Edit Your Novel: What is “good writing”?

What is good writing?

One of my clients recently asked me for help on writing a good sentence. (I’ll be drafting that article at some point.)

But the question got me thinking about this notion of “good writing.” It’s so relative.

What’s good for one reader may not be good for another. So how can we define good?

Here’s some answers:

  • You know it when you see it.
  • Your English teacher told you.
  • Critics say it’s good.

To edit your book, you have the opportunity to develop your own sense of good, but if that’s a mystery to you, where do you start?

Learn to define what’s working in someone else’s work and what isn’t working, and perhaps why.

As a reader, notice what pulls you into the story, and what throws you out. What tugs at your heartstrings? What leaves you cold?

These are also questions to bring to your early readers.

Just wanted to let you know that the Early Bird Registration closes tonight for EDIT YOUR NOVEL Jan. 2017 course!

In our 4-week course, we’ll:

  • Do assessments to know where you are currently (Week 1)
  • Offer quizzes for self-insight (Week 1)
  • Focus on Plot, Pacing, and Story Structure (Week 2)
  • Focus on Characters and Emotions (Week 3)
  • Focus on Word Choice, Grammar, Punctuation, and Story Metaphor (Week 4)

If you’re ready for support, guidance, education, and feedback on your novel, I invite you to join us for our EDIT YOUR NOVEL Intensive that starts January 2, 2017.

All the details are here:

We’ll be teaching a 30-day writing challenge course on editing your novel.

In this intensive bootcamp course, you will read and edit your novel in four passes.

By the time you have completed this EDIT YOUR NOVEL bootcamp, you will have an edited book that you can present to your critique partners, beta readers, or an agent or editor.

3 Early Bird Bonuses if you register by this Friday, Dec. 16th, 9pm PT

Bonus #1: Handbook on Editing

How to Beat the Critique: The Aspiring Author’s Guide to Prepare Your First Novel for a Dynamite Critique (Handbook and Guide) by Carol Malone (Author, Editor and Writing Coach in Training) (PDF format)

Bonus #2: Book by Editors on the Fatal Flaws in Fiction

5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing by C.S. Lakin (author of sixteen novels and five writing craft books)

Bonus #3: A Video Critique & Edit of Up to 500 Words of Your Manuscript

A hit in Beth’s classes, Beth will edit up to 500 words of your novel and video it — just for you.

All the details are here:

A word on readiness: I know that you need to be ready to take your next step in your author career. Comment below and let me know what you are ready for, whatever that may be.

Here’s to your learning and success!

If you’re ready, you can sign up for our February and March editing classes, because editing takes a while. 😉

Have a Happy and Creative Week!

And thanks for showing up for yourself and doing your creative work!

All our best,
Beth & Ezra

PS. Yes! You can still grab you complimentary pass to the Publishing Success Summit, hosted by Eric Van Der Hope, of which I am one of the 65+ guests. Register here for this free event going on until Dec. 22nd:

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  • Book writing is much like speech writing. Your voice, your personality, must be there. People connect with who you are. Now, I know that some are good writers and not speakers—just as the good speakers are terrible writers—but the YOU are “talking” with your audience. You can still look professional in your writing all the while being yourself! I like where you are going with this, Beth.

  • BETH BARANY says:

    Thanks, PeggyLee! I agree that book writing is much like speech writing. A unique voice is something us novelists work very hard to craft.

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