Blog Archives

Self-Editing For Writers (Online Class) July 25, 2015

For two years, my editing partner and I have been attending Cons and doing our panel Editing 101 for Writers to great success. We continue to do so, but I wanted to offer a different version of that panel as

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WriteTip: 6 Things Any Writer Can Do To Make Science Fiction and Fantasy Better

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You may have noticed there’s a lot of yelling going on in Science Fiction and Fantasy these days. Some yell because they’re angry. Some yell because they’re sick of the yelling. Others yell to be trolls. And the cycle never

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WriteTip: The Importance Of Writing Rules As Boundaries For Learning Craft

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Since December of 2010, I’ve been interviewing authors, editors and others almost weekly on craft every Wednesday for SFFWRTCHT, and one of our regular and favorite question is about Best and Worst Writing Advice. It’s always interesting the answers we

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WriteTip: On Writing What You Know As A Search For Truth

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  First things first, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these posts. Apologies to anyone who follows the blog. I honestly ran dry in my well, because I was working on so many creative projects from writing

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Guest Post: Genre Mashups by Michael J. Martinez

I love a good genre mashup. Elves in the 1940s? Awesome. Cybernetic werewolves? Bring it. Steampunk dragons? You bet. Horatio Hornblower in space? …actually, I wrote that, more or less. Crashed a frigate into Mars and everything. Anyway. Take your

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WriteTip: Using Assumption as a Dramatic Device

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Since I’ve talked a lot about assumption over the past week, it seems appropriate to point out how useful it can be in creating conflict and tension in your fiction. Assumption is deadly for unity and relationships, most of us

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Write Tip: 5 Tips For Choosing The Right Independent Editor

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 I get this question all the time: “How Do I Know What’s Reasonable?” about independent editors and their fees. You’d think people would consider me biased, but in truth, I’m not because although I have absolutely confidence in the quality

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Write Tip: Thou Shalt Not Sin With Commas

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I know what you’re thinking: a Write Tip on commas? It’s so basic. I must admit, it’s the last subject I thought I’d ever tackle in one of these tips. But please don’t find it insulting. The more I edit,

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Write Tips Guest Post: Bestseller Tips for Writing A Fiction Series by Faith Hunter, author of the Jane Yellowrock series

Hey Y’all. Thanks for having me here today. I’ve been a commercially published writer since I sold my first book in 1989. I know that makes my first book older than some of you, but like any good mom, I

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Write Tip: Using Nuances and Subtext to Bring Characters and World To Life

Okay, this week’s write tip is going to be a bit different. I want you to watch this video first before you read the rest of this post. And you need to watch the whole thing to really get what

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Write Tips: Shortcuts For Formatting Your Manuscript To Meet Guidelines

As an editor, I am surprised how many writers seem to struggle with manuscript formatting–either not doing it per guidelines, not making effort, etc. There are many reasons editors ask  for specific formatting. For example, when I turn manuscripts into

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Write Tip: 8 Tips For How To Approach Editing Your Work

There’s nothing quite as enlightening for a writer as editing other’s works. I’ve learned a great deal about what to do and what not to do from my freelance editing which has helped me grow as a writer. So here

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Write Tip: Keeping Out The Intruder Words

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One of the things you learn on the writing journey is the importance of word choice. Certain types of words have certain types of impacts on your story, not just in evoking emotions or images, but in setting the tone,

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Write Tip: 5 Keys To A Successful Freelance Editing/Writing Business

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Well, I’ve dreamed for years of full time writing and creative work, and at least for the past two months, I’ve been living that nicely. I’m grateful for this development. I had not had full time work since May 2010,

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Write Tip: Intimate POV and Show v. Tell

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I dislike the “show v. tell” term because it’s often bandied about with no further explanation. For the longest time, this flummoxed me. Where was I telling? How could I show? But as an editor, I’ve gotten a better understanding,

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Write Tips: Writing The Short Query Novel Pitch

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Query letters and synopses are the bane of so many authors’ existence, aren’t they? I dread them and find them quite frustrating. They never seem to elicit the kind of enthusiastic response equal to that I get from my writing

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#Write Tip: Why Do You Write? Knowing Yourself Is Key

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Recently, Writer’s Digest posted a contest based on Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk’s 2006 Nobel Prize acceptance speech in which he addresses the questions: WHY DO YOU WRITE? Now normally I ignore such things, but I’m in a very contemplative mood

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Write Tip: 7 Things You Should Never Do After Getting Revision Notes From An Editor

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Getting a personal response on a story you’ve submitted from an editor is a big deal for most writers. At least those of us in the early years of our career. To have gotten a personal response at all puts

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Write Tip: Collective Nouns And Impracticality For Writers (aka Word Choice Matters)

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An “eloquence of lawyers?” Who comes up with these? Seriously. Have you ever run into collective nouns lists? Some of them are hard to believe. What were they thinking? “A parliament of owls.” “A covert of coots.” “A murder of

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Broadening The Toolbox Through Cross Cultural Encounters: On Resnick, Africa & Opportunity

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I’ve often called Mike Resnick a friend and mentor. And recently as he was honored at ChiCon as Guest Of Honor, I’ve gone back and revisited some of the works of his which have most inspired me. I was not

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Write Tip: Things Pros Wish New Authors Knew About Publishing And Don’t

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This started out to be a top 10 list. You know the saying: “Advice is like buttholes, everybody’s got one.” And when it comes to writing, advice is like sand on a beach: everywhere. But sifting the sand to separate

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INTERVIEW – Death’s Rival (Jane Yellowrock) 100 Q&A Tour Of Faith: With Faith Hunter

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Faith Hunter has over 20 years in the writing profession, over 20 books written total in over 20 countries. Born in Louisiana and raised all over the south, she writes action-adventure, mysteries and thrillers under the name Gwen Hunter while The Skinwalker

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Write Tip: 10 Tips For Getting Past Writer’s Block

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I did a Write Tip before on Fighting Off Writer’s Block in which a lot of published authors offered their advice. But the other day a friend told me she’s been stuck forever on her book, and I realized there

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Write Tip: Building A Larger World Using Bit Characters

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All too often in worldbuilding, it’s easy to believe that the bigger you get, the more realistic your world will be, but, at the same time, the bigger the world, the more complicated it becomes for the writer. So I

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WriteTip: Diligence Pays Off-Success Equals Talent Plus Work

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Okay, this isn’t the usual steps process for sure, but I still think it’s appropriate for a write tip. A few months back I posted about the power of diligence quoting from a Steve Martin interview with Charlie Rose where

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Guest Post – PERILOUS MISSION: The Challenges Of Writing Science Fiction

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by Anne E. Johnson I’ve been a fan of science fiction since I was in high school, but Green Light Delivery was my first attempt to write a novel-length work in this genre. Of course, any type of fiction is

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Write Tip: Resources & Thoughts On Character Naming

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Recently I’ve been copyediting The Very Best Book Of Baby Names by Barbara Kay Turner, and it’s gotten me thinking a lot about naming characters.  Character naming is an important consideration for many reasons. One, you want memorable names which

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Guest Post: Writetip-Writing Suspense In Science Fiction and Fantasy by Linda Rodriguez

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Today’s guest is one of my favorite people, a local friend who’s talented and writes both mystery and speculative fiction as well as poetry. Her debut mystery novel Every Last Secret was published this Spring by Thomas Dunne and tells the

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Guest Post: Your Punctuation Personality Type by Leah Petersen

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Since I am doing a guest Write Tip at Elizabeth Spann Craig’s Mystery Writing Is Murder Blog today, I didn’t want to post another Write Tip here. I’ll have a new one Thursday instead. But I did invite Leah Petersen

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Review: Why You Should Read Sam Sykes Aeons’ Gate Trilogy from Pyr

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I don’t do reviews here very often. And this will likely be a bit more of an essay than a review (fair warning). But the reasons are complex. As a fellow writer and professional who is friends or (at least)

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