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Words Not Pages

I frequently hear from writers who are interested in a manuscript review or editing services, or who want to pitch an agent or publisher, and they tell me their book is 200 or 425 or howevermany pages long. When I’m feeling indulgent and patient, I’ll spend some time explaining why I don’t care how many pages their manuscript is – and why they shouldn’t, either. What counts is the number of words in the manuscript,...

Don’t Envy – Improve

A few years ago, when I finished Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin while doing the eleventythousandth revision of my own novel manuscript, I closed her book and looked at mine and thought, “Why bother?” The bother is that I’ve got my own story to tell. It’s not Atwood’s story, or Melville’s or Twain’s, or even yours. You’ve got your own story, too. Because it’s your story, the issue isn’t whether you write as...

Kudos!

This site has been live for a year and a month, and I’ve been working on growing it organically rather than through some of the less savory methods of social media bombardment and manipulation. Traffic is good and growing, and subscriptions increase regularly, so the strategy is working. I was honored to get this message from a new visitor: I have to let you know this is the best prompt site I have ever...

Writer’s Digest 2011 highlights

In the veritable cornucopia of best-of lists overwhelming our sensory inputs during this holiday season, here’s one with the potential to teach us something: The 18 most popular articles among the 1,300 posted to the Writer’s Digest web site. Among the articles you can choose from: The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing How to Craft Compelling Characters The 7 Tools of Dialogue What Writers Need to Know About...

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