News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

October 26, 2016

Writing With Voice
Editor Shannon Roberts on building your authorial voice in unexpected ways

Confession: When I first started writing, I copied. Not ideas—not consciously anyway—but voice Initially I modeled my work after one of my (at the time) favorite bloggers and web-comic writers, Jerry Holkins. I started to fold in some Terry Pratchett and I sampled from Robert Heinlein. Whenever I […]
October 19, 2016

Publishing Your Work is Hard Work
What I wish I'd known before I started: Part 2

This blog is part of a series. For “What I Wish I’d Know Before I Started: Part 1” please click here. And so as the sun slowly set over the peaks and valleys of composing a first book, I bid a fond farewell to creative writing as I prepared […]
October 12, 2016

You Need a Good Editor
What I wish I'd know before I started: Part 1

Now that my novel, Flaming Harry Sweeney, is self-published, I can offer a hearty congratulations to none other than myself—and more importantly, advice on “What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started” to you fellow travelers and aspiring authors. First off, do it! Writing a book turned out to […]
October 5, 2016

Five Short Steps to the Reject Pile
Keep your book out of the reject pile by avoiding these five common mistakes

Oh, the dreaded reject pile. Often we like to imagine the (probably imaginary) good old days when editors searched for traces of gold in the rough ore of a first draft and worked with the writer to refine it. Recently, an editor at a major publisher offered a […]
September 25, 2016

Authentic Voice
Elements of Craft: One editor's take on an author's technique

  Fiction readers are very demanding creatures. They want their made-up stories to be as close to truth as possible—sort of like vegetarian meat. If they have to pick between two gritty detective novels, one by an ex-cop and the other by an MFA who has always lived […]
September 8, 2016

Romance: More Than a Formula
TED's Lindsay Guzzardo tells us why romance novels are more than just fluff.

Romance novels get a bad rap. They’re not taken seriously. Some of it (okay, most of it) has to do with the formula. The formulaic covers, titles, and premises. Covers featuring busty heroines embraced by bulgingly-muscled heroes, and never quite enough fabric to cover everything. Titles like The Sheikh’s […]