Category: Blog


Half year update

I’ve been quiet on the blogging/social network side of things of recent, mostly because I’ve been so busy, but I thought I should take a step back to wave – *waves enthusiastically* – and let you all know I’m still here. This morning, I took a look at all the books I’ve been working on this year (so far). And as of the 1st July, I have assisted with eighteen books, most of which were read twice, and two of those were absolute giants in terms of word count. A handful were beta-reads, one was what I would call a developmental edit, three were copy-edits, […]

Posted 2 July, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 0 Comments

Making things official

Yesterday I took the plunge to open a business account with my bank and had a lovely chat with the woman there in the process. She had never come across a book editor before and was fascinated. Until filling out my application, I didn’t realise quite how close I was to my one-year trading anniversary. I thought I started up after finishing my degree, but after checking my accounts (which are always bang up to date) it would appear that I raised my first invoice on 4th April, 2015. I’ve come  a long way since that first manuscript, despite having edited for free two years […]

Posted 17 March, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 0 Comments

Coursera: The Craft of Plot – passed

Coursera: The Craft of Plot – passed

Coursera’s ‘The craft of Plot’ is one of five courses in the creative writing category. I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the basics and also to try and get back into the habit of doing a little writing myself. In order to earn this certificate, I had to pass four assignment (marked by fellow students). It is a non-credit course and has no academic value, but I enjoyed revisiting the subjects of structure, plot/story and show don’t tell. You can view my posts on this course (and even see a sample of my writing) here: The Craft of Plot: Week One […]


The Craft of Plot (Coursera) Week Four Assignment

The Craft of Plot (Coursera) Week Four Assignment

The final week of The Craft of Plot was all about the editing and revision process (my favourite subject strangely enough). I’m not going to detail this week’s lesson as this is a topic I’d like to tackle in a post of its own (with a view to helping authors keep their editing costs down). So, the lessons this week revolved around a twenty-one point checklist of things to look for while editing. It was a good list, very detailed in fact, but I’m of the opinion it should be broken down into bite-sized chunks, rather than trying to work through a super-long ‘to-do’ list. […]


A surprise package from Greece

A surprise package from Greece

I received a lovely surprise in the post the other day (which I’m a little late blogging about owing to the fact I’m up to my ears in editing and doing two Coursera course). Anyhow, a few weeks ago I was engaged to do a little editing on Illusional Reality, a new adult novel by Karina Kantas. (I still have absolutely no idea what ‘new adult’ is and really must look it up at some point but I loved the book anyway.) Karina sent me some lovely goodies – a mousemat, bookmark, badge, postcard, amongst other things. I thought it was a really sweet gesture […]

Posted 3 March, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 0 Comments

The Craft of Plot (Coursera) Week Three Assignment

The Craft of Plot (Coursera) Week Three Assignment

Week three has certainly kept me out of mischief, I have a terrible habit of making short stories too ‘big’ for the word count and think I’ve done it again, but ho hum. It’s done now (after two days, on and off, of working on it). So, week three was all about ‘scene,’ what it is and the building blocks that go into it, and most especially, the concept of ‘Show – don’t tell,’ as it is important for a reader to visualise the scene and not be ‘told’. The iceberg theory was discussed, with the above surface level being the personality ‘seen’ by the […]

Posted 25 February, 2016 by Michelle in Blog / 0 Comments

The Craft of Plot (Coursera) Week Two Assignment

Week two was all about story structure. It discussed Aristotle’s three-act structure (that of a beginning, middle and end) and Horace’s five-act structure, which was further explained as: A: Action B: Background D: Development C: Climax E: Ending My understanding of the five-act structure A scene *should* (and I use this term loosely as it would depend on the overall structure) start with a moment of Action. It doesn’t have to be Hollywood/All guns blazing, but something should be happening. Background information compliments action – and no, this is not an excuse to info dump –  background provides context to enhance the story. It should blend seamlessly […]


The Craft of Plot (Coursera) : Week one assignment

Week one of Coursera’s ‘The Craft of Plot’ discussed the differences between story and plot, the structure of plot (exposition through to denouement) and then turned its attention to the Rising Action that is oh so important in preventing your character from getting what he or she wants. Story/Plot was explained as: The king died and then the queen died (Story). The king died and then the queen died of grief (Plot). Source: E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel. The structure of a story included an explanation of: Exposition Inciting Incident Rising Action Climax Falling Action Denouement And then, of course, there’s the [graded] assignment: We […]


Coursera: The Craft of Plot

Coursera: The Craft of Plot

Despite being super busy with all my editing, I have decided to revisit the basics and signed up to Coursera’s ‘The Craft of Plot,’ which is a four-week course being taught by Brando Skyhorse, a creative writing professor at Wesleyan University. The course examines plot with regards to: How plot is different to story What keeps plot moving How it manipulates feelings, expectations, and desires How to show and not tell when writing scenes Examines the choices storytellers take with regards to grabbing our imaginations, dragging them into a fictional world, and keeping them there. How to outline and structure a plot Discuss the narrative […]

Posted 9 February, 2016 by Michelle in Blog, Studying / 0 Comments

CE1: Introduction to Copy-editing (SfEP course) completed

CE1: Introduction to Copy-editing (SfEP course) completed

I chose to take the Society for Editors and Proofreader’s introductory course to copy-editing (while completely bypassing the proofreading course they recommend you start with) and I’m pleased to show off my certificate for doing so. I’m not sure yet if I’ll do the next one as this one covered all kinds of text (and I have no interest in non-fiction) and I assume the next one will be the same. But, I have earned three points towards an upgrade to a higher level (I need seven), so all that remains now is to practice.    

Posted 21 December, 2015 by Michelle in Achievements, Blog / 0 Comments