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Her name is Meg LaTorre. Her self-published novel can be found here:
The Cyborg Tinkerer (1) (The Curious Case of the Cyborg Circus): LaTorre, Meg: 9781734601800: Amazon.com: Books
 

Michael Neff
Algonkian Producer
New York Pitch Director
Author, Development Exec, Editor

We are the makers of novels, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

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I thought this pretty solid advice! It's a bit of a rambly video and could have been done in a more condensed fashion, but her tips were a great place to start for a new writer. No complaints from me on this one. I suppose if I had to gripe, I'd say it's pretty common sense stuff.

I did like her point about making sure you're learning from good people, since bad writing advice seems to perpetuate on the internet ad infinitum.  We are obviously the good people here ;)

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Meg Latorre's "11 ways to improve your writing" are worth learning about if you're a new writer. While I find that she covers a lot of the same points that have already been addressed in other videos, there were a couple things that stood out that I think new writers should definitely take note of.

Critique groups vs. beta readers - Meg takes the time to explain the difference between these and why you would find them useful during the editing phase of your manuscript. More than once she kindly encouraged writers to be open to making changes to their story upon receiving constructive criticism. She also helps new writers understand how to discern between useful feedback that should be taken into consideration, and feedback coming from someone who is an "outlier."

I also really like her point about grammar: 

Quote

"While good grammar doesn't make a good story, bad grammar can pull you out of one."

This also goes along with her points about editing and I definitely agree with her that writers need to take the time to edit their manuscript before sending it out for anyone else to read.

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Her take on the learning curve to becoming a marketable author was realistic. The special "helium voice" effects were annoying, but her delivery overall was professional.

Check the box with her on:

- DO YOUR HOMEWORK on plot, characters, etc.
- READ BOOKS on how to write a novel (okay, but the right ones).
- OUTLINING a better idea than PANTSING.

Uncheck the box on:

- READ BLOGS AND ONLINE VIDEOS to learn how to write. 

They will inevitably be filled with quasi-productive, very poor, or contradictory advice unless chosen very selectively. How is a neophyte novel writer able to know the stars from the black holes? See our video reviews here. Who do you believe? King or Sanderson? 

- Her "helium voice" recommendation to try both outlining and pantsing when you're so new you don't know what to do? 

This isn't logical or sound advice since such a process fails to even recognize the basics of plot pointing--an unqualified must when it comes to developing and writing a genre novel. Pantsing won't produce the points. Considering points in advance and writing towards them is outlining by default.

- Unqualified use of "critique partners" and "beta readers" to provide the type of feedback that will productively evolve both the writer and the manuscript? 

This is a dream world that never happens. She doesn't advise caution and fails to provide guidance on how to find such miracle workers in the first place.

Crit partners who know less, or most likely very little more than you, will lead you astray just like an amateur writer group. The ideal "crit" partner would be a writer who is already an accomplished fiction editor, but what are the odds of that? Beta readers, however, can be utilized effectively, but only under certain conditions. At least she advises on looking for commonalities in crit feedback.

Check the box on:

- DO YOUR OWN EDITING insofar as possible (btw, try these techniques). 
- Good grammar is a must.
- Hone your skill and craft
- Read the books in your genre.
- Don't hesitate to write more books.

 

AC Admin

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Overall, this is a great, comprehensive video for new writers just starting out. Heck, it's also good for writers who just finished their first manuscript and have no clue what to do next. Something I very much appreciate about this video is the tempering of expectations, and the emphasis on curating writing advice by its source. Too often I see new writers falling down rabbit holes of terrible advice from friends, family, or writing groups who don't quite know what they're talking about. For new writers, one of the best ways to learn is to know WHO and WHERE to learn from.

I once joined a writing group where I mentioned how one of the writers had no tangible conflict in their story. The writing group leader then began to berate me about how stories don't need conflict...needless to say, I never went back. But everyone else in that group drank the "wisdom" up. 

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I think Meg’s video is one of the best I’ve seen. She does a great job outlining the basics. This is a perfect “how-to” video for new writers. I especially like her pointers on the mindset a writer needs to be successful. Her advice is both supportive and realistic. 

I too was not a fan of the helium voice. I did love the first voice change that went into the lower register. I didn’t expect that, and it made me laugh. 
 

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