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Basic advice on editing your novel

First, you need to realize there are two basic different types of editing. There is line editing and plot editing (also called development editing).

Plot Editing

editingPlot editing is the guts of your novel. It’s not only the plot itself, but your characterizations and dialogue, structure and narrative. A lot of it is your style of telling your story. These things are important because you want your plot to make sense logically, your characters need to stand out from one another, and the characters’ dialogue needs to be appropriate and distinct; you don’t want all your characters to talk exactly the same because it’s boring to the reader. To add, your story structure needs to flow well to keep your plot moving. Narrative needs to remain consistent. All of this will help the reader enjoy their experience with your book all the more, and could have them wanting to see more work from you. Also, following these tips will make your writing appear strong to editors and publishers, and you want to look good to those people if you want to be a published novelist. Continue reading Basic advice on editing your novel

A former newspaper editor for two decades in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, Ty now earns his lunch money as a fiction writer, mostly in the fantasy and horror genres. In his free time he enjoys tabletop and video gaming, long swording, target shooting, reading, beer tasting and recalling fond memories of his late wife and their beagle baby, Lily. Find City of Rogues and other books and e-books by Ty Johnston at Amazon.
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Writing violence in fiction: How much?

writing fiction violence
How much violence are you writing in your fiction? Is it enough? Is it too much?

Fiction and violence

Nearly all fiction writers are going to have violence of one form or another sooner or later in one of their short stories or novels. Fiction is about conflict, and violence is one of the most common forms of conflict. Even romance writers will occasionally have a sword-slinging hero rushing in to save the day, or a pistol-packing thug as the villain. In horror, violence is almost a given. Violence is also common in much fantasy and science fiction. And what would a Western be without a revolver or two or a lever-action rifle? Continue reading Writing violence in fiction: How much?

A former newspaper editor for two decades in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, Ty now earns his lunch money as a fiction writer, mostly in the fantasy and horror genres. In his free time he enjoys tabletop and video gaming, long swording, target shooting, reading, beer tasting and recalling fond memories of his late wife and their beagle baby, Lily. Find City of Rogues and other books and e-books by Ty Johnston at Amazon.
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Screenwriting Broke My Writer’s Block

Screenwriting saves the day

screenwritingI began writing fiction about thirty years ago, unless you count a couple of short novels I wrote back in fourth and sixth grades; those novels would be called fan fiction today, one being about James Bond and the other about Don Pendleton’s character The Executioner, Mack Bolan. But other than those early novels, the first real fiction I wrote was a short story called “Entering Jupiter.” I wrote that story for an astronomy class in college; the professor allowed me to do so instead of writing a paper. Continue reading Screenwriting Broke My Writer’s Block

A former newspaper editor for two decades in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, Ty now earns his lunch money as a fiction writer, mostly in the fantasy and horror genres. In his free time he enjoys tabletop and video gaming, long swording, target shooting, reading, beer tasting and recalling fond memories of his late wife and their beagle baby, Lily. Find City of Rogues and other books and e-books by Ty Johnston at Amazon.
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Writers: Coping with negative reviews

writers writerDealing with negative reviews

If you are a short story writer or a novelist or even a non-fiction writer, not everyone is going to appreciate your work. In fact, some folks might downright hate it. And a lot of them are very vocal, especially online. They might write reviews on Amazon, or they might write reviews for other Web sites having to do with books, publishing, writing, etc.

Some of the reviews are going to make you angry. Why couldn’t that idiot see the genius of what you were doing? Some reviews might make you sad. Why did that reviewer have to be a meany and hurt your feelings when they don’t even know you?

It happens. The best advice I can give is to get over it. Everyone has their opinions, and not all of them are going to match with yours.

If you’re overly touchy about your writing, don’t even bother reading the reviews. Just stay away from them. If you can hack it, then go ahead and read the reviews, take any positive criticism you can find, remember to put it to work in the future if you can, and move on.

That’s the best thing you can do. Sulking about reviews isn’t going to help get your next story or article written. Crying over reviews is only going to hurt and stilt your potential.

Something to keep in mind, however, is that if you have plenty of reviews, negative and possibly positive, which mention or focus upon a particular matter, then perhaps you should pay attention. Maybe it’s something you need to work on in your writing.

Just remember, human beings often have a capacity to focus on the negative. For every bad review you might receive, there were probably 20 people who liked your story or book just fine, but they didn’t comment. It might seem unfair, but it’s often how life works.

And remember, you can help out others by leaving positive reviews for books and stories you’ve read. What goes around comes around, the old saying goes, and maybe a little of that will come back to you.

One last thing: Always keep in mind that not everything you write is for everyone. For example, if you write in one particular genre, fans of another genre aren’t necessarily going to like your work (though they might). If you write with a particular political, social, intellectual or religious slant, you’re definitely not going to make everyone happy. None of that means you shouldn’t write. It means you just need to be aware of your audience and that you shouldn’t try to make everyone happy.

After all, you can’t make everyone happy, you can’t make everyone love your writing. So don’t focus on the negatives. Instead, focus on becoming a better writer.

A former newspaper editor for two decades in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, Ty now earns his lunch money as a fiction writer, mostly in the fantasy and horror genres. In his free time he enjoys tabletop and video gaming, long swording, target shooting, reading, beer tasting and recalling fond memories of his late wife and their beagle baby, Lily. Find City of Rogues and other books and e-books by Ty Johnston at Amazon.