L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

You may disagree with your editor, but they’re (probably) right. Eileen Pollack Welcome to The Draft, an advice column about writing and life from Eileen Pollack, former director of the University of Michigan MFA Program. We’re here to answer your questions about storycraft, writing, and telling the truth. Have a question? Share it with us. …

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Jessica Focht via Grammarly Stephen King wrote in his memoir, On Writing, “To write is human, to edit is divine.” This quotation suggests that when a writer finishes their draft, they aren’t fully done. This may come to a shock to those who learned that editing was strictly for their peers, or that it’s someone …

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Joanna Penn Editing can take your manuscript from being a pile of words into a story that can move people or a non-fiction book that can change lives.  It really is the secret weapon to making your book the best it can be. I’ve been working with professional editors since my first book, and I …

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by Diana Urban When you’re revising any piece of writing — a novel, a news article, a blog post, marketing copy, etc. — there are certain words you should delete to make the text stronger and cut your word count. When I’m writing a novel, one of my last drafts focuses on cutting these useless words. Removing …

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By Hope Bolinger To beat writer’s block, a typical problem among writers, let’s tackle it with atypical solutions. Nine of them, because, well, nine is an atypical number. We’ve heard the typical responses for how to overcome the seemingly over-come-able plague known as writer’s block: “You just have to write every day.” “You gotta push …

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by Jane Friedman It’s probably the single most despised document you might be asked to prepare: the synopsis. The synopsis is sometimes required because an agent or publisher wants to see, from beginning to end, what happens in your story. Thus, the synopsis must convey a book’s entire narrative arc. It shows what happens and who changes, and it …

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By Harry Guinness Writing is hard, but don’t overlook the difficulty — and the importance — of editing your own work before letting others see it. Here’s how. The secret to good writing is good editing. It’s what separates hastily written, randomly punctuated, incoherent rants from learned polemics and op-eds, and cringe-worthy fan fiction from …

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We came across the following article by Stephen King a little while ago on a number of different websites. We believe it was originally published in a 1986 edition of The Writer magazine and republished in the 1988 edition of The Writer’s Handbook. We reproduce it here for educational purposes only.  I. The First Introduction …

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via Aerogramme Writers’ Studio I. “I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what …

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Via The Guardian Made a New Year resolution to start writing that novel? Take some writing tips from Leo Tolstoy, Muriel Spark, John Steinbeck and other famous authors. Over the past year, Helen Gordon and I have been putting together Being a Writer, a collection of musings, tips and essays from some of our favourite …

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