fiction editing · Uncategorized

Formatting your manuscript made easy: some great tips on using Word styles

In my work as a freelance fiction editor for self-publishing authors, and as a reader for the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, I sometimes receive manuscripts that aren’t as professionally formatted as they could be. (This is understandable, as no one knows there’s a ‘best way to format a manuscript’ until they’re told!) Image…… Continue reading Formatting your manuscript made easy: some great tips on using Word styles

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6 ways to avoid repeating the same old words and phrases in your writing

It’s August, and time for another authors’ Round Robin. This month the topic has been set by author Rhobin Courtright. Do you have any character habits or favourite words that always crop up in your writing? The short and simple answer: yes! The difficulty is, spotting this repetition when it happens. My husband always reads…… Continue reading 6 ways to avoid repeating the same old words and phrases in your writing

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Kill your darlings: 5 tips for cutting and editing scenes you love

Another month, and another of our authors’ Round Robins. This month we have another thought-provoking topic, this time set by author Marci Baun Deleting scenes: Do you ever delete scenes? When and why do you delete them? And what do you do with them? Do you save them? Or just toss them?  When I first…… Continue reading Kill your darlings: 5 tips for cutting and editing scenes you love

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How do you develop the theme of your novel? And does theme matter?

It’s time for another of our authors’ Round Robin posts, and this month we have another thought-provoking topic set by author Rhobin Courtright… ‘Most novels have an easily understood point to make to the reader. Do your stories ever have more subtle themes?’ When I first start a novel, I’m not consciously aware of what…… Continue reading How do you develop the theme of your novel? And does theme matter?

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How do you develop realistic characters who are different from yourself?

It’s time for another of our authors’ Round Robins, and this month the topic is… How do you develop a character who is different in personality from all the other characters you have developed, or from yourself? If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know I’m a big fan of Georgette Heyer and…… Continue reading How do you develop realistic characters who are different from yourself?

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Editing Tips: How to Focus Your Story and Keep Readers Turning the Pages

In my work as a fiction editor I often give writers the same piece of advice: focus, focus, focus on your core story. There, I said ‘focus’ three times. And here’s an image of someone focusing, too. That’s how important I think it is! What do I mean by ‘focus on the story’? Well, a…… Continue reading Editing Tips: How to Focus Your Story and Keep Readers Turning the Pages

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Three of the best books for fiction writers on the craft of writing

No matter what stage you’re at with your writing – whether still at the first draft, or with dozens of books to your name – there’s always something new to learn about the craft of writing. Besides writing, I also work as a freelance editor. (In fact, for quite a while now the editing has…… Continue reading Three of the best books for fiction writers on the craft of writing

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7 tips for self-editing your book

It’s time for this month’s authors’ Round Robin, and author Robin Courtright has set us another excellent topic… How do you self-edit your books before submitting or publishing? When I wrote my first novel I knew very little about the editing process. In my naivety, I thought editing involved checking for spelling mistakes and picking…… Continue reading 7 tips for self-editing your book

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#Writing: How to keep focused on the central idea of your story, and why it matters

When I’m editing fiction and making notes in the margins of a manuscript, there are a couple of comments I make more often than any others. One of them is ‘show, don’t tell’, and another is ‘focus on the story’. What’s my book about? A piece of advice I often give to writers is to…… Continue reading #Writing: How to keep focused on the central idea of your story, and why it matters