Writing Rules Explained: Give Your Story Structure | Tips for writers from a freelance editor about why you should give your story structure.

Writing Rules Explained: Give Your Story Structure

Video transcript Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, there should come a time when you revise your novel, and one of the first steps of revising your novel should involve giving it structure. I know writers seethe when they hear the word should, but honestly, what’s the point of perfecting your writing, or even … Read more

Writing Rules Explained: Don’t Use Passive Voice | Tips for writers from a freelance editor about using passive voice, and when it’s actually okay to use it. A must watch for writers who aren’t sure about passive voice.

Writing Rules Explained: Don’t Use Passive Voice

I have a plug-in on my website that constantly tells me to rewrite my content because I use passive voice too much. If I were to import my content into an online text analyser, I’d get the same result. “Don’t use passive voice” is a rule that you can bet appears on probably just about … Read more

Writing Rules Explained: Said is Dead/ Only Use Said | Tips from a freelance book editor about whether or not said is dead. A must watch for writers who aren’t sure how to tag their dialogue.

Writing Rules Explained: Said is Dead / Only Use Said

“Said is dead,” says one camp. “Only use said,” says another. So which rule should we follow? The erroneous death of said Some writers think said is dead because it’s overused, but if using a word a lot means we need to expunge it from our vocabularies, why are irregardless and misunderestimate still kicking? As … Read more

8 Things to Do When Contacting a Freelance Editor for Your Novel | Are you ready to contact a freelance editor for your novel? Don’t forget to do these 8 things.

8 Things to do When Contacting a Freelance Editor for Your Novel

Organising a freelance book edit can be an exhausting and frustrating experience — I mean for me, not for you. I’m sure it’s daunting and scary for writers, but life for me as an editor (and, therefore, your book edit) would be a lot smoother if more people followed these guidelines when querying me. 1. … Read more

Writing Rules Explained: Make Every Word Count | Tips on why every word in your story should count, and how to make them count.

Writing Rules Explained: Make Every Word Count

Video transcript ‘Make every word count’ means that every word you use in your story should contribute to the story in some way. I’m not just talking about individual words here, but also sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters and subplots. Everything you write about should contribute to the ‘big picture’ of the story. Why? Let’s start … Read more

6 Things I Wish Writers Knew About Editing and the Editing Process | Are you looking for a freelance editor to edit your novel? Make sure you know these 6 things.

6 Things I Wish Writers Knew About Editors and the Editing Process

My clients are wonderful people who understand, appreciate and are happy to pay for my work so I’m flabbergasted by some of the emails I receive from writers . It can be draining to wake up on a Monday morning to the vaguest of query emails that say nothing by “how much do you charge?”. … Read more

How to Write Vivid Scenes: Avoid Unnecessary Adverbs | Tips for recognising when adverbs are unnecessary, and the damage they do to your writing.

How To Write Vivid Scenes: Avoid Unnecessary Adverbs

(Video transcript) I’m sure most writers have heard the advice that they should cut out adverbs from their writing and there are a few reasons why they should take this advice on board but I’m going to focus on the simple fact that unnecessary words complicate the picture you’re trying to give your reader. If … Read more

#FirstChapterFriday August 2016 | Every Friday, I read the first chapter of a book I’ve never read before to learn how to write a first chapter that will make readers want to read chapter two. These are the lessons I learned in August 2016.

First Chapter Friday #5 (August 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas Engaging first sentence? No, not particularly. I’m finding a lot of books that use the first line to describe setting. While I appreciate being thrown into the scene straight away, I’m more interested in what is happening than where it’s happening. … Read more

7 Ways to Stop Yourself Editing as you Write | Editing as you write does more harm than good. Here are 7 ways to stop yourself from doing it.

7 Ways to Stop Yourself Editing as You Write

Editing as you write slows you down. Simple as that. Instead of writing a whole document, you rewrite what you’ve already written. Why edit a document when you haven’t even finished writing it? You need to do that at the end anyway, and you might end up taking out the parts that you spent so long … Read more