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Writing for Life


Easy Tips to Help You Save Money on That Necessary Edit

man with money

Today’s post is by editor Katherine Pickett:

Finished that novel? Time to get it edited by a professional? For the uninitiated, it is not unusual to experience a bit of sticker shock upon receiving a cost estimate from a potential editor. As the author, you may wonder how this person came up with the astronomical figure you are now contemplating paying. It may seem mysterious, but it’s really a simple formula:

amount of work × rate of pay = the cost of editing

Different editors may charge by the hour, by the word, by the page, or a flat fee. However, all of these metrics translate into an estimate of how much work will be required of them. The other variable in the equation—rate of pay—is based on the service requested and the editor’s level of expertise. Continue Reading…

12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction


The Secret to Crafting Genuine Characters for Your Novel


Think about what makes you interested or drawn to certain people. What qualities of theirs pull you in? Is it a sense of humor? Some interesting hobby or skill? Engaging style of talking or fascinating facial expressions or gestures?

Every character in your novel should have something about him that makes him interesting. It takes some work to create original, fresh, unpredictable characters, but it’s worthwhile to do. If you don’t want to spend an evening at a party among boring people, how can you expect your readers to be willing to spend ten to twenty hours of their life “hanging out” with your boring characters? We owe it to our readers to take the time to give them a unique cast of characters. Continue Reading…

Say What?


Are You Irritated or Aggravated?


Does it irritate you when people use aggravate when they mean annoy? Or are you just confused about the correct use of these two words?

Aggravate comes from Latin, and if you look carefully you’ll see its root—grave. The original meaning was to make heavy or increase the burden. Over the years the meaning and usage morphed into meaning “to make worse or more serious,” or “to intensify.”

  • The spicy chili aggravated Malcolm’s colitis.

But aggravate can also mean annoy or exasperate—synonyms for irritate. In fact, that meaning came into use about the same time as the previous meaning. Continue Reading…

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