How Writing A Series is Like Baking A Cake – Tips For Writing A Series

I’d like to invite my friend and fellow writer & author Katie Cross to the blog again. Her newest book is out today! Yay! Be sure to show some love by commenting! Without further ado… learn about writing a series from someone who has done it. 🙂

When it comes to dessert, I know my way around a bakery.

But writing in an organized manner . . . well . . . let’s just say I’m one teaspoon short of a full set. When I started writing The Network Series, I had the equivalent of an egg and a teaspoon. I learned the hard way that one egg does not make a cake. As a bonafide pantser, however, I didn’t really care. I knew that as I went along, I’d figure it out. And I did.

But let’s just say that my little cake took awhile to bake.

And now I’m wishing I’d read the directions.


7 Tips for Writing a Series by @kcrosswriting

Continue reading “How Writing A Series is Like Baking A Cake – Tips For Writing A Series”

An Editing Chat with the Lovely Holly Brown


I’d like to invite Holly Brown back to the blog. I hope you’ve really enjoyed these convos with writers on editing over the past few weeks. This is going to be the last one of this “Editing Series” as I have some new exciting things coming this way. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out the other chats with authors about their editing style at the bottom of this post. Enjoy & have a great Writerly Wednesday!

1. What is your editing style like?

I don’t know how orthodox it is, but I tend to edit in layers. I like to re-read the last chapter (sometimes two) before I write another one, and this is when I do my first edits. I usually spot glaring grammar mistakes, typos, and general inconsistencies in this first edit. It also helps me to be in a better frame of mind before embarking on a new chapter.

Ideally, by the time the book is finished, it’s already been through that one edit, and however superficial, it really does make a difference. Once the book is completed, and has been through it’s first edit, I read the entire book as though I’m reading it for the first time. I usually find more grammar errors, plot holes, and the like in this second edit.

Following this, I print the book do line edits as a hard copy. This is typically the most beneficial for me, personally, as there’s just something about reading a physical book that brings out my red pen and inner-editor. This last self-edit is generally spent focusing on the general appearance and nuance of the novel. Once everything is polished as best as I can get it, I send it off to beta readers so they can find what I’ve missed. Ideally, process will be completed twice. Continue reading “An Editing Chat with the Lovely Holly Brown”

Editing with Susan Dennard

Susan4-1Today, for Writing Wednesday, I would like to introduce you to Susan Dennard and today we will be chatting about editing.

1. What is your editing style like?

My revising style is very organized and very structured.

2. While on a deadline, how do you stay on top of your edits?

I stay on top of my revisions by working every day from 5AM to 7PM until the revisions are done. 🙂

3. About how many chapters do you aim to finish in a day?

I can’t say that I finish a set amount each day. Rather, I finish as many pages as I finish. Sometimes I’ll revise 50 pages in a day and other days, I’ll only manage to revise 5 pages. It all depends on how much work the pages demand.

4. How long (week wise) do you edit for?

I revise until I’m finished and I feel the book is in the best possible condition. Usually this takes anywhere from several weeks to several months. 🙂

Connect with Susan Dennard here:


If you liked this editing post, check out the editing posts with other authors:

•Steven James

•Devin Berglund

•Katie Cross

Editing with Ksenia Anske

Today, I want to introduce Author, Ksenia Anske to the blog. Today on Writer’s Wednesday, we are chatting editing.

Ksenia Anske1. What is your editing style like?

I just edit. Meaning, I rewrite each sentence until it sounds good to me, and move on. Some sentences I cut out completely. The whole of it is mostly shrinking the manuscript, as I have the tendency to over-write. I write a lot in my 1st draft, because I know that in consecutive drafts I will cut most of the fluff out. And one other thing, I start from the beginning and finish at the end. I don’t jump around the manuscript, but go over it in order, until done, doing a complete rewrite. Oh, I guess there is one more thing. Before starting the edit, I read the previous draft in 1 or 2 days, with as few interruptions as possible, and write down things I need to fix on Post-It notes. Then I stick them up on a white board over my writing desk, so when I edit, I can make the changes and peel off the notes that have been completed.

2. While on a deadline, how do you stay on top of your edits?

I turn off the glorious internets! Seriously, I hole up and work without interruptions for 7 to 9 hours, for as long as I can go. Continue reading “Editing with Ksenia Anske”

Editing with Jessica Bell

black and white_Jessica Bell (1)

1. What is your editing style like?

Very structured and organized. I like to edit in stages, going through my manuscript multiple times looking for specific things.

2. While on a deadline, how do you stay on top of your edits?

I get it done way before the deadline. If I have something to finish, I finish it early. Otherwise I get stressed.

3. About how many chapters do you aim to finish in a day?

I don’t work chapter by chapter. I have a list of things that I aim to evaluate and correct. I go through my manuscript looking at one specific thing at a time. For example, I’ll go through my manuscript making sure my different POVs are consistent in voice, or I’ll go looking for specific overused words, etc. Once I’ve been through my list of “must-dos,” then I’ll give it a line edit. When I have the stamina, I’ll read sections aloud to myself. If not, I run it through a text-to-speech software. Continue reading “Editing with Jessica Bell”

Help Me Out?

I have some exciting plans for the future of my blog and also for a venture project. But in order to do all of those things I need your help!

IMG_1365Just thought I’d jump out of my revision for a few minutes to post on my blog.

…And it will be easy. All you need to do to help, is to fill out a questionnaire. It will let me see what kind of things you want to see in the future on my blog.

It’s really easy and will only take a few moments. They are fun questions that you’ll enjoy answering. I promise!

I’d really love to get to know you all better.

Could you all, please take a few minutes to take this questionnaire, so that I will be able to better serve you on my blog?

It’ll only take a few moments and will greatly help me out! Thank you muchly!

Take it Here!

Editing with Katie Cross

Photo-on-2011-02-22-at-15.31We have Katie Cross here answering some editing questions. Hope you enjoy a session of editing with Katie Cross. 

  1. What is your editing style like?

    I don’t really have a style. I take feedback from beta readers, outline/figure out a new plan, and edit through the story with that current outline/plan in mind. Then I take a break before the next edits.

  2. While on a deadline, how do you stay on top of your edits?

    I stay on top of edits with a deadline . . . pretty much never. I’m constantly pushing back deadlines.

  3. About how many chapters do you aim to finish a day?

    I don’t aim for chapters. I just start and move forward as I’m able. I’m not all that organized about it.

  4. How long do you edit for?

    I can typically work for about 3-4 hours before my brain blitzes. I’ll take a break several hours long and return for another hour or two. Sometimes more or less.


 If you enjoyed this, you’d also like these:

•Jessica Bell

Editing with Steven James

Steven James, Editing, Writing, Devin Berglund1. What is your editing style like?

Old school. I print out the book I’m working on and then make changes by hand, type those in, then go at it again. I find that when I edit on the computer screen, I just don’t catch as much and my prose becomes bloviated. I do some free writing on my keyboard, but all of my editing has to be done by hand or my story suffers.

2. While on a deadline, how do you stay on top of your edits?

Well, over the last decade I can’t think of a time when I haven’t been under a deadline, so I suppose this is an easy question to answer—I work as hard as I can and try not to sweat it. I have a sign in my office that says, “Focus on progress not deadlines.” And I suppose that’s my philosophy—keep plugging forward and don’t let stress interfere with the story.

3. About how many chapters do you aim to finish in a day?

I typically don’t go by word count or chapter length, rather, I time myself and shoot for a certain number of hours. (The goal each day varies on my other obligations and where I’m at in the project, but it’s usually 5-8 hours.) I actually have a stopwatch and when I get up to get a cup of coffee I stop the clock and only let it run when I’m actually working on my manuscript. In addition to this writing and editing, I work in my other obligations (like answering blog questions, email, interviews, etc…). I write most days

4. How long (week wise) do you edit for?

This isn’t meant to be a smart-ass answer, but until the book is done. When I can’t improve a book anymore, then it’s done, then I’m through editing. If I can improve it then I make the necessary changes. Most of my books take me between six and eighteen months writing full-time, depending on how long they are.

Check out Steven James books on his website, follow him on FB, and read his blog.

If you enjoyed this, you’ll enjoy these:


Summer 2014 Call For Submissions – Writers

IMG_1659Be awesome & join the club!

In the next few months, I will be quite busy. I will finish my rewrite and edit before sending it out to Beta Readers. I really look forward to this!! I will hopefully be writing a new book (A stand alone). Hope to finish it in 1-2 months.

Besides my writing journey, I will be working full time as an arial photographer. I will be flying a plane. WAIT… before you start picturing me up there in the air with little goggles – let me stop you there. I will be flying a RC airplane with cameras connected to it (from the ground). I will be flying it over farmer’s fields all over North Dakota and Minnesota. So, I will be driving around in my car a lot! (Now, if only it would stop raining – so I could get out there again… it can’t be flown in the rain. It could ruin it.) Since, my time will be limited, I have a line up of good authors and writers who want to share on my blog. I want to open this up to you also.

  • Are you a writer?
  • Do you have a topic that may be of interest to my readers? •Writing related topics (Pre-Writing, Writing, Editing, Plotting, Revising, and writing while traveling.)
  • Contributing to websites and blogs is a wonderful way to gain exposure for your writing. It is a great way to grow your following as well. Think of it as free advertising! By being a guest writer you will be:
    • Helping other writers achieve their goals and dreams.
    • Making connections.
    • & Gaining valuable writing experience.

Is this something you would be interested in? If so, I am opening a call for submissions.

In order to submit, follow these guidelines:

  1. First off, this is a call for posts on fiction and anything related to fiction writers.
  2. Check out my content, blog format and Style Guide here.
  3. Send me a short paragraph pitch on what you would like to write about or even a short list of a few options. Include a short bio describing who you are. Be sure to also include your website, Twitter and/or any other links you want to share with the readers. This will appear at the end of your article. Please, no affiliate links.
  4. Press send and I will get back to you.

Are you interested? Please, send me your pitch below! Can’t wait to hear from you.

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Katie Cross – Miss Mabel’s School For Girls

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 12.24.15 PMNote from Devin’s Desk: Please welcome my friend, Katie Cross to the blog! Her new book is coming out tomorrow!! How exciting!??? Let’s give her a warm and big welcome!!

For me, writing a book involved a lot of staring at a computer screen, erasing text, pulling my hair out, and Pinterest.

Oh, yes. You heard right. Pinterest.

The power of Pinterest comes from the images. I always find photos that I want to remember and have access to, so I pin them to a board for later reference. So, I thought to myself, Hey, I’m releasing my first book, Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. Why don’t I give the readers something to look at in anticipation of the book?

So instead of a boring interview where I talk about how great I am, I’m here today to take you on a visual tour to give you a few ideas of what you can expect to find in this exciting new YA fantasy novel, Miss Mabel’s School for Girls.

Continue reading “Katie Cross – Miss Mabel’s School For Girls”