Posts and articles on writing, publishing, and the art of the novel by Editorial Department founder (and co-author of Self Editing For Fiction Writers) Renni Browne.

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

Characters: Making Them Real Tips on making your characters convincing and memorable from editor Renni Browne

Most fiction writers begin a novel or short story by coming up with characters firmly in mind and then building a story around them—or by coming up with a plot and then building characters to play the various roles it requires. It’s not really that simple, of course: an unruly character may at some point dictate a change in your plot, or a good plot development may dictate a change in one or more of your characters. But you’re still likely […]

By | 2018-05-03T19:13:04+00:00 |RDB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Characters: Making Them Real Tips on making your characters convincing and memorable from editor Renni Browne

What Editors (Really) Do A guide for authors, by Editorial Department founder Renni Browne

sam-gross-we-believe-that-in-a-former-life-she-was-an-editor-new-yorker-cartoonIn one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons by Sam Gross, a cat is maniacally clawing an upholstered chair, obviously not for the first time. In the caption its owner explains to her guests: “We believe that in a former life she was an editor.” Over the forty-five years I’ve been an editor, I’ve met plenty of people who think my job is to tear writers’ manuscripts to shreds. Other people think I […]

By | 2018-05-03T19:00:13+00:00 |RDB, The Editor’s Craft, The Editorial Process|Comments Off on What Editors (Really) Do A guide for authors, by Editorial Department founder Renni Browne

The Writer’s Secret Weapon: The Power of What You Leave Out Editor Renni Browne explores the value of what’s left unsaid in good storytelling

Here’s an excerpt from a writing contest entry where a man is driving to San Diego with the servant girl he’s just given a Rolex watch—a girl who gave him something he valued much more:

Amir’s assignment had been to gain access to Bonnie Becker’s house, using Marie’s position as a live-in domestic with lawful possession of the keys and codes for all of the doors, gates, and alarms. Marie had given them to him without hesitation. She was in love with him – […]

By | 2018-05-03T21:15:47+00:00 |RDB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on The Writer’s Secret Weapon: The Power of What You Leave Out Editor Renni Browne explores the value of what’s left unsaid in good storytelling