Friday, December 13, 2013

The Unauthorized Cheat Sheet of Self-Editing Tips for Writers

 You've finished your manuscript. Now it's time for self-editing. ***

This is a simple checklist for what I think of as a surface editing of your manuscript.

1.  Hooks. While you should treat every chapter beginning and ending as being equally important, there is none as important as the opening hook. This was covered in my post, Gotcha!

And remember, avoid ending a chapter with a character falling asleep. Your goal is to make the reader stay up well past their bedtime because there is no good place to stop.

2.  Sentence Starts: Do a visual of your manuscript, training your eye to look for repetitious sentence starts and sentences that are similar in structure. Vary your sentences.

3.  Pump up weak sentences. Weak sentences include the following: Overuse of adverbs ending in LY.  Overuse of the word IT, especially to end a sentence. Overuse of prepositional phrases to start or end a sentence.

 Resources on topics 2 & 3: Renni Browne and Dave King's Self Editing for Fiction Writers-Chapter 11, Sophistication.

Make Your Words Work by Gary Provost: Chapter 2, Style.

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V Swain: Chapter 2, The Words You Write.

4. Weasel Words: Common weasel words include empty transition words. So, -Well,- Just,- But, and However. Develop your own weasel word list. Your list should include your personal darling phrases that are overused. Use the 'find' option to evaluate if you have indeed overused that word or phrase. 

My personal rule of thumb is to allow myself one of each weasel word per chapter. Melissa Jagears shares thoroughly on the topic here.

5. Action/Reaction.  If you can master this, you will effortlessly create emotion on every page. 

"Your goal is to elicit the maximum amount of emotion. Emotionally involve the reader and force them to turn the page." The Hero's Two Journeys, Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler.

"A story is a succession of motivation-reaction units.

"Motivating stimulus-> Reaction  ( Feeling-not stated, action and speech)" Dwight V Swain, Techniques of the Selling Writer, Chapter 3, Plain facts about feelings.

Additionally, a guaranteed way to prevent episodic writing to provide MRs that:

-have meaning to your character/s
- have relevance to your story 
-provide forward story momentum 

6. Scenes.  Remember that scenes are live. It's in sequels that you can alter the passage of time. Scenes must have a Goal, Motivation and Conflict and propel the story forward. Scenes are only as important as how they relate to the hero and heroine. 


7.  White Space: Evaluate your white space. Seek a balance of narrative and dialogue to keep the story moving. If you have long blocks with no white space assess for back story dumps, long introspection and long internal monologues, all which slow the pacing and encourage the reader to skim.

 An excellent resource for evaluating your scenes re # 6 & 7 is of course, Debra Dixon's Goal, Motivation & Conflict. Don't overlook Randy Ingermanson's excellent article from his Advanced Fiction Writing Series- Writing the Perfect Scene. 

Also Chapter 6 of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Browne and King, Interior Monologue.

8. Write Tight: There's nothing wrong with beginning or ending with a prepositional phrase, but if it's not needed leave it off.  Writing tight also refers to redundancy, repetition and passive writing. In fact, Write Tight by William Brohaugh, Chapter 2, lists sixteen types of wordiness to trim.

But, find a balance when you tighten.  "Cut fat, not muscle. Don't destroy clarity as you seek to tighten your prose."  Remove anything ..."that impedes the flow of words or sentences."

9. Show don't Tell. Showing instead of telling covers a lot of territory:

  • Deep POV
  • Sensory layering
  • Active writing
  • Showing emotional responses
  • Eliminating distancing the reader
 If this area confuses you or if the feedback you are getting is that you are showing instead of telling, or showing and telling, brush up with Jill Elizabeth Nelson's Rivet Your Reader with Deep Point of View.

10.  Spell Check and other easy fixes: We all know the horrors of spell check, but don't ignore spell check to verify the simple red lined and blue lined errors. Do a complete spell check of your document. You have to pay attention to avoid adding errors. Questions about grammar? Grammarly and The Chicago Manual of Style Online are excellent investments.

 Author Diana Cosby has shared the most conclusive self editing worksheet ever. You can find it here: Writing Tight: Editing for Impact.

 All done? Now create a paperback version of your book and read it again. See this great tip detailed on the blog of Molly Greene: Writer.

Once your surface edits are complete it's time for your Beta reader or critique partner to dig in for those deep edits that lead to revisions.

My print craft books.

Ever wonder why there are so many craft books/tools for writers?

Two reasons:

1. Writers are always looking for the magical secret to writing an amazing book.

2. We all learn differently.

We all have different areas of strength and weakness, and we process information differently. These are my current favorite craft books, including those mentioned above.

The Creative Writer's Phrase Finder by Edward Prestwood

When You're the Only Cop in Town by Jack Berry and Debra Dixon

And, I am currently reading and absorbing, Writing with Emotion, Tension & Conflict by Cheryl St. John.  St. John shares a warning about writing advice:

"There are a lot of books and articles on writing. Always look at the source. Study the instructor's work. Don't write by anyone else's rules without knowing that the concept behind a rule works and is proven to work. Find out why the rule came into being. Rules you don't understand are restrictive. Knowing why rules exist sets you free to follow or break them with wisdom and expertise. You have to learn the rules  to know when to break them to your advantage and to the story's advantage."

Share your self-editing process with us today for an opportunity to win Cheryl St. John's,  Writing with Emotion, Tension & Conflict. 

And if you are a reader, say hi for a chance to win a Tina Radcliffe or Tina Russo ebook of choice. 

***This entire post is available for free download here, so you can keep it for editing your next masterpiece! 

Tina Radcliffe writes Inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired and romantic comedy as Tina Russo. Her newest release, a novella,is  The Christmas Angel  and is available in ebook.


  1. Howdy. The coffee's on.

    This is quite a comprehensive overview of self-editing. Thanks for compiling it for us.

  2. Hi...(since I'm a reader, that's all I need to do to get my name in the cat dish, right?) thanks for the coffee, Helen. As I'm sitting here watching the snowflakes come down...still! I'm in northern Alberta, yearning for sunny Arizona...but I am getting a lot of my TBR pile read as we're basically house bound!

  3. Helen!!! Thanks for the fixing the coffee.

  4. Marianne, when do you leave for AZ? Will you be here for the Glendale Chocolate Affaire? Feb 7-9

  5. WOW!!! Tons of great information, and a lot of books I need to quickly add to my Christmas wishlist. I wonder if I can talk hubs into buying me books. ;)

    Thank you for sharing all these tips.

  6. A pleasure, Christina, with the new profile picture.

  7. OH MY FREAKIN' GOSH!!! Girl, you always tell me my blogs are like mini-workshops, well, this is like a college course!!!

    EVERY SINGLE WRITER needs to print this puppy off, including ME!!

    Heading over to FB right now to blab about this ...


  8. This is quite a list--looks like a BUNCH of great info, especially for a new writer. I need to save this somewhere, to remind me to print all this info out for myself, when I get back home in a little over a week. And Julie--I agree with you--this is like a college course--just what I am needing. Thanks again,

  9. Hi there, I was MIA yesterday your time. ended up seeing the Duty Dr today. I like the scales there they showed me lower than I thought it would (my drs weights heavier). Been feeling so sick and today even a slice of toast was to much. seems it is probably the meds and I will adjust but just in case they did blood tests. Feeling a little better tonight. hopefully if its a side effect I will start to adjust really quickly.

  10. Wow! This is definitely a post for my Keeper book. Thank for the link to the free download.

    I am so new that I am starting a bad habit of going back and editing as I go. I'm trying to break that habit so I can just get the story down and then go back. I know there is hope for me.

    Would love to be entered to win Cheryl St. John's book. Love her work too.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  11. My first drafts always have massively repetitive scenes.

    Hero thinks: Wow, she's cute. She's pretty cute. That girl, she's cute.

    Heroine thinks: Boy, is he cute. In that suit, he looks cute. What a cute guy!

    I don't know why it looks like that because when I'm writing, it's completely different.

    All I can think is that it's sort of the way I talk. I repeat myself, rearrange words, rethink the way it sounds, say it again.

    Probably hubby tunes me out.

    When I'm writing, I usually write 15 K over the word count, and then have to go and cut a lot out, just because I'm saying the same thing several times.

  12. Oh, what a good post! I'll definitely be keeping this one.

    My self-editing techniques? I write
    at the start of every scene to make sure I have Goal, Motivation, Conflict, and Disaster. My CP taught me this and I love it :)

  13. Great post! I took a detour to buy When You're the Only Cop in Town. Loved all your tips!


    (I just bought Tina's new book so don't add my name. Thanks.)

  14. LOL, Tina! I have a MILE LONG list of "weasel words" I have to go after when I'm finished with the book. I'm getting better and consciously keeping them out AS I write, but they still "weasel" in there and have to be cleared out on a search and destroy mission!

  15. Wow--there's a lot of great suggestions here! Self-editing is hard for me, since I know what I meant to say but it doesn't always come across that way to someone else.

    Something I picked up totally by accident is to edit more slowly. I revise a chapter, then take a break and do some laundry or something that clears my head. After that, I go back into the story with a fresh perspective. When I started doing this, my editing improved dramatically.

    And now I have a bunch of other tools to try. Thanks, Tina!

  16. Good morning, Tina! :-)

    Thanks for this great, helpful post. It's a keeper!

    I could open a book store with all the instructional books I have on writing! Every time I see or hear of another one, I think 'just one more'!

    I'm a confessed book junkie...

  17. I'm definitely in need of this checklist as I'm almost finished with current ms. Thanks so much! I'm bad about using weasel words. And the same body movements/facial expressions. How many times can a brow arch?!

  18. Action/Reaction

    That's my simple grasp on writing.

    And to write regularly, day by day.

    Tina, what wonderful examples of the multiple aspects of production!

    Write tight???

    Another huge one! Heading to early morning Mass in Manhattan! Our Lady of Victory, here we come!

  19. Great tips TINA and definitely a keeper since I suffer so many of these bad habits. sigh.

    Yay! Another Christmas story. I love it.

  20. This is such a great post! I'm always adding notes to my self-editing routine. I spend as much time editing as I do writing, and I do it in layers--big picture, chapter/scene view, nitty gritty. Thanks for putting this together--I'd love to win a copy of that book!

  21. Saving this post for sure!
    My first couple of chapters have definitely changed for the better because of your and the critique group's comments. I'm loving having the extra perspectives, and the story is tightening up.
    Now if I could just stop being wordy and write tight lol.
    Getting closer to the goal. . . I can feel it :)
    Count me in for the writing book, please.

  22. woooowheeee...
    now this is a wonderful checklist post. chock-full of uber useful information. thanks, Tina, for the download for easy saving of this awesome information. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Seekerville? I am so happy to gain so much knowledge -- and for free. wowzers.

    would like to be in the dish for either book...

    Thanks for collecting all this information and laying it out concisely for us, Tina. (yay)

  23. Woohoo!!! Thank you, Tina! I am gonna need this big time in a couple of weeks! I'm on a very tight deadline and am giving myself to the end of December to finish writing the rough draft and then I will only have two weeks to edit it before I have to turn it in Jan. 15! So I will come back to this then. But I'm excited you compiled this!!! Yayayayayay!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOUUUU!!!

  24. My self-editing process works this way: when I'm writing a first draft, I always read the previous day's words and correct nitpicky things like spelling errors, accidental wrong words, and take out my filler words/phrases. I don't edit for passive voice or word choice at this point. Once I have a finished first draft, I put it away for a while. When I think my eyes are fresh enough, I go back and make sure the opening and closing lines have great hooks, that the romance and plot move forward, that the right tidbits of info are included, and expand anything that needs expansion. Then I move on to things like sentence structure, eliminating passive voice, fixing instances of head-hopping, rearranging sentences within the paragraph/page, and word choice. Then I will give it to someone else (I haven't actually gotten here before--just handed over first pages on Sunday *eep*). Once I get it back, I'll take some time with the feedback and make any changes I feel are necessary before I submit the manuscript. I'm sure getting an R&R and having to address those revision suggestions will change my process a bit in the future, but this is how I work now. :D

  25. Tina...unless something drastic happens, I will be there for the Glendale Chocolate Affair! Marking on my calendar right now! Actually,we are still thinking it might be for Christmas!

  26. This blog could be a month-long class, Tina! Excellent.

    Or an ACFW Continuing Ed Workshop. Something to consider, perhaps?

    Thanks for putting everything at our fingertips.

    "But" is a weasel word? YIKES! BUSTED!!!

    But, but, but...

  27. Annie, love your addition of "D" to the GMC template. Disaster!!! Perfect for this suspense author to use!!!

    I'm stealing your tip. :)

    Ho, ho, ho!

  28. GOOD MORNING!@@@ Thanks, Julie. Yes. Go Blab. lololo

  29. Thank you, Vicki.

    And thanks for dropping by while on the road.

  30. Winging some virtual get better hugs to you, Jenny!!

  31. You are in, Connie! Yes. Cheryl's books are all keepers for me.

  32. Oh, to write 15K over the word count, Virginia.

    I write so tight I can't get a pencil in.

    Short story background I suppose.

  33. G M C this, Annie.

    Hope you are entering the GH.

    Last day and Seekerville is reimbursing two entry fees.

  34. Jackie,

    If you write small towns that book is a life saver@@@

  35. Yes, Glynna.

    When you write 'narrowed his eyes' 34 times. You know it's a weasel word/phrase.

  36. You are so welcome, Mia.

    Time and distance are the only thing that helps my editing. I so agree.

  37. Yes. Mary. Don't let the picture fool you. Those are my current must have's. I buy them all. But my brain isn't wired so I can digest them all.

  38. Hey, Rose and Karen.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Ruthy in Manhattan. JEALOUS@@@

  39. Hey, Sandra. Good to see you. Where in the world is Sandra today?

  40. Courtney, you are a learner. You shall go far.

    Anyone willing to grow will make their mark.

  41. It's so tough having a writing deadline during the holiday's, Mel. Hats off to you.

  42. Mz Zey Zey,

    Good plan.

    I think our editing process evolves over time. And changes as we change.

    Still loving your name.

  43. What a great post, Tina! Very helpful info! Thanks for laying it out so nicely.

    Love your how-to book collection. Very similar to mine. :)

  44. Maryianne, enjoy the snow! Wish we'd see a few flakes over Christmas.

  45. Actually, Debby, this will be the April, Seekerville Online Workshop.

    Self Editing. Right After Speedbo.

    Limited class size.

  46. Ha, ha, Missy. We write a lot alike as well.


    Now I want a RITA final too.

  47. Jenny, hope you feel better soon. Hope the meds work.

  48. LOL, Virginia. I do some of that, too. I also start all my sentences the same! And use way too many pronouns.

  49. Annie, that's a great idea! I usually try to keep up with all those but sometimes forget. Actually writing that down is so smart!

  50. Glynna, my list is a mile long, too. It literally takes me two days to go through them all with the find/replace feature!

  51. Wow, Tina, you covered all the bases in this fantastic post!!!

    I am a big fan of Browne & King's Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Dwight Swain, too. These should be must-reads (and regular rereads!) for every writer.

    White space is more important than many writers understand, too. I notice it (rather, the lack thereof) when reading books on my Kindle. When one paragraph covers more than one screen, that's too long. (And I promise I don't have my font size bumped up enough to cause this!)

  52. Thanks, Myra. We can always write great posts on our own personal weaknesses. That said I am set for 2014.

  53. you are too good to us. The downloadable version. SuhWeet!

    I am buying the Cheryl St. John book for myself for Christmas.

    and...checking out a few of these links now.
    And editing.
    And getting that thingy ready today Tina, (for NewYear's post.)

  54. LOL. Always something for that DEMANDING, Tina person.



  56. Tina!! Hmmmm....some of these things here sound oddly familiar.... I wonder why?! LOL ;) You are an amazing teacher and I LOVE this post! Learning from you is fabulous and I hope to continue to improve thanks to your wisdom! :) Hugs!

  57. LOL, Mary Connealy. And for the rest of us. Print it out and pace yourself.

  58. You are so sweet, Amber. And seriously, why do you think I can quote the chapter number on this stuff.

    My area of weakness. I have to review, review. The editors at LI are probably spewing their coffee as they read this. They know I am telling the truth.

  59. Great idea on the Seekerville Library. Have I missed it before or is it something new? Or maybe just new packaging? Whatever, I appreciate the download as I'm in editing mode. Thank you.

    Thanks for the coffee, Helen.

    Love the atmosphere here. :)

  60. WOW Tina! Exactly what I needed right NOW---so thank you very much.

    Usually if I let something set for a little while, then go back and re-read aloud, it helps me a lot (since I don't have a crit. partner). I scan for adverbs too (still have a tendency to overuse those *sigh*). I'm also paying more attention to the beginnings of paragraphs, and usually make a lot of changes in that area.

    Thank you again, and please put me in for Cheryl's book drawing.
    Happy Friday, and enjoy the Christmas cookies I just took out of the oven!
    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  61. The library formerly housed our Boot Camp links. Those are being updated for 2014.

    Thanks for stopping by, Anita.

  62. Checking back in real quick. My editing process? I pray, "Oh, God, help me!!! Let this not sound too stupid!" Then I read through it several times. Not very scientific, is it?

  63. LOL, Melanie. Proverbs 4-7

    Wisdom is the principle thing; there for get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her and she shall promote thee...

    That's what I keep next to my computer.

  64. This is such a concise and helpful list for self-editing, Tina. So well done. When I got to the photo with my book in among all those others, I cried. I'm recovering from having pneumonia for way too long -- so your post and the photo made my day. My week probably. Now I'm off to do a breathing treatment and smile at the same time. xoxo

  65. Oh, man, Your own little inhalation therapy machine. So sorry.

    Praying for your health, Cheryl!!

  66. Tina,
    Thank you so much for sharing the gift of your time and this awesome resource! Definitely a Seeker Keeper!
    Blessings to you!

  67. Love the cover for Christmas Angel, Tina! Now as for all those rules . . . I'm terrible at them! Really truly terrible.

    Melissa, however, is very good at rules. This is probably why we work together so well. She saves me from myself. :-)

    Though I totally agree with what Cheryl St. John said about evaluating where you're getting writing advice from. It drives me crazy when someone touts him or her self as some fiction writing genius and they haven't written a novel in over a decade. Not sure how they get away with it.

  68. Gee, why did I suspect Naomi, you were a rule breaker? LOL. But you do it well, and that's all that matters!!!

    Don't you have a new release right now??

  69. Rules? We don't need no...

    OK. Yes, I do need rules. As someone who just re-edited his GH entry for submission (and, yes, it's in :-) ), rules for editing are very important. No matter how many times I go through something, I still find mistakes.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  70. WAY TO GO, WALT!!!

    Get those entries in!

  71. Bless you for the post and the pdf version.

    Can't say enough good things about Cheryl's book except I have three copies including a kindle version. So no need to put me in!

    Peace and blessed Advent (half way there), Julie

  72. I write in my craft books, so had to have the print version!!

  73. Thank you for the self-editing checklist. That's what my library looks my mind!

    In my writing, I'm looking for hooks at the end of each chapter. Also I need to work on too many -ing words.

    SO EXCITED about the April self-editing class!!!! I have a Speed-Bo idea developing, so I'll be ready. (Nano didn't work for me...again.)

    So many books (and now classes) on my wishlist! But one can never have too many put in that library I'm imagining. Thank you!

  74. SHERIDA!! New profile picture. So gorgeous!!!

  75. Cheering for Walt's GH entry! Hope it's in the Inspirational category! And cheering for everyone who is entering!!!

  76. OY -- that's quite a self-editing list. Rules? Who knew there were rules? And weasel words -- I just like saying that. Try saying it three times really fast it will make you dizzy. But I like weasel words. :-) Okay, after reading this list I have to go back and edit some more. Sigh.

    And am I the only one who had to google prepositional phrase only to find the definition to be 'a phrase beginning with a preposition'?

  77. LOL, Kav. You're pretty darn cute.

    No breath holding while you are hunting weasel words.

  78. Sherida, it took me a few times of getting caught up in the Nano fever and setting myself up for failure before I realized that's not the way I write and Nano will never work for me. So I just cheer others on and write the way I write.

  79. There you go. Cheryl is spot on.

    I can't do Nano either.

    I can write like a madman when on deadline but that's fear, so it's different.

  80. TINA, what a GREAT post. And yes, I'm right there too. Slowly, slowly revising. I'm going about it differently this time, working big picture to make sure I have all the story elements, then bringing it in closer for character, emotional and spiritual layering, sentence hooks and wordsmithing.

    But, I'm taking forever, and I find that as I read through the first time, I tend to make quick word fixes if they come to mind.

    All that to say, I haven't figured out my sweet spot in editing and revising yet. This post is very helpful.

    Please put me in the drawings.


  81. CHRISTINA! Love, LOVE your picture!

  82. Thank you, Jeanne T. Best of luck in editing. Editing is my favorite part.

  83. Cheryl, I'm so sorry you've been sick! Hope the treatments help you knock it out.

  84. Tina, I meant to ask before—can you offer tips on varying sentence structures? I get stuck on these..... :)

  85. Great post! I downloaded it because I know I will be referring to it often.

  86. I'm a reader saying hi. I assume a beta reader is a first reader of a manuscript. Wonder why they call it beta? Please enter me in the contest.

  87. Wonderful post, Tina!! I adore cheat Sheets!! Have one of my own to check when revising. You've given me more tips to add. Thanks bunches!

    Funny thing about weasle words. You get rid of one and another pops up in its place. Right now my word is actually. LOL. Not the typical just, that and so.


  88. I think it's called Beta because it's like MSC 1.0. So this is the first version the Beta is reading.

    Thanks for saying hi, Michelle.

  89. Thanks, Jamie.

    What's new on your writing front?

  90. Tina, I just published my 5th book on Amazon - Emma's Second Chance and came up with the perfect tagline for what I write: Taming the wild west - two hears at a time.

    Now I'm working on a series with three other writers set in Warsaw, MO. We all met there to research. It's amazing the amount of history in one little town in the Ozarks.

    Next to writing I love doing research.

  91. Thanks, Cheryl and Tina, for mentioning that Nano doesn't work for all. Hope you feel better soon, Cheryl....and your book is at the top of my craft book wish list....along with Julie's...and I have an Amazon card thanks to Seekerville! With gratitude--Yay!

    Jenny, so good to see you here and hope you are feeling better, too!

    Christina, lovely new profile picture! And thanks again!

  92. Very cool, Jamie!! Way to keep writing!!

  93. Thanks, Mary C. I came on to get my name in the drawing for Cheryl's book and what a bonus reading (and downloading)the self-editing checklist was! One other thing I always do is read what I write out loud to "hear" it for content and pacing.

    Deb Hines

  94. Welcome, Deb Hines and you are in the draw.

    I read out loud too, btw.

  95. This is all sounding so familiar! Thanks for such and excellent resource!

  96. Or rather "an" excellent resource. Editing probs...

  97. Tina said "It's in sequels that you can alter the passage of time."

    I love this! Sequels always trip me up for some reason. I don't quite know how to shape what goes on in them.

    Going back to look at all of the links and read the rest of the comments. But I am definitely stealing Annie's CP' idea G,M,C,& D at the beginning of every chapter!

  98. And I have a question. What is the word on starting sentences with and or but? Ok or not so much?


  99. My opinion is that you should save it for those sentences where it will have the most impact. If you overuse it then when you need it, they have less IMPACT!

    Besides, if you read the sentence and it sounds fine without AND OR BUT starting the sentence, then you didn't really need it after all.

  100. Thank you, Tina. I'm adding that info to the list.

    Sherida & Christina, love your new profile pictures!

  101. "I can write like a madman when I'm on deadline, but that's fear, so it's different...."




    I tried posting on my trip back but my Droid FIGHTS Blogger.

    And the droid wins.

    And Tina is probably sighing in relief that I had to maintain radio silence! Thwarted by the highway!

  102. Ach, Tina you're so right about the "but"... and, just, so, that, bit, etc.....

    I have those stinkin' weasel words.

    Oh my stars, a wretchedly cute guy just came onto the movie set I'm watching on Hallmark Channel...

    Oh, he's adorable!!!!!

    Mark Pelligrino.... I looked it up.

    He's stinkin' cute.

  103. Lurkdom mostly because I'm too lazy to figure out how to do these blog thingies, ha.

  104. Is it wrong to feel like I've arrived by being a link on Seekerville? :)

  105. You have arrived. I hope you dressed appropriately.

  106. I've read your writing, Janet. You are not lazy.

  107. Tina, that was a month's worth of workshop in a single post. You are a saint, girlfriend.

    Self-editing is the most difficult to master, yet will make or break your story. Thanks for all the great tips and resources to dig deeper. I have so many books, but have I read them from start to finish? No.

    Shame on me.

    I have read Cheryl St. John's Writing with Emotion, Tension and Conflict. It's wonderful. Cheryl has a great way of explaining techniques that have lit many an ah-ha light in this old brain.

    I'm saving this post, Tina. It's going to come in handy real soon.

  108. What a wonderful post, Tina! I'm printing it off for future reference. :-)

  109. Im thankful it is a free download because I need it!

  110. Well, thanks, Audra!!

    There is a lot to absorb in Cheryl's book. I like to write in the books as I go and as you can see, leave papers to mark the good pages.

  111. Hey, Terri,

    Glad you found it helpful.

  112. I'm late and haven't read comments yet but need to say thank you, Tina for such a terrific resource. Already downloaded the pdf and will print it in the morning ... then into my Quick Edit binder it goes.

    Also, "The Christmas Angel" was such a treat to read. And it's part of a series. Yippy! Eager to find out which of the McBrides the next story is about.

    Nancy C

  113. Just downloaded! Great stuff. Thanks!