Welcome to First Manuscript!

This website is a resource for creative writers with tips and advice for improving your writing skills and mastering the art of storytelling.

Whether you’re working on your first manuscript or your tenth, hopefully you’ll find new ideas or fresh insights to help you take your work to new levels.

Dax MacGregor

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Beta Reader Instructions

After you type those magic words (THE END) into your manuscript, you will want to have a few beta readers review it. Here are the instructions I give my beta readers.

Review of Ryan Quinn’s End of Secrets

An interesting yarn with engaging characters that takes readers deep into the word of cyber-espionage with author Ryan Quinn explores the issues of media manipulation, loss of privacy, and warrantless spying on U.S. citizens by the NSA and CIA.

How To Format Dialogue

New writers often struggle to properly format dialogue. The rules are strict and different than prose, but easily mastered. Here is what you need to know.

Capturing the Essence of a Character

Before writers can describe the essence of a character to our readers, they must first conjure it in our imagination. Here is one of my techniques for developing a catalog of character traits for later use.

Plot Planning for Novels

After abandoning my third rewrite of my novel, I decided the time had come for some serious plot planning. Here’s what worked for me.

Fresh Website Design

Several years back, I invested significant time implementing a distinctive, professional design for my First Manuscript blog. Over time things evolve and the site's appearance became dated, especially on when viewed on mobile devices. I've updated the site with a new...

New Logo

For published writers and those planning to publish, having a blog is a great way to build an audience of readers. Meaningful content that provides value to visitors is the first priority. But so having a professional look and feel. I felt that my blog had become...

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