Finer points of character development

Last time we looked at the importance of great characters in fiction. Now, let’s break down the points in the Character segment of the Elements of Fiction Editing Checklist. ☐ Principal characters are well-rounded and realistic. The goal here is to avoid one-note characters. Remember that people have multiple interests. Sherlock Holmes, for example, plays …

Before editing, develop a plan

Many writers get to the end of a rough draft and then start revising without a clear plan. We’re taught how to write, but often we’re not taught how to edit. Professional editors know that editing requires a clear plan. Working without one can lead to months, if not years, of frustration. Don’t ask how …

Your first draft can be awful, as long as it’s finished

The difference between a good novel and a great novel is editing. Before you submit your manuscript for traditional publication, you must edit thoroughly. That goes double if you plan to self-publish. At the Florida Writers Association’s Mid-Winter Conference West and Reading Festival in Bradenton last week, one of the sessions I taught was called …

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