ShoreIndie Specials

shoreindie editorIf you’re an indie author coming from the #ShoreIndie community, welcome! Whether or not you entered the contest this year, I want you to know that your story is valuable and that I support you in your efforts to make it strong and engage readers. For this reason, I have a few specials going on this summer. If you mention this #ShoreIndie specials post when contacting me (whether or not you entered this year’s event), you may request any of the following specials that will only be available through September.

I’m already booked out through the end of July (with the exception of the blurb & pages package), so contact me soon to get in before the specials end!

Blurb and pages package: $60

This includes a two-pass critique & edit of your book blurb as well as a one-pass line edit of your first five pages, up to 1500 words. This line edit will involve suggestions on strengthening the flow and style as well as correcting errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Partial critique: $90

This includes a critique of your first 50 pages (up to 14k words). You will get an in-depth critique letter analyzing the plot, pacing, characterization, dialogue, descriptions, continuity, and clarity of your opening pages.

Note: If you would also like comments at the end of each chapter in the partial manuscript, you can add these on for an additional $25.

Partial line edit: $250

This includes a line edit of your first 50 pages (up to 14k words). It will involve suggestions on strengthening the flow and style as well as correcting errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Any continuity or story flow issues will also be noted.

Note: If you are looking for a full line edit or copyedit, you may choose to purchase this special and then book the additional edits on the rest of the manuscript at normal prices. Ask me about sample edits and price quotes.

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ShoreIndie Post: 7 Signs You’re Not Ready for That Editing Contest

After several rounds of helping authors get their manuscripts agent-ready through Pitch to Publication and RevPit events, I’m excited to get on board with ShoreIndie, helping indie authors get ready to share their books with the world. In these contests, I’ve read through hundreds of entries, and now I can quickly tell the difference between people who are ready for an editing contest and those who aren’t.

Are you thinking about entering ShoreIndie or another editing contest? It’s important to make sure you’re ready first. Take a look at the seven red flags below—if any of them apply to you, stop and take notice. It doesn’t mean you should give up and walk away; it means you should think about why they apply, how you can fix them, and whether or not it’s a good idea to enter the contest. How are you doing in each of these areas?

Read the full post on the ShoreIndie blog here.

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May the Fourth be with you: How Star Wars saved my creativity

Star Wars Logo

Happy Star Wars Day! Whether you roll your eyes at the Force/Fourth pun or embrace the excuse to pull out the memes, there’s no denying that this franchise—this story—has found another way to make itself a part of our life and culture.

Star Wars has been a part of my own life for years, and not without major impact. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing else that has so deeply, consistently inspired my creative journey. From my drawings before I had actually seen Star Wars to the spark that the new movies reawakened in me, there’s never been a time that I’ve felt my most creative without  Star Wars right there playing its part.

Here is my tribute of memories to the story that helped shape mine.

Continue reading

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Repost: 7 Ways Writing Community Can Go Wrong

A few months ago, I shared over on the MS Editors blog about some of the ways that writing community can go wrong. In the time I’ve spend on Twitter lately, I’ve seen writing community also going right: writers have come together through things like #OnthePorch and #RevPit to support, help, and encourage each other in their craft. I want to see that community staying helpful and positive, so I decided to repost this list of pitfalls to watch out for. If you can avoid problems before they happen, you can keep your writing community strong long after the contest season ends.

7 Ways Writing Community Can Go Wrong

There’s nothing quite like having a great group of writer friends. Who else gets you when you’re crying for your characters as you write them? Who else understands what it’s like to face the daunting task of revision? Writing community can be a really good thing.

Writing community can also go really wrong. If you try to start a writing group without putting thought into the goals and participants of that group, you might end up with something that will fall apart at best and be detrimental to the members’ writing at worst. If you’re going to connect with other writers, be careful and on guard against the following common pitfalls.

1: People are too nice.

Sometimes, writers give each other too many pats on the back. It’s important for the members of a writing group to encourage each other in their art, but not at the expense of quality. There may be many different styles of writing that can work, but a good group of writers will tell each other whether or not the way they’re using those tools does work. Constructive feedback is more important than positive feedback.

2: People are too mean.

Sometimes, writers take too much pleasure in tearing each other apart. This happens especially in workshops and other more academic settings. Critique partners or groups are quite helpful when a writer wants advice on how to strengthen their writing, but some people go too far. Instead of giving helpful feedback, they tear apart each others’ writing in a way that belittles instead of building up. Being critical of peers is only a good idea when it has a useful purpose.

3: People don’t write.

Sometimes, writers form a writing group without following through with consistent writing. They love the idea of being in a writing group, but they never put forth the work to make it constructive. One of two things quickly happens to this type of group: it falls apart as people drop out, or it becomes a social gathering. Social gatherings for people who love words are great, but if the members aren’t writing, it’s not a writing group and shouldn’t be mistaken for one.

4: People don’t read.

Sometimes, writers get excited about sharing their own work without showing any excitement for each other’s work. This creates a group where people are writing, but they’re not getting a lot of constructive help from their community. If everyone shows up for a writing group expecting feedback on their own work without paying attention to others’ writing, what happens? There’s nobody to read, so nobody actually gains. If nobody is willing to give, the group becomes meaningless.

5: People have conflicting goals.

Sometimes, writers don’t communicate their different ideas about what they want in writing community. When they come together, a conflict arises as everyone expects something different. One person might be expecting to give and receive detailed style advice, while another might simply want to exchange comments on overall big-picture elements. While both are valid ideas for a writing group, advice won’t be helpful if it’s not welcome. Writers should make sure they are clear about their expectations before exchanging their work. Otherwise, their conflicting goals will lead to frustrated results.

6: People have no goals.

Sometimes, writers come to a writing group without any plan or expectations. They know they want to be in a group of writers, but that’s about it. They expect that things will just fall into place naturally. While it’s good to be flexible and make changes based on what does or doesn’t work, there still needs to be a starting plan to give the group purpose. Writers with no goals or direction aren’t likely to get anything done.

7: People aren’t a good fit for each other’s needs.

Sometimes, writers won’t have enough experience or interest to comment on their peers’ work. People write in a variety of genres and styles, and not just anyone will give the best feedback to another writer. While any feedback can be helpful, the best feedback comes from someone who reads, understands, and preferably writes what they’re critiquing, whether it’s poetry, nonfiction, or one of many specific fiction genres. If a reader doesn’t know a genre, they’re not going to be able to give helpful tips on genre-specific needs.

Make it work!

This all may sound like a lot of negativity, but it serves two purposes. The first is to help you stay out of the wrong groups. If you know what to watch out for, you’ll save yourself some time and frustration. The second purpose is to help you make your current community into a better one. If you love your writing clan but don’t love what you do or don’t do for each other, identifying your weaknesses can help you turn them into strengths.

Getting a productive writing group together can be tricky, but if it works out, it’s worth it. Even if it doesn’t work out, don’t give up on the community of other writers out there. Your fellow writers aren’t your competition—they’re your companions on this journey. Take the time to support and encourage each other whenever you get the chance, and you’ll quickly see how very right writing community can be. And guess what? The more writers you get to know, the more opportunities you’ll have to find that writing group that doesn’t go wrong.

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#RevPit Deals

I had the amazing opportunity to be introduced to many talented writers during the selection round of the recent #RevPit contest ( I’ll be digging into revisions with my chosen winner over the next several weeks, but I want the rest of you who participated to know that you are not forgotten. I value your work and would love to help you in your journey toward publication.

In honor of the great writing I’ve seen and the special community that has grown around #RevPit, I am offering the following deals on my editing services for anyone who participated in the contest. Discounts will apply for anyone who books by the end of May 2017 even if the actual work is scheduled for later. Continue reading

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