Resources for Writers

Image of Katie Chambers, on a sofa, writing in a file and smiling at the work.

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.

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As a subscriber, you will receive the following content:

  • Link of the Week: A featured article from other editors’ and writers’ blogs on relevant topics and tips from me on that topic. One a week.
  • My Blog Posts: My latest blog on (a) grammar/punctuation or a topic for editors, and (b) specific writing tips on a variety of topics (fiction writing, genre writing, nonfiction writing, etc.). Two a month.
  • ResourcesDiscounts to all my courses, webinars, and products, and the insider scoop when I release new resources.

Resource Menu

Categories

Click on the category to be taken to those resources

Working with an Editor  8 topics and 1 webinar

Self-Editing  2 topics published

Style Sheets  2 topics published

Fiction Writing Tips 13 topics published

Nonfiction Writing Tips  4 topics published

Grammar and Punctuation Help 3 topics plus my punctuation blog series

Essay Writing Help 3 topics posted

Resume Writing Help 3 topics and 1 course

Ask an Editor on Social Media

Submit your question for my Thursdays Talk with an Editor social media post, where I and other editors answer your question.

You will be notified when your question is posted and provided the link to find it.

Request Resource

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.

Webinars & Courses

If you are an author who has never worked with an editor and aren’t really sure what to expect from the process, this webinar will help you have a better understanding. The process can be a learning curve and can be a bit overwhelming, so it is best to take the time to learn now.

Topics covered in this webinar:

  • The four levels of editing and the difference between them
  • What you can expect from your editor
  • Why editing costs what it does
  • The basic structure of the editing process

Blogs

Published January 2022. Editors are not robots, so while they strive to do their best, likely some errors will remain. Learn why there may actually be less remaining errors that you think, why some errors will remain, and what your options are.

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.

Self-Editing

Booklets

Nonfiction Self-Editing Ebooklet ($0.00)

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 ($0.00)

Coming Soon

This resource is an ebooklet available for instant download. The ebooklet walks you through the process of self-editing your fiction book.

Blogs

Published March 2020.  This blog explains words and phrases that often lead to unnecessary wordiness and methods you can use to reduce wordiness. Knowing this will help you as you self-edit your manuscript.

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 & Marketing Tips

Published December 2023. Self-publishing is not for the faint of heart. Because there are a lot of steps in the
process, it can be a steep learning curve. Learn how to do each step well and the
supporting help you can use to help you in your journey.

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.

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.

Style Sheets

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.

Fiction Writing Tips

Webinars

In this 25-minute webinar, you will learn all about these two tools: what they are, when to use them, and the common mistakes to avoid with these tools.

These craft tools help you with writing elements like

  • showing, not telling
  • manipulating narrative distance
  • creating deeper interiority
  • enriching characterization
  • creating variety
  • playing with tension

Blogs

Published March 2024. Readers want to know your characters even in a plot-driven story. They don’t have to like your characters, but they have to know your characters. So how do you make this happen? By revealing character interiority. Without effective interiority, you hold your readers back from really engaging and immersing themselves in your story. Learn all about one of the secrets to a compelling novel, interiority: what it is and how to use it effectively.

Published February 2024. Crime novelists need to make sure they get the details right when it comes to police work. So in this blog, learn the steps the police go through once a theft is reported to find the criminal and charge them with larceny, burglary, and/or robbery. And as a bonus, learn how to spice up detective work, so it isn’t too boring.

Published January 2024. Free indirect speech is a powerful tool when writing in third person. It gives you the intimacy of first person but with the flexibility of third person. Learn what it is and why you want to use this tool.

Published November 2023. “Show, don’t tell” is popular writing advice, but it can be tricky to understand what it really means. Telling is not always bad. But when it takes the reader out of an immersive experience or seems dry, you want to revise to show, don’t tell.
This blog shows you how to do that in a variety of ways with clear examples.

Published September 2023. While writing is highly subjective, some objective guidelines for good writing exist. For one, if you start too many sentences in a row with the same pattern (not necessarily the same word), your passage can sound monotonous or choppy. This isn’t always the case. But it is a general objective guideline that good writing entails varying your sentence beginnings. Learn the various patterns for starting a sentence and when it’s fine to have several in a row start the same way and when a rewrite may be in order.

Published August 2023. The first blog in this series explained how to identify your told prose. Now that you have identified it, decide if you need to change it to showing or keep it as is. It isn’t wrong to tell. The importance is balance. Learn when it is okay and even preferable to tell.

Published July 2023. Narrative distance is another tool in a writers’ toolkit. Learn what is it, how to create various levels of narrative distance, and when you may want to go wide.

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.

5 Ways to Create Characters that Don’t Suck

COMING SOON:

Nonfiction Writing Tips

Published February 2018. In each chapter, you often have several subtopics. In order to help your readers follow your train of thought and avoid mental whiplash, you will want to add an effective transitions between those subtopics. This article explains how to to do that in easy to follow steps and provides examples from both essays and nonfiction books.

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.

Linked February 2018. I planned on writing an article on this subject, but a few months back, I stumbled across this blog. Since the author nailed it and had a more extensive list than I, I decided to just link to his blog.

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.

Grammar and Punctuation Help

Published and continually updated. In January 2019 I started a bite-sized punctuation series. Once or twice 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 December 2023. If you are confident you can’t end a sentence with a preposition, shouldn’t split an infinitive, never should use the passive voice, and more, then, I have news for you: your English teacher may have led you astray.

Let’s put those so-called grammar rules to rest, like the zombies they are. This blog will set you free from six rules that were never rules to begin with.

Published November 2023. Capitalizing words in titles and headings follows a set of style rules. It isn’t as simple as capitalize the “big” words and lowercase the “small” words. This blog will walk you through those rules with clear examples.

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!

Essay Writing Help

Published March 2018. When writing an argumentative essay, you need to have a strong claim statement. Learn what a claim statement is, how to write an effective one, and the various types of claims.

Published January 2018. All essays need a strong central message. To write an effective thesis statement, you will want to follow the three components explained in this article.

Published October 2017. While I don’t necessarily advocate for formulaic writing, generally introductory paragraphs contain three parts. This article explains how to write each part of the introduction well.

Resume Writing Help

Course

Your Resume is a powerful career marketing tool; thus, your resume should be a persuasive marketing piece and not a dull career biography. Don’t let your resume go unnoticed: take charge, and follow this course to learn how to get your foot in the door and market your greatest commodity: yourself.  I have heard many say, “I have applied for several jobs, but I don’t have any interviews lined up.” It all begins with your cover letter and resume. While I do not always get the job, I have always gotten the interview, even over those more skilled than I. Why? Because resume writing is an art, and I have learned that art.

In 28 short videos, you will learn how to revise, write, design, and format your resume in the best way possible to sell yourself. Selling yourself is what you need to do daily: you sell yourself to your date, your boss, your child, your prospective employee, your friend, and even to yourself!

Student Review: I previously purchased another Udemy resume writing course a couple of years ago, but Katie’s course is so much better. It’s like night and day. Katie is VERY thorough, by explaining her topics, then showing examples of exactly what she means. She also shows several before and after examples, which I loved. It’s nice to have an instructor that knows how to teach a subject in detail. In addition, she actually answers your questions on the Q and A board. Thank you Katie, great course.

Blog Posts

Published September 2018. The job bullets are the second most important part of your resume, and too many people just list generic job duties. These bullets should reveal your accomplishments, not describe your job. Learn how to write effective job bullets and stand out from the crowd.

Published October 2017. The number one mistake that people make on their resumes is stating they posses a certain quality. This is telling. Saying you possess a specific ideal characteristic is meaningless. So stop telling your prospective employers how awesome you are and learn how to show through your words intstead.

Published December 2017.  Your career summary is the most important part of your resume. So learn how to tailor your summary for each job, write an effective one, and various ways to format it.