Behold the power of the outline

At a chamber fellowship meeting, I was once asked to share my top editing tip. Didn’t have to think long about it: outline. I resisted outlining for many years, because it reeked of term papers and therefore seemed uncreative. Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Pro software convinced me otherwise. Designed for novel-writing, it takes you from premise …

Publishing Q&A: Do you need a professional editor?

This question came up several times during the Florida Writers Association conference.  Sometimes it was “Do you need a professional editor to work on your manuscript before you self-publish?” and other times it was “Do you need a professional editor to work on your manuscript before you submit for traditional publication?” Answers varied. Some said …

English is hard. I’m here to help.

English is a beautiful but complex language. Because it borrows words from pretty much every other language on the planet, it has a massive vocabulary. Syntax can be intricate. Word formation is often illogical; for example, flammable and inflammable both mean “easy to burn.” Rules for punctuation are almost inscrutable. The Chicago Manual of Style’s …

New year, new beginnings

I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions. If a change is going to be made, one might as well make it now as wait for some arbitrary date on the calendar. But it just happens that this change — redesigning my website — has been in the planning stages for months. This reboot just …

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