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Communication One goal—perhaps the central objective—of writing is communication. Whether we’re writing fiction or nonfiction, we’re trying to communicate ideas and story. Our words matter, word choices matter. One of an editor’s jobs is to interpret what the writer...

Thursday’s Tips: Word Choice

So many elements go into making a manuscript strong. One of the top ones for me as a writer, reader, and editor is prose. Sure, prose is word flow and rhythm. It’s cadence, absolutely. It’s part of your voice. But here’s one exercise you can do the next time you’re...

Thursday’s Tips: Complications

In everyday life, people normally strive for as few complications as possible. We plan ahead. We prepare. We come up with menus and grocery lists, and wash soccer uniforms for Saturday’s game. We even worry, as if considering all the negative scenarios will help us...

Thursday’s Tips: Why Critique Groups Help

Editors will tell you they see plenty of strong first three chapters. It’s after that that the writing may tend to become less engaging, less publishable. Writers spend a lot of energy perfecting and layering those first three chapters. Those chapters become contest...

Writer’s Tip Thursday: Nothing Left Undone

You’ve done it! Finished that first draft. Now what? I recommend giving yourself some space before looking at it again, if time permits. A couple of weeks’ worth, at least. Clear your head. Read a novel. Write something else, or plan your next book. Then, when it’s...
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