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Friday, October 12, 2012

Tweetalicious Advice from an Editor (and a contest for MG/YA/Adult manuscripts!)

Adrien-Luc Sanders  has won my awesome-dude-of-the-week award for his service to writers everywhere.

Tweeting advice and commentary from the handle @smoulderingsea, his hashtag #editortips is a well-known goldmine of information. Yes, keep in mind that not all editors think exactly alike, but also keep in mind that free advice from a Senior Editor at Entangled Publishing should always be welcomed (unlike a free/discount root canal...which goes under the category of "bargains to avoid"). See Entangled's editing team profiles HERE to find out more about him and his interests.

Here are a few tweets from this Tuesday's #editortips:

Adrien-Luc Sanders@smoulderingsea
If you start thinking "Well I need to explain all this before the story really starts..." Stop. Look at what you wrote. Delete. #editortips

Your main character doesn't have to be a good person. They have to be someone interesting readers can empathize with. #editortips

Even if your MC is good, they won't always do good things. In a moment of weakness, under duress, etc.--they'll do bad things. #editortips

The message to take away from all this is character complexity. No one is ever defined by one trait. No one remains constant. #editortips

Key characterization factor: plausible motivation. Readers don't get why the MC does what they do? Readers won't stick around. #editortips

While characters need to express their opinions to build voice, interjecting a snarky comment on *everything* derails the story. #editortips

Anyone can do snarky. The important thing is revealing who your character really is under the snark and cleverness. #editortips

While tropes can provide a skeleton for your story, don't fall back on them for everything. Twist them into something unique. #editortips

90% of the time, italicized first person thoughts can be rolled into third person to strengthen the overall voice and flow. #editortips

If you do use italicized first person thoughts, make sure not to over-use them. When it's every other paragraph, it's annoying. #editortips

There should never be a part of your book you label "boring, but necessary." If it's necessary, make it interesting. #editortips

Many don't seem to understand: you can make anything interesting. Bookshelves. Golf. Slime mold. That's what writers do. #editortips
**To find more advice from Adrien-Luc Sanders and others on Twitter, simply go to twitter.com and enter "#editortips" in the search box


Have a Middle Grade, Young Adult, or Adult manuscript ready to submit? Head over to Dee's blog and read the guidelines for the Hook, Line, & Sinker contest. Round 1 opens Saturday, October 13 at 11:00 am EDT.

Read about the agent line-up and wish lists HERE.


  1. Those are some AWESOME writerly-tips. Thanks for sharing those.

  2. He also posts them on his blog, if you miss a week! They're just fabulous.

  3. I don't have Twitter, so it's nice to know he posts on his blog. I love finding interesting, juicy tidbits like this:)

    1. I didn't know about the blog, so I'm glad Kelsey mentioned it!

  4. Thanks for the great tips and the heads-up on the contest. You're always my go-to person for all the news in the writing community. Thanks for all you do! :-D

  5. I love Adrien's tweets! So helpful, and they cut right past all the BS.

  6. Great advice. I'll definitely look him up on twitter!

    And thanks for the contest information.

    1. Are you on Twitter? I'll have to check your blog to see if there's a link...

  7. Love the tips, great reminders. Thanks again, Jess :-)

  8. All really great advice. Love the snarky tweets. LOL. Thanks for sharing, Jess! <3

  9. Those are great tips! Thanks for the heads up. I'm off to find him on Twitter!

    1. Good! Hope you glean more info from #editortips in the future :)

  10. Lots of great advice in these tweets!

  11. Great advice - thank you! Scarlet O'Hara. Love her, hate her, one of the most memorable characters of all time. Complex, mean, strong, sometimes so hard to like but we keep reading b/c she's so fascinating. I always think of Scarlet when it comes to character!

  12. I love him! Seriously, two of his tweets caused me to do serious edits to my last manuscript. And when I entered his contest, his suggestions helps me edit the beginning of my story.

    He's amazing.


  13. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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