Pitch to Publication: June 29th is almost here. . .

Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity. . . running to your computer is totally acceptable!
Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity. . . running to your computer is totally acceptable!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  The writing/editing/publishing community offers some many incredible opportunities for aspiring writers.  Coming up on June 29 is Pitch to Publication, where you have the potential to win 1 month of editing from a professional editor, partner with them to then market your manuscript to interested agents, and then move forward potentially to the publication round.  You can find all of the submission information at Samantha Fountain’s blog and opportunities to submit begin June 29 at 8am CST (9am EST for all of my East-Coasters and 6am PST for all of my West-Coasters).

Make sure to review the editors’ bios at Samantha’s blog and be able to commit the time to editing in the time-frames allotted if you are selected (failure to comply with the specified deadlines leads to disqualification).  More info can also be found at WriterPitch.

So, what are you waiting for?

Visualizing Your Success: Visual Aids for Improving Your Novel

Sometimes a good cup of coffee is a visual aid, in and of itself. . .
Sometimes a good cup of coffee is a visual aid, in and of itself. . .

If you’ve written your novel, received feedback, and are now in the deep trenches of editing to address the lingering issues in plot, tone, and character development (which all of us inevitably have), you might find yourself at a loss for where to begin.  Luckily, there are a variety of effective tools available to writers, some available through digital advances and others based on traditional pen-and-paper approaches.  A few to check out (and some that I am using myself):

1) Scrivener is a project management tool that allows you to visualize your plot, splice your prose into sections that need to be viewed together, and embed and easily access background information and relevant research.  At $40, it’s a very reasonable investment to help streamline your writing/editing process.  .

2) Check out Justine Larbalestier’s use of spreadsheets (i.e., Excel) to map out her characters and plot.  Genius!

3) Writers Helping Writers offers a lengthy list of tools available for free download, spanning from Character Pyramids and Personality Questionnaires to a Weak Verb Converter.

4) Looking for apps to help you along the way?  Check out these 10 identified by Brit +Co.  Some of them are only available for Apple products, but all of them offer support for the aspiring (or accomplished) writer.

5) Lastly, many other bloggers have created compendiums of writing tools on their sites.  One of my favorites is Scott Westerfield’s, which offers several links to writing aids shared by published authors on their blogs.

Editing may not be “fun”, but it’s often what separates writers and authors.