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The Role of Mystery in Fiction An editor's take on the value of mystery in all genres of fiction

by Peter Gelfan

Unlike nonfiction, fiction’s motor doesn’t run on information, but on its opposite: mystery.

I’m not talking about mystery as a genre, but as the essential quality in all fiction that cultivates curiosity, stimulates the imagination, invites participation, and generally keeps readers reading. Every step of the reader’s journey should be fraught with questions, not only about how the story turns out, but about character, motive, backstory, and—perhaps most importantly—what he or she would do in the hero’s or villain’s […]

By | 2018-05-21T19:44:48+00:00 |PG, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on The Role of Mystery in Fiction An editor's take on the value of mystery in all genres of fiction

Lambasted for Using Strategy

by Doug Wagner

Recent unkind words about Dr. Louann Brizendine’s The Male Brain are truly baffling. She’s been taken to task for employing “the best-seller strategy” in high-profile publications like Newsweek and the New York Times’ Sunday Book Review. The question this raises strikes me as so obvious that I hesitate to raise it for fear that it’s me who’s missing something equally obvious. But I’ve thought it through, and I’m pretty sure it’s not me. The question: Who in […]

By | 2018-05-21T21:05:49+00:00 |DW, Miscellaneous|Comments Off on Lambasted for Using Strategy

Plot vs. Plot Event An editor's thoughts inspired by Robert Ludlum, Matt Damon, and Jason Bourne

by Ross Browne

It wasn’t all that long ago that the news hit Hollywood that Matt Damon was considering bowing out of his leading role as Jason Bourne. The untitled film he considered passing on would have been the fifth in a series based on a trilogy that we have Robert Ludlum to thank for. (Or blame for, depending on your perspective.) Ludlum stopped writing the series after book number 3, and it wasn’t until his death […]

By | 2018-05-21T21:30:24+00:00 |RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Plot vs. Plot Event An editor's thoughts inspired by Robert Ludlum, Matt Damon, and Jason Bourne

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 | 2018-05-21T21:48:59+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

The Evolution of a Book Cover A guided tour of the cover design process for self publishing authors

Writing is a lonely business. Authors spend the majority of the life of a manuscript in their own heads, fiction authors playing God to a cast of characters in situations of their own devising, and nonfiction authors gathering information they distill into a form that fits their own purpose and vision. As anyone who’s ever written or tried to write a book can attest, it’s a massive undertaking that can easily dominate one’s life. 

So it’s not surprising […]

By | 2018-05-03T21:12:29+00:00 |Self Publishing|Comments Off on The Evolution of a Book Cover A guided tour of the cover design process for self publishing authors

Make Time for Writing Thoughts on writing a novel without quitting the day job

Like most writers, we all have day jobs here at The Editorial Department. We’re fortunate that our everyday activities are centered around writing and helping other writers get their books into print but we know how hard it can be to make the time to write. We also know how important it is  make time for writing and make the most of the time you set aside.

Find your groove

Everyone has their own ingredients for creativity. Think about the times […]

By | 2018-05-03T21:13:21+00:00 January 11th, 2017|Miscellaneous|Comments Off on Make Time for Writing Thoughts on writing a novel without quitting the day job