Read Good Books

Fill your mind with effective examples.

The past two weeks I’ve been spending six hours a day editing someone’s novel.

The author’s a solid storyteller, but his mechanics are weak. So I’m taking pains to fix the punctuation on nearly every sentence. And the dialogue attribution. And much of the spelling. Plus some of the verb … Continue reading

Do You Check Everything?

A few goofs can make readers doubt.

The review gave a glowing recommendation, underscoring the meticulous research behind The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies.

The author’s note speaks of using the subject’s “letters and papers, declassified U.S. and British government files, Freedom of … Continue reading

Finishing a November Novel

Treat it as it is: a first draft.

Are you scrambling to meet your deadlines for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Consider again the experience of my friend Chandler Birch, who in 2013 decided to try to write a novel in a month.

The challenge gave Birch his start. “Prior to that,” he says, “I … Continue reading