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Monthly Archives: December 2010

On Rewriting Your Manuscript: Beautiful Storytelling

Tweet Yesterday I talked to you about your book’s big, bad rewrite. I gave you one example of how it might go, and then started into a bit of a pep talk. Now it’s time for me to tell you about application, to tell you how to do your rewrite. That’s a tricky task. I […]

On Rewriting Your Manuscript: Everything Changes

Tweet At last we’ve come to the rewrite. The big one. The end of the line. If you’ve really been thinking it through, you might have a question about the way I’ve arranged things. It might seem strange that I had you fix sentences before I let you go in and move paragraphs around (inevitably […]

What Courtney Learned about Writing this Week from…the Christmas Flu

Tweet Courtney asked me regretfully to inform you that a Christmas flu has quite thoroughly humbugged her. For the first time in her long tenure here at Unstressed Syllables, we’ll have to go without a WILAWriTWe. Alas. Send her your well wishes, and know that she’ll be back to educate us all just as soon […]

On Rewriting Your Manuscript: My First Book Club

Tweet For nearly a year now, Trish has been participating in a monthly book club with our friend Becca and several other ladies I don’t happen to be familiar with.  She has really enjoyed it, as much for the opportunity to get out on her own and hang out with grown-ups at least once a […]

On Reworking Your Manuscript: Shaping a Story

Tweet So. We’re reworking your novel. What exactly does that entail? It entails voice and style. It entails characterization and foreshadowing. It entails hooks and cliffhangers, suspense and resolution. This is the point in the story where you put in all the beautiful little things that will go unnoticed by your reader even as they […]

On Reworking Your Manuscript: Adding Some Flavor

Tweet I started this  week with a story about my creativity in the kitchen. It all really boils down to finding a prepackaged dish I really like, and adding some chili powder. Usually black pepper, too, but that didn’t make it into Tuesday’s story. It’s a solid metaphor for what we’re doing with our novels, […]

What I Learned About Writing This Week…from the Dark Stuff

I’m not afraid of the Dark. But this past Sunday, I got to a point in the story where I knew the Dark Stuff was coming. I looked at my computer screen, watched the cursor blink at me a few times, and said aloud, “I don’t want to write this.” I closed the file and walked away. I was in dire need of rescue…

On Reworking Your Manuscript: Chili Powder

Tweet I like to cook. Sometimes. To a limited extent. Well…no, not really. Let me start over. I’m a notoriously picky eater, so for the most part I don’t love to eat what I know objectively to be delicious foods. I have a limited repertoire of things I like, and I like them prepared my […]

On Revising Your Manuscript: Plot Your Plot

Tweet So now that you know what you’re supposed to be changing, and what you’re supposed to watching for, you’re ready to get started revising your manuscript. Dive into a second read-through, and start making your book better. You do know what you’re supposed to be doing, right? I only ask because I understand the […]

On Revising Your Manuscript: Looking at Language

Tweet Okay, if you’re following orders then at this point you’ve read through your finished book, cover-to-cover, and discovered the story you actually ended up telling. Maybe you read through it with a red pen, maybe you fixed some things, but your primary focus was on discovering what was there. Now it’s time for revision. […]