I’ve Sent Queries. Now What?

by Ana Howard, editor You’ve received professional editing help and have revised your manuscript until it shines. You’ve carefully crafted your query letter and sent it to agents you’ve researched. Now what? Many authors I’ve worked with ask what to do while waiting to hear back from agents. The obvious first answer is to work on your …

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Beyond Character Quizzes: Asking the Right Questions to Develop Distinct Characters

by Hannah Earthman, Editor Think back to Creative Writing 101, the class where an actual Important Writer came to read—a guy with elbow patches and a college-press story collection with cover art that looked pretty pro in the days predating Fiverr artists and rampant Photoshop skills. The class where you and your classmates, green in …

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Finding Your Writing Style as a Novelist: Part 2

by Editor John David Kudrick In the first part of this post, we took a look at an author who lived and died by the plotter/planner method of crafting a novel—a method that had served him well more than once. But when we last saw this author, he’d just read a book on fiction writing …

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Finding Your Writing Style as a Novelist: Part 1

By Editor John David Kudrick Are you a pantser or a plotter/planner? If you’re a novelist and you’ve done even a little bit of reading about the craft of fiction, then you’ve likely come across the terms “pantser” and “plotter,” which is also called “planner.” Simply put, if someone asks which kind of fiction writer …

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If They Give You Ruled Paper … Should You Write the Other Way?

Considering the Practical Effect of Unusual Stylistic Techniques by Hannah Earthman, editor “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.” The quote, attributable to Spanish writer Juan Ramón Jiménez Mantecón, has directly made its mark on modern publishing more than once; it inspired the title of Daniel Quinn’s If They Give You Lined …

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Quality Editing Takes Time

by Editor John David Kudrick Book Editing Associates Christian Fiction and Nonfiction A question I often get from potential new clients is, “Can’t you just do one review of my manuscript so it can get done faster?” So, with this post, I thought I’d touch on why it’s rarely ever a good idea to rush …

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Sample Interview – Qualitative Dissertations

by Rick Oaks Dissertation Editing Services Qualitative Research Consultant DissertationAdvisors.com DissertationWriting.com   WHAT IS THIS? This is a homework assignment that I often use with my own doctoral students who are starting a qualitative dissertation. I want them to think about where they hope they will arrive, a year or so from now, when their …

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Trusting Your Readers to Get It

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Too Much Description by Hannah Earthman, editor Reading is a participation pastime, which is sometimes difficult for writers to remember. Rather than witnessing a visually inflexible world—as with movies, TV, etc.—readers are called on to use their own imagination and understanding of the world to fill in the gaps. This means …

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Are You Overcomplicating Your Novel?

by Amy Bennet, editor Recently I’ve seen a number of manuscripts by talented new writers who are falling into a trap. Writers are overcomplicating their novels, often by choosing unnecessarily experimental narrative techniques, or by deliberately leaving out important plot information. The choices range from switching, seemingly randomly, between past and present tense or first …

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Living the Publishing Dream

Editor Marie Valentine discusses books with self-publishers in this series. Here she talks to Caroline Robinson, blogger and author of a ghost story who is navigating the publishing world on her own terms. Book Editing Associates editors frequently work with self-published authors. Writers have myriad reasons as diverse as their books for self-publishing. Caroline Robinson self-published her first book …

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Why Commas Are Like Shrimp

(It Isn’t Just the Shape) by Ginny Rogers Doesn’t it sometimes seem as though punctuation was only designed to befuddle us and give English teachers an excuse to mark down papers? Sure, punctuation has its place, but the so-called rules can be obscure and arbitrary, with no system or logic discernible to the average reader …

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The New Age and Spiritual Marketplace

Spirituality

By E. M. Levy As someone who was an early adopter of meditation, organic food, and yoga postures I didn’t know it was possible for a human being to do, I have an enduring interest in this field of writing and publishing. I use the word marketplace somewhat ironically, since the intention behind New Age …

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A Second Pair of Eyes

Second Pair of Eyes

By Ginny Rogers If you’re a writer, you’ve probably seen discussions on social media that argue about the value of editors. Some people (mostly editors) maintain that writers can’t edit their own work; others (mostly writers) steadfastly insist that editing is part of the writing process and they have no need for somebody to clean …

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The Editor Within

By Ginny Rogers Writing is a passionate expression, isn’t it? You pour out your thoughts, your dreams, your ideas, your hopes, spilling them all out onto paper for the world to see. And then some cheeky editor comes along and shreds your beautiful manuscript, convinced that she knows better than you what is in your …

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Order in the Outline

Overcome Mental Bottlenecking to Create a Great Book Outline by Hannah Earthman Say your novel-to-be is about rock and roll—that much is clear—and you’re ready to outline. Or rather, ready or not, you need to outline. You sit down to your spreadsheet or blank Word doc, your head abuzz with story elements and impressions: the …

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When an Appositive Becomes a Negative, Part 2

How to Solve the Appositive Problem by Editor John David Kudrick In the first part of this post, we looked at some basics of grammar, including the use of the appositive and how lengthy appositives can interrupt the reader’s flow. Near the end of Part 1, we looked at three examples of this: Jason, the …

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The Beauty of Scholarship

Scholarship

By E. M. Levy In a time when people are communicating important information via Twitter and the very existence of facts is being questioned, the traditions of academic scholarship, built on the bedrock of logic and reason, are going to be more vital than ever. There is just no substitute for the careful, persistent pursuit …

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APA Style: Annotated Bibliography

by James N. Powell, editor As is sometimes the case for elements of American Psychological Association (APA) style, even though there is no actual rule found in the manual for a given element, readers can extrapolate a rule by paying attention to how the manual is written. This is true for annotated bibliographies. Although annotated bibliographies …

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Manuscript Evaluations & Critiques

by Theodora Bryant I’m one of those editors who say that you should never change your book based on what an agent or book-buying editor says would be “a good idea,” or “just the thing your story needs” … unless that agent or editor says he will represent you, or will put your book under contract …

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When an Appositive Becomes a Negative

Part 1: Avoid Long Phrases Separating Subject from Predicate by Editor John David Kudrick Subject … Predicate … Appositive … For those of you who are already cringing at the thought of an entire article focused on Grammar 101, take a deep breath and relax. This isn’t about grammar so much as good writing that …

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3 Ways to Organize Your Short Story Collection

by Marie Valentine, editor Say you’ve written 35,000 to 75,000 words worth of short stories. Nicely done. Now it’s time to publish. Some publishers focus on anthologies by genre or year, mixing many authors together. Other publishers group stories by era of an author’s writing career, for example: early stories, later stories, best of, etc. …

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The Dreaded Opening Paragraphs

by Theodora Bryant, editor All writers have at some point heard the line: The most important part of any book is the first five pages. Or the first fifty words. Or the first three paragraphs. Or the first paragraph. Scary how the number keeps getting tinier, isn’t it? No matter the number, it’s clear that …

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Commit to Contract in Dialogue

Make Sure Your Characters Don’t Sound Too Formal by Editor John David Kudrick A common area of concern I hear from novelists relates to the dialogue in their stories. Mostly, these authors want to make sure that when their characters talk, it sounds smooth and natural. Thus, they often spend a great deal of time …

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Building a Strong Foundation for Exceptional Decision Making

by Wes Russell, PhD Thesis and Dissertation Consulting Services Qualitative Research Methods In this article you will learn: What three key skill sets every executive or manager must master. The four disciplines that make up the decision-making family. And, how to focus your efforts on those disciplines that offer the greatest return on investment. I …

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Four Common APA Style Mistakes for In-Text Citations

Holly Monty | APA Editor Four Common (and Easily Avoidable) APA Style Mistakes for In-Text Citations When writing a research paper, a writer’s focus is most often directed toward the literature review, the methodology, and the results—the meat of the paper. It is thus often easy to forget about APA style and “mundane” details like proper …

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The Difference Between Action and Narrative Tension

by Amy Bennet You’ve heard you need to grab your reader’s attention with a compelling first page, but often I see writers who start their novel with action, but not tension. The difference is perhaps subtle, but very real. Tension is created when the reader sees a character grappling with specific and relatable problems, while …

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Writing Against the Clock

by Alice Day, editor One of the delightful attributes of books and publishing is that they’re anachronistic.  Where emails and texts speed up our life, reading and writing slow it down. As you’re well aware, writing takes a long time, revising takes even longer, and having your work published can often feel like the word “slow” …

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Making Fiction Feel Real

by Caroline Hiley, editor In fiction, story trumps all—which explains why so many weakly written novels get published and even win awards. This creates a dilemma for editors. Who needs us if readers don’t demand excellence in writing? If story is all that truly matters, why should authors bother paying us professional wages, or hiring …

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Writing a Prologue for your Book

Does your fiction novel even need a prologue? By Theodora Bryant Developmental copy editor / Manuscript evaluations-critiques Book Editing Associates; Editing-Writing.com Definition of prologue: Pro: Before. (Greek) Logos: Word. Before the word. Research indicates agents don’t like prologues and neither do readers; in fact, readers are reporting that they skip prologues because they don’t want …

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