Guest Post

If you have a book to promote, Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts on Wednesdays. I can furnish a questionnaire or you can create your own post. FYI, up front: The site is a definite PG-13. Contact for details. cj

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Trouble rewriting? Guest author Kristina Stanley has an app for that

cj Sez:  Today’s guest post is by author Kristina Stanley who asks “Do you need help rewriting your first draft?” She’s got some tips and a new app to help. Take it away, Kristina:   

Whether you’re a plotter or a panster, you’ve completed a first draft. Congratulations!
Now what? If you’re anything like me, you’re asking yourself:
                * Where do I start my manuscript rewrite? 
               * How do I keep track of all the writing tips I’ve read and apply them to my story?
       What should I change to make my story better?
       Am I ready to share my manuscript with others?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an app that would help you through the rewriting process?

But First: What is Rewriting?
A comprehensive rewrite is the first step in the self-editing process. I’m not talking about copyediting or proofreading. You can do that after you’ve completed your rewrite.

Rewriting your first draft means analyzing your story from a high-level perspective and fixing any weak areas. You want to make sure that the story structure makes sense, the scenes are tense, there are no plot holes, and you haven’t left any subplots unfinished.

During the rewrite, you also take a hard look at your characters. How often do they appear? What are their goals? What gets in the way of their goals?  Characters will drive the tension in your story, and tension is what keeps a reader reading.

Finally, the rewrite should examine your settings. Do you make the most of your settings? How often do you use the same setting, and is it too often? Do your settings help with the tone of your scenes? Settings are key to keeping your reader engaged, so don't ignore them.

How can we help you?
We’re building Feedback, an app for writers that provides a guided approach to tackling comprehensive rewrites.

With Feedback, you can focus on plot, character, and setting. You can evaluate on a scene-by-scene basis or on overall novel structure. Feedback will show you the most important structural elements to work on first.

Feedback will guide you through the rewriting process by asking you questions specific to your manuscript, enabling you to evaluate your own story.

Once you import your manuscript, Feedback automatically captures information such as word count, number of scenes per chapter, character names, and chapter and scene breaks, using this information to create the first set of reports. Any updates to your manuscript will still need to be completed in the writing app you used to create your first draft.

Feedback helps you visualize your manuscript. Forget about yellow stickies or white boards. Feedback will draw character arcs, provide reports on scene evaluation, and show your rewriting progress.

Feedback is a learning tool. If you’re having trouble with a certain element of fiction, just click on the rewrite tip associated with that element and find out how to improve your writing. There’s no need to search through dozens of writing books to find the piece of advice you need.

On the technical side, Feedback will be a secure, web-based app. This means you will be able to access Feedback from any device you use.

Find out more:
Our goal is to launch Feedback in the spring of 2017. In order to create an app that is valuable to writers, we’d like your input on building Feedback. Sign upand we’ll send you updates on the development progress and ask you the occasional question to help define the product. As a bonus, we’ll send you rewriting tips available only to our subscribers.

Are you as excited about Feedback as we are? Show your support by helping us spread the word and share this post. You can find us at  

Your support means a lot to us, so thank you!

Kristina Stanley is the best-selling author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Her first two novels garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated DESCENT (Imajin Books, July 2015) for the Unhanged Arthur award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated BLAZE (Imajin Books, Oct 2015) for the Debut Dagger. Imajin Books published her third novel in the series, AVALANCHE, in June 2016.

Her short stories have been published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and The Voices From the Valleys anthology. She is the author of THE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO SELLING BOOKS TO NON-BOOKSTORES.

As the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Feedback Innovations, a company started to help writers rewrite better fiction, she made up her own job title because she thought it sounded cool!

Find out more about her and Feedback at

cj Sez: Thanks so much for stopping by, Kristina, and best wishes for great response to your new app. Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

PS:  Don’t forget about that great gift idea…the Amazon sale on More Than Friends …99 cents for 6 romance novels! Click on this URL to order:
Amazon Central Author Page:
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A bit of show don't tell

cj Sez: Time for a couple of show-don’t-tell examples, and these are wonderfully wrought by a master. Take note of the beautiful switch from passive voice to action that carries the reader along with the story.

Tell: The house had a huge and beautiful front yard.

Show:  “The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens—finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as through from the momentum of its run.”

(Can’t you just see that yard?)

Tell: The windows were open when I entered the room, the curtains flapping in a strong breeze that rattled the ornate picture frame on the wall.

Show:  “I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall.”  

(You know from the whip and snap of the curtains that there is a sharp breeze coming through open windows.)

                        (Quotations from THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald.)

Do these two simple examples give you any ideas for your story? If you changed something, let me know how you did it, won’t you?

Now a word from our sponsor:  
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Sweet Texas Kiss: Gavin Cooper can't wrap his mind around why country music superstar Macy Young would end up inheriting his family home. Seeing his childhood memories handed over to the first woman to break his heart strings. Luckily, Macy can't sell the house for one year - plenty of time for him to find a way to get it back. Can a country star and a country veterinarian find a way to bury their animosity and rediscover their first love in the process?

The Amazon site says the sensuality level for the bundle is sensual. Fair warning on the advertising, my Choosing Carter is not.  

The More Than Friends bundle = six novels = hours of reading for 99 cents!  (And today, the Kindle version is 73 cents! Now there’s a great stocking stuffer for some lucky reader. Be sure to click the URL that follows to find this package, because there’s more than one bundle with that same name.  

Stop back by Wednesday when Lyrical Pens hosts author Kristina Stanley who writes about a new app to help with rewrites.

Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. And if you’re closing in on the end of NaNoWriMo, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo

Amazon Central Author Page: