Modernize Your Grammar

The Write Nook

One of the scariest aspects of self-publishing is the editing process. You don’t have a built in editor waiting for your next draft. If you don’t possess a doctorate degree in the English language, you feel prone to have a ‘professional’ edit your work which often comes with hefty fees. You worry about following every grammatical ‘rule’ because you fear that any poor grammar will cast your work in a negative light or will be judged by readers and/or critics, just because you are not following the ‘conventional rules’ despite how well you write. We all have heard and seen authors get slammed for poor grammar and the last thing we want is to be the next victim. Go ahead and breathe because I don’t want you to spend another second worrying about it. I recently came across a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, called “There Is…

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Divorcing the Writer From the Editor

William Drayman

I realize that the secret to a good blog is posting often, but circumstances at the moment dictate my writing time take a back seat to my children’s schooling requirements. I am writing from 9pm to 1am or so, and there is so much work to do with The Road Out that I simply cannot spare much time for blogging.

However, the holidays have started, so I have more time available for sitting in front of the keyboard right now.

So, I wanted to talk about what I have learned as regards editing. Not the mechanics per se, but the mental attitude that has to be donned to edit a book successfully. As you can discern by the title, the writer mindset does not get on well with the editing mentality.

The writer spends many an hour crafting a chapter to encapsulate beautiful prose. The creative juices flow and the…

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#Revising and Rewriting a Novel is no Mystery

Global Mysteries

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akillerideaRevising and rewriting a novel is no mystery if you go about it methodically. Yes, it’s a lot of work. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it’s a critical part of an author’s job. Revising and rewriting is my favorite step in creating a novel because I come up with some of my best scenes during this segment of producing my story.

Preliminary Preparation:
I begin my revising and rewriting process by sticking my novel in a drawer or in a computer folder and not looking at it for at least three weeks. Just before I start actively revising and rewriting, I make a complete copy of my manuscript and store it on my computer and on an external hard drive. I will continue to make copies on a regular basis as I make revisions. That way, if I cut or add something I shouldn’t, I can always return to the…

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Reading and Editing—Paper vs. Screen

Corr Editing

I step into the library and find myself transported back in time. I’m five years old again, going to work with my grandmother, the librarian. A moment of perfect bliss—we had the whole library to ourselves, to slip among its aisles and know that any of those books would talk to me, tell me their stories, open themselves to me wholly, and that I would be all the richer for it. The rows and rows of books in all the colors of the rainbow became my playground. Even today I still love to see them stretching before me, to smell that familiar, comforting scent of old volumes, to run my fingers along textured spines. I revel in all their physicality.

And yet I almost never hold physical books anymore; I read their stories and information from a screen. Even when editing, I prefer to use a screen; in fact, I…

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Crafting a Practicable Plan for the Editing Process

Sarah L. Yoon

Editing is eternally fascinating. When you approach the second draft of your novel, you’re a lioness crouching in the grass, watching her prey, biding her time, and planning the kill. For a successful hunt, you must analyze the situation thoroughly.

In “3 Steps to a Sustainable and Streamlined Editing Process,” I help you start the process of crafting a practicable plan. And to my nerdy glee, I get to dig into three main editing stages over the next two weeks. The editing process is complex, messy, and exhausting–but completely worthwhile.

Stay tuned, and visit StoryForge Productions to keep up!

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Deep POV: Befores and Untils, do you need them? Truly?

Angela Quarles | Geek girl romance writer


I haven’t done a writing craft post in a loooong time and since I just sent Steam Me Up, Rawley to my copyeditor, these types of considerations are fresh in my mind. For the last week or so, I’d been doing searches for particular words that can signal that my prose is telling. Sometimes I leave it, because telling in that part of the story was what needed to happen (typically at transition points).

First, my standard disclaimer: These are not rules to live and die by. Using ‘before’ and ‘until’ is not wrong, and sometimes it’s exactly what’s needed. Like any craft tip, absorb it and then see if it applies, or not, to your prose and that particular point in your story.

Like many other romance writers, I like to write in what’s called Deep POV, which means we try as hard as we can, in either…

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Muses Feasting: Breathing words


I am getting very close to completing the first full draft of my novel Rain. In the process of honing some of the critical moments of Rain I have had to find new ways to view my writing. This is quite difficult when you spend 99% of your time alone, with a blank page too much coffee. (Yes, I am a bit of a hermit and yes, I like it that way.)

Now, I have wonderful crit partners and writing mentors however, there is only so far they can take you. So, I decided to get physical with my writing (get out of the gutter). I started to get up out of my LoveSac (if you don’t know what that is you mustn’t be following my Facebook page 😉 ) and pace around, reading my words aloud; act them into the world of being so to speak. I didn’t like…

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“Re-Seeing”–The Lifeblood of Good Writing

Pomegranate Seeds

Writing is a reflection of life, I firmly believe that.
No matter if you’re writing fiction, fantasy, biography… the way we write is always a reflection of the way we live.
And the way we live is constantly in flux.

I can’t begin to describe how many changes I have experienced in my life over the past three and a half years. I took a “life-change stress” quiz in a psychology class last week, and I scored high enough to warrant the result of a 50% chance of getting sick due to stress-related causes.

The thing is, though–I don’t see change as a bad thing.
I think it’s actually really good,
and it can mean wonderful things for our writing.

If our lives change so much, so should our writing. Change is hard, but change in writing can often mean forward progress.

This week, I had a class workshop for…

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Tangled Timeline

fabricating fiction


I knew that before I started thinking about editing my novel I would need to sort out my tangled timeline.

Before I started writing I had a pretty good idea of the beginning, middle and end of my story and meticulously drew out a time line. This worked well for the whole of chapter one (go me), but by chapter two it was apparent I needed to change the age of my main character, Grace, and things went downhill from there. My beautifully drawn, coloured coded (don’t judge) diagram was about as useful as a paper umbrella.

Today, I sat down with the intention of untangling my time line. As my novel jumps around a bit, veering from past to present it turned into one of those overwhelming maths problems I used to be given at school. You know, if Grace is 9 at the start of the book, but…

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Is this paragraph properly written and should it be split?

Michael's-Eye View

Question details:

Technology, Aiden thought as he exited his rented Ford Expedition and walked to the evidence building. In the 21st century, it was regarded as a golden gateway to creativity and prosperity. He was no Luddite, but he recognized the dangers of technology. With a careless fed and technology, he got access to critical evidence. Of course, the real problem with technology came once government got involved. Everyone was worried about nukes, but not enough people paid attention to uncontrolled biotechnology. He was still not convinced that David Kelly committed suicide, but that was a matter for another day.

Answer by Mike Mendis:

I do not think it should be split. This is inner (or “interior“) monologue, and as such it can all run together without a break. That is precisely how thoughts run in the mind. There are no paragraphs or paragraph breaks in…

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What’s wrong with the passive voice?

Stroppy Editor

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has joined the Campaign Against the Passive Voice. He follows in the footsteps of Strunk and White (whose section on the passive voice, while more nuanced than many people recognise, is calamitously misleading) and of George Orwell (who complained about the passive while using it extensively himself, even in the same sentence as his complaint).

The campaign isn’t wholly wrong, but it goes too far and it doesn’t properly understand the problem. The passive voice is often better than the active, and its overuse is usually a symptom of something else.

What’s the difference?

Roughly: in the active voice, the agent performing the action is the grammatical subject of the sentence and the recipient of the action is the grammatical object. The passive voice switches this around, making the recipient of the action the grammatical subject and the agent the object. Passive verbs are formed…

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Are you asking the right questions? How to work more effectively with mentors etc.


Do you know how to ask the right questions when working with a mentor, editor, critique partner etc.? It seems like a simple enough question. Well at least I thought so until the last few weeks.

I have been working with a writing mentor for the last month or so and as a consequence of this I have been on a steep –sometimes painful- learning curve. However, it got off to a rocky start. Why? Because I didn’t know what questions to ask.

I have only had experience with a few editors, critique partners and mentors but what has enhanced all of these interactions has been my self-directed learning. It has been through buckling down and really sinking into some books on craft that I have been able to get the most out of my sessions.

Don’t get me wrong, all of the feedback I have had has been helpful…

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I’m sure my writing is uneven because my brain is uneven


Before bed last night, I clicked on Scrivener to read over a chapter from my new novel. I was tired and had few expectations for greatness as my blurry eyes started scanning down the page.

And then the strangest thing happened, words flew randomly out of my head, and they made sense. Some even bordered on profound. Others elegantly enhanced the previous draft. I felt like I was on fire. My brain could do no wrong. It was a great feeling.

Unfortunately, it’s a feeling that visits me much too infrequently.

Writing always comes fairly easy for me, but I must admit that it’s not always great writing. For every profound statement there are plenty of duds like “There was something non-descript and uninteresting sitting on the counter. I think.” Hopefully, I exaggerate.

But the larger point is this: a draft of a novel or a story or whatever will…

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