Hey everyone The Book, Business, and Brand Building Summit's last day is today, so I shall be returning next week. :) In the meantime, ...

Hey everyone The Book, Business, and Brand Building Summit's last day is today, so I shall be returning next week. :) In the meantime, here is some wonderful advice courtesy of the brilliant Victoria from Wanderer's Pen on how to survive micro-editing. :)

Everyone seems to dread microediting, this tedious, but completely necessary part of writing. Writers procrastinate this task for weeks, abandon their books at that point, or even hire someone to do it for them. Yes, it is hard to pick out typos and grammar flubs so embedded that not even spellcheck/grammarcheck can help you. Sometimes you’ll spend twenty minutes rephrasing one paragraph, but this is the polishing stage of your book, and it needs to shine for publishers and agents. Here are seven survival tips I use when microediting:

1. Make Sure You’ve Macroedited First
When I first started writing I jumped immediately from writing the first draft to microediting. That’s a bad idea. Editing is easier when it’s done in stages and microediting should be one of your last stages. In macroediting you focus on big problems like inconsistencies and plot holes. In microediting you’re concentrating on grammar and sentence structure. If you try to do it at once, then you could end up checking the grammar for parts of your book you’ll end up cutting out and wasting time. After you’ve finished your macroedit then you’re ready for your microedit.

2. Make Weekly Goals Instead of Daily Goals  
Editing is more unpredictable than writing. Writing you know how fast you can type out five hundred words, but with editing some pages will be more trouble than others. This is why I’ve started making weekly goals for editing instead of daily. Say your goal is forty pages a week. Some days you easily edit ten pages. Other days you may only be able to edit three because they were really mangled. A weekly goal helps take the pressure off while still being goal-oriented.

3. Don’t Edit When You’re Tired  
Try to get enough sleep while editing. If you edit when you’re tired you may miss things. Editing is about being vigilant, and you can’t be vigilant when you can’t keep your eyes open.

4. Don’t Listen to Music
This sounds harsh, but hear me out. Music can be very distracting. You can get caught up in the rhythm of a cool song and accidently miss an error. Maybe there are people who can edit and listen to music at the same time and still be effective, but that certainly doesn’t work for me.

5. Keep a Notebook Next to You At All Times
When you’re editing you may find a reoccurring inconsistency or decide to change something. Keep a notebook so you can keep track of these tweaks. I usually make notes per chapter.

6. Read Over a Page Once in Your Head and Once Out Loud  
I’ve found this to be one of the most thorough ways to edit. Reading it once allows you an initial impression to get the story back in your brain—and do damage assessment. When you read out loud you can test dialogue and pick out anything you could have missed in your first read through.

7. Don’t Rush It
I’m firmly against editing wars. Editing shouldn’t be a race. If you go to fast, you could miss something. Take your time when you edit. You need to be thorough not speedy.

I’ve microedited multiple books plus I’m an editor for a website. I hope years of collecting tricks will help you in your microediting. You can do it!

Victoria Grace Howell is an award-winning, author of speculative fiction and an editor for the non-profit organization, Geeks Under Grace, a staff writer for Geekdom House, and has been published in Splickety: Havok Magazine. Since she was a child growing up in the state of Georgia, she’s always had a heart for stories. When not typing away at her novels, she enjoys drawing her characters, blogging, Kung Fu, cosplaying, and a really good hot cup of tea.

Awesome tips! Thanks so much for coming, Victoria! And I totally agree about the reading your work out loud! That definitely helps to catch all kinds of mistakes you'd miss by onlyreading silently. :)

So everyone, any questions for Victoria? Have you ever micro-edited? How did you go about it? Can't wait to hear from you all, and I will see you in the comment section! :D

Hey guys! So as I said on Saturday, I am online-attending the Book, Business, and Brand Building Summit , so no posts from me this week. Bu...

Hey guys! So as I said on Saturday, I am online-attending the Book, Business, and Brand Building Summit, so no posts from me this week. But I’ve got some great guests lined up, and for the first, we have the lovely Ryebrynn from Ryebrynn’s Random Ramblings (say that five times fast, I dare you) to give us ten tips on how to write book reviews.

Hi, everyone! I'm Ryebrynn, and I've been a book blogger for two years. And let me just say, it is no easy thing. I struggled with writing reviews for a long time. So I think it's important to remember:

1. Publishers are asking for your honest opinion.
They don't expect everyone to love their books. Don't feel guilty for not liking a book—it happens. BE HONEST.

2. You can be negative.
Seriously, even if you love a book, don't just say what's great. Readers want to know what they are getting into.

3. Include a disclaimer.
Yes, you can't like everything. But PLEASE don't turn people away just by disliking something. Include a disclaimer saying this is your honest opinion, but it shouldn’t stop others from trying the book if it sounds like something they'd like.

4. Seriously, have a content guide.
If there's cussing, kissing, violence, drinking, anything, TELL PEOPLE. Some people prefer not to be completely blind before going into a book. Content guides are useful, especially if you're reviewing secular books. I always have a content guide at the end of my reviews. It usually looks something like this (but honestly, if it's a secular book, this would be a little longer):
INTIMACY - mild kissing
DRUGS/DRINKING - it's mentioned
VIOLENCE - mild amounts.
CUSSING - none

5. Find your groove.
The most important thing about reviewing is to be original. Just because your friend includes tons of GIFs in her reviews, doesn't mean you have to. Just because your other friend reviews with lists and bullet points DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO. Find your own style. It might take some time, but keep with it. I used to review list-style (which I hated).

6. Don't expect to love reviewing.
It can be brutal. I reviewed for about a year before I wrote the first review I actually enjoyed writing.

7. Review often.
Have you read books lately? Liked them? Hated them? Even if you don't have to review the book, try. This will get you used to the routine of reviewing often and bring you closer to actually liking it!

8. Don't sleep on it.
Finish a book at 3am? Well, if you're anything like me, letting those thoughts sit will let them fade. I usually try and write my reviews AS SOON AS I finish the book. Or I just make notes detailing my thoughts (usually by the next morning I'll remember the whole plot but forgotten every important character name).

9. Limit yourself.
I used to struggle with my reviews being freakishly short. While they are still short, they have improved. So limit yourself. Set a minimum word count for the review and write thoughts until you reach that. If you reach it and you still have stuff to say? KEEP WRITING.

10. Be honest.
I know I already said this, but it's important. Be completely honest.

THANK YOU for letting me post today.

Ryebrynn is a Kansas born and raised American who lives in Liberia, West Africa. She is a book reviewer for Netgalley, Edelweiss, BloggingForBooks, and Liftuse Publicity Group. She fangirls periodically on her blog, Ryebrynn's Random Ramblings and is probably insane.

Stalk her on social media!
Instagram: @life_books_cats
Facebook: @lucygracedoesalot (also message me there for free book covers!)
Twitter: @LucyBuller
Pinterest: Ryebrynn Crossblade

Thanks so much for coming, Ryebrynn, and thanks for the tips! I know I need to work on remembering content guides in my reviews, and it really does makes the review so much more fun to read when you can tell the reviewer is being completely genuine and completely honest about their opinion. :)

So everyone, any questions for Ryebrynn? What’s your reviewing style like, or what do you like to see when reading reviews? Do you remember writing your first book review? Was it love at first type or did it take you a little longer to enjoy the process? Can’t wait to hear from all of you, and thanks again for coming, Ryebrynn!

Hi all. :) So before we get to the posts, I just wanted to let you know that this week and next week I have been and will be attending the ...

Hi all. :) So before we get to the posts, I just wanted to let you know that this week and next week I have been and will be attending the Book, Business, and Brand Building summit, an online author/entrepreneur conference I found (and which you can claim a free ticket for here, if you’re so inclined ;) ). I've lined up guest posters to cover for both my posts next week, but I plan to post about what I learned when I get back--from sitting in my chair at my computer listening to people talk. ;)

Without further ado, THE POSTS!

Orlando by Liz. If you haven’t read this, you need to. It’s Liz’s own condolences to the friends of family of victims in Orlando, and it’s a great reminder that they were people too and we should focus on that not politics.

3 Ways to Heal Through Storytelling by Mariella. Sometimes, it’s hard to put our most difficult experiences into storytelling, but it can be one of the most beneficial ways to heal.

Voicemail: Folks Always Name Your Rubber Duckies by Caroline. I don’t even know how to describe this one, it is so hilarious and amazing. But the takeaway: we definitely have to name our rubber duckies and be nicer to our characters if possible. (Haha, it’s not)

Questions for Ashlyn (Subsapien) by Victoria. I already love this small child. I haven’t read the interview yet, but I’m sure it will be just as precious <3
Not as many posts this week, since I haven’t been around as many blogs (sorry!) but I do hope to fix that this coming week and share way more next Saturday. Until then! :D

To all the victims of the tragedies in Orlando--from the murder of Christina Grimmie, to the shooting at Pulse, to the killing of Lane Gr...

To all the victims of the tragedies in Orlando--from the murder of Christina Grimmie, to the shooting at Pulse, to the killing of Lane Graves, the toddler murdered by an alligator--I don’t know that any of you will ever read this, but if you do, I want you to know that I’m praying for you. I’m praying that God will shine His Light in the midst of all this darkness and make a way for good in the throes of all this bad. That you will be covered with His love today and comforted in all the days that follow. That God would guide His people into gathering around you, not with politics and preaching, but with His love, because that’s the biggest thing you need right now. You don’t need to know our stance on guns or gays or parenting; you already know all that. What you need now is His love because that’s the only thing that can bring true healing.


I’m sorry.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry.

And I wish I had something more to offer you.

Because I have no other words, I’d like to ask for silence. Having been almost two weeks since all these things happened, maybe you’ve already gone to vigils or donated money or written posts or privately acknowledged these things in whatever way was right for you. But still, I ask that wherever you are, with whomever you are, you would consider taking a moment of silence. A quiet vigil right now for all those killed and hurting in Orlando, praying for comfort, praying for rest, praying for God’s love to prevail in the midst of all this tragedy.

Here, have a heartbreakingly romantic song plus music video that makes my heart swell because of the beauty and half-want to cry. *...

Here, have a heartbreakingly romantic song plus music video that makes my heart swell because of the beauty and half-want to cry.

*sigh* Sadly, this cynical romantic is in a particularly romantic mood. Comes from writing two adorable couples simultaneously, reading entirely too much fanfiction, and watching entirely too many fan videos. :p This song is so perfect for my 100-4-100 couple, which I’m not ready to unveil yet, but I had to share this song because it’s gorgeous <3

Do you have a song that perfectly describes one of your couples? How do you feel about romance in general? Are you a cynic, romantic, somewhere in the middle, or somewhat indecisive (like moi ;) ). Can’t wait ot hear from you all and I hope you enjoyed the song! :D

Hey guys! As I said in the title, every plan that I mention below is subject to change at any second, but that's just how life works, a...

Hey guys! As I said in the title, every plan that I mention below is subject to change at any second, but that's just how life works, and as of this moment, here is what I hope to do with writing in summer 2016:

Plan Thing 1: Low Expectations
I’ve kinda taken a break from Low Expectations because it is so close to my heart and I worked on it for years nonstop, only to experience a lot of rejection. Not gonna lie, that really scared me off of publishing the project and kinda made me wonder if LE could really do it. Ever. But this summer, I’m taking the dive--again. I’m going back, reading over notes I’ve received from beta-readers and notes I made myself; once I’ve edited to the best of my ability, I’m kissing that fear goodbye and either self-publishing or going back to querying (aka getting on my hands and knees and begging people to publish me. Just kidding. I am a professional adult. Not really.)

Plan Thing 2: 100-4-100
100-4-100 is back on GTW and I am SO EXCITED! I'm pretty sure I've done it every time they’ve had it, and it’s basically the coolest writing thing ever. I might not sure I'll ever actually use the project I’m working on, but it’s just so refreshing for me to actually be writing something new, especially when I’ve been focused on the same projects for so long. (side note: you can’t technically sign up with them anymore, but I’d encourage you to check out the link and do your own little 100-4-100 anyway. Seriously, it’s so helpful and you get way more done than you’d think.)

All right, that’s all the plans. Now for news:

News Thing 1:
I TOOK SECOND PLACE IN MY LIBRARY’S POETRY CONTEST!!! Yay, me! lol. So yeah, they didn’t exactly tell me I was the next Maya Angelou, but clearly, I was not awful. So. Seeing as I thought I was really a terrible poet most of the time, I’d say that went fairly well. ;)

Also, braggy sidenote, my 12-year-old brother actually took first in his category. No, I’m not strutting around with pride. Whatever made you think that? ;)

News Thing 2:
As of yesterday, I finished my readthrough of The Wizard Apocalypse, my NaNo project from last year, and it’s... it’s actually not as bad as I thought it was. Which is pretty awesome. There are definitely some edits that need to be made, but they’re not as intense as I thought they would be, and overall, I really like this story and I’m thoroughly in love with these characters. So. As narcissistic as this may sound, I’m minorly in love with my own writing right now. Which, we writers know, is a rare and remarkably wonderful feeling

And now for the not-exactly-promised snippets! For context, it’s close to the beginning of the story and the gang (Irie, the MC; Charmaine, Irie’s best friend; Saxen, Irie’s boyfriend; and Todd Blake, Saxen’s cousin, who has just been cursed with telekinesis/radioactive powers) has just been attacked by the baddies for the second time and are attempting to escape from where they were trapped (Char’s apartment complex). Except for Char, I introduce all the characters in the above post, and Char is... well, kind of hard to describe. She’s a hardcore fangirl, Irie’s, best friend, and Irie’s brother’s fiance. Beyond that, well, I think the following scene is pretty characterizing:

“What the heck was that?”

“Irie, what were you thinking?”

“Were you trying to get me killed?”

Charmaine, Saxen, and Todd. In that order, in case you were wondering. All asking me questions like I ought to know the answers.

Classic. I am so not leading a resistance, guys. Honestly.

“It was the explosion of Todd's powers, like I told you about earlier,” I answered Charmaine as we hurried past the person at the front desk of her apartment complex. “I was thinking that if Todd was in immediate danger, he might explode again,” I answered Saxen as we sprinted out the door. “And n-- what the heck is in your trunk?” I started to answer Todd, but came full-circle and ended up with a question for Charmaine as we arrived in the parking lot, she popped open her trunk, lifted what I now knew to be a false bottom, and saw that she had a full-on Winchester set up: guns, knives, other survival equipment, first-aid box, and both healthy and unhealthy snack foods that would last approximately forever. “What. The. H--”

“I told you we would need all of this someday,” she said as she stuffed the Raid and the pepper spray next to a set of fighting batons.

“Where did you... When did you... Can you even use half of this?”

“The guns? Yes. The knives only a basic stabbing motion and the batons basically the same only with swinging.” She closed the trunk, we leapt into the car, and she started it up. “But I'm getting better. I plan to be a full-on Bobbi-Morse-fighting-machine by the time I'm thirty-five.”

“I-- if you can s-- shoot a gun,” Todd asked, still shivering from excitement and terror,  “w-- why didn't you have one in your appartment with you?”

She scoffed. “You think I'm stupid or something, Blake? They won't let me have one in the building. And I haven't gotten to the part in my training where I learn how to get a concealed weapon past security guards.”

I gaped. “Where are you even getting this training? The Red Room?”

“Don't be ridiculous. Your brother and I want kids, remember? It's perfectly legal gun training at a perfectly legal local range. Supplemented by YouTube and Google search.”

“Unbelievable,” I muttered. Although with Char, nothing really ought to surprise me by now. Honestly, I knew I was crazy--like best friend on all of the Disney Channel shows crazy--but she was downright insane.

“Wait,” I asked as she sped down the roads and Saxen started praying that no police would catch us because we would all surely spend some time in jail if they found her going that fast with all the stuff in her trunk, “where are we going?”

“To pick up your brother, of course. There is not going to be a part where this wizard person or whoever kills my fiance to get to us. Very heartbreaking in the YA novels, I'm sure, but I ain't dealing with that crap today or any other.”

And that’s the snippet! Needs work, I’m sure, but I kind of adore these kids <3

So how has your writing been coming? Any epic summer plans or snippets you’ve posted recently that you’d like to share? Leave a link in the comments; I would love to read it! :D

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