Tag Archives: editing



Yesterday I was busy going to softball and baseball games. I (like many of you) have very little extra time during the day (especially given the fact I work the grave shift) so when a day like yesterday occurs (two back to back games) I find it difficult to write. I missed the L post for A to Z but decided I will post something I wrote four years ago. The topic is still relevant and it happens to be an L so I thought why not. Later today, I will put up my “M” post.

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I have random pieces of paper with lipstick kisses scattered wherever I frequent. There are lipstick kisses on the back of envelopes and napkins in the console of my car. My dresser has a few receipts painted with my lip impressions. Toilet paper sheets with my pucker stamp lie amongst the junk and waste in my garbage can.

How does lipstick kisses relate to writing? I’m not sure I would have connected the two myself if it wasn’t for a comment made by a friend the other day.

“I like you without eye shadow,” says friend.

“I like eye shadow. I like make-up,” says me.

The words left my mouth and then it hit me. Editing your work is like kissing an envelope. You need to get rid of the excess in order to look your best.
I tend to overwrite. I love to overwrite. But, I am aware that to become the best writer that I can be, I need to smudge out some of the words that flood my paper. If I don’t blot out the wordiness I risk looking like I tried too hard or not hard enough.

Can wordiness be the kiss of death? Do you have editing tips that you would like to share?



Filed under A to Z, writer's life, writers, writing

Her Thoughts Became Mine – Discovering My Character

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I finally got to edit today. I won’t bore you with why I haven’t been able to in the last few weeks, but I will tell you I felt lost, not being able to be active in the world I adore, the world I create.
I have a great critique partner. She is someone that really jumps into editing and gives an honest opinion. I noticed one thing that was brought up several times through my critique. “Too many internal thoughts.”
I have a tendency to include an internal thought from the mc at the end of a sentence but it wasn’t something I recognized I did until recently.

Coincidentally, a few days prior to receiving my critique I was beginning to spot the over usage in my work. So when I read her comments, I knew she was absolutely correct.
As I deleted words that have become special to me I realized something else. The internal thoughts that I was writing down unnecessarily were necessary to me. Those internal thoughts were my characters way of introducing herself to me. So though eliminating them makes the story stronger, I am connected to my character because of them. I learned what she thought about people, what she really wish she could say to people, what she thought of herself, what went through her mind when she was scared and what memories she held.
Her mind became my mind and I discovered everything she needed to be.


Filed under character, character building, writer's life, writers, Writing


You finished your manuscript, hooray! The hard part is over right? Don’t be so sure. The querying process can be discouraging, but luckily there are a few great sites out there that will help walk you through it. By visiting these sites and learning how to master query writing, I have gained more requests and less denials. Receiving a request for a partial or full manuscript is one of the most exhilarating moments for a writer. I have received requests that were later denied but I know thanks to everything I learned from the sites I am about to list, I got a little closer to my dream becoming a reality.
Good luck querying. You never know when your query will end up at the right place at the right time.

Literary Rambles-Spotlighting Children’s Book Authors, Agents, and Publishing. Casey McCormick does a great job with her blog. I have used her blog most often when querying. I love reading the agent interviews. At the end of each interview she lists what genre the agents are willing to represent, what their yearly sales have been and how other writers feel about them as agents.

Guide to Literary Agents Blog. This writer’s digest blog hosted by Chuck Sambuchino is inspiring and informative. Chuck features new agent alerts, agent interviews and agency news. When I want to be inspired, I read his successful queries posts. The post lists actual queries that earned writers their agents. At the end of the queries, he interviews the agents and asks them what about the particular query grabbed their attention.

Miss Snarks First Victim Another great blog for writers. Miss Snark offers advice to writers, critiques query letters and partial manuscripts. She is visited by anonymous agents who also offer their help. You will also find lots of fun contests on her blog.

Agent Query
– For seven years in a row, this site has been recognized by Writer’s Digest to be one of the best websites for writers. This free site offers a ton of information. You will find informative pieces, searchable databases, agency profiles, publishing news and e-publishing help. If you have not visited this site, race over now.

Query Tracker This fabulous site allows you to organize and track your query submissions. It also offers agent statistics, comments from others who have or are in the process of querying and an online community. They also have a category dedicated to the top ten. You will discover which agents are most likely to request, which ones are known for not responding and who are the hardest ones to land.

Query Shark– A blog offering help for fiction queries. All queries must be submitted to the Query Shark for consideration. If your query is chosen, The Query Shark may offer a critique and instructions on how to make it stronger. Reading the revised queries are great for inspiration. You are also allowed to offer comments.

What sites or materials do you refer to when writing a Query letter?




Filed under character building, query, writer's life, writers, Writing



     All writers edit. How we edit may differ. Some of us might play music while reading through the work in progress. Some may need complete silence. The purpose of editing is to re-read the work written in hopes of catching mistakes or improving the rhythm of the sentences.

     How many times have you read through your work and thought, sounds good, only to have a critique partner point out that you repeated the same word twice? You have tons of run on sentences. You called your character Lori in the first paragraph and Cindy in the second. I have found that reading stories aloud helps highlight these types of mistakes.

     Our brains are much quicker than our mouths. When we scan through works without reading aloud we tend to see what is supposed to be there instead of what actually is. Last night a Facebook friend sent me a brain test where all the words were jumbled but somehow I was actually able to make out exactly what the sentence said. Eg. Our M1ND5 C4N DO 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5. Were you able to read that sentence? Chances are you were. This is the exact type of thing that happens when we are editing silently.  

     Reading aloud slows us down. When we read our words out loud we are forced to read more slowly and pay closer attention to what we have written.

     Reading aloud also allows us to hear the rhythm of our words. Words should have a flow and read effortlessly. There is nothing worst than having an interruption of your flow. It will stop a reader dead in their tracks and take away from the story.

     Editing aloud might not help you catch each and every mistake but it will most likely help you catch a few more than you would have.

     Do you have any editing tips you would like to share?






Filed under critique, editing, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing


How many times have you edited your work? If you are anything like me, you have scanned over your manuscript too many times to count. It’s what we do. We write it, read it, adjust it, finish it and then come back to it. Upon coming back to it, we fix it, add to it, read it aloud and then send it off to someone else (usually a critique partner) to do the same.

No matter how many times we look at it ourselves, chances are someone else will see something we do not see. My critique partner and I were discussing this topic this past weekend. We shared thoughts on how amazing it is that we can’t pick up on things we write as easily as a fresh pair of eyes can. In her manuscript she chose a very creative name for one of her leading characters. She must have played around with the spelling before she decided on how she would spell it. As I skimmed through her words, I noticed that in some areas she had it spelled one way and then others a completely different way.

She noticed missing punctuation in my manuscript and a few missing or double usage of words.

No matter how many times either one of us checked our work there were still things we missed. I read once that when you are reading your own work your thoughts are filling in the gaps missing on paper. If it is not your thoughts it is easier for you to spot something missing, misspelled or overused. We all make mistakes, but it is better if we have another set of eyes looking for the mistakes we make. Four eyes, six eyes, eight eyes, are all better than two when it comes to perfecting your work.



Filed under constructing, critique, editing, Uncategorized, writers, Writing


Do you think a writer needs to go on a diet? A writing diet that is. Check out my guest post over at This Literary Life. Bree Ogden (a super agent) was cool enough to allow me to write a blog for her site. It is the first time I have written for another blog as a guest and I’m super excited.

Make sure you leave a comment so I know you stopped by.


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Filed under audience, Author Interview, books, character, character building, constructing, creating, critique, critique groups, editing, Fiction, Inspirational, life, rejections, stories, story telling, story writing, Style, Voice, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult

Getting Rid of My Book’s “Baby Fat”

I’m approaching the end of my YA novel titled The Cult. I have been writing this suspense novel for about two years. The idea came to me in a dream right around the time Nanowrimo was about to start. I was about three chapters into a middle-grade novel (I’m excited to get back to that one) when my sister-in-law presented me with a challenge. “Hey, let’s do Nanowrimo,” she said. She had been contemplating writing a book for some time and Nanowrimo was the push she needed to get started. I accepted her challenge and began writing never realizing at the time it would take me two years to finish the book I never planned on writing. Writing this book was different from the others I have written. It was the first time I chose to just keep writing and not look back. My previous books I would write a chapter, edit a chapter, and then continue. I took more of an organic approach with this one and I’m hopeful it will pay off.

Growing up in an Italian family meant that eating was good. The more you ate the healthier you were. As I got older I realized that what I ate mattered more than how much I ate. It was time to get rid of the “baby fat”. Today I am getting rid of my book’s “baby fat” and replacing it with healthier options. I have to be honest with myself and admit that some of what I wrote was nothing more than junk or fillers. At the time it sounded good but in the end it weighed the book down. The junk made the pace sluggish and hid the story inside.

It’s time to sculpt my book and help it become the best version of itself. I don’t want it to be filled with empty words. I want it to be healthy and full but not stuffed.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on editing your book for publication. How do you know when your story is weighed down?

“Do you have a hard time putting your book on a “diet”?



Filed under audience, books, character, character building, constructing, creating, editing, emotions, Fiction, Giveaway, Inspirational, life, meme, middle grade fiction, NaNoWriMo, novel, random, rejections, routine, story telling, story writing, Style, Voice, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult