Don’t Try to Be Original

Don’t Try to Be Original

One of the biggest worries that many new authors have is whether or not their work is original. Are they just copying their favorite novel? What if someone has written their idea before? How can they come up with something that’s new and interesting with all of the books that have already been written? For some people, it ends up being crippling. An author who is writing a book on Yetis who run a magical school for gifted dragons sees…

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Black Friday Sale!

Black Friday Sale!

For Black Friday, I’m offering a 10% discount on all editing services booked between now and December 1st. I currently have availability next month and throughout next year. This discount will apply to the final amount due upon receipt of the completed manuscript, and there is a 25% deposit due upon the contract being signed (to secure your time window). You can check out the home page to see the regular rates, descriptions, testimonials, and more.

Skywalker Stands Alone

Skywalker Stands Alone

[Warning: This post contains significant spoilers for two of the three Star Wars movies. If you have not seen A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, you should do so before reading this post. Also, what’s wrong with you? They’re cultural touchstones that have been out forever.] Standalone, with Series Potential If you are submitting your book to publishers, it’s common to see the advice that, even if you intend it to be a thirty-one-volume series with four spin-offs,…

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Feedback Tips – Part Three – What to Do with Feedback

Feedback Tips – Part Three – What to Do with Feedback

Hello! It’s time for a new installment in this blog series which I definitely didn’t forget I was writing. We’ve talked about when you should ask for feedback and what kind of feedback you should ask for, but the next step is critical: What do you do when you get feedback? Now, a lot of this will depend on what kind of feedback it is and what stage your book was in. If you just threw a first draft of…

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Feedback Tips: Part Two – What Feedback to Ask For

Feedback Tips: Part Two – What Feedback to Ask For

In part one, I talked about when to ask for feedback. If you missed that post, you can find it here. However, the next major issue that people have with feedback is knowing what kind of feedback to ask for. If you scroll through /r/writing’s stickied critique thread, you’ll notice that quite a few of the posts just say, “any feedback at all” or “whatever advice you feel like.” Almost all of the posts that just get dropped in (and…

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Feedback Tips: Part One – When to Ask for Feedback

Feedback Tips: Part One – When to Ask for Feedback

In my time on writing forums, blogs, and in just talking to people, one of the most common topics is feedback. Whether it’s people not being sure how to give feedback, how to ask for feedback, or what to do with feedback, it’s amazing how many issues come up. Even worse, quite a few of the other questions that I see are flawed because the author is asking for feedback at the wrong time or in the wrong way, which…

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Choosing Your Characters

Choosing Your Characters

When you decide to write a story, you’ll almost always already have the main characters in mind. After all, you can’t have even the idea of a story without characters to fill it out. So it may seem strange to talk about choosing your characters. But, just like when you’re evaluating a scene, you have to be sure that each character is serving a purpose and driving the story forward. It’s one of the hardest evaluations to do when you’re…

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The Opening Line

The Opening Line

Tuesday, we talked about your opening scene and what purpose it serves. It needs to introduce the main character, explain why that character is interesting, and lead into the plot. Today, we’ll focus in a little more and look at the first paragraph of the book. Some of these things may seem like they overlap with Tuesday’s post. They’re supposed to. For obvious reasons, what you’ve chosen for your first scene affects what you do in the first line. This…

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The Opening Scene

The Opening Scene

Your opening scene is important, because that’s where you have to hook the reader. If they don’t care about your main character by the end of the first scene, they’re unlikely to finish your story, much less enjoy it. One book I recently started to read opened with a ten-page prologue set a hundred years after the actual story. I made it to page twelve. Another opened with the POV character talking to her sister over breakfast, with a paragraph…

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Read in Your Genre

Read in Your Genre

For most of us, our enjoyment of writing grew out of our love of reading. Some wanted to continue a story that someone else had written, so they write fan fiction. Some people write because they enjoy the process of storytelling that they’ve seen in other books. Personally, I write because of the world building I enjoyed in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and all the authors that have followed in his footsteps.