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Writing

7 Traits of a Successful Critique Group

I’m sure we’ve all participated in or heard stories about horrible experiences with critique groups. I’ve had a few myself. Unfortunately, I may also have contributed to some of them. To any writers I did this to, I apologize. I’ve been writing seriously for over ten years. During this time, …

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The Art of Self-Editing, Part 5

The Final Frontier—The Professional Edit Over the past few weeks, we’ve done a lot of work revising and rewriting our manuscript. We’re ready to submit to our dream agent, or the agent who requested a full manuscript at the conference we attended last month. Our finger hovers over the send …

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The Art of Self-Editing, Part 4

We covered a lot of territory over the last few weeks. The previous blogs in this series are at these links: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 Now, we’re coming toward the end of preparing our manuscript for submission or self-publishing. Revise—Again It’s time to write the third draft. Or maybe yours is …

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The Art of Self-Editing, Part 3

So far we’ve discussed several areas in the art of self-editing our work. In the first post [Click Here], we covered letting our completed first draft cool off before revising and then reading a printed version of our manuscript. In the second post, [Click Here] we discussed the value of …

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The Art of Self-Editing, Part 2

Last week, we began exploring the process of self-editing, of getting our writing in the best shape we can before sending it out to a professional editor. Notice, I didn’t say before submitting it to an agent, a publishing house, or self-publishing it. There’s an old saying from the judicial …

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The Art of Self-Editing

Part of my call as a writer is to help others through coaching, mentoring, teaching, and editing. One thing I’ve learned in my writing and in helping other writers is the vital importance of learning to self-edit. Someone said, and I can’t remember whom, “The heart of writing is re-writing.” …

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What’s on Your Shelf?

We all have projects that are sitting on a shelf someplace. Perhaps not a literal shelf. They might be tucked into a corner of a hard drive or a flash drive. Dropbox or Google Drive may be where these stories that died a slow death reside, gathering digital dust. They …

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What Are You Working on Now?

“What are you working on now?” is a question I frequently hear from readers and writing friends and family members. Although I think for family remembers the question is code for, “Are you still chasing that writer thing? You’re seventy years old. When are you going to grow up?” But …

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Why Conferences?

This past weekend I had the privilege of teaching two classes at the Roanoke Texas Writers Conference. I tasted once again the enthusiasm of writers eager to learn, to share their own experiences and to help each other. I was reminded once again of the communities we writers form—communities as …

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The Writer’s Funk

Sometimes all of us, writers included, get in a state of being that’s been called many things. Some call it a funk. Others call it the valley of dry bones. Or the valley of the shadow of death. Recently, one blogger called the dark night of the soul. In baseball, …

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