What’s Your Tiniest Next Step to Edit Your Novel? And Survey!

About taking the Tiniest Next Step in editing your novel.

Thank you to everyone who has filled out the edit your novel survey.

If you haven’t already you’re welcome to fill it out here: http://bethb.net/eynsurvey

Ezra and I will use what you share with us to design our free webinar on editing your novel in December. You can sign up here to be notified when the webinar is scheduled: https://writersfunzone.com/blog/edit-your-novel-webinar/

In the webinar, we plan to do a deep dive into one aspect of editing and give you all a hands-on insider view as we edit two people’s story openings. (150 words) We’ll pick two people at random. So if you’d like to be in the drawing, you’ll be able to do that once we get the details locked in. Stay tuned!

This upcoming webinar is an introduction to our in-depth 3-month Edit Your Novel class and group mentorship that starts in January.

Strengths and Tiniest Steps Method
From the encouragement of a few friends I recently took the Clifton Strengths finders test.

The results didn’t really surprise me but they help me sharpen my focus on my strengths and give me some tools to enhance them. I really love the focus on strengths versus the focus on weaknesses. That totally goes with my psychology already 🙂 LOL.

My strongest strength is “Learner.” And one of the ways I learn is by being a teacher.

I am very passionate about the learning process, and the creative process, and want to help others feel positive and hopeful that they can learn what they need to learn to be the kind of novelists they dream to be.

One of my very favorite ways to learn anything new is the Tiniest Steps Method. (I just made up that name, but this method is taught by many people.)

How to Use the Tiniest Next Steps Method

Break the task, or skill you want to learn, or even body of knowledge, down to its tiniest component, so you can understand it, then practice it.

For example, say you want to learn how to bring more sensory details into your fiction.

What is the smallest nugget it you need to know or understand to put the new awareness into practice?

Perhaps you need to collect words that help you increase your vocabulary and awareness of the senses. Perhaps you need to watch the world around you and drink in more sensory details.

For me it’s seeing where in my story I can add details.

Setting is a great place to start. I ask myself: What sensory details specifically?

The answer: Specific words, concrete nouns and verbs, words that evoke images, feelings, sensory responses in the body, including taste and smell… these are the kinds of words that bring readers into your story.

Instead of “the corridor” my character rushes through, I can write: “the corridor dotted with green-grey air plants along the wall.”

Instead of “the security chief’s office,” I can write: “the security chief’s tiny box office.”

Instead of “the lobby,” I can write: “the lobby perfumed by a gentle warm sea breeze.”

Instead of “the alarm blared,” I can write: “the alarm blared like screaming cats.”

Once I’ve added my sensory details, then I’ll re-read again to make sure that my details don’t bog down the pace of my story — a fast-paced mystery.

That would be my next Tiniest Next Step.

What is your next Tiniest Step in editing your manuscript?

When you focus on only the next Tiniest Step and how you can take action there, then you can move forward bit by bit on your book every time you sit down to work.

Other steps you can take mentioned in this email:

1. Edit Your Novel Survey: http://bethb.net/eynsurvey
2. Webinar coming soon: sign up here to be notified.
3. Strengths finder assessment: https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/253868/popular-cliftonstrengths-assessment-products.aspx

Have a happy and creative week!


BETH BARANY, CREATIVITY COACH FOR WRITERSA Master NLP Practitioner and certified creativity coach for writers, Beth runs Barany School of Fiction, a full suite of courses designed to help genre fiction writers experience clarity and get writing, so they can revise and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers.

Based in Oakland, California, Beth Barany has presented at Ithra Center (King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, at the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, at Romance Writers of America National Conference, at Emerald City Conference in Seattle, Washington, at the San Francisco Writers Conference, and at San Francisco Bay Area chapters of SCBWI, CWC, and RWA.

Award-winning novelist, Beth Barany writes magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

She is the award-winning author of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, the acclaimed paranormal romance author of the Touchstone series, and is proud to release her newest novels, science fiction mysteries about Janey McCallister space station investigator.

The first book in the series, Into The Black, is a Page Turner Awards Finalist, and as a result, won an audiobook publishing contract.

She has also written books for writers, including Plan Your Novel Like A Pro, co-written with her husband, thriller writer Ezra Barany.


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