Developmental Checklist

One of the most difficult questions my writers seem to face is whether or not they need to pay an editor for a developmental edit. So I thought I'd try to come up with a checklist so you can attempt your own developmental edit--or maybe give it to your best beta reader ever so they can know what to look for. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you send your manuscript baby off for its first big day at line-editing school.

Plot, Story Arc, Themes, Uncategorized

Emotional Threads, Plot Threads

Any story is made up of a unique mix of threads. These threads could be just about anything depending on the genre, audience, and themes, but for my purposes here we’ll talk about two basic categories: emotional threads and plot threads. We have emotional threads made up of characters’ motivations, loves, fears, struggles, and growth; and plot threads made up of conflict, choices, twists, disasters, outside forces, and triumphs. The way these threads weave together form the themes of the novel—the abstract ideas our story is exploring, such as love, selfishness, war, identity, grief, good vs evil . . . the list could go on and on.

Characterization, dialogue, Narrative Voice, Romance, Uncategorized

Romance 101

What makes a good romance? Why do some romances seem so cheesy while others pull you in and give you butterflies and goose bumps and ALL the feels? How do you find that balance between realistic and deliciously perfect? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I’ve edited and read for fun and done some writing of my own, so I thought I’d share some thoughts (and hope they come out making sense).