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Step 7 of the Red Pen Editing cycle is to check structure and balance. The standard structure for a story is beginning / middle / end. Where one ends and the next starts is important. Within each, you'll have paragraphs and, within those, sentences. Paragraphs need to be not too short and not too long. Sentences: ditto. And you need transitions to take the reader from one to the next ...

As we progress through the steps of the Red Pen Editing cycle, we are gathering more and more editing tasks that will need addressing once we reach step 8: 'Time to use the red pen!' We have a way to go yet - and steps 5 and 6 may result is our having to do some major redrafting. So, what are we worrying about at this stage of the Red Pen Editing cycle? A...

In step 4 of my Red Pen Editing cycle, we 'Study the Content'. The red pen does not make an appearance until step 8; we are still at the thinking / reading / listening / planning stage. Ideally, you ask a friend to read the piece aloud and you listen, pretending to be your target audience, but with your mental checklist in mind: Does it start well? Do I like the title? Does the...

Editing is a systematic process: finding flaws and fixing them. In step 1-3 of my Red Pen Editing cycle, I draw attention to the need to create distance from your writing, and to be in the right frame of mind, before you even think about picking up your red pen to start editing. I also suggest, at step 8 'Time to use the red pen!', that you challenge yourself with the hardest editing...

ProWritingAid This was recommended by one of my RedPenners and it's been on my Recommendations page for some time. Within the Red Pen Editing cycle, step 9 is DRILL DOWN where, having addressed all other issues of structure, voice, tense, etc., we focus on paragraphs, sentences, words, and punctuation. It's the final sweep before sending our precious manuscript to our beta readers for feedback. Step 9 relies on our understanding of spelling, grammar, and...

Bigger the better? During the Simply Scrivener Special webinars, I share my screen so that I can demonstrate various features of Scrivener. One issue that arose early on was visibility.  Consider this view of my Safari Supper novel.  Shared across the Internet, with my attendees watching on screens of various sizes, immediately the cry went up: 'I can't read the words.' Changing the size of the text within the Scrivenings pane is easy enough. Notice...

Another question, from a recent session of the Simply Scrivener Special webinar series: How do you pull material into the Research folder? Easy! The blog post of 9 October 2015 introduced the concept of collecting Research resources within the Research folder. However, let's look at this feature of Scrivener in some more detail ...

As a writer, I think it's essential to meet with other writers. We are a weird crowd. We need to stick together! For many years, I belonged to a number of online writers' groups. The BBC GetWriting was the first and, when that folded, many of us moved to WritersDock and/or MoreWriting. And then there was Chapter79 which, sadly, closed its doors (portal?) recently. When I first moved to Salcombe, I set up...

This question came up during the April session of the Simply Scrivener Special webinar series. Which project template should I use? The developers of Scrivener anticipated many different types of material an author might want to write. For each, there is a separate template: Blank, Fiction, Non-fiction, Scriptwriting, Poetry & Lyrics, and Miscellaneous. If you choose Fiction, there are then three more options: Novel, Novel (with Parts), and Short Story. For a novel, the Manuscript part...