Welcome, writers, to my resource center!
If you are a writer of any content, you know there can be a lot to think about. So I wanted to make your journey easier by offering resources just for you. I hope you find enjoyable, valuable resources. I have posted the published topics as well as the upcoming topics so you can let me know if you would like any additional resources.
- Working with an Editor (currently 7 topics published)
- Self-Editing (1 topic published)
- Self-Publishing and Marketing Tips (2 topics published)
- Style Sheets (2 topics published)
- Fiction Writing Tips (currently 7 topics published)
- Nonfiction Writing Tips (currently 4 topics published)
- Grammar and Punctuation Help (2 topics plus a link to my punctuation help blog series)
If my resource center doesn’t have a topic you need, please contact me requesting that topic.
I will add one–two resources a month to this center.
Published February 2018. Some authors think an editor just fixes their errors. An editor certainly fixes your grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, but an editor should do more than that. This article will help you see how an editor works with you to make your material the best it can be in the time available.
Published March 2018. Editing is a process involving various levels. While the editing terms can change from editor to editor, editing is essentially broken down into four levels. This article will help you make an informed decision on the levels of editing you need, regardless of the term being used, and what to budget for your project.
Published July 2018. You will want to know how to use Word’s Track Changes since it is the industry standard. Books have been published with mistakes that editors corrected, but the author missed accepting, so it is important to know how to use this tool. This tutorial will show you what it does, how to turn it on, how to accept and reject changes, how to know if you missed a change, and how to work with comments.
Published January 2019. Before starting the editing process, it helps to know what to expect from your editor. Having realistic expectations sets you up for a great author-editor relationship.
Published April 2020. If you get your manuscript back with a lot of editorial markings, breathe, realize your editor is not out to get you, and know this doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. Often those tracked changes can look more intimidating and invasive than they really are. This article will walk you through various stress-free methods for dealing with a heavily edited manuscript.
Published June 2019. Editing is expensive because it is a specialized skill, takes time, and editors have other expenses. But it helps if you understand why editors charge what they do. This blog explains why you aren’t being ripped off and why paying rock-bottom rates may not be a good idea. It also outlines various ways to work on a very limited budget.
Published June 2019. Proofreading is a vital part of the production process; it is a separate service from editing. Learn why it’s important, what it entails—including cost and turnaround time—why your editor shouldn’t also be your proofreader, and how to get the most from your proofreader.
Nonfiction Self-Editing Ebooklet
COMING SOON: This resource is an ebooklet available for instant download. The ebooklet walks you through the process of self-editing your nonfiction book.
Fiction Self-Editing Ebooklet
COMING SOON: This resource is an ebooklet available for instant download. The ebooklet walks you through the process of self-editing your fiction book.
Published July 2019. If you can afford full editing services, you should do so. With that said, the more thoroughly you self-edit, the less your full service editing services will cost you. This blog outlines five self-editing tasks you can do to reduce your editing costs.
Self-Publishing Tips for Success
COMING SOON: Guest blog post from a successful self-publishing author.
Published April 2019. Guest Blog. You can increase your book sales by creating a newsletter to share with your email list. This blog walks you through six steps to building your newsletter and growing your audience. By following this step-by-step guide, you too can build your newsletter, grow your audience quickly, and sell your subscribers your backlist and new releases.
Creating a Book Marketing Plan
COMING SOON: Guest blog post from a book marketing expert.
Published January 2021. Marketing your book happens before, during, and after publication. Many hit marketing hard during launch, but then just let it sit. Learn eight strategies you can use to continue to market your book after publication.
Published April 2019. Copy editors create style sheets to ensure consistency. Learn what one is, what to include on it, and why an author may actually want to create one to give the copy editor. You don’t have to create your own, but you will want to know what one is.
Published April 2019. This tutorial walks authors through the process of creating their own style sheets. At the end, I have included some free downloadable style sheet templates.
Published May 2019. Authors often include unnecessary explanations, which can annoy and frustrate readers. Trust your readers to follow your plot and your characters’ development without explanations. This blog discusses five types of unnecessary explanations and gives examples so you can avoid overexplaining your novel’s plot and characters.
Published September 2019. Action beats reveal a character’s movement, emotions, and motivations; affect the rhythm and tension of the scene; and can establish the setting. Learn how to write effective action beats and use them purposefully.
Published May 2018. Dialogue reveals character and moves the action along, but poorly written dialogue can have the opposite effect. This article explains how to avoid common dialogue mistakes, when to use internal dialogue, and gives examples of good and bad dialogue.
Published April 2018. When writing dialogue tags, authors often fall into these common pitfalls. Avoiding these pitfalls will strengthen your dialogue tags, improving the pacing and characterization.
Published October 2018. Head-hopping is an easy trap to fall into. If you head-hop, it can pull your reader out of the scene and leave them feeling disoriented. So learn what it is, how it differs from an omniscient narrator, how to avoid it, and how to correct it if you do spot it.
Published November 2018. Info dumping can cause readers to lose interest in your story and be pulled out of the moment. Learn what it is and how to fix it.
Published May 2020. The advice “show, don’t tell” can frustrate authors. Telling isn’t bad, but it can ruin a novel if overdone or done at the wrong moment. Learn how to spot your told prose so you can edit it to shown prose, if the scene calls for it.
The Art of Show Don’t Tell
5 Ways to Create Characters that Don’t Suck
Published May 2018. Many writers tend to overuse the state-of-being verbs: is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been. While we need these words, strong writers can often reword sentences to eliminate them, choosing powerful verbs instead. This article provides specific methods to eliminate them. However, this isn’t an exercise in getting rid of every one—though when I taught English, I had students rise to the occasion.
Published October 2018. If too many of your sentences start the same way, your writing can begin to sound choppy, disjointed, or monotonous. This article explains how to vary them and how to know when to do so versus when to leave it alone.
Published March 2020. Using these strategies, you can learn to write more concise, powerful sentences. Learn how to get rid of unnecessary wordiness through a variety of strategies.
Published and continually updated. In January 2019 I started a bite-sized punctuation series. Once or t’;wice a month, I post a quick tutorial on one punctuation concept. Check out the link here to see all the bite-sized punctuation posts.
Published August 2015. Knowing and using correct punctuation is useful, especially in your self-editing phase. This blog posts teaches a basic grammar principle: using commas with coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS). Learn when to put a comma and when you don’t need a comma before “and,” “for,” “nor,” “but,” “or,” “yet,” and “so.”
Published November 2017. Seriously, guys! This is both my pet peeve and my legacy. Before I die, I want to see more people using these terms correctly. Now I am not one of those crazy people who goes around correcting people—unless you’re my mom, husband, or child—but I mentally correct people all the time. Forget world peace, let’s focus on “good” and “well.” Just kidding!