How do you know what’s correct?

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Writers and editors often rely on a shelf (or five) full of resources to make their work as consistent and accurate as possible. I have a page of helpful writing resources, in fact, right on my website, that lists books I own and use regularly. (Note: my resources page contains affiliate links.)

There are more I haven’t listed yet, but that’s because I don’t recommend what I’ve not looked through myself. As a result, the list keeps changing and growing as I make my way through the TBR pile, which is wonderful.

In the editor groups I belong to, there’s…

And why I’m not likely to sign yours if you have one

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If you are a writer, getting into a group with like-minded writers can be a really terrific thing. The encouragement is handy, and you can learn quite a bit from each other.

The pitfall of being in a group of only writers is that it can become an echo chamber, where people repeat what they’ve heard without basis in fact. This often results in a lot of people agreeing with each other about some really bad advice and promoting it as good advice.

The nondisclosure agreement

There’s a lot of bad advice to choose from, but the one I am focusing on today…

The 2020 adjustment to tradition

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For a long as I can remember, Christmas Eve has always been “the” night to celebrate with family. Oh, sure, Christmas Day was always pretty terrific, especially when I was a child, but Christmas Eve was magical.

When I was young, we spent Christmas Eve at my maternal grandma’s house with my aunts. Cousins were added to the mix when my favorite aunt got married, and that just made things better.

We created so many terrific memories during those decades of laughter, gifts, and hilarious mishaps. When I married, I was thrilled to learn that my new in-laws also celebrated…


It’s restful, but it’s not passive

Silhouette of man or father tossing little girl in the air for fun with a sunset backdrop
Silhouette of man or father tossing little girl in the air for fun with a sunset backdrop
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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5–6, ESV).

It’s easy to tell others to trust in God when they’re struggling with something. It’s much harder to trust when the struggle is our own. We all too often become consumed with our circumstances, not seeing the forest for the trees, as the old saying goes.

Trust may be a restful place, but it’s certainly not a passive thing. Trust is about as active as it gets. It…

Painless pointers for a frequently dreaded task

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You’ve written your book and you’re on a writer’s high. Congratulations! You’ve put together an entire book draft, which is more than many people will accomplish in their writing lives.

It’s smooth sailing from this point, right? Hire an editor, get that baby formatted, hire a cover artist, and boom, you’re good to go.

So why are you hearing the soundtrack of the scariest part of a horror movie running through your head?

Oh . . . it’s time to write that back cover blurb.

No pressure. It’s only the make-or-break cluster of words that will make people want to…

Communication is the key to success

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The best working/professional relationships are the ones with good communication. It’s no different when an author is preparing to work with an editor. If you want your book to be the best it can be, your communication needs to be thorough so the editor can do their best. The more information an editor has prior to even considering or starting the work, the better the end product will be.

So what are the main things we need to know from you before an agreement is reached and a contract is signed?

Word count

Knowing the word count of your book is important…

A helpful list of the good and bad

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Congratulations! You’ve written a book! Or maybe you’re still in the process of writing it, but you’ve already begun the search for an editor.

The first thing you’ll want to do before you even start looking for someone is to figure out what type of editing you need.

Now that you’ve narrowed down what you need, it’s time to find out who is best suited for the job. More specifically, who is best suited for YOUR job. …

Finding the right editor for the job

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All too often, I find that when I tell someone I’m an editor, they assume my job is to check for typos. Or I get the response, “Oh, that’s something I’ve always thought would be fun to do! I find mistakes in almost every magazine or book I read. I’m great at spotting that kind of thing.”

Well, that’s great. But that’s not all there is to it. …

The good news is they’re ALL fixable

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Many readers can recognize good writing from bad, or even great writing from good. I dare say even the average person is able to notice the improvement in J.K. Rowling’s writing quality over the ten-year period from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to the final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

For agents and publishers who see hundreds upon hundreds of manuscript submissions, it becomes so easy to spot the most common mistakes that unless your book is exceptional, it’s enough to make them stop reading before they’ve really gotten started.

As I put together a list of writing…

It’s never too late to start

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Even though I steadily post on my writing & editing blog every two weeks, current events in the US have left me heart-heavy, soul-weary, and unfocused — enough so that I was just too burned out to write. For the first time ever, I skipped my scheduled post last week, and I’m willing to bet that most of my readers were also too burned out to notice.

I just didn’t have it in me to put together a post that required enough research to be helpful, and I got to the point where I didn’t even want to be online…

Lynda Dietz

Copyeditor. Grammar thug in the nicest, kindest way. I’m not scary, even for an editor. Find me at

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