Fairies, Zombies, and Agent Queries

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Elizabeth Spencer, Rambling about Writing. Mostly.
Updated: 1 day 4 hours ago

An Introduction to Editing: Doing Your Pre-editing Research

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 10:00am
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about how there are a lot of different kinds of edits and how you can edit a novel more easily by fixing different parts of your story at different times. If that sounds interesting, go check it out! This post’ll be here when you get back. […]

An Introduction to Editing: The Many Different Types of Edits and How You Can Use Them on Your Novel

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 10:00am
Writing a novel feels great, doesn’t it? It’s so emotional! So engaging! (All right, well, it can be, when you don’t feel like you’re yanking ideas out of your brain with a pair of pliers.) But when you’re in the zone, everything you write feels powerful, important, and deep. Then you edit it. And whoops! It’s… […]

Lessons from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 10:00am
So, uh, I’ve never attended a full-fledged writing conference before. I’ve gone to one-day workshops (I even wrote a post on the last one I went to, the 2015 Writer’s Digest Workshop!) But the real deal? Multiple days, in a hotel? I’ve… never done that. And after many years of dragging my heels, I finally […]

Susan Dennard’s Resources for Writers

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:00am
I’ve been quiet the last couple of weeks. It’s been busy! I’ve been absolutely neck-deep in edits on my YA fantasy, which has kept me from writing yet another post about how you shouldn’t get your book-hating best friend to proofread your novel. But I have been making use of Susan Dennard’s Resources for Writers. […]

Putting a Story into Standard Manuscript Format in Five Minutes

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:00am
Let’s talk about Standard Manuscript Format! (Wait, no! Come baaaaaack…) OK, so it’s not the most exciting topic. But I was on Reddit’s r/Writing when I read a post where more than one person said it took them hours to format their manuscripts. And oh good golly, no! This might not take you five minutes, […]

On Recommended Word Counts and Why They Can Be Helpful (Especially If You Write Fantasy)

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 10:00am
Recommended word counts cause so much angst. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, check out this Writer’s Digest post, or this post on children’s fiction. (Unfortunately, they’re both pretty old. Still, you get the point.) Agents and publishers look for novels with word counts within a certain range. This length varies by genre and the […]

Even More Fun Ways to Use Excel to Track Your Writing Process

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 10:00am
Way back in 2015, I wrote an article called “Fun Ways to Use Excel to Track Your Writing Process.” It’s been getting a lot of visits lately, so I thought it was time to do a new, improved, and updated version of it. Let’s talk numbers! Writing numbers. Tracking your daily word count is awesome. […]

Writing is A Marathon, Not a Sprint: Why You Probably Shouldn’t Quit Your Job to Write Your First Novel

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 10:00am
I started writing this post a while ago, after I read a rash of posts about people quitting their jobs to write. It was always in the most terrible ways, too–they were the “I’m struggling to support my boyfriend because he doesn’t work, but he says his ‘big break’ will come as soon as he […]

“Good” Rejections, “Bad” Rejections, and Why It Really Doesn’t Matter

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 10:00am
Sometimes people get a little obsessed with their rejection letters. Thanks to the internet, you can find examples of how agents and publishers have responded to other people. And that means you can compare yourselves. Did you get a form letter? Did it include a sentence that sounded a little like they read it? Did […]

Submission Terminology: Exclusive and simultaneous submissions. What do they mean?

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:00am
If you’ve submitted stories to publishers or agents, you’ve probably seen a few places that mention exclusive submissions. Let’s go over what that means! Exclusive Submissions Now and then you’ll see a publisher asking for exclusive submissions only or no simultaneous submissions. They mean the same thing. But what do they mean? It means they […]

Auto-Replacing Italics with Underlines in Microsoft Word

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 10:00am
When you submit something for publication–be it a novel or a short story–you’ll probably have to put it in Standard Manuscript Format. And while most folks are fine with 12pt Times New Roman and italics (which I strongly prefer), you occasionally find folks who really want the “Courier New + underlines instead of italics” variant. […]