The only just literary critic is Christ, who admires more than does any man, the gifts He Himself has bestowed. – JRR Tolkien

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Editing - Story Tips - Publishing

How do I write a synopsis for my book?

What is a Synopsis and How Do I Write One?

How do I write a synopsis for my book? At its most fundamental level, a synopsis answers the question: What is this book about? A synopsis should cover (in abbreviated form) all the major points of your book in sequential order from beginningto end. In a work of fiction, you’ll want to cover all the...

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Do I really have to avoid adverbs in my novel manuscript? Should my story have less adverbs? How to use adverbs in fiction without overdoing it.

Adverbs – Part Three

The Dreaded LYs When discussing adverbs in regards to writing fiction, the kind we’re usually talking about are the ly words – like clearly, dearly, and madly. Many high-brow critics complain that the use of adverbs like this is a lazy man’s (or woman’s) tool. I remember the first time I turned in some of...

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How to fine-tune your book's manuscript before you send to an editor, agent, or publish - how to make your novel is the best it can be

Fine Tuning Your Manuscript – Part One

You’ve Written “The End” – But Is Your Book Ready? Okay, so you’ve finally reached the magic words, The End. But is it really? Are you done? Have you really finished your book? Chances are, you haven’t. If you’ve only written the words The End, once or twice – if you’ve spent very little time...

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World-building in science fiction novels and stories - are you giving readers too much information at a time?

World Building – Information Dumps in Your Story

Are You Overwhelming Your Readers? Have you ever run across a prologue like this: (usually in sci-fi books) Captain Briggs took the helm and began shouting orders. “Ensign, optimize the traspositional filtration valves to ignite the gravitational destabilizers.” “I can’t do that,” Ensign Scott replied. “If I optimize the filtration valve, the axomital diffusionators will...

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How many times should you revise and rewrite your book? What should I do about editing my manuscript?

Rewriting and Revising Before You Edit

How Many Manuscript Drafts Should You Go Through? When working on a book of any kind, if you haven’t gone through a minimum of three drafts, you probably don’t have a finished product. The first draft should be seen only as an opportunity to articulate and develop ideas in a rough form. This tells you...

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How to write and revise your novel manuscript with active voice - passive examples.

Active Versus Passive Voice

Engage Your Reader with Active Voice in Your Writing While it has it’s uses – mostly in business writing – passive voice is considered weak and unappealing. Technically speaking, voice is determined by the property of a transitive verb which shows whether the subject of a sentence acts or is acted upon. Lets look at...

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Should I use sentence fragments in my book manuscript? Is this bad writing or style?

Sentence Fragments – Stylistic Choice?

Should I Use Sentence Fragments? Sentence fragments. Who cares? You? Me? Anyone? Depends. Writing nonfiction? Probably wouldn’t. Work, that is. Writing fiction? Could be. Depends. On what? Style. With some authors? Might work. Others? Not so much. A hundred years ago? Wouldn’t have been acceptable. Writing fragments, that is. Too formal back then. Long run-on...

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Using urgency for your characters and putting them in peril to keep your readers engaged and turning the page of your book.

Story Pacing – Urgency – Hooking Readers

The First Fifty – Crucial – Pages of Your Book The first fifty pages of your book are crucial for setting the hook in your readers. Something has to happen. Something exciting, or intriguing, or you risk losing your reader’s interest. Limit Backstory – It’s always tempting in the beginning to fill the reader in...

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