Book Editor for Fantasy Authors - Magic Words Editorial Services
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Magic Words: Book Editor for Fantasy Authors | Polished, publish-ready prose for authors of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror

Polished, publishable prose
for authors of fantasy,
sci-fi, and horror.

BEGIN WITH A FREE MINI-EDIT OF ONE CHAPTER

Hi! Hey! Hello!

I’m Shawna, and I walk side by side with you on your publishing journey, easing your manuscript over the editing potholes in the path so you can put your writing into the world with confidence.

With a little bit of magic and a lot of love, I wrestle those grammar goblins and spelling trolls out of your work, turning your stories into polished, publish-ready prose and you into the author you always dreamed of being.
Magic Words: Book Editor for Fantasy Authors | Shawna Hampton, Editor @ Magic Words Editing

MEMBER OF

Magic Words Editing, Member of Editorial Freelancers Association
Magic Words Editing, Member of ACES: The Society of Editing
Magic Words: Book Editor for Fantasy Authors | Horror Writers Association Member
Magic Words: Book Editor for Fantasy Authors | Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association Member
Ready to unleash the magic in your words?
I CAN HELP YOU WITH

Book Editing for Fantasy Authors

Book Editing for Horror Authors

Book Editing for Sci-Fi Authors

Full Editing Journey

Full Editing

(manuscript assessment + line edit)
The Full Editing Journey is a quest of epic proportions through your story’s craft, writing style, and grammar/usage/mechanics, one I walk every step of the way with you. It combines the benefits of a Story Diagnostic (manuscript assessment), Style Tune-Up (line edit + copyedit) into one comprehensive, affordable service.

Style Tune-Up

Style Tune-Up

(line edit + copyedit)
A Style Tune-Up makes your words stand up and sing! It starts with a deep language revision (line edit) of your entire manuscript, editing line by line to fix anything that might take a critical reader out of your story. It ends with a final battle to smooth your manuscript’s grammar, spelling, and other mechanics (copyedit).

Story Diagnostic

Story Diagnostic

(manuscript assessment)
Wondering if your first draft, half draft, final draft, or anything in between is on track? A Story Diagnostic (manuscript assessment) will help you tone up your plot, characters, structure, and other craft elements so you can publish with confidence. It’s like a developmental edit—without the high cost.

. . . and more! Click the button to see the full menu of book editing services.

Magic Words: Book Editor for Fantasy Authors

Help Me Choose

Developmental, line, copy—not sure what kind of editing your story needs?
Take the quiz and find out!
Answer a few simple questions about your manuscript and what mile marker you’re on in your writing journey, and this not-so-scientific quiz will guide you to the next waypoint on the path.

RECENT JOURNAL ENTRIES

Follow @magicwordsediting on Instagram

Asking the really important questions here . . .
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#editingmeme #writingmeme #wipaesthetic #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter #writerscorner
If you sell your book on Amazon, you N E E D to have a great book description. It's more important than you might think for capturing reader interest (and 💰). Here are some tips for making it a superstar sales tool from the great book The Amazon Author Formula by Penny C. Sansevieri:

🎯 KEEP IT SIMPLE
Don't write a long, complex synopsis of the entire story. Reading large chunks of text makes people tired (and more likely to click away). Concentrate on the important and most exciting parts of the book, and make them snappy.

🎯 MAKE IT SCANNABLE
Break up your text into short paragraphs and do what you can to help reader eyes scan it: add bullets, bolding, headings, or other formatting to highlight the good stuff.

🎯 INCLUDE KEYWORDS
You know those keywords you've researched to help readers find your book on Amazon? (You HAVE done the research, right?) Put them in the book description.

🎯 MENTION REVIEWS/AWARDS
If you've won awards for your writing, put them in. If you've gotten reviews of your book from big-name folks (or even not so big name), put them in. (Use a portion, not the whole thing.)

🎯 PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD
Don't put up a book description full of errors and typos. If you wouldn't put out a book without editing, don't do the same for your sales page. Proofread carefully, or hire an editor to look over ALL your marketing materials.

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Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments, or give it a like and share! 👍🏻🙌🏻

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#bookmarketing #marketingyourbook #marketyourbook #sellyourbook
WHAT I'M READING: Dreaming on the Page by Tzivia Gover. 

Magic writer, do you have interesting, epic dreams?

From the time I was a wee young'un, I've had the most amazing, twisty, cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs dreams. When I describe them to people, they always say, "You should write that as a story!" Believe me, I've tried. They never stick around long enough to get them down on paper.

Enter this amazing book! Gover has written a supercharged manual for vivid dreamers-turned-writers who want to mine their nightly mind movies for the good stuff.

LIKES: Right off the bat, Gover has a section of tips for remembering your dreams that I found super helpful, followed by steps for setting up your dream-writing practice so it's most effective. Then, the bulk of the book consists of exercises and writing prompts for mining your dream journaling for the good stuff to turn it into poems and stories. I loved this structure. Working my way through the prompts and her gentle guidance has been (ahem) eye-opening. I've learned so much about how I write AND how I tick. The last third offers some guidance for packing your dream stories up for publication, which I know will be helpful when I get to that point, and for creating what the author calls "dream circles": writing groups centered around dream writing.

DISLIKES: None! This was a superb book in every way, from the content to the interior design to the cover. Even the paper it's printed on was beautiful.

Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠🌠 (out of 5)

Friend, have you ever written a story based on a dream? I'd love to know about it in the comments below. If not, and you're intrigued by the idea, pick up this book to get you started!
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#bookstagram #booktok #bookrecommendations #bookreview #bookstagramfollowtrain #bookstack  #indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #writingadvice
Q: Where do I find literary agents to query?

A: If you're ready to begin your querying journey for your book and need to find agents, the first place I recommend you look is Query Tracker. It's a huge database of literary agents and allows you to search on multiple criteria. Not only that, though, it also offers tools to help you track what queries you've sent and to whom, replies to your queries, status of your queries, and much more.

Other resources include:

👉🏻 Manuscript Wishlist: Also a search engine for agents, MSWL allows agents to post the types of books they're interested in to help you tailor your targeting.

👉🏻 Publishers Marketplace: PM is THE industry news source. This is a good stop to research agents and see the recent deals they've made, which might help you put together that important comps list.

👉🏻 Guide to Literary Agents: Don't discount this iconic guide from Writer's Digest. Available in print and e-book formats, this is a giant list of agents and the agencies they work for, plus what genres they represent. Although it can get out of date quickly, it could be a great fallback in your agent-research toolbox.

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And if you need help getting your query letter and synopsis in shape before sending it to agents, my Query Cleanup service might be helpful. It's a read and critique of your querying materials, plus a line edit of the revision. Click the 🌍 in my bio or send a 📩 for more info.
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#amwritingfiction #aspiringauthor #indiebooks #writerproblems #writinganovel #firstdraftclub #bookeditorneeded #newwritersclub
CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORD: faze vs. phase

I see these two confused quite a bit, so let's explore their differences:

💡 FAZE
(v.)
:to disturb the composure of

💡PHASE
(n.)
: a state in a recurring cycle

Now in some sentences—

👉🏻 Nothing could FAZE her, and she calmly claimed her place. <--- FAZE is an action word (v.) here.
She was UNFAZED by the email she got Friday.

👉🏻 This is just a PHASE she’s going through. <--- PHASE is a thing (n.) here.
We're in the new PHASE of the moon.

💥 ALERT! 💥 

The word PHASE can be used as a verb, too. But it usually occurs in combinations such as "phase in" or "phase out":

👉🏻 They plan to PHASE in a new model this year.

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Are there any words that sneakily sound the same that you mix up sometimes? Let me know in the comments below!
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#amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #wordcountgoals
Happy first Monday of February! Here's a little motivation for your month from Chuck Wendig's wonderful middle-grade book, You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton:

Begin by remembering
that the easiest thing to do
Is to reject yourself
Before anyone else can reject you (<--- 😶😵 ouch! this slapped me hard today)
But f*** that noise
Make THEM do the dirty work
Put yourself out there
Bold, effulgent, gold
You're a star
They don't want to navigate by you?
Then they can get lost

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What do you think, magic writer? Let's not reject ourselves first this month, mmmkay? 💜🤟🏻
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#impostorsyndrome #writethatbook #mondaymotivation #indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #supportindieauthors #indiesareworthit #writerlife
🥳🎉 Happy launch day to client Andrea Rome @andreahrome on her debut novel, The Standard Book of Anything!

It was my honor to do a Full Editing Journey (manuscript evaluation + line edit) on Andrea's stunning cozy fantasy, a perfect story to read on cold winter nights, a cup of tea in hand:

"Emaline Strider fixes everything that breaks in her small village of Brookerby. When the Warding Tree of Protection crashes to the ground and cripples the town, Em is up for the challenge of finding a solution.

As she travels south to the glamorous capital city, she finds magic all around her. A shape-shifting book guides her. A never-empty flask sustains her. An improbable relationship blossoms. But can Em trust magic when her hammer and pliers are infinitely more reliable?

When the empress threatens her life and friends double-cross her, magic seems downright dangerous. Suddenly, a simple repair has become a race against the empire to save the only home she has ever known."

Definitely put this one on your TBR list, near the top!

Find it on Amazon here:  https://t.ly/6O9Xc

Or click the link in my bio.

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#bookstagram #booktok #bookrecommendations #bookreview #bookstagramfollowtrain #bookstack
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 🎄❄⛄

After a whirlwind year of amazing editing projects, I'm giving myself an extended holiday break. Whew!

Until January 8, I'll be quiet on all social channels to rest, recharge, reflect and enjoy the magic and peace of the holiday season—as well as plan and prepare a slew of editing tutorials, tips, special offers, and other interesting (and funny!) content for you.

I hope your holidays are filled with joy and love, magic writer. I'll see you in 2024!

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#newyears2024 #newyearscelebration #newyearseve2023 #goodbye2023 #hello2024 #seasonsgreetings #holidayseason #holidaygreetings #safeandhappyholidays #merryholidayseason #goodtidings #yuletiding #celebratetheholidays
Magic writer, if you're starting your first revision pass of that NaNoWriMo project over the holiday break, do you know what to focus on this round? What revisions are appropriate at this stage? Here are some suggestions from The Magic of Fiction by Beth Hill:

FIRST PASS REVISIONS

💬 Boring dialogue: flag any speech that doesn't sing.

🥀 Over-description: watch out for areas that get a bit flowery or purple with description.

🌊 Flow and clarity: mark spots that might confuse a reader or don't seem to flow from idea to idea very well.

❓ Missing information: note places that are missing what I call "connective tissue," or transitional language that moves a reader from scene to scene and paragraph to paragraph.

🕳 Plot holes: highlight any glaring plot holes to fill in later.

This list isn't at all exhaustive; in fact, Hill suggests marking anything and everything on a first revision pass that strikes you as questionable, even grammar, repetition, and the like.

The most important tip: always note a problem when you first see it, and never assume you'll remember it without that notation.

Over to you: If you're working on revision this month, how's it going? Let me know in the comments below!
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#nanowrimo #campnanowrimo #wrimo #nano #nanowrimo2023 #campnano #instawrimo
Winter project lineup! After the holidays, I'll be cozying up to a slew of amazing stories for indie author clients and traditional publishers. On deck:

👸🏻 A high fantasy featuring a bad-ass princess getting the line-editing touch

❤‍🔥 A new one for me—a modern psychological thriller sure to keep me on my toes, ready for a final read through before publishing

🧛🏻 The manuscript assessment + line edit of a sequel to a present-day vampire tale I worked on last year (I looooove sequels!)

🕵🏻 Another new one! A cozy mystery getting a m/s assessment + line editing glow up

🧛🏻 And, a line edit of a unique urban vampire story with a never-saw-it-coming twist

WHEW!!

My waitlist has been extended to MAY of 2024.

Want to put your name on the list? It's first come, first served, and I schedule from the list around the beginning of every month. Here's how to get on it:

🎯 Visit this link: www.magicwordsediting.com
💌 Send me a DM
🙋🏻 Or click the link in my bio

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#bookeditorneeded #amediting #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #bookeditor #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader
Magic writers, which one are you? (Comment 🐱 or 🐶 below!)

🐱 You endlessly tweak and revise and tweak again and rewrite and edit and . . . and . . . your novel never seems to be finished.

🐶 Bang out 75,000 words in three weeks, slap a title on it, and call it good.

Which hypothetical draft would YOU consider ready for editing? Would it surprise you to know the answer is—neither?

So, how do you know if your manuscript is ready for the attention of an editor? Here are the questions I ask each potential client when I'm evaluating this very thing:

📓 Have you written multiple drafts? (At _least_ two.)
🤟🏻 Have you gotten feedback from critique partners and/or beta readers? (Opinions vary on when this should occur, but I hold to "before editing" as the right time.)
✨ Have you worked out the major issues in your story based on critique or beta feedback? (See the caveat below.)

If the answer to those questions is "YES!"—you're probably ready for editing. And, if you're not sure, your editor will tell you if it needs more revision before she can work her magic (or she should).

CAVEAT: Major issues of your story should ABSOLUTELY be resolved before language editing (line or copy). I define major issues as plot holes, character development, pacing, etc.—things that take rewriting/revision to fix. It's not smart to smooth language or fix grammar/usage/mechanics/spelling errors if you'll be tinkering with structural rewrites.

BUT, if you still need help with some sticky story problems, and you've taken revision as far as you can, engaging a developmental editor is a great idea at that point!
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#bookeditorneeded #selfpublishedauthor #amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #wordcountgoals
Okay, nobody panic! But a gentle reminder: Christmas is two weeks from today. 😆😆😆

Which makes this month's quote feel, er, extra special.

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by."—Douglas Adams

Here's to all those end-of-year deadlines. May yours whoosh by peacefully and calmly. 😉😇

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#christmas2023 #holidayshopping #indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #fantasywriter #fantasyauthor #indieauthorcommunity #aspiringauthorsofig
Tori's book was so much fun to work on, and I can't wait to work with HER again, too!

"As a first time author, the editing process was super overwhelming. That was until I met Shawna, and I knew immediately my manuscript was in good hands. From our first communication to our most recent, Shawna has been kind, clear, insightful, and just the best to work with. Upon receiving her edits, it was clear how much work Shawna put into her services and I am so grateful I could have her talent on my story. Because of Shawna's style tune-up I am certain my book is in much better condition than before and I hope to work with her again!" — TORI WEED

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#writingtips #writinganovel #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram
Magic writer, what's the best writing-related gift you've ever gotten? Or what's your go-to gift for a writer friend or family member?

It's gift-giving season, and we could all use some ideas for those writerly loved ones. Spill the tea in the comments below!
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#writing #writersofinstagram #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram #fantasywriter #horrorwriter #scifiwriter #fantasyauthor #writersnetwork #novelist #writingcommunityofig #horrorcommunity #fantasynovel #writerslife
When I die, I want to come back as the Ghost of Christmas Past Participle 😆
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#bookeditorneeded #indieauthorsunite #indieauthorcommunity #indieauthortips #aspiringindieauthors #supportindieauthors #editorslife #aspiringauthorsofig #fantasyauthors #amwritingscifi #authorsofinsta #aspiringwriter #authorgram #iamwriting #writingcommunityofig #aspiringauthor #indieauthorsofinstagram #newauthor #writingadvice #indieauthor #authorsofig #writersofinsta #amediting #editingmeme #writingmeme #wipaesthetic #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter #writerscorner
Writers, if you're in need of some fresh writing inspiration to revive a flagging writing practice, I have some resources for you—four books that soothed my writer's soul last year and set me on a new path to embracing and supporting my writing as an essential part of my self. Maybe they'll help you too!

PEP TALKS FOR WRITERS by Grant Faulkner
Written by the executive director of NaNoWriMo, these short "pep talks" cover everything from generating ideas to impostor syndrome. They're sure to give you a fresh perspective when you're stuck.

WRITING DOWN THE BONES by Natalie Goldberg
Presented as meditative essays on building and strengthening a writing practice, Goldberg offers exercises, advice, and vignettes from her 30 years as a writer to help you approach your practice with new eyes.

WRITING PAST DARK by Bonnie Friedman
If you've lost your writing way because of envy, fear, writer's block, or distraction, reach for a chapter in this book for clues on how to get unstuck.

A WRITER'S GUIDE TO PERSISTENCE by Jordan Rosenfeld
Full of journaling prompts and advice for balancing your writing life with your, well, actual life, this book could be a great weekly "recovery" practice for writers who have lost their practice or need to build a new one.

So, tell me: What books (or other resources) have inspired you or helped heal your writing practice? Let me know in the comments below.
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#editorslife #editing #writingmeme #writersblock #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram #freelanceeditors #editor #bookeditor #fantasywriter #horrorwriter #scifiwriter #magicwordsediting #fantasyauthor #writersnetwork #novelist #writingcommunityofig #horrorcommunity #fantasynovel #writerslife #selfpublishing
NOW ACCEPTING WAITLIST SIGNUPS

I'm booked with editing projects until March 2024. But! If you're the type who loves to plan ahead, or you have a spring publishing schedule, sign up now to get on my waitlist for the following services:

👉🏻 line editing
👉🏻 copy editing
👉🏻 story assessments
👉🏻 query assessments and editing

Waitlist members are contacted on a first come, first served rolling basis.

Want to add your name?

🎯 Visit this link: www.magicwordsediting.com
💌 Send me a DM
🙋🏻 Or click the link in my bio

*Got a smaller project? I might be able to work you in before my next opening. Let's talk!

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#bookeditor #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader #writingtips #writingtipsandtricks #indiesareworthit #indiepublishingcommunity #amediting #amrevising
"The first draft is just you telling yourself the story." — attributed to Terry Pratchett

Did you finish #NaNoWriMo2023 yesterday, friend? Whether you reached 50,000 words or 50 — CONGRATULATIONS!

You've taken the very first step toward a published novel: writing the first draft.

As you continue on this journey, keep these words of wisdom from (probably) Terry Pratchett in mind. You've now told yourself the story; from here, every revision will build upon the bare structure you put down.
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#indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #fantasywriter #fantasyauthor #indieauthorcommunity
Er, you missed a few . . . 😆

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#bookeditorneeded #indieauthorsunite #indieauthorcommunity #indieauthortips #aspiringindieauthors #supportindieauthors #editorslife #aspiringauthorsofig #fantasyauthors #amwritingscifi #authorsofinsta #aspiringwriter #authorgram #iamwriting #writingcommunityofig #aspiringauthor #indieauthorsofinstagram #newauthor #writingadvice #indieauthor #authorsofig #writersofinsta #amediting #editingmeme #writingmeme #wipaesthetic #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter #writerscorner
What's your favorite thing about your current WIP? I'd love to know!

A character?

A plot twist? (No spoilers!)

A theme?

Tell me in the comments below ⬇

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#editingtips #editing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity
Are you thiiiiisss close to finishing #NaNoWriMo2023? CONGRATS! 

After you've let that 50K words sit for a hot minute, self-editing is the next step on your publishing journey. 

But what do you tackle first? What's appropriate to fix on this first pass? Here are a few ideas:

🤷🏻 THINGS THAT DON'T BELONG: Look for story threads, characters, or events that don't belong. (Remember to remove ALL references to whatever you take out!)

🤨SCENES WHERE NOTHING HAPPENS: Got a scene that meanders or has no impact on the plot or characters? Nix it.

🙂🙃 REPEATING SCENES/SPEECH/EVENTS: If your characters say or do the same things more than once in different parts of the story, take out the repeats.

😵‍💫 CONTINUITY ERRORS: If a character or object appears where he or it shouldn't or in a way that shouldn't happen, flag it and fix it. (Anyone remember the Starbucks cup in Game of Thrones? Ouch.)

🤪 LOGIC PROBLEMS: Story elements and events need to make sense. If they don't, take them out or revise.

Over to you, friend. What's something hilarious you found on your first pass through one of your books? Let me know in the comments!
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #publishing #writingtips  #supportindieauthors #writinganovel
THANKFUL for you, magic writer. 🤟🏻🥰

Wishing you a wonderful holiday full of love, rest, and gratitude. 🦃🍂🥧
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#happythanksgiving #happythanksgivingday #thanksgivingbreak #thanksgivingday #thanksgivingdessert #thanksgivingdinner #thanksgivingeve #thanksgivingturkey #thanksgivingweekend #thanksgiving#iamthankful #bethankfultoday
Magic writer, are you hearing from beta readers or your dev editor that your dialogue is . . . off? 👁‍🗨 That your characters sound stilted or emotionless? 🙊 Or, more vaguely, that your readers aren't "connecting" with the characters? 😬 (Which could mean there's a problem with how they "talk" on the page.)

Renni Browne and Dave King in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers say, ". . . creation of character voice . . . is one of you greatest challenges as a writer." Putting aside the obvious, there are some tricks you can use to add life and voice to your dialogue so it not only sounds natural but also adds characterization.

💬 READ YOUR DIALOGUE ALOUD
First, you should always read your dialogue aloud. Just reading it silently on the page increases the chance that you'll pass over stiff conversation. Reading it aloud brings your ear to the text, and flat, lifeless dialogue will jump out at you because it doesn't sound right.

💬 AVOID (MOST) UNUSUAL SPELLINGS/DIALECT
If a character has an accent or regional dialect, be careful with trying to convey that through unusual spellings. If those are heavy-handed, the dialogue isn't read so much as translated—and probably tough to get through.

💬 INTRODUCE INFORMALITY
Stiff dialogue = formal dialogue. Most people don't speak formally in regular conversation. Introduce contractions, sentence fragments, and slang. Play with punctuation to vary the rhythm. And . . .

💬 CHECK FOR INFO DUMPS
Try to avoid using dialogue as a way to dump information. (In the editing world, this is known as an "As you know, Bob.") You can certainly use dialogue for exposition, but make sure your characters have a reason for saying their lines beyond just giving the reader backstory or character info.

Those are just four of many ways to bring some pizazz to your dialogue. What other tricks do you use in your writing? Or what are you struggling with in writing dialogue? Let me know in the comments!
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#bookeditorneeded #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #fantasywriter #fantasyauthor #indiepublishing #aspiringauthorsofig
📺 How should you style titles for media like movies, TV shows, or podcasts in your book? Italics? Quotes? Both? Here's what The Chicago Manual of Style has to say:

8.189: Titles for movies, television, radio, and podcasts

Titles of movies (or films) and movie series and of television, radio, and podcast programs and series are italicized. A single episode in a television, radio, or podcast series is set in roman and enclosed in quotation marks.

Ah, so a little of column A, a little of column B!

An example, using a TV show:

The title of my favorite show, 𝑆𝑡𝑎𝑟 𝑇𝑟𝑒𝑘: 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑁𝑒𝑥𝑡 𝐺𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛, would be italicized.

And "Chain of Command" (the *best* episode, IMO) is in quotes.

🤔 BONUS: What about YouTube channels?

If we're talking about the name of the channel (like The Creative Penn, Joanna Penn's channel), then italicize that puppy.

If we're styling an episode from a YT channel, put that sucker in quotes: "Writing Poetry in the Dark" from 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐶𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑃𝑒𝑛𝑛.

Got any other burning questions over Chicago style? Happy to help you out! Let me know in the comments, or you can send me a DM.
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #bookaneditor #lookingforaneditor #bookeditorneeded #publishing #writingtips #freelanceeditors #bookeditor
Week 2 of NaNoWriMo is done—you're halfway through, magic writer!

I know this last week probably felt like slagging through quicksand in the depths of the Swamp of Despair, but don't give up now. The second week is notoriously hard, and I guarantee, if you keep going, it gets much easier from here.

Tell me your war stories below in the comments. I'd love to hear them!
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#nanowrimo #campnanowrimo #supportindieauthors #writinganovel #writinggoals #wordcount #wrimo #nano #campnano #instawrimo
Are you inserting enough conflict into your book? 🤔 It's one of the most important drivers of a good story, and every scene and chapter needs it to some degree to keep readers engaged.

As Beth Hill in The Magic of Fiction puts it: "It's what keeps the plot churning and characters amped up. It makes events unfold and holds readers glued to the page. At its most basic level, conflict is disagreement, typically disagreement that's not instantly resolved . . . As you edit, check every scene for conflict. Every single one. If conflict is absent, add it. No scene is only filler, free of tension or some kind of disagreement."

Er, great. But how do you add conflict? Not every scene can (or should) put your characters into heart-pounding arguments or fights or against insurmountable obstacles. So, what are some lower-key ways to introduce conflict that serve to move the story along?

💣 UNFAMILIAR SITUATIONS
Put a character into a situation that raises their anxiety or makes them feel a bit insecure/ask questions of themself. Then they can discover what they're made of or who they are in relation to that situation.

💣 OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS
Place two characters together who hold opposing viewpoints. Add some dialogue that pits those viewpoints against one another. See what happens.

💣 DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS
Give your characters wildly different backgrounds. Put them in a high-stakes situation and see how each background causes them to react.

💣 DENY A DESIRE
Does your character want money? Fame? A grande iced caramel macchiato? All three? Deny him those desires and see what he does to get what he wants.

💣 INTRODUCE UNCERTAINTY
Similar to the first one, introduce an element of uncertainty to a situation. Is a friend really a friend? Is your character on the right track? If he makes a certain choice, will it get him what he wants?

So, what are some of your favorite conflicts you've added to scenes or stories? Let me know in the comments below.
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#writersofinsta #amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #wordcountgoals
NOW ACCEPTING WAITLIST SIGNUPS!

I'm booked with editing projects until March 2024. But! If you're the type who loves to plan ahead, or you have a spring publishing schedule, sign up now to get on my waitlist for the following services:

👉🏻 line editing
👉🏻 copy editing
👉🏻 story assessments
👉🏻 query assessments and editing

Waitlist members are contacted on a first come, first served rolling basis.

Want to add your name?

🎯 Visit this link: www.magicwordsediting.com
💌 Send me a DM
🙋🏻 Or click the link in my bio

*Got a smaller project? I might be able to work you in before my next opening. Let's talk!

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#bookeditor #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader #writingtips #writingtipsandtricks #indiesareworthit #indiepublishingcommunity #amediting #amrevising
"If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word." — Margaret Atwood

True words from the queen herself. We're midway through #NaNoWriMo2023 . . . keep getting those words down, friend. Don't worry about perfection, just write.
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 #indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #fantasywriter #fantasyauthor #indieauthorcommunity #aspiringauthorsofig
The first 10 days of NaNoWriMo are in the bag! 👊🏻

So . . . how many of you already have this many versions saved on your computer?

Just me? 😐
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#amwriting #nanowrimo #campnanowrimo #wordcountgoals #firstdraftclub #newwritersclub #writinggoals #wordcount #wrimo #nano #nanowrimo2023 #campnano #instawrimo
Q: How do I balance writing and a full-time job?

A: This is the million-dollar question and a tough reality for many writers. The day job pays the bills and gives us the means to devote energy to our craft. 🙂

But it also takes up so much darn time and, well, energy. 🙃

It's something even I struggle with as a full-time editor.

Here are some tips I've gathered over the years from my writing friends and author clients. Maybe one of them will be just the thing you need to achieve the holy grail of being a writer who also works.

⭐ Write on the weekends
⭐ Write on your lunch hour
⭐ Write during evening TV-watching time (using noise-canceling headphones)
⭐ Wake up earlier to write before work
⭐ Write on your phone during "boring" meetings
⭐ Block off your writing time in your calendar
⭐ Write on the bus or train on the way to work
⭐ Stop ironing. Stop watching TV. Write instead.
⭐ Dictate your writing while you drive to work
⭐ Squeeze it all into days off from work
⭐ Do writing retreats
⭐ Read yesterday's writing in the morning and use the day to plan that evening's words
⭐ Make it a priority ahead of things that aren't as important
⭐ Write in small increments, like, one or two words at a time, seriously

Do any of these resonate with you? How do YOU make time for your writing? Let me know in the comments.
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#indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #fantasywriter #fantasyauthor #indieauthorcommunity #aspiringauthorsofig
Week 1 of #NaNoWriMo2023 is in the bag! How'd it go for you? Are you on track? Ahead of schedule? 

I'd love to know what you think about your first week—tell me in the comments below! (So I can live vicariously through you. 😂)
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 #nanowrimo #campnanowrimo #supportindieauthors #writinganovel #writinggoals #wordcount #wrimo #nano #campnano #instawrimo
The tiny apostrophe has a big job in the English language: it has to stand in for all those missing parts in the words we shorten, condense, and contract. Can't, won't, didn't, he's, she's . . . it does a lot of heavy lifting to help our brains fill in what's not there and still make a word make sense.

That goes for some numerals, too.

Take a decade, for instance. In a story, we can write it many ways: the seventies, the 1970s, the . . . ??? 👈🏻 Oof. That last one trips up so many of us.

Q: Is it . . .

the 70s
the 70's
the 70s'

?

A: None of the above (with the exception of the last one, but that's used in a different context).

Since an apostrophe stands in for what's missing, the right way to refer to a decade as a numeral when leaving out the century is:

the '70s 👈🏻 The apostrophe goes first to stand in for "19"—as in 1970s.

SIDENOTE: Be careful with this one, though. When referring to someone who is aged 70–79, you'd write "He's in his 70s." No apostrophe. (Yes, the difference is maddening! But that's why there are editors.)

The More You Know (😉 my fellow GenXers will get that one).
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #bookaneditor #lookingforaneditor #bookeditorneeded #publishing #writingtips #freelanceeditors #bookeditor
New art for my office! 

Isn't this painting adorable? By artist Vince Fleming, who specializes in whimsical pieces featuring fairies, dragons, castles, and other magical subjects. I had the pleasure of  meeting Mr. Fleming at a craft festival this summer, and he signed this beautiful print for me. He's in his eighties but is definitely young at heart, which is clear from his subject matter.

If you want to see more of his work or even buy a print (or the original oil of this piece, which he made sure to tell me is still available), head over to flemingart.com or click the link in my bio.
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#editorslife #wipaesthetic #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter #writerscorner
What are your go-to resources for succeeding at #NaNoWriMo ? Here are four of mine:

🌐 NaNoWriMo.org – the NaNoWriMo website. I use it to update my progress, find events to attend, and connect with buddies for inspiration and encouragement.
📗 Pep Talks for Writers – by Grant Faulkner. I crack it open when I need some motivation.
🖱 Write or Die + One Stop Thesaurus – This app (WoD) keeps me writing or spiders drop on my head (er, screen). The website (OST) helps me find new synonyms and metaphors to keep my writing fresh.
📢 NaNoWriMo Pep Talks – A treasure trove on the NaNo website of encouraging talks from published authors.

I'm always on the lookout for more! Post yours in the comments below.
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#indieauthortips #nanowrimo2023 #nano #wrimo #wordcountgoals #instawrimo #supportindieauthors
Congrats to client Jay Ishino on the release of the second book in her Hunters & Prey series!

If you like modern-day vampires, vampire hunters, and Dracula, this book is for you.

Head to jayishino.com and snag a copy for those cozy fall nights.

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#bookstagram #booktok #bookrecommendations #bookreview #bookstagramfollowtrain #bookstack #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram #fantasywriter #horrorwriter #scifiwriter #fantasyauthor #writersnetwork #novelist #writingcommunityofig #horrorcommunity #fantasynovel #writerslife #selfpublishing #writinganovel
📅 It's NaNoWriMo time! 📅 

This month's motivation comes from Grant Faulkner, executive director of NaNoWriMo, to help get you started and on the right path for this month's writing marathon:

SET A GOAL. SET A DEADLINE.
This is the big moment. Map out your writing goals—big goals and all the milestones that lead up to them. Pin a piece of paper with your goals over your writing desk. . . . Set deadlines on your online calendar . . . Form a strategy of accountability and enact it.

Best of luck, and happy writing! ✍🏻

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#writinggoals #wordcount #wrimo #nano #nanowrimo2023 #campnano #instawrimo #nanowrimo #campnanowrimo #writingchallenge
BOO! 👻

Remember, magic writer: Always do what you are afraid to do. 

(Unless what you are afraid to do potentially involves bodily harm, of course. Like, I'm afraid to bungee jump, but the risk of multiple broken bones is high, so I'm gonna skip that one, thanks. 🎃💀)

Happy Halloween!

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#halloween2023 #trickortreat
#writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors
Magic writer, how do you write the abbreviation for "United States"? Is it US, U.S., U. S., or something else? What about state names? For example, when I was in school, during dinosaur times, I was taught that my state, Missouri, should be abbreviated "Mo." Whew! Flashbacks to grade school and writing "Mo. Mo. Mo. Mo." over and over and over . . . 

The US Postal Service has since adopted two-letter abbreviations, no periods or spaces, for state and country names.

And The Chicago Manual of Style says: I'm with them . . . for ALL abbreviations.

10.4 Periods with abbreviations
Use no periods with abbreviations that include two or more capital letters, even if the abbreviation also includes lowercase letters: VP, CEO, MA, MD, PhD, UK, US, NY, IL

Medical doctor? MD
Chief Executive Officer? CEO
Master of arts degree? MA
Television? TV

So, tell me: How did you learn to write abbreviations, especially states? Let me know in the comments below!

(Note: You'll still see those longer state abbreviations and abbreviations with periods, especially in newspapers and on news websites. That's basic Associated Press style, which is used in journalism.)

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#bookeditorneeded #amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #bookeditor #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader
When I was a senior in high school, I fell in love with a little show that came on very late at night called Star Trek: The Next Generation. My favorite character? Jean-Luc Picard, of course.

But he wasn't just my favorite character: He was my muse. My comfort. My role model. When Picard took charge of a problem, he used logic, reason, and intelligence to solve it, which was balm to my soul given I was surrounded by never-ending emotional trauma and abuse in my family and home life. Picard offered an example of a better way to conduct oneself, one I've followed ever since. He literally made me who I am today as a middle-aged adult.

So when Patrick Stewart, the actor who brought Picard to life, announced his memoir, I immediately pre-ordered a copy, and when it arrived, I devoured it. And while Stewart is not Picard, I found that same intelligence, strength of character, and leadership within the pages. It's obvious how Stewart's own experiences and personality influenced the captain of the Enterprise.

Beyond that, Making It So, Stewart's memoir, is full of intriguing tidbits about his life, upbringing, and career that I found heartwarming and inspiring. Anyone involved with the arts in any way, but especially theater, will find multiple nuggets of wisdom to incorporate into their own journey. His rise from a modest upbringing rooted in poverty to become an acclaimed Shakespearean performer and then one of the most loved and famous actors in fandom is nothing short of miraculous—at first glance. 

But that rise was fueled by elements available to all of us: hard work, determination, clear goals, and the balls to take risks and try again and again when those risks don't pan out.

The story itself is the major star of this memoir, but the writing and structure were also masterful (something that's not always the case with celebrity memoirs). I highly, highly recommend it, even if you've never watched a TNG episode in your life.

Rating: 🌠🌠🌠🌠🌠🌠 (out of 5)

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#bookstagram #booktok #bookrecommendations #bookreview #bookstagramfollowtrain #bookstack #makingitso #picard #patrickstewart #sirpatstew #startrek #tng #startrekthenextgeneration
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." L. M. Montgomery, in Anne of Green Gables.

Me, too. Me, too. Happy October! I hope yours is going well. 🍂🍁

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#editingtips #editing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram #freelanceeditors #editor #bookeditor #fantasywriter #horrorwriter #scifiwriter #fantasyauthor #writersnetwork #novelist #writingcommunityofig #horrorcommunity #fantasynovel #writerslife #selfpublishing #bookeditorneeded #writinganovel
MIXED-UP WORDS: comprise vs. compose

This month's mixed-up words are especially tricky because they're really close in meaning. And to make things extra spicy, interchanging them is becoming more acceptable—to the point that Merriam-Webster's says just go ahead and use one for the other. 🤔😬

COMPRISE: to be composed of (hint: think of this word as "the whole contains the parts")

The United States COMPRISES fifty states. (We're talking about the whole country here.)

COMPOSE: to form the substance of (hint: think of this as "the parts of the whole")

Fifty states COMPOSE the United States. (We're focusing on the states that make up the country.)

Niggly? Picky? You betcha. Only an editor would probably fret over the differences here.

But language is always changing, and if you "mess up" and say "The United States is COMPOSED of fifty states," don't worry about it. 😎

Merriam-Webster's has your back here. And so do I.
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #bookaneditor #lookingforaneditor #bookeditorneeded #publishing #writingtips