Posts in Freelancing
Deepening Characterization: How to Avoid Flat Characters—Part 1

You’ve successfully pumped out the first (or second) draft of your novel—Bravo!

You deserve a cookie (no, really, completing a book is an impressive feat, no matter how rough it may be in its current stage!). If you’re trying to motivate yourself toward self-editing or searching for the right editor for your manuscript, don’t forget to stop and pat yourself on the back.

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How to Handle Flashbacks with Care

The word flashback often causes many writing instructors and editors to say, "Eesh. Not this again." When handled carefully, flashbacks are effective storytelling techniques; however, using them with reckless abandon can significantly confuse readers.

My philosophy? Never throw out a potentially useful tool in your story. There's always a fine line to consider when utilizing flashbacks, just as with other storytelling techniques. Authors should always be careful not to use too many flashbacks, especially in the beginning of a novel. As a writer, you never want readers to ask, "Why didn't the author start here, in this setting or in this time?" Messing with chronology and pacing is no joke. You want readers to focus on the plot and characterization, not the order in which things occur or how certain information unravels.

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How to Prevent Continuity Errors and Protect Story Arcs

When asked what developmental editing entails, most editors describe many things, including the importance of continuity. Continuity errors can destroy a solid story, and ensuring consistency among character development, plot, world building, and more can make all the difference in a reader’s experience. Continuity errors in movies or books can ruin the viewer or reader’s experience because they pull the audience out of the story. A great writer maintains continuity in all elements of a story, including the characters’ physical appearances, habits, language, and more. Continuity and story arcs are paramount to a book’s success, which is why editors follow particular style guides and fill out style sheets.

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