Recent Posts

Time to Add Zombies to Your Manuscript

We are midway through the month and many writers are pushing themselves toward their NaNoWriMo or CampNaNoWriMo goals. It might be just to write the 50,000 words to become a winner. Or maybe they’re pushing themselves that much further to complete a full first draft within the span of one month. Regardless, it is roughly about this time of the month when many writers start to lose steam and they feel that their stories are running flat. Time to add zombies. It’s an old saying, one that relates to how some writers deal with that age old problem called writer’s block. […]

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Developing the habit of writing…

Right now, writers from around the world have pledged themselves to either the NaNoWriMo or CampNaNoWriMo challenge.  They’ve signed their lives away, at least for remainder of the month, determined to write 50,000 words within the span of 30 days. (For CampNaNoWriMo, they have elected to work toward something much smaller.) 50,000 words may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. In many cases, it’s not even a full novel. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was 76,944 words. So, 50,000 words in 30 days… For some, it can seem like a scary number, but it’s only 1,667 words a day. […]

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New Scrivener Video

After running a few workshops on using Scrivener, both in person and on-line, I discovered that the previously released series of videos was missing one vital video: how to you start a new novel, aimed at those who have never used Scrivener before. Well… I worked fast and hard to get a new video made and edited. It has now been added to the Tips and Tricks for Scrivener video series on the Black Wolf Editorial YouTube channel. You can find out more about the full series, and what is covered in each episode, here. This is only the first series. More are currently […]

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Tips and Tricks for Scrivener Video Series

Tips and Tricks for Scrivener is a video series on the Black Wolf Editorial YouTube channel. These videos show you how to use Scrivener, beyond the demonstration videos that come with Scrivener or those found on the developer’s website. Through these videos, you will learn how to customize and use Scrivener to its full potential, including how to set up prologues, customize chapter numbering designs, and use annotations. Yes, Scrivener does have it’s limitations; those are covered too. For those who don’t know, Scrivener is a word-processing software package that was designed for writers. It’s available in Mac, Windows, iOS and Linux. […]

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Backlit keyboard

Scrivener: Software for the Writer

Many writers spend endless hours writing their precious manuscripts using MSWord or some other equivalent word-processing program. In the initial writing phase, they encounter very little problems. Then editing begins. So too does the grumbling. The filesize increases dramatically and previous versions of certain chapters are lost. To move a chapter, the cut-and-paste hell takes over. Versions are sent out for review, resulting in hundreds of copies of the manuscript. (Exactly which one was the one I was working on?) Here’s the situation: I have NEVER liked MSWord. It stems back to my Master’s thesis where MSWord frequently moved my images off […]

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To Oxford Comma or Not?

Arguments about whether one should use an Oxford comma have been around for years. So many industry professionals have differing views. Even university academics in English literature can’t agree. So what is the writer who just wants to write their stories supposed to do?

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Finding value in a critique…

Every writer who puts their work out there will have to face critiques of all flavors: the good, the bad, and the outright mean. For the new writer, one just starting down the journey, sending that baby out for review can actually be a terrifying experience. “What if they don’t like it? What if I’m doing it all wrong? What if they tell me my writing is shit?” Well… Not everyone is going to like what you write. Writing is like art — filled with subjective opinions. If you’re determined to have everyone in the world like your writing, then you […]

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Editing Reality Check

When writers have spent such a long time at writing, crafting their stories, many will happily turn their attention to editing. However, it saddens me to realize that many writers don’t fully understand what editing actually entails. In a post earlier this year, I spoke about The Who, What and When of Editing. In that article, I mentioned that editing falls into four main categories: critique, developmental, line and copy-edit. Each stage is important for a manuscript’s development but for different reasons. Unfortunately, the number of writers that seem to miss the critique and developmental editing phases, going straight to line […]

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