Posts tagged Revising for Publishing
How to Utilize Motifs In Your Fiction

Motifs can serve several powerful purposes in storytelling.

Yet because motifs are often discussed in literary and academic circles, many genre-fiction writers fail to explore the potential of this powerful literary device — but literary devices aren’t for literary writers alone. Flashbacks, foreshadowing, mood, imagery, metaphor, and suspense are all literary devices that, among other examples, are commonly employed by genre and literary writers alike.

How, then, can all writers utilize motifs to strengthen the quality of their storytelling? Let’s dive deep into this topic today, writers!

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How to Improve Your Editing With Scrivener's Linguistic Focus

Looking to improve the ease of editing a project?

If you’d like to strengthen your verb usage, refine your story’s dialogue, cut unnecessary adjectives, or otherwise hone in on a specific part of speech in your project, Scrivener’s Linguistic Focus feature is a lifesaver. With a simple click, Linguistic Focus highlights the chosen part of speech in your text, allowing you to easily make necessary changes and simplify your editing process.

Pretty awesome, right? Let's break down this epic Scrivener function in today's video lesson and transcript, which are excerpted from our video tutorial course, Storytelling With Scrivener. Click here to learn more about the course today!

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Should You Include a Prologue in Your Story?

Ah, the Great Prologue Debate. Should they or should they not have a place in fiction?

The necessity of prologues (or lack thereof) is a topic that’s frequently discussed in online writing circles, and today I’d like to add my two cents to the clamor. You see, I feel pretty strongly about the power of a prologue well written. It’s a story element I’ve enjoyed time and time again as a reader, and also one that I’ve worked to emulate in many of my own stories.

Why do I think that prologues have their place? And what defines a prologue as well-written in my eyes? Allow me to share my thoughts with you in today’s article, writers.

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How to Identify and Cut Your Story's Filler


Have you ever read a novel that was far too indulgent for its own good?

Perhaps the plot dragged on and on or the prose meandered or the author spent a highly unnecessary amount of time on world-building or the color of their characters' hair. Maybe you weren't exactly sure where the author went wrong, but you know the book could have been at least fifty pages shorter. 

A touch of fluff bears little consequence, of course, but too much filler can easily weigh a story down. Knowing how onerous such indulgent stories can be, it's time we took a look at our own manuscripts and the fluff that may be lurking within. How can you identify and cut your story's filler? Let's discuss today, writers!

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How to Find and Fix Your Story's Plot Holes

When spending so much time working on our stories, it can be difficult to see the forest through the trees.

This is a phenomenon we discussed in our recent article on the importance of gaining objectivity as we edit. When we're in the thick of revising our stories, we may find ourselves so focused on all the little details that we want to improve that we fail to see some of our stories' biggest weaknesses. And the biggest of all, perhaps, are plot holes. 

What are plot holes exactly? And how can you find and fix them throughout your manuscript? Let's break down everything you need to know today, writer!

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How to Improve Your Self-Editing in One Simple Step

Struggling to feel confident in your self-editing skills? You're not alone, writer.

Both big picture revisions and tedious line-edits demand that writers consider countless facets of their work, from plot and character arcs to settings, themes, character development, and world-building, then on to dialogue, diction, sentence structure, tone, voice, atmosphere, and beyond. It's no wonder so many writers approach self-editing with extreme trepidation.

And while there are many techniques that can help writers approach revisions and line-edits with confidence, there is one especially powerful trick that I want to break down with you today: maintaining an objective eye. What is objectivity exactly, and how can it help improve your self-editing skills? Let's dive in! 

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My Top Tips for Utilizing Fictional Language in Your Stories

Let’s face it: Tolkien set the bar pretty high as far as constructed languages go. 

Whether you’ve considered outlining an entire conlang (that’s world-building slang for “constructed language”) or are simply looking to use a few invented words to liven up your story world, knowing how best to approach the construction of a fictional language is daunting to say the least. 

Is the use of conlang really necessary? How much detail should you put into crafting your fictional language? And how in the world can you incorporate it in a way that feels natural and believable to readers? Let’s talk about all this and more in today’s article, writer!

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My Top Tips for Balancing Stories with Multiple Points-of-View

Writing fiction from the perspectives of multiple characters can be a lot of fun.

This style of storytelling has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent decades thanks to the rise of film and television, which often structures its stories to showcase many characters’ perspectives. But utilizing multiple points-of-view isn’t the simplest technique to master. 

I’ve received quite a few requests for tips on this topic in recent months, and being as I’ve dabbled in writing stories with multiple points-of-view myself, I decided it was high time to translate my experience into a few key tips to share with you all today. Shall we dive in?

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How to Frame Scenes Like a Filmmaker


Have you ever thought about writing fiction with filmmaking in mind?

This certainly isn’t a concept I originated. Rather, I recently rediscovered it after reading Diana Gabaldon’s I Give You My Body, her guide to writing intimate scenes, in which she discusses framing the scenes in her books as though she were shooting a film. 

Having taken a few communications classes in my day—all of which involved a good bit of camera work—the idea of framing scenes with filmmaking in mind is advice that I not only find interesting, but believe may be vastly helpful to many writers looking to improve their craft. Sound like something you’d enjoy? Let’s kick off today’s discussion!

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How to Manage Your Story's Pacing (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked all about how to manage your story's pacing.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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How to Edit Your Story For Success (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked about how to build fictional societies as part of the world-building process.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? Forgot all about it? No worries! I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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Five Ways to Frame Your Story

You have a story idea, and you’re ready to write. But have you thought much about how you’ll frame your story?

Subjective storytelling is the framework most commonly found in modern literature, and it's perhaps the most obvious way writers think to tell their stories. With a subjective framework, writers utilize a limited point-of-view (i.e. the story is told solely via the main character's thoughts and experiences) to immerse readers in the main character’s journey.

But this style of storytelling isn’t the only way in which you can frame your story for success. What are your other options, and which is best for your novel? Let’s break down five alternative frameworks today!

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How to Raise the Stakes in Your Story

Let’s raise the stakes!

Keeping readers engaged in your story is, of course, paramount. And one of the easiest ways to ensure readers keep turning pages is to thread your novel with powerful stakes. 

Raising the stakes means making sure your characters always have something to lose.

For them, something important is at risk. And that risk can have a huge impact, heightening your story’s conflict, adding thrilling tension and suspense, revealing new truths about your characters, propelling their emotional journeys forward, and more!

But how do you go about building powerful stakes for your story? And how can you raise the stakes when your story seems to be running out of steam? Let’s dive in to today’s breakdown!

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Seven Things Editors Wish Authors Knew

As an editor, I have encountered countless authors, and they usually have the same questions or concerns. I have compiled a list of seven things editors wish authors knew, so your process of working with an editor is as smooth as possible.

 

1. Book Us in Advance

Writers frequently ask me when they should book me, and I always tell them as soon as possible. Editors tend to get booked out weeks, if not months, in advance, and you want to ensure that you are on your ideal editor’s schedule at the right time.

Also, if you have a deadline with your editor before you even write your novel, you will be motivated to finish it. There is nothing like external motivation to make sure you get your book done.

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Should you include an epigraph in your novel?


Have you ever noticed the small quotations at the beginning of a book or its chapters?

Those are called epigraphs, and they can include a short quotation, saying, poem, or paragraph of prose. Including an epigraph before some or all chapters in a book isn't a necessary ingredient for baking up a brilliant story, but they can be useful for several reasons.

What do those reasons include, and should you include an epigraph (or maybe several of them) in your book? Let's dive into today's quick and dirty breakdown!

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Three Ways to Integrate Scene Cards Into Your Writing Process


Do you prefer working with tangible notes as you write?

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of hand-writing my work in the slightest. I complete nearly all of my brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing in Scrivener. That said, I recently had the opportunity to try out printed scene cards courtesy of my friend and fellow author Jennifer Bull, and I had a blast playing around with all of their possibilities.

How did I use the scene cards Jenn designed as I worked? Let’s discuss three ways to integrate them into your writing process today!

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How to Build an Ideal Critique Partner Relationship

Life is better when you do it together — and your writing life often is, as well.

In a recent article here at Well-Storied, we discussed the importance of editing with objectivity. But sometimes, even the most objective lens we can conjure just isn't enough to help us craft the very best versions of our books. Sometimes, it's a second pair of eyes that can really make all the difference as we work to elevate our stories.

Of course, that second pair of eyes can come in many forms: alpha or beta readers, editors, and, as we're going to discuss today, critique partners. Just how valuable an experience can it be to work with a critique partner? And how can you go about finding and building such a relationship? Let's break down everything you need to know in today's article!

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19 Ways to Write Better Dialogue

For years, I struggled deeply with dialogue. 

As a new writer, it was the bane of my existence. I hadn’t a clue how to delve into my characters’ voices, to write conversations that felt natural and true-to-character while also moving my story forward. To avoid staring my own weakness in the face, I often wrote the fiction equivalent of silent films. (But even those had dialogue, didn't they? Bah!)

Finally, one day, I realized I didn’t want my weaknesses as a writer to hold my stories back a moment longer. I wanted to improve my craft, and that meant improving my dialogue, too. Soon, I began studying every resource I could find, examining how skilled authors crafted incredible conversations. Today, writer, I’m sharing everything I’ve learned with you!

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8 Things to Cut When You Kill Your Darlings

When discussing revisions, it doesn't take long for the phrase "kill your darlings" to appear.

The phrase has been attributed to many authors over the years, but in every case, its sentiment remains the same: as you edit, you must be willing to remove any element that does not serve your story, even those you love. As I've often said here at Well-Storied, everything in your novel must serve a purpose. 

Think you may be holding onto a few darlings in your own manuscript? Not sure what those elements might be? Let's discuss everything you need to know about killing your darlings today, writers!

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What Is The Difference Between Editing & Revising? (and how can you accomplish both? )

Before we can begin polishing our manuscripts, there's something we need to discuss: the difference between editing and revising.

These two words are often used interchangeably, and that's fine for colloquial conversations. But when it comes to the work itself, these words indicate two unique tasks. Understanding the differences between the two can help you cut through editing overwhelm (see, there's that colloquial usage again!) and make the process of finishing your manuscript far more efficient. 

So, what is the difference between editing and revising? And what exactly is involved in accomplishing both tasks? Let's break these questions down in today's article, writers.

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