I thought I had a fantastic short story— you know the feeling. It was thick with understated suspense, snappy dialogue and dynamic characters with names like “Chub Henderson.”
The best advice on writing a book comes from those who
have written books that resonated with multiple generations. It’s difficult to
remember that these authors were not always infallible masters of the written
word, but writers who struggled as much as every other writer, and learned how
to get the most out of themselves.
You know your book best, so why shouldn’t you edit it yourself? Believe it or not, sometimes knowing your book too well can prevent you from actually seeing what’s there.
You have a friend who reads constantly, so why shouldn’t he edit your manuscript? What’s the difference between him and a professional editor? They both read. They’re both articulate.
The first time you receive your copyedited manuscript, it can be intimidating. What do these weird marks strewn all over my beautifully typed pages mean?
Use the guide below as a reference for these mysterious copyediting marks.
I’m tired of hearing about publishers and agents. Why do you care what they think?
How can a first-time, self-published author gain the attention of CNN, the BBC and the Times? And after signing up with HarperCollins, what could possibly go wrong?
As Georges Simenon edited his work, if he came across an especially beautiful sentence, he did something very odd. He cut it. “Every time I find such a thing in one of my novels it is to be cut.”
A common pitfall of writing is the overuse of descriptors. When adjectives and adverbs are used too liberally, it slows down the pace of the narrative. If there’s a true excess of descriptors (as there is in the example that follows), it can even prevent the reader from easily grasping the meaning of a sentence.
What do rejections from agents or publishers really mean? Is it a sign that your manuscript isn’t good?