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Writing and Editing Tips

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Show, Don’t Tell: What This Advice Really Means

You’ve probably heard the advice to “show, not tell,” but what does this really mean?

In general, the advice to “show, don’t tell” means that a writer should relate information to readers through sensory details and actions rather than exposition. 

And the...

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First Chapter Analysis: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

If you want to write a novel that hooks a reader’s interest, then you had better write an engaging first chapter. But how exactly do you do that?

Since I’ve already provided resources on how to write a solid set of opening pages, and the big mistakes to avoid when writing your opening...

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Student Spotlight: 5 Lessons Learned from Writing a First Draft

Do you ever wish you could see a behind-the-scenes look at how other people write? Or that you could hear from other writers who have gone before you?

Well, I have something super special for you today. I reached out to some of my Notes to Novel students and asked them to share the number one...

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3 Things to Focus on if You’re a Brand New Writer

“If I’m just getting started with writing, what are some things I should focus on?”

“What are some of the things I should avoid doing if I actually want to finish my book?”

These are questions I get asked all the time! And in today’s post, I’m going to...

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Counting Down the Best Tips from FWME in 2022

In today’s episode, we’re going to do something fun and a little different. Since we’re nearing the end of 2022, I thought it would be fun to continue with last week’s theme of lessons learned over the last twelve months. I hope some of the lessons you’ve learned...

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5 Takeaways from Coaching Writers in 2022

Do you ever wonder what the writing process is like for other writers? Or if they run into some of the same challenges or traps as you do?

In this post, I'm giving you a glimpse behind the scenes and sharing some of the key takeaways I learned from coaching writers this year. And although there's...

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Student Spotlight: The Power of Outlining (and How He Finished a First Draft in 3 Months) With James Beswick

I recently sat down for a conversation with James Beswick—one of the writers who took my Notes to Novel course earlier this year—to talk about his outlining, writing, and editing journey over the last 12 months.

To give you a quick overview of James’s amazing accomplishments, he...

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Crime Genre Conventions

In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about the conventions of the crime genre. So, these are the character roles, settings, and events that need to be present in a crime story in order for it to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. 

I’m also going to show you how these...

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When Should You Write in Scene vs. Summary?

Stories need both scenes and summaries to work, but it can sometimes be challenging to determine when to use which. 

How do you know which moments to dramatize into a full blown scene? How do you know which story events you can simply summarize? 

In this post, I’m going to walk...

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The 4 Phases of Editing: How to Edit Your Novel

If you’re like most of the writers I work with, getting to the end of a first draft feels both exciting and terrifying at the same time. You’ve probably been working on this story for x-amount of months (or maybe even years!) and all you want is for the story you wrote to (eventually)...

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