General

News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

February 16, 2017

Lambasted for Using Strategy

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 […]
February 9, 2017

Candor, Tough Love, and The Delicate Art of The Bounce
How our editors handle manuscripts that aren't ready for editing

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 […]
January 20, 2017

Part I: Showing vs. Telling
Making Your Writing Memorable

Show, don’t tell.  Many of us have heard it so many times that we’re wary of telling anyone anything ever again. But the truth is, showing is the key to memorable writing. Readers remember writing that made them feel something, and painting a picture—showing—is the only path to […]
January 14, 2017

Recommended Reading: Word Play by Peter Farb
An enlightening study of language that's a gold mine for dialogue-conscious novelists

Word Play by Peter Farb may not have been written with novelists in mind, but it’s chock full of good insights for writers, especially on the topic of dialogue. You can get the book here. One chapter I find especially interesting is on verbal dueling. The author’s position is […]
January 11, 2017
make time for writing

Make Time for Writing
Thoughts on writing a novel without quitting the day job

Like most novelists, I have a day job. I’m fortunate that my everyday activities are centered around publishing: helping other writers get their books into print, working with beautiful words on interior and e-book design, chatting with authors about the crazy creative life. But most people don’t have […]
January 4, 2017
Write what you know

What Do I Know?
One author's take on an old adage

By J.S. Anderson “Write what you know.” For years I struggled with this common little sliver of advice. What did I know? I was not a detective or former prosecutor. I was not a physician or politician or Olympian or scholar of history. What I knew well was […]