Pricking the Reader’s Heart

By Gina Burgess I put a book down to get some water, and found myself praying for one of the characters. Now THAT is character development. He wasn’t even the main character! I needed to analyze it and see why my heart was pricked so by that character. Georgette Heyer could sometimes elicit in me […]

Overcoming Storms of Doubt in Writing

by Pam Lagomarsino Although it was March, my area suffered a record-breaking destructive storm. At the height of it, we were trapped in our small mountain community on four sides. No one could come in or go out for about two hours as we waited for a dam to break and heard news of roads […]

How to Write Stories That Appeal to Little Ones: Tips from the Trenches

By Margaret Welwood A children’s book writer, editor, and grandmother offers her take, with links to some of her favorite stories for sharing. Tender-hearted toddler that she is, Eliana loves babies. Here, she’s immersed in the photos of babies and drawings of dancing bees in Laurie Salisbury’s Nothing to Fear. Thousands of Words If a […]

3 Ways to Handle the Overwhelm of too Many Story Ideas

by Jennifer Harris As writers we’re creative and that means story ideas tend to pop up at every turn. Just sitting at a traffic light observing what’s happening around us could be the starting point for a complete novel! Pretty soon our brains become overpopulated with ideas until we find ourselves overwhelmed, stuck, or jumping […]

4 Tips on Catching an Editor’s Attention

By W. Terry Whalin Do you feel like you are pitching your book projects into a black hole with little or no response? As a writer and now an editor in the publishing business, I’m aware of my own responsibility to be communicating with others via email or phone. As an acquisitions editor at Morgan James […]

Improve Your Writing with Story Circles

by Margaret Welwood They say—and I agree—that reading your story out loud helps you to detect awkward places. If you stumble, so will your reader. But what of reading other authors’ stories out loud—stories that you and your (grand)children enjoy? I read at day cares, the museum, the library, and other venues, reasoning that as […]

Meet Your New Best Friends—Critique Partners and Beta-Readers

  By Pam Lagomarsino   “It’s good. I liked it.” Now, isn’t that what every author dreams of hearing about their book? Not necessarily—especially when are looking for ways to improve. You know that while you’ve worked on your manuscript countless hours, still some areas aren’t where you want them. Yes, the material is good, […]

How to Self-Edit Your Manuscript

by Jennifer Harris The Big Picture – Part 1 Big picture editing—also called developmental editing or the revision stage—can be an overwhelming task, especially if this is your first novel. The big picture edit is where you will start molding your raw material into a polished finished novel. This is the stage of editing where […]

High Low

by Mary Norsworthy While visiting at my son Darren’s house one day, we had just finished dinner when he looked at his children and said, “high-low.” Thoughtful looks came on their faces, and I wondered what he meant. Then, one by one, they started telling about the high and low points of their day. On […]

Can Beta Readers Replace Editors?

by Jennifer Harris Beta readers are an invaluable resource. They provide feedback on content, what’s working and what’s not working, and usually catch some of our pesky typos. Personally, I wouldn’t publish a book without the use of beta readers. However, their role is quite different from that of an editor. Yes, they can identify […]