Seven Ways to Polish Your Manuscript Before You Self-Publish

Publishing is a competitive industry whether you self-publish or go the traditional route. Polishing your manuscript until it’s the best it can be is even more important for the self-published author. When you publish your own work, you likely don’t have an entire team of editors and industry experts to help bring your book to market.

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Below are seven ways you can polish your manuscript before you self-publish.

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When Should Writers Edit Their Work?

As I writer I know what it feels like when someone tells me what writers should or should not do. As such, take my advice as suggestions—backed up by a few years of experience. If your method works for you, then use your method. But this is what works for me and others I know when it comes to self-editing.
Below are a few ways to look at the question: When should writers consider editing their work?

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Five Ways to Finish Your Novel

So, you’re a writer, but when people ask for a copy of your novel, you only have two or three chapters to share, and they may not even be from the same work. Finishing a book is hard work, and it’s all too easy to get distracted, overwhelmed, and discouraged.

When I first started writing, I struggled to move past the first chapter. I moved to short stories for a while so I could achieve a sense of completion but deep down, I wanted to be a novelist. Fast forward two years, I have now finished two novels, A Time of Stones and To Wield the Stars. 

If your a writer that struggles to finish your novel, below are five ways to help you.

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How To Use Foreshadowing in Your Novel Like A Master.

If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. —Anton Chekhov

This quote by Chekhov is the basis of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is a literary device that allows you to plant clues, hint at what’s to come, build the tension, or even place a red herring in your reader’s path.

You can use foreshadowing in a variety of ways. The resulting action can be immediate or delayed. Foreshadowing can feed the tension of a scene. You can use dialogue or narrative to set the scene, and you can foreshadow a symbolic event or an ethical dilemma. You can use direct or indirect foreshadowing, and it can even be true or false.

Below are when to use foreshadowing, the major turning points in your novel, tips and how to master foreshadowing.

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Two Thousand and Twenty

Happy New Year fellow writers and bloggers!

Last year I asked a question to my readers.

What are your writing ambitions for the next twelve months?

So, what were they? Did you achieve your goals? Will you set more goals or less this year? What have you got planned for Two Thousand and Twenty?

These are the questions you should be thinking about if you want to make changes or continue the momentum into the new year.

In twenty nineteen, I had high expectations for my writing. I am proud to say I achieved my goals and this coming year, I will have the same level of expectations.

Let me reflect on the year that has passed.

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Be Focused and Finish Your Novel

It’s funny. I promised I would attempt to post regularly on my blog––and it’s not the first time I’ve made that promise with my followers. Each time I apologize but this time: I’m not sorry.

Okay, maybe I am a little bit but over the past months, I devised a writing routine that works for my lifestyle and busy schedule. It has taken me a long time to work out the best and most productive writing life for me.

It might take writers and authors days, weeks, months or years to work it out but once you work it out, you don’t want to break that cycle. I don’t want to break the writing cycle I’ve created for me.

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Five Ways To Stay Motivated When You’re Not Making Progress

Writer’s block is real. Every writer, at one point or another, has experienced this debilitating inability to make any real progress in his or her work.

A lack of progress can be discouraging for anyone, and sometimes it’s difficult to maintain the motivation needed to complete a long project.

If you’re not feeling motivated, it’s not a reflection of your abilities as a writer. Creativity can seem to ebb and flow according to its own schedule, and we all have to find a way to cope with the slow periods in anticipation of the next big spark.

Below are five ways to deal with writer’s block. Whenever I feel less than inspired, I start here.

I hope you can use these same strategies to stay motivated in your own writing when it seems as if you aren’t making any progress.

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Three Rules For Food in Your Fantasy Novel

Often I read fantasy novels that contain a lot of traveling whether it’s by foot, horse or sea. Your characters need to eat and one way to pull your reader out of your fantasy world is to write something so strange or unbelievable that they pause to wonder how that can be. One place that typically happens in a fantasy novel is when food is mentioned.

Below are three rules to avoid these mistakes and add some solid, commonsense detail to the food in your fantasy novel.

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Four Tips for Choosing the POV Character For Your Scene

In my last post, How To Bring Lift and Fluency to Each Scene In Your Novel, I explored how to make your scenes shine like the torchlight in a dark cave.

As you tackle your scenes you should be supporting the overall point of view the story is told. Point of view can be difficult. We all know that. It’s even harder when you’re using multiple POVs.

It’s an easy call when a POV character narrates a scene that features only non-POV characters. However, when one or more of the POV characters share a scene, who comes out on top? That is, which character’s POV are you in? Who’s narrating the action?

Here are four tips that have helped me make this critical decision. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too.

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How To Capture Your Character’s Appearance

My mini-blog series of character development has come to its last post. Here are all the previous factors if you’ve missed out.

  1. Backstory and Flashbacks
  2. Character’s Voice and Dialogue.
  3. Values and Beliefs
  4. Goals and Motivations

In the last post of character development, I will be discussing how to capture your character’s appearance.

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