L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Veronica Ramirez Day-to-day communication can get boring. There are only so many “Sounds good” and “Let me know” emails, texts, and Slack messages you can send and read each day without your eyes glazing over. While there are some communications that have to use plain language to be accurate, there are ways to spice up …

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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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Why do many thrillers fail to thrill? It’s usually from a lack of suspense. Novelist Leslie Lutz shares six tips to create suspense in a thriller novel. Leslie Lutz You’ve just finished reading a chapter of your thriller-in-progress to your beloved critique group, and after your writing friends get the compliments out of the way …

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Freelancers are sure to come across every type of editor during their career. Here’s a veteran writer’s catalog of all the types you’ll encounter and how to work with each. Don Vaughan Spend enough time in the freelance trenches, and you’ll find yourself working for an eclectic array of editors. If you’re lucky, the majority …

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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 Nancy L. Erickson The most important part of writing and publishing a book is always whatever you are working on at the moment. Here’s a guide to get you started. As a book coach, I’m often asked the blanket question: “How do I write a book and get it published?” The short answer? Make …

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*LANGUAGE WARNING terribleminds 1. This Industry Is Alarmingly Subjective Despite the promises of certain snake oil salesmen offering to sell you a magical unguent that — once slathered upon your inflamed nethers — will assure that your book gets published, no actual formula for success exists. If it did, a book would go out into the world …

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Morris M. The classic image of a writer is a hard-working, hard-drinking lone wolf who breaks big stories and rakes in a fortune. But while we don’t really expect every journalist to be Tom Wolfe or every author to be Ernest Hemingway, there’s still a huge gulf between reality and what most of us imagine …

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