/Ross Browne

About Ross Browne

Ross has been editing books since 1992 and developing workshops and seminars for writers since 1997. He has worked closely with hundreds of authors during his time with The Editorial Department and seen many projects through from first draft to publication. He enjoys most genres of commercial fiction and specializes in teaching fiction technique, with a particular emphasis on dialogue. You can contact Ross directly by visiting out editor contact and inquiry form

What We Can Learn from Lee Child & Jack Reacher A master lesson in handling exposition in mystery/suspense

Exposition: a discourse of information. Often necessary, but also challenging to handle skillfully.

In an earlier post for mystery writers, I talked a little bit about the value of resisting the urge to lecture your readers on what you might have learned in the course of researching your story or what you might know from your own in-the-trenches experiences.  The premise behind this advice is that readers–and fans of mystery/suspense in particular–generally read in hopes of being entertained rather than educated. A […]

By | 2018-03-06T20:49:58+00:00 |Mystery, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on What We Can Learn from Lee Child & Jack Reacher A master lesson in handling exposition in mystery/suspense

Review of Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith A reflection on J.K. Rowling's talent as a mystery writer

“When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible–and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and […]

By | 2017-12-07T20:31:01+00:00 |Book Reviews and Analysis, RSB|Comments Off on Review of Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith A reflection on J.K. Rowling's talent as a mystery writer

Review of Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster A reminder of why characterization still matters in mystery suspense

“When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her stepgrandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Baylor-Bates, for help. Josie, once a hot-shot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small practice in Hermosa Beach, California. But Hannah Sheraton intrigues her and, when the girl is charged as an adult, Josie cannot turn her back. But the deeper she digs the more […]

By | 2017-12-07T20:31:15+00:00 |Book Reviews and Analysis, RSB|Comments Off on Review of Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster A reminder of why characterization still matters in mystery suspense

Word Play by Peter Farb An enlightening study of language that's a gold mine for dialogue-conscious novelists

Word Play by Peter Farb may not have been written with novelists in mind, but it’s a smart, funny, and delightfully entertaining book about language and how we use it. And it’s chock full of good insights for writers, especially on the topic of dialogue.

One chapter I find especially interesting is on verbal dueling. The author’s position is summed up nicely in the very first paragraph with the statement: “Most speakers unconsciously duel even during seemingly casual conversation, […]

By | 2017-12-07T20:31:28+00:00 |Book Reviews and Analysis, RSB|Comments Off on Word Play by Peter Farb An enlightening study of language that's a gold mine for dialogue-conscious novelists

Characterization and the Film Adaptation of Jack Reacher

Can an inherent limitation in the medium of film compel Lee Child to take a seminal character in contemporary fiction to a whole new level?
I remember it like it was yesterday, the conflicting moment during a hotly contested game of Scrabble when I learned that there was finally going to be a movie made from a Lee Child book and that Jack Reacher would be played by Tom Cruise.

It didn’t take too long to get past my objection to the […]

By | 2018-05-03T21:17:09+00:00 |RSB, Screenwriting & Screenplay Adaptation, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Characterization and the Film Adaptation of Jack Reacher

One Editor’s Love/Hate Relationship with Freedom (By Jonathan Franzen) Ross Browne's review of Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen

“In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Walter and Patty Berglund as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible […]

By | 2018-05-03T19:13:39+00:00 |Book Reviews and Analysis, RSB|Comments Off on One Editor’s Love/Hate Relationship with Freedom (By Jonathan Franzen) Ross Browne's review of Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen