Common Issues With First Chapters

I’ve been making a list of issues I often spot in first chapters while I’m editing. I just ironed some of these issues out of my own WIP’s first chapter. If something is on this list, I’ve seen it quite a few times. Some of these will have their own future posts devoted to them. If I spot other issues enough, I might do a part two to this. Use this list to look for possible issues in your own first chapter. If you have an issue with the last three in your first chapter, you will want to check the rest of your manuscript because odds are those issues exist throughout your story. Continue reading

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First Chapter Tips: Tension

When it comes to first chapters, there are some issues I see more often than others. Admittedly, I personally find writing my own first chapters super hard. I can’t include all the issues I’ve seen or this would be way too long. So I’m going to focus on tension and I’ll talk about other issues in other posts. Think of your first chapter as a reader’s gateway into your story. You need a strong, clear beginning that gives readers something they are dying to know more about. Tension will help keep your readers from getting bored. If done right, tension will keep them reading past your first chapter. Continue reading

Editing Tests

I’ll be posting more advice on editing and common issues I see, but this post is aimed at giving you a peek at house editors. A lot of authors have no clue how editors get hired at publishing houses. Aspiring house editors sometimes aren’t even sure how the process works until they go through it. It’s different than other jobs where it’s just cover letter, resume, references, and an interview where you chat over your experience with whoever is doing the hiring. Continue reading

Writing Critique, Editing, & You

This is a topic I really want to write on and I may have more to say about it another time. Accepting that your story needs changes or that your writing needs work can be hard to hear and accept. Even just having a typo pointed out might get you down. But don’t let it get you too down. No one is perfect. If writers were all perfect editors wouldn’t be needed. So seriously, please don’t be perfect or I’d be out of a job. Most of those books you see on the shelves have gone through multiple rounds of edits and may have had critique partners before the book even got an editor. Not to mention agented authors may have had editing done by their agent and editor(s). Continue reading

Why You Should Take an Editing Break From Your MS

Editing can be hard. Editing can be even harder when you are editing your own work instead of someone else’s writing. I’ve learned something that really helps me when it comes to polishing my own writing. The trick is taking a break from your manuscript. Put it away for a few weeks or even months depending on how long of a break you want. I usually do this after fixing up as much as I can. Then after the break I come back and fix even more. Sometimes I start a new manuscript while I take a break. Continue reading