Oct 17

5 Must-Know Tips to Help Revise Your Story

Editing and revisions are a major part of writing.

Contributed by Linda Wilson

Now that the first draft of the second book in the Abi Wunder Mystery series, Secret in the Mist, is done, I can get to work. As author Michael Crichton has said, “writing is all about rewriting, which can be depressing, especially when after the seventh rewrite you find that’s still not working.” In other words, “books aren’t written, they’re re-written.”

Most helpful is a study of the charts that Kate Messner has created to use in her revision process. Before I studied Messner’s charts, I relied on lists, which is what I’m using for Mist. When I begin the third and last book in the Abi Wunder Mystery series, Secrets of the Heart, I plan to switch over to my own version of Messner’s chart system.

Get the First Draft Down

When I wrote the first book, Secret in the Stars, I spent too much time writing and editing what I wrote, all the way through the manuscript. That process turned out to be extremely inefficient. It made the book take a long time to write. This is what I advise after writing Mist:

• Leave your editor’s cap at the door and write your book straight through without any interruptions.
• Let the draft sit at least five days.
• Do a read-through or general revision, editing for word choice, obvious additions and deletions; in short, anything you see that needs improving.
• Let the draft sit.

Analyze your Story: Make a List

• Get Organized: First on the list is to take stock of ideas that occur to you while writing the first draft. I wish I could say I made a neat list of my ideas. I didn’t. The ideas appeared on whatever paper was available at the time the idea struck. Still, after sifting through the piles of papers in my office, I’m glad I saved them. Examples: Abi hears a faint whistle every time the ghost appears. This “aha” moment came to me while watching a movie on TV and hearing that whistle. I put to use that terrific little scrap of paper.
• Another example is my note: “Keep personal stakes high,” a reminder I had heard at an SCBWI Zoom meeting. I began a revision with this in mind, and that pass turned out to be the second major revision.

Create Arcs for each Character

Making character arcs are not only fun and informative, but necessary. I like to make diagrams with brief descriptions of how the characters have progressed and grown through the story. The example I like to use is the thirty-five pages in Book 1 where the dog Star was missing. It was a noticeable gap, which I filled in. In Book 2, I’ve completed the arc for Angel, an antagonist, who doesn’t appear in Book 3.

List the scenes

It is, of course, important to make sure the scenes are varied and interesting. Also, keeping track of the scenes helps you make sure the story is moving forward and doesn’t contain any “dead” spots. When Chris Eboch, a professional editor and prolific author who happily belongs to my SCBWI-NM chapter, edited Book 1, she came to a lovely chapter near the end about kittens that the two main characters were given.

But, and that’s a big but, the scene didn’t move the story forward. I had to take the entire chapter out, painful as it was after having a professional photographer take my picture with two kittens at a pet store. The good news is that the photo with the kittens is a fun one for my website, and the chapter can be used in my promo materials, hopefully to help touch children’s hearts.

List Plot Points

For this most important analysis, structure becomes important. I learned how to structure my stories in a fiction writing course I took, which followed Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey.”

• Make a diagram of your plot points using Cambpell’s diagram. Make sure your story has the structure it needs.

Check for Accuracy

Any information included in your book can be true or close to the truth. I mention the Alleghany Mountains in both Book 1 and 2, and made sure the setting was oriented correctly with the mountains set to the west. Many parts of both books needed to be researched for authenticity, such as in Book 1, a sheriff’s and deputy’s uniforms, the color of hard hats worn by different types of contractors; and in Book 2, Quakers who moved from Pennsylvania and settled in Loudoun County, Virginia in the 1800s, studied in order to help shape the personality of the ghost.

Release your book to your beta readers and a professional editor only after it is as polished as you can get it, after you’ve gone through your checklist of edits.

This article was first published at: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2021/01/revision-5-tips.html


Linda Wilson lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has two daughters, Kim and Tracy, who inspired her stories when they were younger. Linda is the editor of the New Mexico Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators newsletter, and has written posts for the Writers on the Move blog since 2013. She is a classical pianist and loves to go to the gym. But what Linda loves most is to make up stories and connect with her readers. Find out more by visiting Linda’s website at https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting, rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700.

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable and marketable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Oct 04

Tips on Polishing Your Novel

Contributed by Linda Wilson, Children’s Author

Writing tips.

You’ve finished your book. All the major edits and rewrites are done. Now it’s time to polish. Polishing includes the obvious edits, including making sure the story elements are present, verbs are active, every chapter moves the story forward, etc.

Fiction Short List:

– Does the beginning draw you in? Or could the story be started at a different point?
– Does the main character appear soon enough? Is there enough dialogue in the beginning?
– Does the story show and not tell?
– Is there a beginning, middle and end? Can you form a circle from beginning to end?
– Do the scenes flow and advance the plot?
– Does each character have an arc?
– Does your main character have a goal?
– Does your story have conflict?
– Is your story predictable?
– Did you explain everything well?
– Does the main character grow and change by the end?
– Would a different point of view, such as first person as opposed to third person, make the story more interesting?
– Are there any shifts in point of view?
– Does the dialogue sound natural?
– Are there any description “dumps” where pieces of the information could be spread out, ever so briefly? Does the story come to a satisfying conclusion?
– Are you finished? Not quite. Now it’s time to polish. Check to see if you’ve covered these technicalities, which I’ve collected since recently finishing my mystery novel for 8-12 year olds.

Edit each Item One at a Time

1. Each chapter beginning establishes “place” and each chapter ending entices your reader to find out what happens next.

2. Check past drafts to add any spicy details that were inadvertently edited out, such as brief descriptive phrases and personal thoughts of your main character.

3. Make sure you’ve covered the story elements, such as: Concept, Plot, Characterization, Voice, and Structure; beginning, middle and end, in a nutshell, the basics.

4. Are there are any “dead spots” where the story doesn’t move forward? Delete them.

5. Change any “telling” sentences to “show” what your character is doing and thinking.

6. Be specific. Check for anything vague or general and change to specific.

7. Do a drama check. Heighten the drama wherever you can.
Try this simple outline for each scene from Elaine Marie Alphin’s book, Creating Characters Kids will Love:

Main character’s thoughts and feelings
Show moves or gestures and facial expressions to show feelings

I prop Alphin’s book in front of me when I’m creating a scene. Her example on page nine is especially helpful, as this excerpt shows:

His sneakers were braced against the roof’s shingles. Slowly, Benjy took one hand off the sill and gripped a lower shingle instead. Then he took a deep breath, told himself very firmly not to be afraid, and let go of the sill with his other hand . . . Why couldn’t he have been a few inches taller? Benjy cursed his height silently. Even just a couple of inches would have meant his toes might have been able to feel the bench beneath him. But wishing wouldn’t make him grow.

8. Scrutinize every word. For example: Make sure you’ve cut out unnecessary prepositional phrases, haven’t overused adjectives as too many adjectives weaken nouns, haven’t relied on unnecessary words such as these words listed by author Margot Finke on her website: seemed; thought; started; might; she said; he saw; got and get. Use fresh figurative language; no clichés. Use clear, concise language that paints a picture. One editor described this in a way that you won’t easily forget: “Write it plain then make it fancy.”

9. Make sure every scene builds toward an explosive climax and satisfying ending.

10. Collect important information in one place to help write your letter to the publisher and market your book:

-The story problem
-The main character’s special need or flaw
-The theme: Does your theme clearly stand out (without stating it)?
-My favorite example is Bruce Coville’s, The Skull of Truth. Charlie Eggleston has a not-so-slight problem telling the truth. On page three “a familiar voice sneered, ‘Well, look here–it’s Charlie Eggleston, king of the liars.'” Telling the truth carries throughout the book; the last line finishes the theme off with, “And that was the absolute truth.” Even though ‘truth’ is brought out in many not-so subtle ways–it appears even in the title–the book is such fun to read, the message of ‘telling the truth’ is integral to the story and never stated.
-The encapsulation of your story in as few words as possible.
-The synopsis: Tell someone or say out loud what your book is about–not always easy for someone who expresses herself/himself on the page.
-The book jacket blurb.
-The list of characters, brief descriptions, their goals and their own character arc.
-The list of chapter titles and page numbers.

11. Tie up loose ends: Jot down each part of the action and goal of each character and make sure you’ve followed through.

12. Last but Most Important: Your first sentence and first chapter are the most important part of your book. Make sure they contain what is necessary to interest an editor and your reader. Somewhere in my research I read that Stephen King has been known to spend a year on the first chapter. That’s how important it is to get it right. There are very specific points editors look for that must be covered.

Here are samples from two books I use to help me get the correct information in the first sentence, first paragraph and first chapter. In the opening, a few sparse words establish “place,” establish a bond with the main character and tell you what the entire book is about.

The Green Ghost by Marion Dane Bauer. 1938.

“Papa! Look! isn’t it beautiful?” Lillian breathed the words, long and slow. In the cold air, her breath clouded the store window. She wiped it clear again with a corner of her scarf.

The cloak was beautiful. It was dark green wool . . . All that green made Lillian think of a Christmas tree.

We don’t know it yet, but we’ve met our ghost–she is the main character who came from an earlier time, 1938. In Chapter two we meet Kaye who is riding with her parents to her grandmother’s house for Christmas in a snow storm. While reading the book I thought Kaye was the main character. Later when I analyzed the story I realized that though most of the book was about Kaye, Lillian was the main character. She became the green ghost wearing the green cloak, which was made clear in the above first two paragraphs but was so subtle I didn’t catch it until I thought about it.

When My Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park

Sun-hee (1940)
“It’s only a rumor,” Abuji said as I cleared the table. “They’ll never carry it out.”

In one amazing first sentence we learn what the book is about. The chapter goes on to explain the details about the rumor and how it is planned to be carried out. The theme is established on page two:

“Nobody ever told me anything. I always had to findout for myself. But at least I was good at it. You had to do two opposite things: be quiet and ask questions. And you had to know when to be quiet and who to ask.”

The next paragraph explains the details, and so on.

This posts was first published at: http://www.writersonthemove.com/2016/05/tips-on-polishing-your-novel.html

Children's authorLinda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 100 articles for adults and children, and six short stories for children. Recently, she completed Joyce Sweeney’s online fiction courses, picture book course and mystery and suspense course. She is currently working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on Facebook.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.


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Sep 21

What Do Fiction Writing and Film Editing Have in Common?

Writing Fiction and Film Editing

I read an interesting article on editing. Well, not just editing, but how to do it effectively. Did you know that in “Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola filmed and edited thousands and thousands of feet of film. Mental Floss puts the footage at 1.5 million feet.” (1)

So, why did Coppola take so much footage?

He took that much so that he’d have plenty of room for cutting. He could pick and choose what would make each scene the best it could be.

This is the same with writing fiction.

You might want to write more than you need so when you get into the editing phase, you can choose what will work and what won’t work for each scene. You’ll have plenty of content to make choices and get it just right.

For more on editing, check out:

Editing a Children’s Book – 10 Tips Checklist for Authors

Revisions and Editing – Do a Verb and Word Check

3 Reasons Editing Should Come Before Self-Publishing


(1) http://www.glimmertrain.com/bulletins/essays/b131boast.php

Children's ghostwriter

Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter. I can turn your story into a book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable shape today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Jan 26

Editing and Revisions – Do a Verb and Word Check

Do a verb and word check.

Contributed by Linda Wilson

No revision is complete without a thorough check of the verbs in your manuscript.

You want to make your verbs clean. You want to make your verbs sparkle. And if you love words, as I do, it won’t be a chore to highlight each one, take a moment to decide if it works or not, and then either keep it or change it.

My quest to make my verbs sizzle and pop has blossomed into contemplating nouns, ridding my manuscript of most adjectives and all no-no adverbs, and what’s been the most fun: rephrasing many parts of sentences, indeed, often changing entire sentences. I’ve even found inaccuracies I’ve somehow missed. This is after a thorough sweep of my project by more than one expert editor!

Lesson learned: the buck stops at the author. No one else can fine-tune your work the way you can and no one cares as much as you do.

Use the “Find” Function in Word
I’m on the Rs. That’s right, almost done. My process:

Click on the "Find" function in Word
Type in the word in question
Click on "Find in"
Click Main document
Word will give you the number of this word that you have used
Click Highlight All
Go through the text and decide whether to keep or change the word
Use your own and online dictionary and thesaurus 

I split the screen in two, one side a tally of the words I am working on, and the other, my manuscript. My tally sheet is eight pages long: the words are listed in one long column in order to use the “alphabetize” function. My goal is a minimum of three to avoid too much repetition, unless the word is repeated for characterization purposes or simply works best.

The List

The list I’ve compiled for this post consists of the most troublesome repeats: the first number is the repeats first found, the second is the whittled-down version. The latter number shows the actual number of those words used now. Some words, such as ran and sat, are part of bigger words and don’t count as being repetitive, and are listed in the first number, but not the second.

down 146:15 (Yikes!)
dropped 24:5
fell 19:8
glanced 31:4
grabbed 28:3
headed 12:3
holding 14:3
hurried 7:6
just 49:6
kept 20:4
let/let’s/letting 89:11
look/looked/looking 46:5
minute 24:8
moved 21:7
peered 12:3
picked up 17:5
pointed 28:2
pulled 33:7
ran 95:10
reached 27:8
rose 13:7
sat 35:10
stood 53: Eek!
took 55: Help!

A Few Examples

Too many "slips": A boy slipped in next to the woman. v A boy peeked out from behind the woman. 
Too many "slids": He ignored them, continued to the next hive, removed that frame,--v slid that frame out,--and inspected it. 
 . . . and placed (v slid) the silhouettes in the back seat. 
Too many "lowereds": While dabbing at the inky black hair sticking out from under her hair band, sunglasses still lowered, she eyed Jess. v While dabbing at the inky black hair sticking out from under her headband, sunglasses now hovering somewhere around the groove between her nostrils and her upper lip, she eyed Jess.

Whittling Down the Words

How did whittling down these words change my manuscript?

The wording often changed, and often the word in question was deleted altogether.
I found the most delicious verbs and alternate thought patterns that feel fresher than my original wording.
Some changes came in the form of adding more actions by the characters and showing more emotions. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi is the main resource I'm using, though Google searches are a big help, too. 
Zeroing in on a sentence or phrase allowed me to find ways of using alliteration and figurative language more.
Found opportunities for more feedback from characters to each other and to the main character.
Weeded out superfluous words.
I believe my language is much more colorful now.
Has helped to tighten scenes.
Caveat: It has gotten more difficult to find fresher words as I draw closer to Y (no Zs, yet anyway).

The Finish Line

This pursuit has become a game: How many interesting words can I collect and jot down for The List? When I’m finished, I plan to print the pages, cut them so only the column of words is showing, and tape the columns together on fewer pages for easy access for future projects. Funny how collecting words like this hasn’t struck me until now after many years of writing. But I’ve got the bug now and I can see the writing on The List: it will keep growing and growing and growing!

This post was originally published at:

Children's author

Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 100 articles for adults and children, and six short stories for children. Recently, she has completed her first book, a mystery/ghost story for children 7-11 years old, and is hard at work on Book Two in the series. Follow Linda at www.lindawilsonauthor.com.


I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter/editor. Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I can turn your story into a book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable shape today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN.

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Nov 10

One Last Edit – Rethink Before Submitting

One last edit

Contributed by Linda Wilson

Can you look through your completed book without making any changes?

I tried it after thinking I had finished up the basic editing and even the polishing. There couldn’t possibly be anything more to “fix,” thought me. Wrong. I found more changes, important changes, many changes.

Throwing caution to the wind, I gave up all notions of completion and continued, alternating between rummaging through additional passes as the need occurred to me with my pinpoint-sharpened #2, and then laying my book down to rest for short periods of time. My conclusion? The persistent question: When will I ever be done?

What do I need to re-think?

While in the throes of this quest I decided, what the heck, what’s one more pass? I came up with: What do I need to re-think?

It turned out to be the most revealing edit of all. It resulted in a title change, removal of a subplot (that was BIG, but I had to do it), addition of a character (that was fun), rearranging some of the scenes and re-checking the arcs, making sure someone or something didn’t fall off the face of the page. Each character arc, including arcs in each character’s dialogue, and each event, had to be followed from beginning to end. If I hadn’t done that particular check, pearls of the necklace I had begun to string would have fallen off before the clasp could have been attached. Nightmares could have resulted. I could have wound up with another fire-engine red I, another school daze Incomplete, only this time from an editor and not my teacher (if I should be so lucky!)

Take One More Look

  • Go back to the theme card you prepared before or during the writing. Make sure the main theme shines through and ask yourself, Do the minor themes bolster the main theme?
  • Check the structure one more time. Is it solid?
  • Does each character have an arc? Each story part introduced have follow-through to the end? Follow each one all the way through to make sure.
  • Is your main character’s flaw/need evident in the beginning and satisfied/solved from what she’s learned by the end?
  • Have you done a scene check to make sure there isn’t any section that might work better elsewhere?
    Is there any character or scene that doesn’t move the story forward?
  • Is there anything to add to strengthen any part, or any weak part to delete which will strengthen the story?
  • Is description kept at a minimum (in a children’s story)? Is the story told through dialogue and action?
  • If it is a mystery, make a list of the clues, red herrings and reveal to make sure everything is covered.

Do one last fact check.

If you grow weary of so many revisions, give your story a rest and come back to it later. One of my writing instructors once told me, you don’t write a book, you re-write a book.

When at first I thought I was done, I had to disengage from disappointment when finding so many glaring errors. This must be the armor people talk about that writers must grow and wear, and perhaps why people admire authors so much. For the fortitude and single-mindedness it takes to do the seat-time, on and on, until we are finally satisfied with the finished product, whatever it takes.

Being sure of your work is a must if a writer wants to produce a sparkling, page-turning, humdinger of a book!

This article was originally published at:

Author Linda Wilson

Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 150 articles for adults and children, and several short stories for children. She has recently become editor of the New Mexico SCBWI chapter newsletter, and is working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on Facebook.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need editing, rewriting, or ghostwriting, let me take a look a your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN.

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Dec 17

3 Reasons Why Editing Should Come Before Self-Publishing

Edit before you self-publish

Self-publishing is an amazing beast. It has brought the world of publishing into the hands of you, Joe, Beth, and everyone and anyone who wants to write a book. It has brought writing power and freedom to all.

But, with writing power and freedom comes responsibility.

This means that while it’s true that self-publishing has opened a tremendous amount of doors and anyone can now write and publish a book, it doesn’t mean you can slap anything together and self-publish? You need to produce quality (edited) content for three reasons.

There are at least three reasons you should edit your manuscript before you self-publish:

Reason number one: You have an obligation to your reader.

You want to give the reader her money’s worth. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, you want to create a book that will engage the reader. You don’t want the reader to stumble over grammatical and content errors while reading.

One of the drawbacks to the ease of self-publishing is those new to the arena don’t realize they should hone their craft before actually publishing a book. This means taking the time to learn about writing and self-editing, and realizing the importance of hiring a professional editor to edit the book before giving it to the world.

Reason number two: You have an obligation to other writers.

Part of the problem today is the ‘I want it now’ syndrome that self-publishing lends itself to. Authors don’t want to take the longer ‘proven’ road. But, learning the ropes really does matter.

Once your book is ‘out there,’ it becomes another element in the determining factor as to whether self-published books are of the same quality as traditionally published books. This is where your obligation to other writers comes into play. It’s not fair to diminish the value of self-published books.

Reason number three: Self-editing is a good book marketing move.

In book marketing 101, the first step is to create a quality product.

In a webinar, pro marketers Daniel Hall and Jason Fladlien discussed the importance of ‘the offer’ (your product) compared to the sales copy. By far, a quality product is much more important.

If your intent is to only publish one book, then quality may not matter from a marketing perspective. The saying goes, ‘if you fool me once, shame on me.’ If this is the scenario, then you don’t have to worry about readers/purchasers buying more from you. But, you’ll need to be careful here, because word-of-mouth is lightning fast in the internet world. This could easily stop your one-time purchasers also.

On the flip side, let’s assume you love writing and have decided to earn an income from it. Then, self-editing will play a huge part in your book marketing success. If you produce a sub-standard product (book), it will discourage a customer from buying your future books.

Remember, a great product will not only sell itself, it will usually write its own copy. Editing before publishing helps create a quality product.

Here are two links to help you with the editing process:

Writing a Book – 6 Tips to Hiring a Freelance Editor
Editing a Children’s Book – 10 Tips Checklist for Authors

Be a children's writerBeing a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out my 200 page ebook (or paperback) that gives you all the basics of HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent, and marketing your books.

Jun 04

Writing Tips – 5 Ways to Annoy an Editor

Editors and your manuscript.

Contributed by Anne Duguid Knol

The wonderful thing is that you can annoy an editor at any and all points throughout the publishing process. This allows you to get your own back for all the odd comments sprinkled on every page of your great works from kindergarten onwards. After all, your inbox is full of emails insisting you can make a fortune with your writing in a weekend. Who needs an editor anyway?

Well, if you want to be traditionally published, an editor comes with the package deal. So let’s get off on the most annoying foot from the start.


1) Resist reading the publishers’ instructions for sending in submissions. Send in a hefty paper manuscript with all pages stapled together when the instructions ask for email only.

Choose a jolly font — something unusual like Bauhaus 93 or all caps like Algerian. Ignore the boring fonts  like Times New Roman which are so often requested by publishers. Word will happily suggest something it considers better if you run out of ideas.

You’ll get more words on the page if you use single spacing and keep the font tiny –try 8 pt.

And  better not reread your manuscript before sending it off. After all, you want your editor to have lots to do.

Remember the Rules

2) Follow every typewriting rule you can remember. Sadly we no longer need two spaces before every new sentence. With computers, one space throughout is all that’s necessary. Your editor can sort that one out fairly easily but hitting the space bar to create paragraph indents or using tabs does mean tedious days of  extra formatting.

Life is hard enough with the latest version of Word happily saving every copy of your work in a single file and creating huge files which need to  be reduced to manageable size.

3) Ignore all rules regarding point of view. After all if you know who’s speaking what’s the problem?

The problem is that readers like identifying with a particular character or characters in a story. This is difficult if they can’t have an in depth involvement. If characters are batting thoughts and feelings about like ping pong balls, it may be exhilarating but it is more likely to lead to confusion than empathy.

However, it’s your book.

Find the right agent

4} Choose an agent who supports your beliefs and ignores requests for blurbs and synopses, sends in an unread manuscript on parenting to a house specializing in Romantic Fiction. Yes, we can see there is a connection there somewhere but publishers and their editors are apt to concentrate on fact or fiction, or at least have different imprints for each.

What’s an Editor For, Anyway?

5} And the final definite No-no. Your editor is not there to write your book. Your editor is there to help you polish your book, make it shine. If you have problems with spelling and grammar, at least do your best to check the manuscript through with Word’s tools if nothing else. Read your manuscript out loud–that’s a good way to find missing words.

Anne Duguid Knol is a local and national journalist in the U.K., Anne Knol is now a fiction editor for award-winning American and Canadian publishers. As a new author, she shares writing tips and insights at Author Support : http://www.authorsupport.net.

Originally published at:

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Striving to Be a Better Writer by Writing More
Book Marketing – You’ve Gotta Have a Blog

Need Help With Your StoryLet me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and editor. I can turn you story into a publishable and saleable book.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Nov 20

Book Marketing – The Foundation

Book marketing starts with a quality productEvery author has thought it, said it, and heard it: promotion is the roll-up-your-sleeves and dig-in part of writing. It’s the much more difficult and time consuming aspect of writing that every author needs to become involved with . . . if she wants to sell her books.

To actually sell a book, you need to have a quality product. This is the bare-bottom, first rung of book promotion . . . the foundation.

The Foundation – Create a Quality Product

The very first step in book promotion is to create a quality product. Hopefully, you noticed I said create a quality product, not just a good story. What this means is that all aspects of your book need to be top notch.

A. The Story

To start at the very beginning, the first factor to be dealt with is to be sure your story has all the essential elements. According to Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, there are five major elements of a story: characters, setting, plot, point of view, and theme.

All the elements of a story should complement each other, should move each other forward, draw the reader in, and end with a satisfying conclusion. They should work together to create a story that will be remembered.

Suppose your story is action packed and plot driven, but it lacks believable and sympathetic characters – it will fall short. The same holds true if you have a believable and sympathetic character, but the story lacks movement. Again, it will be lacking.

As with all things in life balance is necessary, the same holds true when writing a story.

Here are four articles that will help you in this area:

Being a Writer – Learn the Craft of Writing
10 Rules for Writing Children’s Stories    
Writing for Children – Character Believability and Conflict
How to Write a Story

B. Join a Critique Group

Yes, this is part of creating a quality story.

Even experienced authors depend on the unique perspective and extra eyes that each critique member provides. They will help find: grammatical errors, holes in your story, unclear sentences and paragraphs, overuse of particular words, and weak verbs, among other elements.

They will also provide guidance and suggestions.

C. Editing

Yes, again, this is a necessary step to take to ensure your manuscript is in the best shape possible before it becomes a book.

Look for an experienced and qualified editor to help tweak your manuscript. But, before you send it off to be edited, self-edit it first.

There are a number of articles out there in cyberspace on self-editing. Take the time and read a few, then go over your manuscript.

D. Cover and Design

This step is more relevant to those who decide to self-publish or use a Print-on-Demand (POD).

The cover (including the back cover) is the first impression a reader will usually have of your book, next is the interior design. These aspects are just as important as the story itself.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the expression that you only get one shot at making a good first impression. Well, you can relate that to your book cover.

Don’t skimp on time, effort, or money when coming up with your book’s cover and design.

Tip: If you are writing a children’s book, do not do your own illustrations unless you’re a professional illustrator.


Let me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and editor. I can turn your story into a publishable and saleable book.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700