Category Archives: Writing Articles

Get Thee to an Editor

 

by Richard Risemberg

There are four rules to follow if you want to self-publish a novel and not embarrass yourself, the publishing industry, and the English language. They are:

1) Write slowly. Write slowly, carefully, and vigilantly, always watching out for self-indulgence, which will betray your characters.

2) Rewrite. Because you will never be completely successful following the admonition in Rule #1.

3) Find an editor. No matter how careful you are in rewrite, you will miss some debilitating infelicities in your book.

4) Find a real editor, either someone who is trained in editing, or someone who has long experience in editing. And most important: it must be someone who does not love you. No friends, no relatives. (Unless they’re relatives you don’t get along with; that might work out.)

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The “Bread” and “Meat” of Writing

 

by Michael Mohr

It has taken me years and years of writing my own novels, stories and nonfiction, not to mention editing countless others’ manuscripts, to finally over time realize that there is such a thing as bread and meat in writing.

What the hell am I talking about? Simple. I am constantly telling my book clients to work on SCENE versus summary, back story, explanation. Basically the old Tried and True: Show don’t tell. Of course your novel needs some back story, to explain what happened to the character prior to now, ergo illuminating the character’s psychological/emotional wound, which is relevant to the current story being told. Yes, we sometimes need some well-written TELLING sections, also explaining important moments or key ideas in the book.

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Throwback Thursday: 19 Self-Editing Tips For Your Writing

 

Throwback Thursday is a series where we take a look back at some of AWP’s most popular posts. Enjoy!

by Jacqui Murray

Now that I’ve published my first novel, To Hunt a Sub, I can say from experience that writing it and editing it took equally long periods of time (and marketing is just as involved). After finishing the final rough draft (yeah, sure) and before emailing it to an editor, I wanted it as clean possible. I searched through a wide collection of self-editing books like these:

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What to Do When You Have Too Many Story Ideas

 

by Kate M. Colby

 

ARE YOU DROWNING IN STORY IDEAS?

What’s the best problem a writer can have? Too Many Ideas Syndrome (TMIS).

TMIS is the opposite of writer’s block. It’s that sensation when you have so much inspiration, you feel overwhelmed. What story should I write next? Which would be the most fun? Which would my readers like?

I can’t answer those questions for you … but I can give you strategies to make your own decisions. Read on for methods to help you choose which idea to pursue and how to stay loyal to that idea when more inspiration comes calling.

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Are You Invested in Your Book?

 

 

by John Briggs

When you finish writing your book, few people will doubt you’re committed to your writing. You’ve spent months or years putting it on paper, and hopefully poured your heart into every word. If the work is personal enough, you’ve invested a great deal of yourself. If nothing else, you’ve invested your time and talent.

But now that it’s done, are you truly invested in making your book a success?

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The One Thing Separating You From Being the Expert in Your Field

 

by ARHuelsenbeck

In his 2003 book, There Are No Shortcuts, East Los Angeles master teacher Rafe Esquith speaks of his struggle to communicate to his students the level of commitment and self-discipline required to go beyond mediocrity and achieve excellence. “They seemed too easily pleased with their efforts; if they got most of their arithmetic correct, they figured that was better than they had done the year before and they were off the hook. . . how many children pursue their dreams anymore? How can you go after things when you’re sitting in front of a television set or computer screen?”

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Throwback Thursday: Should I Be Writing Faster?

 

Throwback Thursday is a series where we take a look back at some of AWP’s most popular posts. Enjoy!

by Lev Raphael

I’ve been a member of the same health club for a long time and lots of people there read my Nick Hoffman mysteries set in a college town that might remind them of the town we live in.  No matter when I publish a book in the series, somebody always asks, “So when’s the next one coming out?”

That could happen the same week there’s been a big article in a local paper or a couple of local radio interviews.

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How to Write Children’s Picture Books: You Don’t Know Everything (Part 2)

 

by Yvonne Blackwood

After much thought and utilizing the idea generation suggestion in my previous article, you have decided on a fabulous idea. You are going to write a children’s story about Ronnie Rabbit, and he is going to be anthropomorphic. Although you have seen rabbits in the backyard and at the petting zoo, you really do not know much about them, except that the meat is eaten because you have seen it at the meat market. How are you going to write a convincing story about a rabbit without appearing stupid and uninformed? You must research diligently.

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How Long Your Novel Should Be

 

by Doug Lewars

How long should your novel be? The simple answer is that it needs to be just long enough to tell your story. Animal Farm is only 29,966 words and it’s a pretty good tale. At the other end of the spectrum is War and Peace at 544,406.  That’s quite a difference.

Now ask yourself this. Have you read Animal Farm? There’s a good chance that you have – particularly since it was on the high-school English curriculum for some years. So have you read War and Peace? Some have – but then some people like to climb mountains, cross deserts and dive deep into the ocean. The point here is that if you have to make a mistake, you should probably err on the low side.

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Science and Magic are Two Sides of the Same Coin

 

by Ryan Decaria

 

After much contemplation about writing magic systems, I’ve decided on a new writing philosophy. These guides work for me, but should in no way be considered “writing rules”.

  1. In fantasy, I’m going to treat my magic systems like a science
  2. In science fiction, I’m going to treat my “pushed” science like magic

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