Writing Rules Explained #5: Give Your Story Structure

Writing Rules Explained #5: Give Your Story Structure

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 elements like … Read more

Writing Rules Explained #4: Don't Use Passive Voice

Writing Rules Explained #4: 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 #3: 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

Things to do When Contacting a Freelance Editor for Your Novel

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

Make Every Word Count

Writing Rules Explained #2: 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

Things I wish writers knew about editors

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

Avoid Unnecessary Adverbs

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

First Chapter Friday #5 (August)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Watch the video. 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 … Read more

Stop editing as you write

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’ve gotta do that at the end anyway, and you might end up taking out the parts that you spent so long rewriting. … Read more