The Writer’s Craft

News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

December 21, 2016

Everyone Needs an Editor: A Final Lesson from the Harry Potter Series
Principle Five: All good writing needs good editing.

By Jane Ryder with Beth Jusino. “So why couldn’t Malfoy have brought that necklace into the school?” “Oh, Harry, not that again…” Many readers, myself included, echoed Hermione Grangers’ frustration at that point in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. For the past few weeks we have been […]
December 14, 2016

A World to Remember: More Lessons from the Harry Potter Series
Principle Four: Create a world the reader will remember.

This blog is part of the Storytelling lessons from Harry Potter series. For part one, click here. For part two, click here. For part three, click here. Diagon Alley. The Quidditch World Cup.The Chamber of Secrets. The Cupboard Under the Stairs. Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. These were not places that existed in […]
December 7, 2016

Heroes Have Hormones: More Lessons from the Harry Potter Series
Principle Three: perfect heroes are uninteresting ones.

This blog is part of the Storytelling lessons from Harry Potter series. For part one, click here. For part two, click here. It’s Harry Potter time here at The Editorial Department, and in honor of the release of the newest addition to the series, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, we’re […]
November 30, 2016

Chekov’s Gun: More Lessons from the Harry Potter Series
Principle Two: Chekov had a gun; Trelawney had a prophecy

This blog is part of a series. For part one, click here. This week we’re talking about Harry Potter. No, not the much-anticipated book that’s releasing next week (although I, for one, already preordered it.) We’re talking about the books that started it all, and the lessons that authors can apply […]
November 23, 2016

Five Great Storytelling Lessons from Harry Potter
Principle One: Plant the seeds early, but plant them loosely and let them grow.

This year- and possibly for years to come – everyone will be talking about The Boy Who Lived and his son, Albus, the main protagonist of the new 2016 addition to the Harry Potter series. In anticipation of the (unexpected) new addition, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, I decided […]
November 2, 2016

Evaluating Nonfiction: One Editor’s Approach
What can set your nonfiction manuscript up for success... or doom it to the reject pile

Fiction lives or dies by the author’s storytelling and writing skills (and perseverance and some luck). For nonfiction, then, one might assume that likewise, an interesting topic well elucidated will do the job. However, the publishing industry and readers regard nonfiction a bit differently. Subject Matter Publishers generally […]