pro-blum or a pro-blem, depending on where you live. Either way, whether a hitch, snag, or quandary, they all differ from a conundrum. co·nun·drum [kuh–nuhn-druhm] noun a riddle, the answer to which involves a pun or play on …