The best editors understand how to help you take your manuscript from rough draft to a finished masterpiece.
An editing tool checks for writing issues that go far beyond mere grammar problems.
This practical guide contains 20 important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers. Some focus on the minutia of specific word selection; others focus on the more complex ideas like finding the right metaphor, policing your work for Purple Prose, or figuring out when it’s time to send it off to potential publishers.
ProWritingAid analyzes your writing and presents its findings in 25 different reports. Each user will have their own writing strengths and weaknesses and so different reports will appeal to different people. Remember, all the software can do is highlight potential pitfalls in your writing. It's up to you, the writer, to decide which suggestions work within your specific context, and which ones should be ignored.
Pacing is what moves your story forward quickly, then slows the action down so your readers can catch their breath and learn more about your character’s thoughts. The ProWritingAid pacing check can help you determine whether or not your story is moving along at the right clip.
The Paramedic Method aims to help writers learn to write more concisely, persuasively and actively. Dr. Marlene Caroselli outlines the method and sets three writing challenges. Does the Paramedic Method help you breathe life back into dead sentences? Have a go and let us know what you think!
Having a relationship with an editor you can trust, one who is flexible enough to work around your tight schedule is one way to do it. But even then, you need to ensure the that your editor is spending most of her time on the meat of your story like plot and character development, and less time on the technical stuff like sentence construction and word choice. Ideally, you want your text to be as tight as possible BEFORE you send it to your editor.
Pacing is a lot like the throttle on a vehicle. There are times when driving that you need to move slowly, like through a city or in a school zone. Then there are times when you need to move a lot faster, like on the freeway. And there are times when you need to just coast along at a moderate speed. The pacing in your novel is a writer’s tool to help you manage the speed and rhythm of your story. Sometimes you want fast action, just as other times, you need to slow things down and let the scene unfold. It’s up to you to know when to use pacing. A lot of your pacing decisions will be based on your genre. If you’re writing an action story, it’s pretty fast-paced with exhilarating moments of danger mixed with adventure juxtaposed with quieter moments when your characters do some heavy thinking. If you’re writing an epic that spans over generations, it might move more slowly.
Pacing your story is like using the throttle to give an engine more gas. With more throttle, the engine revs up and speed increases. Less throttle slows you down so you can see the passing scenery. Controlling the pacing of your story is like maneuvering through city streets, main thoroughfares, and high-speed highways. You need different speeds to maintain control of your vehicle in each situation.
Danny Mancini is part of the team at Penguin Random House The Writers’ Academy. They excel at helping aspiring writers to hone their craft and sharpen up their writing technique. Whether you've been writing fiction for a long time or are completely new to the process, there are a number of common writing mistakes that all authors should be wary of. So if you're struggling from a case of writer's block, or wondering what's blocking you on the path to publication, read on below to ensure that you're not making any of these fatal writing errors...