Poetry Primer: Crafting And Editing

By Shelley Widhalm When I told one of my writer friends I was editing a poetry collection I assembled, he said, “I didn’t know you could edit poetry.” You sure can, but first, to get something to edit, let’s think of poem creation, capturing an experience, thought, or moment in tempo, color, sound, and movement.

When Pants Ruin Everything.

By David E. Sharp Plotters or pantsers. Or plantsers. Writers tend toward one camp or another. Plotters create structured outlines and fill them in. Pantsers start with an idea and throw themselves into the thick of things, trusting the story to guide them to its natural conclusion. My colleague, Katie Lewis, added the additional categoryContinue reading “When Pants Ruin Everything.”

Inciting Incidents versus Triggering Incidents (And A Lot of In Between)

By Shelley Widhalm A novel can be structured in three or more acts or 15 beats (see Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat!® – The Language of Storytelling). Or in some other forms, whether you story map or wing it. What I find confusing is the difference between inciting incidents and triggering incidents.

Best Laid Planst

By Katie Lewis To outline, or not to outline, that is the question. We’ve all heard varying degrees of advice in favor of one way or the other. Some writers feel outlining is vital, while others swear they are more productive using the flow. And yet I am here to declare a third party, theContinue reading “Best Laid Planst”

What Are You Waiting for?

By Nina Naylor, Guest Blogger Nina (pronounced 9-uh) Naylor is a writer, poet, and essayist.  She wrote her first poem at age 8.  She is a member of Northern Colorado Writers and the Academy of American Poets.  She has had poems, essays and articles published in organizational publications. Nina was able to take early retirementContinue reading “What Are You Waiting for?”

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.