Descriptive Verbs Bookmark

Today is Groundhog Day, the day in the United States when a little groundhog named Phil becomes a media star. Phil emerges to check for his shadow, and millions of Americans find out if they have to suffer six more weeks of winter OR if they will enjoy an early spring. Phil might be the solitary prognosticating groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania today, but as a writer, you are not alone.

Descriptive Verbs Bookmark
courtesy of

In Phil’s honor, I am unveiling a new bookmark today. It’s filled with descriptive verbs you can use for creating great dialogue, moving descriptions of Phil’s antics, or great sentences in any style or genre you write. Print this out on card stock for a handy reference that’s always at the ready—and another big thank you to artist Ginny Millard at for creating it. Please visit Ginny’s website and let her know how much you appreciate having all these fantastic word choices at your fingertips.

And don’t forget to “bookmark” Change It Up Editing and Writing Services for all your editing and writing needs in 2013. Let me help you say it the way you mean it!

Remember: you are not alone!

Happy Writing!


Are You Missing Great Content?

Twice a day I check Twitter and WordPress for information I think my followers will appreciate, and when I find valuable content, I post links to articles and blogs on my Facebook page. The information on that page is quite different from my blog posts, and if you’re not there, you’re missing some great stuff!

Image courtesy of tungphoto at
Image courtesy of tungphoto at

If you’re reading this and you haven’t already “liked” my Facebook page, please do so now–I know you’ll find valuable content there, and I try not to duplicate what you’ll find on my blog. Thanks for the follow! And please tell your friends! 🙂 Click here to join today–you’ll be glad you did!  —Candace

The Happiness of Working with an Editor

You write for many reasons, but whether writing is your passion, your vocation, or something you are just beginning to do, I’m willing to bet that you write because it makes you happy.

I love my editor!
I love my editor!

Think about the way you feel when you know you’ve nailed a page of dialogue . . . or your article is accepted for publication in a national magazine . . . or you’re offered representation from a literary agent.


These are the moments a writer lives for, aren’t they? Continue reading “The Happiness of Working with an Editor”

The Procrastination Station

I recently had to write some copy for the back cover of a client’s book, and I avoided this writing for days. Sound familiar?

As writers we often find ourselves at the mercy of the ideas that one day flow faster than we can type, yet the next day apparently have a strong desire to hide like dust bunnies under the bed—they scatter as soon as we get close to them.

Image courtesy of digitalart at
Image courtesy of digitalart at

When the latter happens, we find a million and one things to do other than write (I see you nodding!). I’ve noticed many bloggers writing recently about NOT writing—and I totally get it. Whether you dabble at writing as a hobby or you make your living this way, you’ll always have days when you reach The Procrastination Station* and just can’t get going.

(*Thanks to my good friend, Angela Rose, founder of PAVE: Promoting Awareness/Victim Empowerment for the use of this phrase. Learn more about Angela and PAVE here.)

“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” ~Olin Miller Continue reading “The Procrastination Station”

FREE Book with 5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Published Author (This Weekend Only)!

From Friday, January 11 through Sunday, January 13, you have a chance to download a free Kindle version of What’s Your Book?, an aspiring author’s guide to completing the dream to become a published author. This comprehensive guide gives you the best info from innovative publishing professional Brooke Warner, who is one of my personal heroes in the publishing world; learn more about her here.jpeg_WYB_cover_image_320

In five chapters, What’s Your Book? will help you discover how to:

  • embrace the art of becoming an author;
  • get over common hurdles that prevent you from finishing your book;
  • challenge counterproductive mindsets;
  • build an author platform; and
  • get published.

These are just a few of the many tips you’ll find in What’s Your Book? Most important, you’ll learn about the three paths to publishing so that once you complete your work, you commit to yourself that you’ll bring it to your readers. Continue reading “FREE Book with 5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Published Author (This Weekend Only)!”

What Can a Traditionally Published Author Learn About Promotion from Self-Published Authors?

I have an editing client whose book will be traditionally published. Her publisher took care of promotion with her earlier books, but she’s discovering that having a traditional publishing contract in today’s world means she needs to learn about book promotion—FAST!

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici

This got me to thinking about how similar her dilemma is to those faced by self-publishing authors: ultimately, she will be responsible for the lion’s share of promoting her newest book. True, she has some support from her publisher, but nothing like “the good ol’ days” of having a team assigned to help her. Her (small) publisher has limited staff, limited resources, and limited ideas. As the publication date draws near, she’s beginning to realize that the world of traditional publishing has changed. Continue reading “What Can a Traditionally Published Author Learn About Promotion from Self-Published Authors?”

3 Ideas for Better Writing

From Candace: Here is some great advice about writing from fellow blogger Oliver at Literature and Libation. I hope you’ll check out some of his other posts–you’ll be glad you did!

I Love Bloggers!

I’ve had SO much fun since I began blogging a few months ago! The best parts are receiving comments on my posts and connecting with fellow bloggers, many of whom I would never have met any other way. One of my favorites is Cynthia at Wicked Green Smoothies, because she shares the most amazingly healthy green smoothies several times a month, and no kidding, they make me drool! Cynthia is also an author of paranormal romance (hope I’ll have the privilege of working with her one day!) and you can find out more about that on her other website,

So imagine my surprise today when I received a notice that she’d nominated me for the Reality and Shine On blog awards! Continue reading “I Love Bloggers!”

Synonyms for Said

Here’s a way to celebrate the end of 2012 that can also help your writing: a list of synonyms for “said” on a bookmark that was created for the National Day on Writing 2012.

Print this on card stock, and you’ll be the proud owner of a useful reading and writing tool, courtesy of artist Ginny Millard at Please visit Ginny’s website, and be sure to let her know how much you appreciate having all these fantastic word choices at your fingertips.  Now you’ll have extra time to write . . . or to celebrate a little more!

And don’t forget to “bookmark” Change It Up Editing and Writing Services for all your editing and writing needs in 2013. Let me help you say it the way you mean it!


Courtesy of
Courtesy of
courtesy of
courtesy of


When Your Character Is “Reaping Havoc,” You NEED an Editor!

I have a client who self-published her book last fall. Three months later, she pulled it from sale. Why in the world would someone do that? Well, frankly, because she made a huge mistake: she published without editing.copyedit photo

This writer spent four years crafting her memoir. She’s an educated, articulate woman. Here’s what happened when she thought she was ready to publish:

A year ago, I subscribed to an editorial service and found myself having to work twice as hard un-doing what they had done—mostly because the foreign words were consistently converted by spell-check. I decided to abandon the project, and then spent hundreds of hours editing and re-editing this manuscript before publishing it.  While I received copious compliments about my writing, I was reminded that no one should ever publish a book without an editor. There were some punctuation errors and spelling mistakes; e.g., “weak” when I meant “week,” etc. That was when I decided to have someone proofread the manuscript.”

That’s when she found a professional freelance editor—me. Over the course of several e-mails, several phone calls, and several days, we discussed what she thought she needed, what I thought she needed, and how we each imagined the process might proceed. I offered to do a sample edit of several pages to show her what I believed would improve her book.

Here are just a few of the things I found in those sample pages: one of her characters was “reaping havoc,” her lover “raptured me in ecstasy,” and something important happened “eventually, in less than a few days.” Virtually every voice tag was “said,” she used semicolons like commas, and there are very few paragraphs that don’t include multiple (and incorrect) ellipses.

If she had hired a professional copyeditor, or even a professional proofreader before she published, this author would have saved herself a great deal of time, anxiety, and money.

A few days ago, I read a very informative Huffington Post guest blog by Mark Coker, the founder of e-book distributor Smashwords. Titled “21 Book Publishing Predictions for 2013: Indy Ebook Authors Take Charge,” it is a thoughtful examination of how Coker views the near future of the publishing—traditional, independent, self, print, and e-book. There is a lot of material covered in his blog, which you can read here in its entirety.

Prediction #14 is the one that really caught my eye:

 In the self-publishing gold rush, more money will be made in author services than in book sales.

This means writers must invest time and talent in their books, and if outside talent is required, it usually costs money. With this burgeoning demand for professional publishing services, thousands of service providers will open up virtual author services shops in 2013. The challenge for writers is to procure the highest quality services at the lowest cost. Plenty of scamsters and over-priced service providers will be standing by to help.”

So how do authors protect themselves from “service providers” who charge exorbitant fees for “editing services”? Coker’s suggestion:

Work directly with the individual providing your service. When you hire professionals (cover artist, editor, proofreader, marketing pro), hire the professional directly, so your money goes straight to them, and not to some author services firm who will farm the job out to someone then mark up the fee several-fold.”

Don’t be like my client and pay for editing that isn’t editing at all. There are many talented professional freelancers out there—do yourself a favor before you push “send” and:

  • Ask other authors for references. Word-of-mouth is often the best way to find a service provider, and finding an editor is no exception. Don’t trust just any service you find on the web. Check out websites, do a phone interview with prospective editors, and ask for both references and a sample edit. The relationship between an author and an editor is like a marriage: it can only be successful if there is good communication. You put your soul into your writing, and you deserve an editor who respects that.
  • Discuss the mechanics of the editing or proofreading process. Every editor works a little differently and, as the author, you have to be comfortable with the process, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, and speak up if something doesn’t sit right with you. If an editor is too busy for your questions, you probably won’t find the level of support you need and deserve with that person.
  • Remember that as the author, you are the boss. I find many writers fear a heavy-handed editor will change everything so they err on the side of doing nothing. Your mom or your best friends are not going to be totally honest with you, but a professional editor is. Consider every suggestion carefully, and again, don’t be afraid to ask for an explanation.

If Mark Coker is correct in his predictions, your work-in-progress will be ready for publication during a time that is publishing-friendly. Whether your goal is to get a publishing contract or to self-publish, make it your mission to find the perfect partner—a freelance editor—who is familiar with your genre, has impeccable references, and with whom you connect on a personal level. Chat on the phone, get a sample edit, correspond with his or her references, and then make a decision that will propel your writing to the next level.

Happy Writing!


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