Reblog: When Good Advice Goes Bad #amwriting


Life in the Realm of Fantasy

The craft of writing involves learning the rules of grammar, developing a broader vocabulary, learning how to develop characters, build worlds etc., etc. Most of us don’t have the money to embark on an MFA program in writing. Instead, we educate ourselves as well as we can.

Jack Kerouak on writing LIRF07252022Even if you have an MFA degree, you could spend a lifetime learning the craft and never learn all there is to know about the subject. We join writing groups, buy books, and most importantly, read. We analyze what we have read and figure out what we liked or disliked about it. Then, we try to apply what we learned to our work.

Most writing advice is good because it reinforces what we need to know about the craft, and simple sayings are easy to remember. They encourage us to write lean, descriptive prose and craft engaging conversations.

The same advice can…

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Reblog: Three Hard Lessons Learned While Editing


I’m several weeks into Round One of edits on The Remarkables, and so far it’s been a wild experience—far more challenging than I’d anticipated. I want to share three hard lessons I’ve learned so far from editing.

And then, for fun, I’ll share some tempting tidbits of 19th-century trivia.

Editing Lesson 1: Prepare Yourself for Murder

Check out the rest of Ali’s post…

Ali Stegert

I’m several weeks into Round One of edits on The Remarkables, and so far it’s been a wild experience—far more challenging than I’d anticipated. I want to share three hard lessons I’ve learned so far from editing.

And then, for fun, I’ll share some tempting tidbits of 19th-century trivia.

Editing Lesson 1: Prepare Yourself for Murder

Ever since I set out on my writing dream in 2010, getting to work with an editorial team has been my most highly anticipated goal. It’s been a long wait but so worth it. Talk about a Dream Team! I get to work with editor + YA author Kesia Lupo!

What’s being asked of me is significant. This is no spit-and-polish edit. It’s a major overhaul. Biggest on the list is the directive to the change the text from YA to MG (young adult to middle grade). This means shortening the story…

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Reblog: 6 Ways To Improve Your Writing — Douglas W.T. Smith


Are your sentences overly long and confusing? In this post, I’m going to share 6 ways to improve your writing. Long sentences can be dangerous. When our sentences are too long, we tend to lapse into the passive voice and we risk making tense and punctuation mistakes. Run-on sentences also distract the writer and the reader. We tend to veer off course and […]

6 Ways To Improve Your Writing — Douglas W.T. Smith

Reblog: The three-step process for successful self-editing #amwriting


Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Last week I was asked about my self-editing/revision process. I do have a method that works for me, but it’s time-consuming. There is no magic bullet for this.

toolsIn some ways, novels are machines. Internally, each book is comprised of many essential components. If one element fails, the story won’t work the way I envision it.

So, what are these parts?

  • Characterization,
  • Dialogue,
  • Mechanics (grammar/punctuation),
  • Pacing,
  • Plot,
  • Prose,
  • Theme,
  • Transitions.

I began this journey knowing nothing about how a novel is constructed internally. I wanted to write stories, but they never came out the way I saw them in my head.

Plot-exists-to-reveal-characterSo, realizing I knew nothing was the first positive thing I did for myself. I made it my business to learn all I could, even though I will never achieve perfection.

Writing is a craft where the bar is raised with every success. Each achievement you make pushes the…

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