Contact - Magic Words Editorial Services
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CONTACT MAGIC WORDS

Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?
— J.R.R. Tolkien

Let’s Get Started

I’m excited that you’re interested in working together! To get your project started, I’d like to know more about what you’re writing and where you are in the process so I can see whether our journey together will be rewarding for both of us. After you complete the application form below, I’ll be in touch to follow up with a FREE trial edit and to learn more about your book.

If you have a general question or just want to chat, there’s no need to slay this entire beast of a form! Just send me an email: shawna@magicwordsediting.com
. . . and I use every one! 😎🤓

#bookeditor #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader #editorslife #bookeditorneeded #amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #indieauthors #writersofinstagram
Today's writing challenge comes from Refuse to Be Done by Matt Bell:

If you're stuck wallowing in a plot that goes nowhere or writing scenes that all sound the same, Bell suggests taking a step back to write four test scenes outside of your outline or current story flow.

First, select a point in your plot and/or a certain character.

Then write one each of the following scenes around that plot point/character:

💡 Discovery - show a character learning about or discovering something

💡 Complication - introduce a complication to a character's goals or the story outline

💡 Reversal - reverse an existing complication

💡 Resolution - resolve a conflict/complication in your story

Your goal here isn't to write four awesome scenes that make it into your book—it's simply to get your writing moving again. You'll end up with several thousand words that might help you discover something surprising about your story or characters. And  it just might get you out of that rut.

If you try this challenge, let me know how it goes in the comments. 👇🏻

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#writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram
HOW DO YOU PUNCTUATE DIALOGUE QUOTED IN OTHER DIALOGUE? 🤔😬

When a character quotes an exact line of dialogue from another character, how is that punctuated? It's not as tricky as you might think.

Here's a quick tip from The Chicago Manual of Style:

13.30: Quotations and “quotes within quotes”

Quoted words, phrases, and sentences run into the text are enclosed in double quotation marks. Single quotation marks enclose quotations within quotations.

EXAMPLE:
“His exact words were, ‘I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy.’” (Note the placement of the final single quote: it goes *outside* the period. For question marks/exclamation points, it goes *inside*.)

Now you know! 😎
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #bookaneditor #lookingforaneditor #bookeditorneeded #publishing #writingtips
Please hold for the next available operator 🤪 …
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#editingmeme #writingmeme #wipaesthetic #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter #writerscorner
Psst! Hey, magic writer. Do you have writer's block?

Ugh. Me too! Here's something I've found that helps:

Try relocating. As in, actually moving your physical body to a new spot.

A change of scenery might be what you need. If you usually write indoors, go to the park. If you normally churn out the words in a coffee shop, try a quiet corner in the library. Write on the sofa? Move to a different room of your house.

Writing in new location introduces a different energy to your surroundings, which might help get YOUR energy and creativity flowing more freely as well.

If you try it, and it works, let me know in the comments below!
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#writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig
Q. What are "alpha readers"? Why do I need them?

A. Alpha readers are, generally, the very first readers of your book. They usually read a first or unpolished draft to help you catch early mistakes with plot, characters, or setting, and can give you much-needed inspiration to continue drafting or revising if you feel stuck.

Alpha readers can be anyone: editors, family members (although they might not give you unbiased feedback!), other writers, critique partners. The best alpha readers know something about craft to the point that they can give you targeted feedback, know how to offer constructive criticism, can look beyond the flaws of a first draft—like spelling and punctuation errors—and have the time and energy to read your story and comment on it.

How many alpha readers should you have? Typically, a small number (3–5) works best, but have as many as you need to work out any particular problems or stuck places.

Over to you: Have you ever used alpha readers? What was your experience like? Did they help? Let me know in the comments below!
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#editingtips #editing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors
NOW ACCEPTING WAITLIST SIGNUPS! 🥳🎉🤩

If you're the type who loves to plan ahead, or you have a fall publishing schedule, sign up now to get on my Quarter 3 (August, September) 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. As of today, all spots are taken for July, but openings remain for August and September.

Add your name here --->

🎯 Visit this link: www.magicwordsediting.com OR
💌 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
“Drink some coffee. Listen to some birds. Feel the breeze. Give love into the world and receive it in return. Now open the little box inside your heart marked RIGHTEOUS FURY and let the tornado captured inside take you, carry you, and return you to the fight once more.”—Chuck Wendig, You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton

HAPPY APRIL! 🌻💐🌞🌪
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#indieauthorsunite #selfpublishedauthor #indiebooks #supportindieauthors #indiesareworthit #writerlife
CONGRATS!! You've finished writing your first draft. So . . . what's next??

I've had quite a few eager-beaver first-time authors come to me in the last weeks wanting to rush straight from first draft to "proofreading."

No. Slow waaaay down there, skippy.

Writing is a marathon, not a sprint, and I can guarantee that as good as your draft is, it's nowhere near ready to be a book.

There are a few steps in the middle that you really shouldn't skip if you want to sell a quality product.

👉🏻 REVISE AND REWRITE
At the absolute very least, you need to revise and rewrite your draft. Your first draft isn't ready for prime time, and your second or even your third might not be, either. This takes as long as it takes. Sorry/not sorry.

👉🏻 ALPHA/BETA READERS*
Next is to get some eyes on that story. Find some readers typical of those you want to sell your eventual book to; have them give feedback. It will be eye-opening, I assure you.  Go back to step one: revise.

👉🏻 DEV EDIT/MANUSCRIPT EVAL*
Consider getting a professional editor's opinion of the story. They'll give you targeted feedback and suggestions for problems beta readers miss or can't define. Go back to step one: revise.

👉🏻 LINE EDIT
Hurrah, now that you are absolutely 100% done with revision, you can finally start the process of what first-timers typically call "proofreading": editing the actual sentences and words. A line edit massages the syntax, style, and flow of your sentences to make sure they make sense to a reader.

👉🏻 COPYEDIT
This can sometimes be done in conjunction with the line edit. A copyedit checks grammar, mechanics, spelling, character traits, timelines, facts, and other nuts and bolts concerns.

👉🏻 PROOFREAD
After you've formatted, typeset, and designed the book's interior, you're ready for actual proofreading. This is one last check for errors in the page proofs before you publish.

*Beta readers can sometimes come after a dev edit. You don't necessarily need both alpha and beta readers, but it's a good idea.

***

Now you know! Questions? Let me know in the comments.

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#amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #copyeditor #lineeditor #proofreader
Mwahahaha . . . all your secret spelling weaknesses belong to meeeeee . . . 😉😆

J/K I only use my powers for good. 🤩
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#indieauthorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinsta #amediting #editingmeme #writingmeme #authorslife #authorquotes #lifeofawriter
WHO vs. WHOM: Come jump in the deep water with me, magic writer, and learn when to use “who” and when to use “whom.” It’s easier than you think with this trick.

💡 WHO
"Who" is used as the subject of a sentence.

>>> Example: Who wrote the letter? <<<

💡 WHOM
"Whom" is used as the object of a verb or preposition.

>>> Example: For whom was the letter intended? <<<

⭐ THE TRICK:
One neat trick you can use to figure out when to use one or the other is to invert the sentence and substitute a different pronoun: he/she, him/her, or they/them.*

>>> Who wrote the letter? <<<
THEY wrote the letter. HE wrote the letter. SHE wrote the letter. 

Him, her, or them don't work in this sentence, so we choose "who."

>>> For whom was the letter intended? <<<
The letter was intended for HIM. The letter was intended for HIM. The letter was intended for HER.

He, she, and they don't work in this sentence. So "whom" is correct. (Note the M on the end: them/whom, him/whom, her/ . . . er, trust me on that one.)

📣 *BUT!
Caveat time. In speaking and modern everyday usage, “who” is often used in place of “whom.”

>>> Who is the letter intended for? <<<
>>> Who did you say is calling? <<<

Can’t remember which one to use? Don’t want to sound like a 19th-century grammarian?

Use "who." It’s okay. Really. Even Shakespeare did it. 😎
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #bookaneditor #lookingforaneditor #bookeditorneeded #publishing #writingtips #freelanceeditors #bookeditor
It's spring! It's spring! Hooray! 🐇💐🍃 🌞

Happy equinox, magic writer. Hope you have a magical season, full of new projects, growth as a writer, and sunny days of dreaming up stories.
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#spring #springequinox #spring2024 #springishere #sunnydaysahead #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting
Q: Where can I find legitimate writing workshops that will actually help me become a better writer?

A: By "help me become a better writer" I'm going to assume that what you're looking for is a workshop that offers: 

👉🏻 deep, constructive feedback on YOUR writing; 
👉🏻 instruction from writers who've found success in the field and/or themselves are excellent writers; 
👉🏻 and, perhaps, effective exercises you can apply to your own writing.

Because a combination of the above is what will get you from where you are now as a writer to where you want to be. Quickly. 😉
 
So here are four highly regarded writing workshop providers that fit the bill:

🌟 Iowa Summer Writing Festival
Affiliated with the University of Iowa's world-renowned writing program, the festival offers in-person weekend and weeklong writing workshops on a variety of topics during June and July. You have to travel to Iowa City for the summer classes, but there are a few online workshops in April and May available if you hurry.

🌟 Gotham Writers Workshop
Or just "Gotham"—it's that well-known. The workshops have produced National Book Award winners, NY Times bestselling authors, and an Emmy-winning TV writer. Their classes are offered online and in person, and classes are anywhere from 6–10 weeks . They also list day-long intensives if you're in a real hurry.

🌟 GrubStreet
A nonprofit creative writing center based in Boston, GrubStreet is known for its multiweek and even year-long intensive, membership-based programs. Those puppies aren't for the faint of heart! But they also offer writing workshops for beginning and intermediate writers. Online and in person. Scholarships are available.

🌟 Hugo House
Coming out of Seattle, Hugo House leans more "community arts center" than those listed above, but they still provide online and in-person writing workshops on anything from poetry to memoir to fiction. Lots of speculative fiction classes on tap here!

***

I'm signed up for a couple of workshops in the Iowa festival this summer. Maybe I'll see you there! 

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#writingworkshops #workshops #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity
CAN YOU SPOT THIS EDITING CONUNDRUM? How would you edit this sentence? 🤔

"I wanted to sit in the comfy chair with a cup of coffee in my pajamas and peck away at a keyboard."

Let me know in the comments what you'd do to fix the issue in this sentence, and see what I'd do as a professional editor. 😉
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#bookeditorneeded #amediting #editingtip #amrevising #editingadvice #editingtricks #wordcountgoals
IT'S HAPPENED AGAIN! I've seen more social media posts lately from authors who have been burned by less than professional—even scammy—"editors" and "book coaches." It doesn't have to be this way! 

Vet. Your. Service. Providers. Here's how:

GOOGLE THEM
Not just their business name (a well-known editor/book coach scammer changes their business name when the heat gets, well, hot) but also their actual name. Like this --> "Shawna Hampton" (with the quotation marks so the results show you the right person). Also search their name on TikTok, Facebook, and other social media to see what comes up.

CONTACT REFERENCES
Ask them for references. If they give you any, contact them. If they don't? 🚩🚩🚩

CHECK FOR PRO MEMBERSHIPS
Ask them what professional associations they belong to (Editorial Freelancers, ACES, others). If they give you one or more, go to the association's website and search for their name in the directory. (This same well-known book coach scammer lies about being an EFA member. A quick directory search proves otherwise.)

ASK THEM QUESTIONS
What editing training do you have? Do you offer sample edits? What exactly will I get in my edit? Do you offer a contract? (If so, read it carefully!) Look for any 🚩🚩🚩 in their answers and TRUST. YOUR. GUT.

BONUS
Writer Beware (www.writerbeware.com) exposes writing-related scams and has entries about well-known editor and book coach scammers. 👀👀👀 Give them a visit to see if the person you're thinking of hiring is included.
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#editing #publishing #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram
Here's a super fun writing challenge for you:

If you've got a sticky plot point that you can't get moving, try keeping a dream journal for a week or two. See what situations pop up in your dreams that you can adapt to your WIP.

Give it a try, and if you have great results, come back here and post in the comments. Or if you've had a go at this in the past, let me know below—maybe you'll inspire someone!
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#writingchallenge #dreams #writingtips #writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity
"When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze." —William Wordsworth

Spring is nearly here! I see daffodils popping up everywhere I go. When I come across these "hosts of golden daffodils," I always think of this poem, one of the first I really studied deeply in high school English class.

And I always wonder if Wordsworth could have known how powerful his words would be, even centuries later. 

Keep writing those words. You never know how deeply they'll affect someone, or for how long.
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#iamwriting #writingcommunityofig #aspiringauthor #indieauthorsofinstagram #newauthor #writingadvice #indieauthor #authorsofig #writersofinsta #wordcountgoals #supportindieauthors #indiesareworthit #writerlife
Congrats to client Tori Weed @toriweed on the release of her stunning debut novel, The Weight of Wishes! 

I was thrilled to do a Style Tune-Up (line edit) of this amazing epic fae fantasy. Check it out:

"If dreams can come true, it is vital to remember that nightmares, well, they exist too.

Seren was only four when the Stellean king killed her mother. Sixteen years his servant, Seren understands her place in his cruel court: Stay quiet. Stay out of trouble. And most importantly, stay alive.

But now, the Fae king wants her dead too, and there is only one way to stop him.

Thrust into a challenge not undertaken for centuries, Seren must navigate trials more dangerous and twisted than she could ever imagine.

With the fate of her kingdom hanging in the balance, can Seren defy the odds and uncover the truth about her past?

The clock is ticking. The gods are watching."

Put this one on your list! Get it at: https://t.ly/3gINs

Or click the link in my bio ---->

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#writersofinstagram #writing #amwriting #writer #writingcommunity #authorsofinstagram #authors #authorsofig #indieauthor #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram
We've all been there: WRITER'S BLOCK!

That awful feeling when you sit down to write and nothing comes out. That sound of goals swirling down the drain. That certainty that you'll never be able to write another word again.

Yeah. It's happened to me, too.

Over the years, I've developed a few ways to help myself get unstuck, and I plan on sharing as many as I can in the coming months—along with some I've learned from other writers.

This month, here's a solid go to: FREEWRITING

With freewriting, you put aside any plans or outlines or goals, put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard), set a timer, and just . . . write. Anything that comes to mind. Even if it's simply, "I can't think of anything to write," over and over.

Don't worry about what comes out. Don't worry about grammar, or spelling, or "correctness" of any kind.

Simply write words.

You might be surprised to find that eventually, the dam breaks and what you end up writing resembles a scene or a chapter in your WIP. Or you solve a sticky plot point or character motivation.

Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you!
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#writingadvice #indieauthor #authorsofig #writersofinsta #wordcountgoals #supportindieauthors #indiesareworthit #writerlife
QUICK EDITING TIP: Quotations and "quotes within quotes"

Magic writer, if you have a line of dialogue where a character quotes another character's speech, how do you punctuate that? I'll show you!

From The Chicago Manual of Style: Quoted words, phrases, and sentences . . . are enclosed in double quotation marks. Single quotation marks enclose quotations within quotations; 

"Wait!" Henry exclaimed. "Mr. Jones said, in his words, to 'stay off his lawn if you know what's good for you.'" <--- note the single quotation marks around the words Mr. Jones spoke; also note they come A F T E R the period

Easy-peasey.
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#editingtips #amediting #amrevising #bookaneditor #lookingforaneditor #bookeditorneeded #publishing #writingtips #freelanceeditors #bookeditor
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