Home/Tag: writers' toolbox

Editor’s Eavesdrop: An Intimate Conversation with Ken Follett and Lee Child Considering writing and publishing perspectives from two masters of their genres

One silver lining to the challenges of the writing life in 2020 is the growing number of popular authors doing online events with their fans. This gives us the opportunity to get up close and personal (if only virtually) with some of the biggest names in publishing, and in many cases pose questions to our favorite authors directly.

When we saw Ken Follett and Lee Child were teaming up for such an event, our […]

By |2021-02-02T19:37:58+00:00|Behind The Bestsellers, General, Historical Fiction, RSB, The Writer’s Craft, Traditional Publishing|Comments Off on Editor’s Eavesdrop: An Intimate Conversation with Ken Follett and Lee Child Considering writing and publishing perspectives from two masters of their genres

Cultivating Willing Suspension of Disbelief in Crime Fiction Tips and techniques based on two hit novels by Stephen King and Alexandra Sokoloff

A recent article in The New Yorker defines the willing suspension of disbelief as “the reader’s decision to put the argumentative, quibbling part of his mind into neutral and go along for the narrative ride.”

Stephen King is a master at this, and I’m sure I’m not alone in admiring how easy he makes it to engage us with his novels’ supernatural, paranormal, magical, or mystical elements even if we take some comfort in the belief that these things surely can’t exist.  […]

By |2021-02-02T18:59:56+00:00|Behind The Bestsellers, Book Reviews and Analysis, General, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, TED Editor Posts, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Cultivating Willing Suspension of Disbelief in Crime Fiction Tips and techniques based on two hit novels by Stephen King and Alexandra Sokoloff

Revise Your Book, Hollywood-Style A novelist, screenwriter, and editor shares his take on a secret weapon for manuscript revision

by John Robert Marlow

Are you an author who

  • Has never tried using an outline?
  • Likes the idea of outlining, but gave up on it because it was too much trouble—or just didn’t work for you?
  • Uses an outline for initial story planning, but not for revisions?
  • Would rather have a root canal than use an outline?

If so, you’re not alone. Let’s face it: traditional outlines—with formatting and structure imposed by programs like Microsoft Word—can be a huge pain, especially when you want to change things. All […]

By |2019-06-17T16:44:18+00:00|Developmental Editing, JRM, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Revise Your Book, Hollywood-Style A novelist, screenwriter, and editor shares his take on a secret weapon for manuscript revision

Spotlight on Developmental Editing An overview of why it’s needed, how it works, and what to expect from the process

When many people think of editing, they think of arcane symbols and scribbled margin notes in red or blue pencil – move this paragraph, delete these words, add a hyphen, correct that spelling, capitalize this letter. And while that is an important part of editing, it’s only one part, and it comes last.  So let’s talk about what comes first: developmental editing.

If you’re like many of us in the writing world, you wrote the first draft of your manuscript and then revised […]

By |2019-07-19T16:26:57+00:00|The Editor’s Craft, The Editorial Process|Comments Off on Spotlight on Developmental Editing An overview of why it’s needed, how it works, and what to expect from the process

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 |2021-05-12T16:38:58+00:00|General, 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