March 2024

Simple tricks for self-editing


An editor's services are really worth it, but every writer can get more out of the editing process if they can bring their work to the best state of finish possible before editing. New writers might feel both triumphant and exhausted upon completion of their first draft and it can

Simple tricks for self-editing2024-03-16T13:14:22-07:00

October 2022

The Gunslinger’s Grammar Guide


The Quickdraw If you are a fan of Westerns, you might notice that the gunslinger who draws first almost always gets shot. For Western movies, this is a moral position. The hero doesn't want anyone to die, but will defend himself if necessary. The villain is a reckless murderer who

The Gunslinger’s Grammar Guide2023-03-02T14:46:55-08:00

July 2022

Adverbs in dialogue? “Please God, no…” The editor whispered fearfully.


You can instantly improve your writing by deleting adverbs from your dialogue. Here at Emerald Books, some editing processes are so necessary and done so frequently that they are pretty much automated. One of these is removing adverbs (any modifiers or commentary, really) from dialogue. We're not talking about the

Adverbs in dialogue? “Please God, no…” The editor whispered fearfully.2022-07-22T15:21:49-07:00

May 2022

What’s wrong with repetition?


Fear of Repetition There is a moment in every writer's life when they become aware of repetition. Scanning through a single paragraph, the same word appears four times. It seems a logical editing process as well as an important responsibility as a writer to add variation so the reader doesn't

What’s wrong with repetition?2022-05-05T11:30:19-07:00

April 2022

  • A black witch hat and some dried leaves

Whichcraft: That vs. Which


Which one is appropriate? Have you ever had trouble deciding between that and which? They can feel interchangeable, and it isn't easy to know how to use them. Every writer has habits, things they tend to repeat. These habits can form a cohesive style, but habits can also weigh down

Whichcraft: That vs. Which2022-04-25T17:47:17-07:00

March 2022

  • two women collaborating on a piece of writing

Writing from inside the house, part II


This post is a conituation of Writing from Inside the House. Read that one first, then come here. Every author should work with an editor. The process of looking at your work from the outside has a formal name: creative development. An editor can support you in this process and

Writing from inside the house, part II2022-03-31T08:26:23-07:00
  • a black and white photo of a hand writing with a fountain pen

Writing from inside the house


If you are working on any kind of writing project, your writing will have a larger structure that you need to carefully engineer. There is a psychological difference between creative sessions and addressing this larger structure. It feels something like the work of an architect drafting plans for a house.

Writing from inside the house2022-03-29T11:26:08-07:00
  • Some hands holding a blank book

What is the cost of publishing a book?


How much should you pay to publish a book? Reedsy is a powerful resource for anyone interested in writing, editing, or publishing. (Jessica has a profile for editing on Reedsy!) They do a global survey every year to establish average rates for editing and book design. Best of all, they

What is the cost of publishing a book?2022-03-23T11:39:16-07:00

July 2021

Nirmani Walpola on how her book came to be.


Author Nirmani Walpola talks about the inspiration for her book Nirmani here! You might know me from my very first book, The Midnight Warriors, but do you really know me? The Midnight Warriors went through A LOT of work before it finally got here. How much work? Well, settle in,

Nirmani Walpola on how her book came to be.2021-07-09T12:56:54-07:00

May 2021

Tom Swift


Around a century ago there was a series of adventure novels starring a hero named Tom Swift. These books were known for using adverbs with conversation tags in order to add extra emphasis: "The airplane is taking off!" Tom said quickly. "We've got to follow it!" Jane agreed enthusiastically. Adding

Tom Swift2021-05-26T03:25:56-07:00