A self-edit should have you cutting what doesn't add to your written work. Strive for simple, effective construction of phrases to achieve a better final product.

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You may think your manuscript is ready for publication, but are there holes in your story? A beta reader can help determine if there's still work to do.

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There are many ways to take a critical pass at your writing to tighten up your narrative and make it more enjoyable for your reader. Asking yourself "Why do I need this in my story?" from a macro to micro level, is one approach.

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Use an editing pass to produce a map of your reader's suspension of disbelief. Once you've created a universe in which your reader is immersed, you can focus on polishing your manuscript for publication.

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This twist on editing can turn those red marks on the page into something a writer craves. Red pen praising only highlights the best of a writer's work.

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Do a slow read of your writing. Have you chosen your words well? Is your mind jumping ahead because the text is perfected or because you could cut it and lose nothing? If you don't want to read those words, will anyone else?

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Whether you are working on draft material or devising a story in your mind, one element of great writing is cranking up the extraordinary to pack in information, meaning, and creativity.

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