Do You Know How To Edit AND Proofread Your Story?

I need this.

Writers In The Storm Blog

proofreading, Writers In The Stormby Jenny Hansen, @JennyHansenCA

Editing and Proofreading: Two separate processes that equal one great story.

Like most writers, I hang out with a boatload of other writers. Still, I never saw much of other peoples’ works in progress until I coordinated a contest several years ago. Coordinating contests changed the way I see writing. Period. It was a window into both sides of the submission process.

Plus, I saw firsthand one of the important talents that separates the amateurs from the professionals: the ability to both edit and proofread.

In novel-writing, editing is King and proofreading is Queen.

Professional writers, whether published or pre-published know: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.They work hard to make a great first impression.

As a contest coordinator, I had to read every piece of paper sent between the judges and the contestants to ensure everyone played nice with each other. (It should…

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Margie’s Rule # 2: Write the Hard Stuff — Facial Expressions

I had to share. I’ve been taking Margie’s classes this year and have seen a huge improvement in my writing. Dialogue cues and tags kill me. I tend to get lazy when drafting and use lots of cliches. You don’t even want to know how many times I’ve used the word ‘smiled’ in a manuscript.
Hope you find this useful. Writers on the Storm is one of my fave blog sites. — Amy

Writers In The Storm Blog

From From

by Margie Lawson, @MargieLawson

If you watch NCIS, you know Jethro Gibbs, aka Mark Harmon, has rules. Fifty-plus rules. My next fifteen (or fifty) blogs will feature a different Margie-Rule for writers.

[Click here for Margie’s Rule #1:
Never Take Any Word for Granted

Margie’s Rule #2: Write the Hard Stuff: Facial Expressions

Write the hard stuff.

Those words sound harsh. Nobody wants to write the hard stuff. And writing fresh facial expressions is tough.

It’s easy to write a sigh. It’s easy to write a nod. It’s easy to have a character shake their head.

It’s easy to write eyebrows raising, lifting, lowering, wagging.

It’s easy to write eyes narrowing, widening, slitting, squinting, winking, rolling.

It’s not easy to write fresh facial expressions.

You may be thinking, why write fresh? What’s wrong with writing overused facial expressions? Everybody writes them.

Lots of writers use…

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Prep Your Novel For Self-Editing in Scrivener

Reblogging this great article so I can remember to follow this advice with my next manuscripts. Some great ideas on using Scrivener for editing. Thank you Wendy!

No Wasted Ink

As an advocate for the Nanowrimo writing process, I firmly believe that a writer should write the rough draft of their novel as quickly as possible and let the words flow as they will. The most important thing to remember about writing a rough draft is to finish it without letting your inner editor stop you. Once you finish the rough draft, there is still plenty of work to do before you hand your manuscript to a hired editor and begin the publishing process.

Breaking it Down

When my rough draft is completed, I break the entire manuscript into scenes. A scene is defined by a single place and time in the story where action or dialog happens. I write a short synopsis of each scene in a paper notebook that I can remember and I color code it with highlighters. I label “good scenes”and “bad scenes”. Each type of…

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Classifying Your Book: How to Research & Target Literary Agents

Writers In The Storm Blog

By Chuck Sambuchino

BookStack_photopinOnce your book is finished, it’s time to start submitting to agents. For this, a simple first step is to create a new Microsoft Word or Excel document so you can keep detailed track of your submissions, target agents, resource materials, and more. The document will help you personalize query letters, find more agents to contact, and know when to follow up on submissions.

Now it’s time to create your list of potential agents to query.

As you start compiling agent names and contact info, think in terms of casting a wide net. Scour databases and websites to put together the largest possible collection of reps to contact, then start winnowing down your list as you go along. Understand right off the bat that not every agent is for you. You’ll only be targeting a fraction of the active reps out there—seeking those who represent the specific…

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5 Lessons from Michael Hauge’s ‘Story Mastery’ Workshop

If you haven’t taken a Michael Hauge workshop, you should.

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Easter and the Family Feast – Southern Style

2010 March 30 Glencairn ACG1Growing up Easter was a huge deal in our house. My mom would sew new dresses for my sisters and I and  a new suit for my brother. Easter baskets were set out for the Easter Bunny. We would go to church and then to Glencairn Garden  for pictures of the kids among the blooming azaleas. We would hunt eggs in the yard and be off to the grandparents.

Now, we are all grown with children and grandchildren. It’s off to Grandma’s house for dinner after church.

Going to church on Easter is a huge part of my southern heritage. It was the one day of the year everyone would show up whether they wanted to or not. You had to get there early or not have a place to park.

Food was also a huge part of Easter. There were chocolate bunnies, and those fruit and nut eggs, jelly beans, and hard boiled eggs we’d colored and decorated.1208-idea-house-outdoor-space-l

Spring in the south lasts about a minute. We go from 32 degrees to 80 in the course of a day or so in March and April. Our last freeze date is mid-April, so if Easter is late like this year, we have fresh strawberries coming in. Low Country tomatoes are getting ripe. If you are lucky, Easter Sunday won’t be too cold or too hot, but just a beautiful, low-humid day. Front porch weather.

This year is special. My son and his wife and their beautiful baby girl are coming. We’ll have glazed-ham-ck-1120262-xthree generations together for Sunday dinner. There will be blackberry-mustard glazed ham, sweet potatoes with bacon and onion, salads, veggies, macaroni and cheese, strawberry shortcake, and many other goodies.  And biscuits. Can’t forget biscuits.

Since it’s Baby Girl’s first Easter, there will be sweet little favors made by my very creative daughter-in-law and a lot of photos. Maybe even an egg hunt.

I never thought about how special these times were, until I started writing about the South. I’m beginning to realize how special it was to grow up where people talk to total strangers and always say ‘hi’. If one thing comes out of writing this series, it’s my appreciation for where I grew up.

How about you? What traditions do you celebrate in Spring? What’s the one dish you have to have to celebrate at your house?


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Cooking Up Trouble – an excerpt

I’ve been hiding deep in the writing cave only coming out to prepare my latest work in progress for a contest and take an online workshop.  I thought I’d come up for air to give you a preview of this latest novel, Cooking up Trouble.

It’s a contemporary romance set in Milton Lake, North Carolina. The painting you see in the header of this page was my inspiration. It’s an old poster of Fest of Fun in Fort Mill, South Carolina.  I thought I’d post an excerpt.

Cooking Up Trouble/Chapter 1

Alice Buchanan pounded the steering wheel of her decrepit Toyota with tightly clinched fists as she crept down the narrow winding road into the town of Milton Lake, North Carolina at the lightning speed of twenty-five miles an hour. She hate slow. Spring could last only weeks this far south, but the drivers were slower than molasses in January.

“Lady, could you at least do the speed limit?” Alice grumbled.

It wasn’t New York. After three years working in the restaurant business in the Big Apple, Alice had to come home, broke and unemployed. She f*ing hated it.

The bright morning sun only made her lack-of-caffeine induced headache worse. Without her typical skinny double-shot vanilla latte, it was all just too damned redneck. She needed coffee, real coffee, not that cheap decaf crap Aunt Mae bought.

She stared longingly at Bad Dawg Coffee as she drove slowly by, her hands itching to turn in and stop. Her friend, Stephanie worked there, but Alice fought the urge to stop. It was a five dollar cup of coffee but ate into the little bit of money Alice had for gas. God, she needed a job. She hated being broke almost as much as she hated being idle.

Alice didn’t do idle well. It forced her to reevaluate her decisions. It made her dwell on the spectacular fit she’d thrown in the kitchen of the last job she’d had. It made her remember the looks on the diner’s faces when she’d stomped out of Rosemary’s, knives in hand. Michael Trent, the owner, had fired her for threatening the head chef with said knives.

The bastard deserved it after smacking her ass in front of the rest of the staff. In the six months she’d been there, he’d bullied her about her cooking and took any opportunity to grab her boobs or her butt.

It was damned illegal, but if she turned him in, she’d be blackballed from the industry. Shit like that happened in restaurant kitchens. Of course going postal was just as career limiting. At least Rosemary’s Restaurant was pressing charges.

Alice pulled the car into Bea’s Bridal Boutique. Lord, help her. The large window touted fluffy white dresses and bright colored bridesmaid dresses looking like prom queen rejects. The place was old, but well known. Any bride within a thirty-mile radius of Milton got their bridal gowns at Bea’s. The place was an institution. It was the last place in Milton she wanted to be.

Her older brother, Adam, was engaged to Cynthia Wright, the one person in high school Alice had most hated. The one who had made her life hell within the halls of Milton High School. The very same person who nicknamed her Alice in Blubber land.

She was being punished.

 Let me know what you think.

— Amy


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