Look, I was—and still am, for the most part—a new writer. I’m not trying to say that being green here is a bad thing, because it’s not. It’s a time of huge growth and it can be one of the most exciting parts of being a writer, because everything is so shiny and fascinating. But I made a lot of mistakes as a new writer, some of them good and some of them bad, and I’d like to offer this post as a cheat sheet for everyone in my place.
That story, with its unoriginal characters and cliché storyline, was my first ever attempt at a novel. Now, after eight years, three failed attempts at novels, and two successful ones, I can still see a clear path from that story to my newest one.Read more "Why Remembering Your First Novel Matters"
About a month ago, I wrote a masterpost of all my writing-related blog posts, and then decided to put together a list of links from others that have helped me become a better writer as well. Since my ‘writing’ bookmark folder is huge, that masterlist of links ended up being split into two parts, the first […]Read more "Writing Advice Masterpost Part 2: Revising, Editing and Querying"
A couple weeks ago I promised a list of all the writing resources I’ve come across that have helped me become a better writer. I hope these links can help you as much as they’ve helped me.Read more "Writing Advice Masterpost Part 1: Plotting, Characters and World-Building"
I’ve written a lot of posts about writing over the last two (almost three?) years. Some of them are silly and some of them are just plain ol’ rants, but I’ve also written a lot of posts to share what I’ve learned about writing novels. I already a category for writing drop-down menu at the […]Read more "My Writing Resources Masterpost (First Drafts, Revision, Querying and more)"
Look, editing is hard. I’ve said it many, many times. When you’re starting, it can be incredibly confusing. One person tells you to do this, and another tells you oh God no. Do this. Do that. It’s hard. I can’t tell you what’s right for your story, but as far as I can tell, there […]Read more "The Editing Style Guide"
Writing is hard. Unfortunately, querying can be even harder. I’ve been through the query trenches time and time again, and written about it a lot, too. Through all of this, I’ve discovered a fair amount about ways to help me land a submission. Here’s what I’ve learned. Write up your blurbs and synopses. Once you’ve […]Read more "How To Get A Submission: Query Letter Edition"
The struggle to properly edit one’s novel gets harder and harder as the months drag on. But I think I’ve found a solution: reading my novel out loud.
And here’s six reasons why you should read your novel out loud, too.Read more "Why You Should Read Your Novel Out Loud"
I’m in the third revision of my novel right now. I’ve done all the major revisions of the text and finished all those nasty structural edits. All that’s left for me to do is go back to the beginning, look everything over again, and smooth it all out. Does this work for my character? Does […]Read more "The All-Inclusive Character Questionnaire You’ve Been Waiting For"
So we’ve done all the messy stuff, all the major structural surgery. Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty—polishing off that revision. Treat it like a second revision. Save it under a new file name. Change the font. Print it out, if you can. Think on a word- and sentence-level. Though the big […]Read more "The Final Polish: Alex’s Guide to Revision Part 4"