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Month: March 2016

Set the Setting to Keep Your Readers from Getting Lost

By Editor John David Kudrick “The sun-kissed, billowy-clouded azure sky overhead contrasted starkly with the terrifying obsidian-plated killer android that was sickeningly immune to the 7.62mm M61 150.5-grain armor-piercing rounds that we fired at it like there was no tomorrow.” In the past few months of reviewing and editing novel manuscripts, I wrote “You’ve got …

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How to Mass Change Straight Quotes to Smart Quotes in a Word Document

By Theodora Bryant Developmental Editor/Copy Editor Whenever I receive a manuscript to edit, I automatically change it to a font I find easy on the eyes for the first critique read pre-edit, and looks good for agent submission or self-publishing. No matter which original font the author uses, Word changes the quotes, single and double, …

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Common Mistakes in Story Beginnings

By Amy Bennet So many times I have seen a promising science fiction, fantasy, or horror, story fall flat, because there’s no tension in the beginning. The author starts out describing the character, their history, and the history of their civilization in loving detail. But that in itself is not compelling. What is? Humans like …

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10 (More) Questions Answered by a Freelance Editor

Editor and Proofreader Marie Valentine tells us about what she’s reading, her specialties and style, and her passions outside of books What are you reading right now? I read constantly. On paper or digitally, I am unbiased regarding mode as long as the device is delivering me content. FEED ME WORDS. Besides the books and other …

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4 Ways to Increase Drama in Your Plot

by Ana Howard A so-called “quiet book” is cause for many a rejection in today’s publishing market. If you’ve received feedback that your novel is too quiet, rest assured that most likely the problem can be solved with revision. Often just a few significant additions and adjustments will make a difference in the way your …

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Measurement Scales

By Victoria Briones, Ph.D. The first step in designing any quantitative study is to identify the independent (i.e., cause or predictor) and dependent (i.e., effect or criterion) variables. The second step is to define the variables concretely (guided by prior research). Variables can be defined using one of four measurement scales: nominal (i.e., numbers signify …

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Let’s Talk About Timing

How long will it take to edit your book? Consider your expectations as author  by Marie Valentine, editor and proofreader Just as your story arc took time to develop and come to fruition, so too does a copy edit from your editor. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait a few weeks or months …

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Conquer Fear of the Unknown when Querying—Research!


by Kelly Lynne Fear is a powerful force to drive you or to stop you. What stops writers from sticking a fork in a manuscript and sending it away to an agent or publisher? Maybe it is fear of choosing poorly. While I love being an editor, I am at heart a writer. In 2014 …

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