Scenes vs. Chapters: What's the Difference?
What to Expect When You Hire an Editor
Ah the age old conflict, how do I tell when I’m writing a scene vs. a chapter?
A common problem I see when developmentally editing manuscripts is authors who don’t know when to start a new scene or chapter. To be fair, the difference can be tricky. Scenes and chapters are closely related in that they must both have conflict and tell a mini-story within the larger story. All of that has to happen while moving the story forward, challenging the characters, and being properly paced. It’s honestly a wonder anyone can write a book with all of that going on! The good news is that a lot of the things you need to include in your scenes and chapters are things you’re doing innately. So what are the big differences between a scene and chapter? Let’s dig into chapters first.
Why Everyone Should Outline (even if it's just a little)
In the past few weeks, I’ve given workshops to beginning writers, and some frequent questions that pop up are, What is like working with an editor? Should I do anything to prepare for an editor?
These are GREAT questions, and if you’re asking them, that means you’re already doing what you’re supposed to. Let me preface this post by saying all editors are different (well, duh, Tiffany). Okay, I know, that was an obvious statement. But what I’m trying to say is that in this post I’m going to give a general overview of what it’s like working with an editor. Of course, this perspective is slightly skewed to how I operate. Having said that, I have many editor friends. I, myself, have worked with multiple editors, and so in this post, I’m trying to combine all of those experiences into one that will give you a good idea of what working with an editor should be like.
Deep Dive into Your Characters
Pantsing. First of all, I feel like plotters get a better word to describe themselves than pansters do. Pantser just sounds weird. Does this mean I’m biased about pantsing from get go just because of the word? Maybe.
But I also have some good points about why being a plotter is better than being a panster (no offense to all you discovery writers) #sorrynotsorry.
The Types of Transitions You Need to Help Smooth Out Your Writing
I’ve been reading Story Genius by Lisa Cron lately, which has gotten me thinking a lot about character and the importance of character in storytelling. Well duh, you might be thinking. And yes, it seems obvious that character is important, but a lot of times in manuscripts I edit, character is forgotten in lieu of plot. Plot is definitely important, but Cron says that plot is secondary to character. Let me tell you guys, she is so right.
The Most Effective Strategies for Finding Betas & CPs
The title is awkward and probably more of a mouthful than needed, but live and let learn, right?
Transitions are a weird thing to think about. It seems like common sense that writers would know how to transition from one sentence to the next, or one paragraph to the next, or even one chapter to the next. But time and time again, I see lack of transitions as one of the biggest problems for writers. Naturally, I decided it was time to write a blog post about it with the hopes of helping writers to be more aware about the different types of transitions that can be used.
My Top Tips for World Building
In the land of writing, it is so important to have your work read by others so you can get feedback and improve. And no, I’m not talking about asking your husband or your mom or your best friend to read your manuscript. They can absolutely read what you’ve written, but you’re going to need to take their feedback with a grain of salt.
How to Punctuate Dialogue
World building is a huge topic to cover, but it’s also one that is important when thinking about crafting your story. Whether the world is real or made up world, it’s necessary to bring the setting alive for readers to help them get invested in your book! World building also ridiculously cool (when done right). I’m going to break down my top world building tips for you, and your goal is to implement these tips into your story in different ways.
The Four Stages of Editing (and why they're REALLY important)
I’ve already written one post about the best way to handle dialogue here, but some of the biggest punctuation mistakes (other than comma use) that I see when editing manuscripts involves dialogue. It can be a tricky thing to punctuate because there are so many rules and different scenarios to cover. So let’s dive into a few.
Cut the Filler Words That Kill Your Writing
There’s a lot of confusion among writers and editors (if we’re being completely honest) about the different types of editing stages that a manuscript goes through. So here I am, ready to dispel some of that misinformation (or to cause more misinformation, I guess you never know). The problem with naming different types of editing is that no one can quite agree on what to call the four stages. Is it line or substantive? Copyedit or proofread? Developmental or manuscript assessment?
If you’re not a big vlog person, then skip the video above and read the summary below.
As writers, we all have a tendency to use extra, unneeded (see what I did there?) filler words that slow down the pacing of our writing and kill the overall effect. So what are these words that we need to axe from our writing?
How to Write Good Dialogue
Note: If you watched the video, but aren’t interested in reading the blog, scroll down below for an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at the wonderful first chapter of The Baetylus Stone!
For those of you who aren’t all about the vlogs, I’m just going to go ahead and break the video down for you here.
Writing a Query: It's All in the Details
Writing dialogue can often be a tricky process. It’s not just about capturing the essence of how your characters would speak according to their age, the time period they live in, and where they live, it’s also about using a mixture of various beats and dialogue tags in a way that is most effective for your story. If the previous sentence made your eyes spin, keep reading. I’m about to break it down.
Top Five Self-Editing Tips
Oh man. There are so many big events happening right now for writers (i.e., Pitch Wars and pitmad and conferences with pitch opportunities). Events that mean we writers must be on our A game when it comes to queries. Which is enough to make my head spin. And then I get dizzy, and I have to self-soothe with chocolate and wine . . .
Anyway, QUERIES! The single most terrifying part of being a writer. Plotting, outlining, drafting, writing a whole 90,000-word book. No problem.
How to Find the Right Editor for You
Ahhhhh editing. The single thing every writer looks forward to after finishing writing their books. Anyone? Anyone else? Oh, so it’s just me, then?
Listen, every writer has to do some editing. Whether it’s before sending to betas, before querying, or polishing up that manuscript before sending it off to your editor, your book will be edited by you at some point. If you’ve just finished your mountain of a manuscript and need to dive back into it for the dreaded edits, use these five tips to help get the editing party started!
Okay, first off, it’s not just about how to find the right editor, but WHEN. As wonderful as those words are that you just put on paper, they’re not wonderful enough to be edited by a professional right when you get done writing them.