/TED Editor Posts

Reflections on writing, publishing, writing craft, and more from our editorial staff.

The Truth about First Novels and Traditional Publication What authors need to know

by Renni Browne

What you might hear:

  • “Acquisitions editors at major publishing houses don’t want to read first-novel submissions.”
  • “Literary agents don’t want to take on unknown writers anymore.”
  • “Publishers only want novelists who have a strong platform or a great track record of book sales.”
  • “If by a miracle you get a first novel published, it’ll sell 500 copies to your friends and relatives.”
  • “There’s no place for first novels in today’s bottom-line-oriented publishing scene.”

Would it surprise you to learn […]

By | 2018-05-16T21:08:01+00:00 |Getting Published, RDB, Traditional Publishing, Trends|Comments Off on The Truth about First Novels and Traditional Publication What authors need to know

How Do We Write about The Future Now That It’s Here?

by Shannon Roberts

Science fiction, as a genre, has often struggled to be taken seriously. Oh, it’s garnered some respect, a few classics, and a bucketful of noteworthy authors, but how seriously are we expected to take a class of fiction that still doesn’t even warrant its own section in too many bookstores?

Don’t get me wrong: Science fiction was gaining in popularity (though not by that name) in the late 19th century, and came admirably […]

By | 2018-05-16T19:06:29+00:00 |Sci-Fi, SR|Comments Off on How Do We Write about The Future Now That It’s Here?

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