Workshop Review: “Before You Hit Send”

Back in September I had the pleasure of taking the “Before You Hit Send” workshop created by Angela James, Executive Editor at Carina Press and author of the blog, “Nice Mommy Evil Editor.” Let me state up front, this workshop was worth every cent of its ridiculously low price. As a complete amateur in the world of writing fiction, I scoured the web in search of any reviews on the workshop before signing up, but found very little. This made me more than wary about relinquishing those Paypal funds. I’m so glad I took that small leap of faith, and hope you will too.

Allow me to pause for a small disclaimer, if you will. I write young adult paranormal/steampunk. Angela James and Carina Press are only interested in adult romance. So you can rest assured the opinions stated here are purely my own.  🙂

“Before You Hit Send” covers a brief review of basic grammar, punctuation, and style (commas, comma splices, adjectives, even those dreaded adverbs, and more). Her mantra was one of balance – don’t shy away from using adverbs if you really need them, but not every verb needs an adverb any more than every noun needs an adjective. Use common sense. Period. Love it!

Most lessons included exercises at the end that you were to apply to your current manuscript. One of these lessons included a list of words that might indicate over-use, heavy-writing, or weak-writing (i.e., use of the word slowly). And let’s not forget those pesky exclamation marks! It was this lesson that I loved most. It gave me focus. Within hours I was editing like a mad woman. Too often I get “attached” to my words. They sound pretty – they make the sentences flow the way I want them to – and I don’t want to delete them. But looking at them objectively, it revealed to me exactly where I needed to apply my proverbial red pen.This workshop was literally like sitting down with an editor who says, “Okay, so here’s what you need to know…”

What more could a girl ask?


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