A Tough Love Editor

Breaking hearts and saving books.
Like authors, fiction editors come in all shapes and sizes. Some editors are creative strategists that work with the very core of a story; others excel in technical areas like grammar and syntax, applying a more cosmetic touch. For indie writers, the latter (copy editor) is far better known than the former (developmental editor), but guess what? Market studies show that Good Stories greatly outperform Polished Stories in the two areas that count most: sales and reviews. To be a bestseller, you must be more than just a pretty face. So what makes a fiction novel or memoir the kind of story you simply can't put down? The answer isn't luck, artistic angst or a gigantic budget. Bestselling novels all have one thing in common: brilliant creative strategy. And that's where I come in.


When Write is Right

A Balancing Act: The 5 Narrative Tools

Welcome! Today we explore the five narrative tools every writer must master for dynamic storytelling. These tools are so important, they often dictate the medium we choose to work with as storytellers. In my own case, they’ve shaped the course of my life and career. How is that possible, you ask?…


How to Write a Great Sex Scene

Today we look at how to write a great sex scene, so steel yourself for lots of bad puns and double-entendres! The suggestions below are most relevant to writers of romance and erotica, where love and sex form the heart of the plot, but writers of all narrative genres are welcome…

how to write a novel with proven plot structures

How to write a novel

  Guest Post: Five Plot Structures for Bestselling Novels By Katja L Kaine   So you’ve got an amazing story idea, but the question remains: how to turn it into a great novel? There must be as many different ways to write a novel as there are novel writers. Some of…


The Good, the Bad & the Unbelievable

A Day in Bali

I often ask myself, what is it about Bali? The jagged blue line of Mt. Batur, intriguing and vaguely threatening as it towers over the lowlands. The fathomless eyes that glance beneath paddie hats, impassive as they see right through you. The Island asks us to lose ourselves and happily…


The first thing I noticed about my partner was his smile, easy in its own outrageousness. Naturally I was dubious, but after weeks of him acting like it was totally insane for us to not be together, I started to agree. The rest as they say, is history. Extroverts can…


At seventeen, I was a size 6 blonde wrapped in a XXL ego. I’d read things like “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and pity women without a two finger gap between their thighs. I didn’t even have to diet; my teenage metabolism took care of that. Most of my…


For Those Who Like to Watch

Tough Love: Assessment & Beta Reading

Developmental Editing @ just 2 cents per word (aka Beta Reading, Line / Content Editing, Critiquing & Assessment) Developmental editing combines beta reading, assessment and content editing into a single, comprehensive offering. In this process, I go through every line of the manuscript and insert comments regarding up to 47 different storytelling criteria, including…

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Bio or Bust

If there’s one task every writer loathes, it’s sitting down and attempting an author bio that is fun without being cheesy, and informative rather than dull. In the age of self promotion, an author’s bio is both essential for any books you publish, but also for the profiles you maintain online and…

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Bad-ass Book Descriptions

Want to make a book cover that sells? You’ve just spent months, perhaps years slaving away over your novel, and now it’s ready for the world. But before readers download the sample or hit buy, they will appraise your cover and book description to decide if it’s right for them….