Sometimes a character feels flat or boring or somehow a bit vague, and it's hard to pinpoint why. Coming up with a cast of completely new, unique characters to write about for each book is no small feat! I recently had two separate developmental edits where the authors weren't happy with their male love interests.… Continue reading My Top 5 Characterization Tips
Revision & Self-Publication Timeline
I have my first draft written! When should I plan on publishing it?
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.
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.
Dialogue: Show and Tell
The other day I was thinking about how different a scene can be depending on how the dialogue is written. Not just the lines themselves, but the tags, the action, the tone and gestures. So I asked my author- sister, Annette Larsen, to play with some scenes from her books to demonstrate. She's taken a… Continue reading Dialogue: Show and Tell