Category Archives: Agents/Editors

How to Make Your Writing Sleek and Smooth

Of course you know the basic rules of fiction.  Of course you don’t drag it down by telling instead of showing, or using weak verbs or passive voice.  I’ll write about each of those eventually, but Kristen Lamb just put up a great post I’d like to share. Every writing offense she mentions falls under her Deadly Sin #7 from the title:  Treating the Reader Like a Moron.  Most of our writerly goofs can fall under that heading – if we’ve done our job as writers well, readers already know that a character is angry or nervous or hurried.  They don’t need the weight of adverbs and exclamation points as well. My favorite part is Kristen’s description of editing:  “Editors are like engineers. We look at a writer’s race car (the manuscript) and look for parts that will cause drag, slow down momentum, or cause so much friction that a … Continue reading

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Free Manuscript Edit by Harcourt Editor

Is your novel finished and ready to go out?  Is it 80,000 words or less?  If so, check out the website run by Deborah Halverson, a former Harcourt Brace Jovanovich editor and the author of the forthcoming Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies.  (I met her an at SCBWI workshop a few years ago, before she went out on her own – she’s great!)  Anyway, you enter by email and she’ll pull a winner at random and then do a substantive edit for you – structure, voice, characters, plot development, pacing, etc. (not line-editing). I’ve entered for my middle-grade time travel novel, Through the Shimmer of Time, and I got extra entries for subscribing to her blog and using my blog to spread the word.  And even though letting all of you know may be lessening my own chances, it’s too good to pass up.  So if you’re ready, … Continue reading

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