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Know Your (Copy) Rights An Introduction to Copyright for Authors

Author copyright is a common and often intimidating subject. We don’t intend this to be a comprehensive overview, but we do want to set the record straight on a few important points.

What is copyright?

In the United States, copyright is a form of legal protection granted to “authors of ‘original works of authorship,’ including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.” (US Copyright Office). This covers both published and unpublished works. In a nutshell, the Copyright Act of 1976 […]

By |2019-07-27T15:19:01+00:00|Miscellaneous|Comments Off on Know Your (Copy) Rights An Introduction to Copyright for Authors

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 […]

By |2019-06-17T17:06:38+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 |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

Part III: Showing vs. Telling Rue the day you tell what's been shown

Almost every aspect of fiction writing can be analyzed by the degree to which you the author allow your reader to formulate his own pictures, thoughts, opinions and versions of your story. This is a delicate matter, certainly, because leaving too much out is just as much a travesty as directly telling the reader exactly what his five senses should be sensing at all times. And it really is a more complex question than simply what details you choose to […]

By |2019-06-19T19:27:49+00:00|The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Part III: Showing vs. Telling Rue the day you tell what's been shown