Advice from NYT Bestselling Author Jamie Ford

JamieFordI’m excited to announce that I’m now a contributor to Brian Klems’ Writer’s Digest Blog entitled “The Writer’s Dig.” In my interviews, I pose five questions to publishing industry pros–including authors, screenwriters, editors, audio book voice actors, book mavens, etc. The goal is to give WD readers a behind-the-scenes look into the industry and some advice from the pros about writing, publishing and platform/marketing.

My inaugural interview with NYT Bestselling Author Jamie Ford is live. Check out the link below – Jamie’s one of the wittiest and coolest authors I’ve met on my journey. http://bit.ly/1WRjgw6

Editing Advice from the Pulpwood Queens’ Book Club Authors!

As I’ve mentioned, I was thrilled to attend this year’s annual Pulpwood Queens‘ Girlfriend Weekend in Nacogdoches, TX. The PQs are the largest meeting and discussing book club in the world, led by book maven Kathy Murphy, with over 650 chapters. Not only was I able to connect with readers from all over the country, but I also met over thirty accomplished authors. As the “new kid on the block,” I thought it would be fun to solicit their best editing advice. Here are the pearls of wisdom they were kind enough to share!

PulpwoodQ“I had thirty people go over my book with a fine-tooth comb, looking for errors. You want to make your book as clean and neat as possible. Today, it’s up to the author to make sure everything is truly edited before publication, which is not the way it used to be. That is my advice: check, check, and double check. You will lose credibility if your book contains errors.”

–Kathy Murphy, author of The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life

www.beautyandthebook.com

 

catestoffaithRead your writing out loud. If it sounds clunky to you, it will to the reader.”

–Christa Allan, author of Test of Faith 

www.christaallan.com

 

 

 

 

crooked31

Engage the reader’s senses–sight, smell, sounds–as much as possible.”

–Holly Michael, author of Crooked Lines

www.writingstraight.com

 

 

 

 

book-copyGet a professional edit. Whatever it costs is money well spent. Do not have a friend, family member or your English teacher edit. You need a pro who can be objective.”

–Jennie Helderman, author of As the Sycamore Grows

www.jenniehelderman.com

 

 

 

Don’t become discouraged. Killing_Fields_Cover-210Most of us have been rejected at one time or another. It’s part of the writing life.”

–Kathryn Casey, author of Deliver Us

www.kathryncasey.com

 

 

 

 

magnolia‘Only you can keep you from writing.’ This advice, from PQ author Kimberly Willis Holt, helped me quit making excuses and jump into fiction.”

–Judy Christie, author of Magnolia Market

www.judychristie.com

 

 

 

 

thestorykeepercoverlr‘When you think it’s perfect, go back and cut ten percent,’ is the best advice I’ve ever received. Combing through the first version of the book with a goal of cutting ten percent makes you take a hard look at the fluff.”

–Lisa Wingate, author of The Story Keeper

www.lisawingate.com

 

 

 

vowunbrokencm

Consider all your back-story as salt and sprinkle lightly through the entire book on a need-to-know basis. Too much in one spot spoils the spot – it’s the stuff readers will skip over because it’s passive and uninteresting until they love your character. And let it come out naturally in introspection or conversation — no info dumps!

–Caryl Lawrence McAdoo, author of Vow Unbroken

www.carylmcadoo.com

 

 

heart-wide-openDon’t get it right, get it written. Knock those words down and then scrutinize them!”

–Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, author of Heart Wide Open

www.belleofallthingssouthern.com

 

 

 

 

lakehouse2First write with your eyes shut. Stare at a ceiling or out a window and ask: what is this scene about? Then close your eyes, dive into the setting, the emotions, the tastes, then sit back and listen. When you sense it all, begin to write.”

–Marci Nault, author of The Lake House

www.101dreamscometrue.com

 

 

 

cuban-connection-m-l-malcolm-paperback-cover-artRead dialogue out loud. It’s the best way to test it for authenticity. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, the best thing I ever did to improve my writing was to take a short story class at a community college. Helped in the same way. Also, I often recommend the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King. Immensely helpful.”

–Mary Lee Wolfe Malcolm, author of The Cuban Connection

www.mlmalcolm.com

 

 

hatmakersheart“Good is better than fast. Take time to let the ideas/story marinate. And I often write with my eyes shut and picture/feel the scene before me.”

–Carla Stewart, author of The Hatmaker’s Heart

www.carlastewart.com

 

 

 

 

TheGravityofBirdsRead poetry while you’re working on your book. It reminds you of the power of brevity, and the importance of choosing each word carefully.”

–Tracy Guzeman, author of The Gravity of Birds

www.tracyguzeman.com

 

 

 

 

SWF

Don’t read your favorite authors while you’re writing. That’s like trying to lose weight while reading Vogue. You’ll die a death of comparison.”

–Jamie Ford, author of Songs of Willow Frost

www.jamieford.com

 

 

 

 

The-Promise-Paperback-Cover-web“I read a poem every night before bedtime. The other thing I do is tell myself that each writer has his/her own process. Writing is not a contest to see who gets to the finish line first. It’s not a numbers game about who has written the most books. What’s important to me is that I’ve done my best. Whatever that might be!

–Ann Weisgarber, The Promise 

www.annweisgarber.com

 

 

mrshydecropped“Writing poetry teaches you the discipline of editing which is a great tool to have when writing a novel. In a poem you are forced to distill your idea and thoughts into the most compact form to create a picture.” –Holly Joy Bowden, author of Mrs. Hyde