Writing Coach

5 Ways a Developmental Editor Can Help Writers

developmental editorIt used to be, in the golden days of publishing, that every writer who published with a traditional press would get a developmental editor.

Not anymore.

Editors today, especially at the big houses, are inundated with manuscripts, and are looking for manuscripts that require little polishing.

Continue Reading…

The Best Tips for Collaborative Writing

collaborative-writingThe first step to successful collaborative writing? Abandon the false idea that writers write better when they work alone.

People usually think of writers as quiet and brooding loners who separate themselves from society in order to write. The solitary writer is imagined as an introvert, alone at the desk. But this fantasy of what Linda Brodkey calls “the solitary scribbler” is a false stereotype.

Continue Reading…

How to Write Second Person POV

2nd-personSo you want to learn how to write in Second Person point of view?

You’ve come to the right place.

What is 2nd person point of view?

Second person point of view is when the writer uses “you” as the main character in a narrative.

Example using the first line of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man:

Continue Reading…

9 Tips to Become a Better Self-Editor

9Writers are often bad editors of their own work.

Even when they are fantastic draft writers, they need help from an outside eye to get it to the next level. Still, there are some easy tips that will improve your skills as an editor of your own work.

The editing tips below are not, for the most part, tricks for how to edit your story word by word.

Continue Reading…

What is the Perfect Length for Short Stories?

short-story-lengthThe perfect length of a short story can be tricky to figure out. Make it too long and you exceed the reader’s attention span and nobody wants to publish it; make it too short and you have flash fiction on your hands.

Edgar Allen Poe described the proper length of a short story by saying it had to be something readable in a single sitting. I like that. It measures a short story by reading time, rather than page length or word count. But I think word count is the easiest way to measure story length.

Continue Reading…

Self-Editing Checklist: 15 Innovative Ideas

SelfEditingChecklistIf you’re like me, you go through the same editing motions with every single piece of writing.

Why not change it up?

Consult these 15 innovative editing strategies and you’ll find a way to edit your book into greatness. 

By following these, you’ll strike the perfect balance between copy editing (grammar and spelling mistakes) and content editing (character and plot development). Though this article starts more copy-heavy and ends more content-heavy, I believe it’s important to integrate the two as much as possible even while focusing on one or the other. Not only does keeping an open mind foster creativity that will enhance your writing — it allows you to catch more of those pesky typos!

Continue Reading…

The Magic and Mystery of Character Motivation

character motivationby Christian Sexton

There are three parts to a character: a personality, a backstory, and a motivation. These three things are what create your story. 

Most important of the three is the character’s desire, or motivation. A motivation has the potential to be the backbone of the entire story, create a character arc, or add a more complex dimension to your story. 

To create amazing character motivations, here are four rules. 

Continue Reading…

Suicidal Writers and the Promise of Immortality

My BooksAre MoreImportantWhat would you do if a writer emailed you saying they were going to commit suicide?

It happened to Cynthia McCabe, a journalist at the Washington Post.

She was in bed one night, checking her email, and read an email from a complete stranger named Dennis Williams who said that he’d published one novel that no one had read, written 8 other unpublished books, and that he was committing suicide that very night.

Why? Because Williams had said all that he had to say. Because he considered his life work to be bound up in those 8 unpublished books and one published novel, and if no one was going to listen, he would commit suicide.

Continue Reading…

“Turn a Negative Emotion Into a Positive”: Interview with Richard Cohen

Interview with Richard CohenWith his new Random House release, “How to Write Like Tolstoy: A Journey into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers,” author Richard Cohen shines a light on history’s greatest storytellers. This spectacularly written how-to is not your average road map to becoming a pro.

Throughout the pages of this delectable dish of writing advice, Cohen delves into the creative intellect of Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Vladimir Nabokov, and the like, serving techniques like character development, voice and point of view.

Based on outstanding research and a voice you can’t shake off, reading a book about writing has never before been this thrilling. Bookfox reached out to Cohen through email, asking a few burning questions.

Continue Reading…

5 Ways to Write a Book Outline

d e v e l o p m e n TSome writers hate outlining while others think it’s a godsend.

Which kind of writer are you? And have you tried the other side?

Those who are against outlining usually say they enjoy the discovery process they experience as the story unfolds. They learn more about their story, their characters and their own selves as a result of experiencing the world they are creating moment by moment.

Continue Reading…

Older Posts »