Home/Ross Browne

About Ross Browne

Ross has been editing books since 1992 and managing operations at the country’s oldest freelance editorial firm since 1997. He has worked closely with hundreds of authors during his time with The Editorial Department, LLC and seen many projects through from first draft to final publication. He loves mysteries, thrillers, European crime novels, craft beer, music, and writing about writing. You can contact Ross directly at rsb@editorialdepartment.com.

Editorial Analysis: SUDDEN PREY by John Sandford Considering characterization and its impact on story in a bestselling crime series

by Ross Browne

Anyone familiar with my taste in books probably knows how much I love John Sandford and admire his skills as a writer. One reason I like his Lucas Davenport series so much is that these deftly plotted novels usually go deep into the minds of deranged killers in seriously engaging and convincing fashion. Understanding what makes his bad guys tick and seeing their world through their eyes is part of the dark appeal […]

By |2020-06-16T18:19:36+00:00|Behind The Bestsllers, Book Reviews and Analysis, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Editorial Analysis: SUDDEN PREY by John Sandford Considering characterization and its impact on story in a bestselling crime series

South of Hell by P.J. Parrish A “First 50” Review

by Ross Browne

Flap Copy: For Louis Kincaid and his lover, female detective Joe Frye, the present and the past collide when they team up to find out what happened to Jean Brandt, who was reported missing by her husband from their Michigan farmhouse in 1981. Jean’s daughter Amy, only five at the time, has been plagued by dream-like memories of a violent killing, and it is assumed that the murder she has seen is her mother’s. But as Amy’s veracity as […]

By |2019-06-17T16:54:27+00:00|First 50, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on South of Hell by P.J. Parrish A “First 50” Review

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

by Ross Browne

Word Play by Peter Farb may not have been written with novelists in mind, but it’s chock full of good insights for writers, especially on the topic of dialogue. (You can check out the book here.)

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, as can often be observed at social gatherings […]

By |2019-06-17T16:57:13+00:00|Book Reviews and Analysis, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Recommended Reading: Word Play by Peter Farb An enlightening study of language that’s a gold mine for dialogue-conscious novelists

Candor, Tough Love, and the Delicate Art of the Bounce How our editors handle manuscripts that aren’t ready for editing

by Ross Browne

The first thing I’d put on the table in connection with how we handle manuscripts that need a lot of work could, I hope, go without saying. And that’s that we never want to be discouraging to an author. There’s no pleasure in telling a writer that a manuscript needs rewriting rather than editing or that its flaws run deeper than even an intensive developmental edit can reasonably be expected to fix. But our commitment to telling […]

By |2019-06-17T17:08:25+00:00|Developmental Editing, RSB, The Editor’s Craft|Comments Off on Candor, Tough Love, and the Delicate Art of the Bounce How our editors handle manuscripts that aren’t ready for editing

Writing Mysteries Guides, tips, and recommended reading for mystery writers

A quick word of caution to the aspiring mystery writer…

For its enduring popularity as a genre, mystery is a surprisingly tough genre to break into for new writers, and in some respects one of the hardest genres to write. This is in part due to the procedural know-how a writer must have to write convincingly about investigating crime. But it’s also because of how inherently predictable the mystery formula ultimately is and the challenge of keeping readers entertained, engaged, and surprised […]

By |2019-06-19T16:48:27+00:00|Mystery, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Writing Mysteries Guides, tips, and recommended reading for mystery writers

What Writers Can Learn from Lee Child & Jack Reacher A lesson in handling exposition in mystery and suspense novels

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 |2019-09-25T16:57:43+00:00|Mystery, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on What Writers Can Learn from Lee Child & Jack Reacher A lesson in handling exposition in mystery and suspense novels