You’ve finished your first draft. Congratulations! Now what?

Just in case you missed this post a couple of months ago, I wanted to let you know we have a free eBook about the key elements of fiction.

Whether you’re self-publishing or going the traditional route, your story needs to be as good as you can possibly make it before sharing with others.

Now is the time to evaluate your writing with a big-picture edit to ensure your story works and is compelling to your readers.

But just re-reading your novel and looking for areas of improvement without having a process can waste a lot of time. Questions that come to mind are:

  • Where to start?
  • What to change?
  • How to make it better?


Don’t despair. There is light at the end of the editing tunnel. Just like you learned how to write a novel, you can learn how to perform a big-picture edit. All you need is a clear process, some editing knowledge, and the right tool.

With our free eBookyou’ll learn how big-picture editing is all about evaluating the major components of your story. We call these components the Key Elements Of Fiction.  Our eBook shows you how to use the key elements of fiction to evaluate your story.


Thanks for reading…

Feedback For Fiction | Rewriting: What Is it And How Do You Go About It?

Sharing a draft of your novel with anyone for the first time can be scary. The stress of waiting to hear back from your readers or editor, of worrying about what they might say, and wondering if your writing is ready to submit can take its toll.

So why would you share your work with anyone before you’ve revised your first draft, improved it, making sure it’s as good as you can make it before anyone else reads it?

You wouldn’t. That’s why you rewrite.

Rewrite: to write (something) again especially in a different way in order to improve it or to include new information – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

A comprehensive rewrite is the first step in the self-editing process. I’m not talking about copyediting or proofreading. You can do that after you’ve completed your rewrite.

Rewriting your first draft means analyzing your story from a high-level perspective and fixing

Source: Feedback For Fiction | Rewriting: What Is it And How Do You Go About It?

Write Better Fiction: Avoid Repetitive Scene Openings

Today on Write Better Fiction we’ll cover Scene Entry Types. Write Better Fiction is a process to help you critique your own manuscript and give yourself feedback. This will help you improve your novel, so you’re ready to submit it to an editor.

Over the last few weeks, we covered scene entry, scene middle, and exit hooks. I’d like to back up a bit and look at scene entries again.

My husband was my first beta reader, and he read the first draft of the first novel I wrote. As it turns out, that novel is AVALANCHE, to be published this spring by Imajin Books.

His first comment to me, and I was a little crushed, was:

“Do you know you start every scene with a character in a doorway?”

I was expecting, “I love this book,” not actual critique. Well, I’ve since toughened up and have realized critique is much more helpful than unwarranted praise if you’re trying to write better. His comment drove me to figure out how to vary scene openings.

As you know, I use a spreadsheet to self-edit my novels.

I have a column called entry type. The choices are:

  • Dialogue
  • Thought
  • Narrative
  • Action

If you have other categories, please let me know in the comments below.

Once I’ve filled out my spreadsheet, I create a pie chart to see if my novel is balanced.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 10.00.51 AM


Then I create a graph, to check if I’ve start the scenes in a variety of ways and didn’t get stuck in a pattern.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 2.11.27 PM


D is dialogue

A is action

T is thought

N is narrative.

The idea is to ensure I haven’t started too many scenes in a row in the same way. If I have, I go back and revise the scenes, looking for a different way to write the opening. I don’t want to bore a reader by getting into a pattern.

I critiqued DESCENT, BLAZE and AVALANCHE using the techniques I’m sharing in Write Better Fiction, and I believe this helped me sign with a publisher.

Please let me know in the comments below if you have any suggestions how to check for repetitive scene entries?

Thanks for reading…