Friday, February 24

Revision Prep: Create a Revision Plan

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

We’re down to the final days before the At-Home Revision Workshop begins. If you’ve been playing along at home, you should have already filled any plot holes or missing research in your novel, and created your editorial map. Odds are you already have a pretty good idea what general revisions you want to make in the novel, and where they fall. (And if you don't know what the manuscript needs yet, that’s okay, that’s what next month is all about).

Since we have a lot of information to cover in a short amount of time, it’s helpful to have a revision plan to guide us.

Thursday, February 23

Pros and Cons of Renting a Shared Office Space

By Angela Quarles, @AngelaQuarles

Part of the Indie Author Series


I thought I'd delve into something unrelated to writing craft and marketing, and that is--where you write. I recently started renting a shared office space in my town, and it's working out great for me. So I thought I'd discuss the pros and cons, so you can see if it's something that might work for you.

Some of you have a dedicated office in your home and are even able to write it off on your taxes. Some of you find a section of the couch, push off a cat, dog, or kid, and start pounding away on your laptop. Some of you might be like me--I do a lot of my writing at Starbucks.

Wednesday, February 22

How to Create an Editorial Map

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

The next step in prepping for the March At-Home Revision Workshop!

Before any revision, it's helpful to know exactly what you have to work with. Novels often change during a first draft, so any outlines or summaries you did could be outdated by the time you’re ready to revise.

Doing an editorial map (or book map) lets you know exactly how the novel unfolds and where it needs tweaking. It’s also a handy reference tool when you need to check when, where, or how something happens in the novel.

Tuesday, February 21

Why Writers Should Read

By Betsy D, @betsydornbusch

Part of the How They Do It Series


JH: One of the best ways for a writer to improve their writing is to read--even if we hardly ever have time for it in today's busy world. Betsy Dornbusch visits the lecture hall today to share some thoughts on writers, reading, and why it matters.

Betsy writes epic fantasy, and has dabbled in science fiction, thrillers, and erotica. Her short fiction has appeared in over a dozen magazines and anthologies, and she's the author of three novellas. Her first fantasy novel came out in 2012 and her latest trilogy, Books Of The Seven Eyes, wraps up with Enemy in 2017. Silver Scar, a standalone future fantasy thriller, also drops in 2017.

In her free time, she herds her teenagers (like cats, only they talk back), snowboards, air jams at punk rock concerts, and follows Denver sports teams. She's just a quick Google away by her name or Sex Scenes at Starbucks.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Take it away Betsy...

Monday, February 20

Prepping for the March Revision Workshop

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

If you’re planning to join me (and many others) for the March Revision At-Home Workshop, now’s the time to get that draft ready to take full advantage of the process.

We have about a week this time around to fill whatever holes in our manuscripts that are going to slow us down come March. This is all about finishing a not-quite-done-yet-draft—some of this prep work won’t even be in the manuscript itself, just information you might need to tighten and polish it later.

Prep work includes:

Sunday, February 19

Real Life Diagnostics: Does This Fantasy Opening Work?

Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Real Life Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and I diagnose it on the site. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem.

If you're interested in submitting to Real Life Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines.

Submissions currently in the queue: Eight 


Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through April 15.

This week’s questions:

1. Is this engaging enough for a first scene?

2. It's hard to give more internal thoughts on this beginning, because the action is all of a sudden. Do you think I should try putting more internal thoughts in these first 250 words?

3. Even if the scene isn't good in overall, is there anything that would make you read the next page?

4. I had Melissa cursing in this scene, but some people said it was horrible and I took it away. It's not a problem for this scene, but she is a cursing type of person (which shows some of her background) and I wanted it to shock some other characters along the novel with her poor vocabulary. Can you give me a hint on how to deal with this?


Market/Genre: Fantasy

On to the diagnosis…