Never underestimate the benefits of editing and polishing your work! Get feedback from others if possible, but also hone your self-editing skills. These articles will help you to present your writing in the best possible light.

  • What Words Should be Avoided?
    Is there any validity in a list of words that should be avoided? And if so, what ARE those words? Short answer: No word is 'bad' in itself. Long answer: some words can make your work seem pedantic, overwritten, or add 'distance' between the reader and the story.
  • Author Intrusion - Brackets
    "Author intrusion" is what happens when the writer accidentally breaks the "story spell" for the reader, by reminding them that they are reading. Usually it happens because the author feels a strong need to pass along some extra information - and doesn't think twice about butting into the narrative to do so.
  • Vary Your Writing Style
    Fact: readers are put to sleep if your writing begins to 'drone'. Vary your sentence beginnings, your sentence length and your sentence structure - and watch your writing style take a quantum leap!
  • Common Writing Mistakes
    It's so easy to see mistakes when they're pointed out to you - but it's essential to train YOURSELF to recognize problems. Use this list of common writing mistakes as a guide - and turn those rejections into acceptances.
  • Editing and Polishing - How Much is Enough
    We all want to make our writing as bullet-proof as possible - but how much editing is enough? And how do you know when your writing is ready to send away?
  • Tips on Self-Editing
    The question in most writers' minds is this: "What will prompt the editor to vote 'yes' rather than 'no'? What is she looking for? Is there anything I can do to improve my chances?"
  • Cut The Clutter
    Cut the clutter in your writing and you'll be rewarded with better pacing, a cleaner style and much happier readers. (You could also be rewarded with the best prize of all - a 'yes' from an editor!)
  • How Long is a Chapter
    Unless you are working to a set of guidelines issued by the publisher, stop fretting about chapter length and start thinking in terms of scenes. You plan each scene to move the story forward (like scenes in a movie).
  • The Perfect First Chapter Syndrome
    Far too many writers spend hours polishing that first chapter, then fail to give the same attention to the other chapters in the book! This results in the 'perfect first chapter' syndrome. The book boasts ONE perfect chapter... but the rest are (mostly) mediocre.
  • How to Flesh Out a Story Without Padding
    What do you do if you read through your final draft, and realises that your story needs a bit more flesh on its bones? How can you make sure that you add substance, rather than just padding? How DO you flesh out a story?
  • Getting a Novel Right Part 1 - Rewriting
    When you finish your novel, resist the impulse to simply bundle the thing up and send it away with a kiss and a prayer. You should check your novel from several different angles: first, the obvious things like spelling, typographical errors and grammar, then the not-so-obvious things like characterisation, motivation, style, transitions and flashbacks.
  • Getting a Novel Right Part 2 - Redrafting
    At one time or another, you're bound to read through something you've written and realise with a dreadful sinking feeling that it Just Doesn't Work. The temptation is to ignore this knowledge and pretend it isn't so. Understandable enough. No-one wants to admit that months (or years) of hard work has just gone down the drain.

 

The Busy Writer's One-Hour Plot

The Busy Writer's One-Hour Character

Book of Checklists

The Busy Writer's Self-Editing Toolbox

The Busy Writer's KickStart Program

Write a Book Fast