Why You Should Rewrite and Not Edit

A Writer's Path

by Teagan Berry

Congratulations. You’ve just finished a novel. You’ve taken some time to decompress and relax, away from the world of writing, but now you need to dive in and start getting your piece ready for publication.

The first edit. That’s a term I’ve mentioned before, even written a whole post about it. Though looking back on the process I went through then, I should have probably titled that blog post The First Rewrite. Because when it comes down to it, that’s what it really was.

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Writing the dreaded synopsis! #amwriting #writingtips

Any writer or author knows the challenge of writing the blurb and synopsis for his or her novel. I found this article a helpful place to start the process. You want your synopsis to be concise and interesting enough to grip an agent’s attention.

Alison Williams Writing

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Like writing the dreaded blurb, writing a synopsis can throw the best writers into a panic! This is something else I’ve written about before, but is definitely worth repeating.

I’ve worked with lots of writers who can compose the most beautiful prose, bring scenes to vivid life, make me care about their characters, keep me turning the page, but these same writers find one thing almost impossible to do – they can’t write a synopsis.

What is it about a synopsis that has so many writers struggling? It doesn’t seem to matter how great a writer you are, there’s just something about condensing your masterpiece down into one or two sides of A4 that strikes fear into a writer’s heart.

And I think that’s the issue. As authors, we spend so long on our books, every last detail is important to us. A synopsis asks us to get to the…

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TLP Inspiration: July 9, 2018

A good reminder this Monday morning: As we start a new week, let us remember that we always have a choice with how we respond to life’s storms and that we’re not alone.

TLP

Good Monday Morning from the Heartland.

Some time back I came upon a scene; this tree grabbed my attention because it was unusual…

The unusual thing about the tree isn’t the scar, but how well it has done in spite of the injury it sustained.  I’m not sure exactly what happened to the tree, my first thought was a lightning strike, but who knows.  It seems likely that whatever happened was storm related in some form…

We all deal with storms in our lives, sometimes literally, other times the storms are of a different sort.  Many of these are caused by our own actions and choices, many are not.  More important than anything else is how we respond to them.

When times are tough, do we let the circumstances keep us down; do we let circumstances defeat us?  When we are hurt by life’s storms will we dwell in our…

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Excerpt from Murder: It’s All in Your Head (WIP)

Jimmy closed his eyes, tried to block out the imprisoned world around him. He knew fighting and yelling wouldn’t do him any good. Their notions of his insanity were only reaffirmed when he acted out.

He could hear the orderlies breathing as they stood beside him, but he didn’t care. It’s not like they were here to make pleasant conversation. “Oh, how’s the weather today, fellas?” he could ask. Yeah, right.

His thoughts gave way to dreams. Danielle’s auburn hair and infectious smile dangled in front of him. She giggled and reached for his hand.

When he looked down, Jimmy’s hand was gone. He was himself again, Randall. He felt the smile on his face, the muscles out of practice. “I’ve missed you,” he said to his wife. “Please tell me you’re okay.”

Danielle only laughed more and swung their clasped hands as they walked.

Wet sand squished between his toes. He looked down at the beach, then toward the water. The sun was setting. A breath caught in his throat. “This is where we went for our honeymoon. Maui.”

Danielle stopped walking and faced him. “We are on our honeymoon, Randy. Why else would we be here?”

“But- but this isn’t… I mean, this isn’t real.” He swallowed thick saliva.

The breeze blew, the smell of salt water wafting over his face. Overhead, palm branches rustled.

“Why wouldn’t it be real?” Her voice held a teasing undertone.

He kissed her pert, freckled nose and led her to a nearby hammock. They lay in it, side by side. He ran his fingers through her hair, down her shoulder and bare upper arm, kissed her on the lips. When he drew back, he said, “Do you know how long I’ve wanted to do that?”

“Sweetie, you kiss me all the time. You aren’t making any sense.” Danielle stared at him with concern in her eyes.

“This, right here, is the only thing that makes sense. I want to hold you forever. I need you back, Danielle. Someone’s taken you from me, and I can’t–”

He began to cry. Danielle blurred and disappeared. The sun set, and darkness claimed the world. Randall or Jimmy or whoever he was bellowed, “Danielle!” Over and over again.

The hammock flipped and dumped him onto a firm mattress. He opened his eyes to Nurse Nora’s plain face.

“Well, Mr. Williams, it looks like you’ve calmed down so much that you’ve fallen asleep.”

“I’m tired, so tired.”

“Well, that makes sense. It’s the middle of the night, after all.”

“I mean, I’m tired of this. All of this.” He tried to lift his hand, but the resistance of the restraint held him back.

The nurse straightened and gestured toward the orderlies. “You can release him.”

The two men nodded and undid the restraints on Jimmy’s arms and legs, then stepped aside.

“Goodnight, Mr. Williams,” Nurse Nora said. She was out the door, followed by the orderlies.

The door closed with finality. Jimmy sat up in bed and rubbed at his hands. In the dark, he couldn’t see the bruising, but he was sure he would have the marks to prove his disobedience for days to come, sure he would be teased by several of the other patients, including his friend, Charles.

“I’m Jimmy again,” he whispered. “That’s all I’ll ever be to them. No one will ever believe me, Danielle.”

He grew silent, listened to the darkness, as if expecting a reply. His sore, dry eyes slid shut as he lay back down. If it was only in his dreams that he could see her, could be himself, then he would go there.

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My novel, Lorna versus Laura, is available for $4.99 here.

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Deciding on Back Matter for your novel

Into Another World

This post is the forty-third in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.

Last week, I covered Front Matter (all the pages BEFORE your story) in your book. Today, I want to talk about Back Matter or all the pages AFTER your story.

If you don’t list anything after your story, you are wasting a prime opportunity to connect with the reader. They just read and loved your story. This is a prime spot to point them to your other books or even ask for a review. (Thank you for reading my book. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to leave a review at your favorite retailer.)

Here are some things to consider including in your back matter…

About the author

This section is pretty self-explanatory. My only comment is this needs to…

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No Guts, No Glory

Be bold. Have the guts to try.

Cristian Mihai

“When people say they’re skeptical, or pessimistic, I get it. But let’s face it, you’re gutless. It takes no guts to be a skeptic. It takes no guts to try nothing and say it’s not gonna work. It takes guts to put your ass on the line and believe something’s possible. It takes guts to pursue an answer. It takes guts to fail and step back up and keep pushing”Tony Robbins

Your mind is designed in such a way to prevent you from getting hurt. In nature, this is quite the mechanism. But in the human society, we have developed the “someday” mechanism.

Someday we’ll be good enough or brave enough or smart enough or have the time to do this or that.

Someday we’ll become what we’ve always wanted to be.

Someday we’ll write our book or start our business.

And most people wait their entire lives…

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Invaluable Writing Advice: Part II

Definitely some good advice here for writers.

Richie Billing

Not long ago I put together a post sharing some invaluable writing advice offered by award-winning novelist, Colum McCann in his book, Letters to a Young Writer. But I’d only made it halfway through at the time, so I thought I’d share some further insights from the second half.

Fail, fail, fail

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‘Fail’, ‘failing’, ‘failure’, they’re all such nasty, negative words. There is nothing wrong with failing. It allows us to identify our weaknesses, fuels us with determination to next time succeed. Failure is an inevitable part of the process, but it’s an invaluable part. Embrace it, learn from it, use it.

For many writers, the feeling of failure hits home when you receive rejection letters or emails. Many famous writers wear their rejection letters like badges of honour. Something to look back on with pride when the successes begin to mount.

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Read, read, read

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Reading is…

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