First Draft Blues

By David E. Sharp I have a love/hate relationship with first drafts. Cue the lonely harmonica. I thrive on the rewrites. Once the structure is in place, I can go nuts with all the tweaks and edit in a constant effort to improve. I can’t even look at one of my existing manuscripts without tryingContinue reading “First Draft Blues”

Compelling, Balanced, and Exciting: Backstory Not Baggage

By Shelley Widhalm Shelley Widhalm is a freelance writer and editor and founder of Shell’s Ink Services in Loveland, Colo. She provides copy editing and developmental editing, as well as consultations on writing and editing. She has more than 20 years of experience in communications and holds a Master of Arts degree in English fromContinue reading “Compelling, Balanced, and Exciting: Backstory Not Baggage”

You Dislike Me. You Really Dislike Me!

By David E. Sharp Writing is a long journey, agreed? From the first rubbish drafts of a manuscript to the complete overhauls, the helpful but sometimes painful critiques, the line edits, the additional line edits, the queries, the rejections, the acceptance, all the way to final publication, it’s a lot of work.

Headshots. Not Only For Zombies.

By Brian Kaufman In my novel, Dead Beyond the Fence, headshots were a pretty big deal. The ambulatory dead kept coming unless you wallop them above the shoulders. My protagonist used a tool formerly used to open crates or pry apart boards. This prompted one kind reviewer to comment, “Kaufman is the new king of theContinue reading “Headshots. Not Only For Zombies.”

Summertime Writing Productivity

By Ronda Simmons It’s been decades since I was a student, yet when the weather warms up, and the grass is green, I have difficulty focusing. I’m always looking for a hammock somewhere to enjoy a good read. My writing goals tend to suffer, and I would be willing to bet I’m not alone.

A Great Pitching Practice

By Brian Kaufman The editor from a New York publisher just wanted to go to the bathroom. The author, attending a writer’s conference in Colorado Springs, blocked the way, promising to be brief. And he was straightforward, delivering his pitch, no windup. Having agreed to look at the first 30 pages of the novel, theContinue reading “A Great Pitching Practice”