Hello gentle reader,

a few weeks ago I tweeted a couple of revision tips using the #revisiontips hashtag and I was joined by other writers. I was then asked by Jani Grey if I could sum this tips up in a blog post… So here we are!

Tips from Kat Ellis:

After the first pass or several, fresh eyes are vital to spot things you won’t.

If you’re a visual person, get your colour code on. There’s a reason writers hoard all those glitter/neon pens.

I read my manuscripts aloud to my husband. Great way to spot clunky phrasing, especially in the dialogue.

Tips from Dahlia Adler:

If you have a Kindle, sending your manuscript to it and reading it that way can be immensely helpful in finding errors etc.

Keep track of your ms’s smaller details, especially if you’re planning a series, to keep things consistent and minimize error.

Use betas w/different strengths and skill sets if you can. It’s amazing what different people can bring to the table for you.

Be honest w/yourself about what’s unnecessary. Cutting 10K words only sucks til you realize how much better your ms is for it.

Tip from Marieke Nijkamp:

Change the font, the font size, and/or the page layout. Trick your brain into thinking it’s a new story.

And finally, tips from me:

Revising can feel overwhelming. Fixing the plot, the characters, the setting, etc It’s a lot. Being organized is essential.

Have a plan. If you don’t know what a revising plan looks like, check out @stdennards: Hers is FAB.

I tackle the big picture 1st (plot, relationships, characters, world building, pacing).Then I line-edit for filler words etc

Take your time. Whether you’re editing alone or based on your agent/editor’s feedback, take as much as time as is needed.

Print your manuscript and read through it in one sitting. Makes it much easier to catch typos and inconsistencies.

That’s it! I hope this is helpful. Feel free to add your own revision tips in the comments!

Writers, are you ready for Write On Con?


Hello gentle reader,

Write On Con is just around the corner, so I’m asking you today: are you ready for this awesome online conference? All the information below is available on the Write On Con website.

What is Write On Con?

Write On Con is an Online Children’s Writers Conference. If you write Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult or New Adult fiction, this is for you!

When is Write On Con?

Write On Con will take place on Tuesday 13 August and Wednesday 14 August 2013.

How much does it cost?

It’s FREE!

Who can take part?


“Attendees don’t need to take time off work, travel, or spend a truckload of money. They can enjoy the conference from the convenience of their own homes, for free—and the schedule is designed around working hours. (Transcripts are also available of the entire conference, should anyone have to miss part of it.) And everything for the conference takes place within this website, which means everyone with basic Internet access will be able to participate in all aspects of the conference—no additional software or technology required.”

How does it work?

“During the conference, keynote addresses, agent panels, and lectures are presented as blogs, vlogs, moderated chats, webinars, podcasts, and livestreaming. There is also a critique forum, where participants can post query letters and writing samples to receive helpful feedback and comments from their peers and industry professionals. And, as if that weren’t exciting enough, there are also daily contests, giving random winners everything from books to personalized critiques from agents.”

Here is the full program for you to check out.

Is it worth my precious time?

Yes, yes, yes!

I took part for the first time last year and I learned so much! I definitely recommend it, because everyone can find something of interest to them, whether they’re writing a first draft, revising or querying.

So don’t hesitate and join the fun! Here is my profile if you want to say hi. I’ll be happy to help with your query or first pages if need be, just ask!

And see you there…

WriteOnCon 2012 recap

Hello gentle reader,

you may have noticed that I have been very quiet on this blog since Monday: the reason for this is that I was attending an online writing conference called WriteOnCon.

According to its website, WriteOnCon “is a totally free, interactive online Writer’s Conference held annually during the summer. The first Conference, held August 10-12, 2010, had over 11,000 attendees. (…) WriteOnCon is not exclusive to kidlit writers. In order to stay organized, the curriculum is focused on Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult writers. However, much of the information provided applies to all writers, and many of the publishing professionals who participate cross over.”

This was my first year attending the conference and I have found it to be incredibly useful. The 2012 conference offered live professional panels, vlogs, blog posts, forum events, competitions, critiques and book prizes.

In case you missed it, it is not too late to access some of the most interesting content. I strongly recommend you check out:

– the Live Panel of Professionals (Tuesday) and Live Panel of Professionals (Wednesday): everything you need to know about the publishing world.

– the writing and revision tips: Tips for Starting a New Project, Hooks and Killer First Lines, What is Voice, and How do I Get it?, The Importance of Craft, Plotting with 3×5 cards,  Building Characters into Real People,  Elements of Writing, The Revision Checklist and “Back to Basic” Writing Tips.

– the tips on the querying process: Knowing When Your MS is Ready to Query and The Inside Scoop: Get Your Query Noticed.

– the discussions on genres: Differences between YA and MG, Middle Grade Rules, Picture Book Query Critiques.

– there are also many tips on social media: How to Get Started With Social Media: DON’T Do All The Things! and Blogging Basics

What I liked about the conference was that there were posts for beginners (like Reading like a Book Blogger which discussed the book bloggers’ pet peeves) and other posts for more experienced writers (like Choosing the Right Critique Partners).

My favourite post was World-building in Science Fiction and Fantasy by author Mindee Arnett, mostly because I write Epic Fantasy.

The last aspect of the conference that I loved was getting feedback on my query and some of my writing in the forum. My query is still up if you want to comment on it!

Did you take part in WriteOnCon? Did you find it useful? What did you enjoy most about it? Do comment and share your experience! I’d love to hear your thoughts…

A Round of Words in 80 Days – Check-in #4

Let’s review: last week I missed my weekly check-in as I was away from home without an Internet connection. This week I’m back but I’ve had to change my goals, as what I had decided on four weeks ago is no longer attainable, given my personal circumstances (day job and other non-writing obligations).

So let’s have a look at my goals:

1-        Write the first draft of my new dystopian novel with at least 750 words per day: not anymore. I just don’t have the time. So I will probably write this first draft from time to time, but I cannot pretend I can write it every day, with a set number of words.

2-        Self-edit/revise The Last Queen so that I finally have a final draft for it: this is what I have to focus on. I need to be done with that by the end of June and so far this final draft is not ready yet. So it’s Revision, Revision, Revision for me. My manuscript needs to be 20K shorter, so I have to start making serious cuts in it. Samurai like.

That’s it for me. How are you other ROW80 writers doing?

Here is the Linky for the other check-in posts.

This week on my blog you can find:

an interview with YA writer Rebecca Maizel on writing, reading and her books.

a post on YA best-selling author Lauren DeStefano with her advice on writing a book and getting it published.

inspiring pictures!

Happy writing!