News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

September 13, 2017

Revise Your Book, Hollywood-Style
Novelist, screenwriter, and editor John Robert Marlow shares his take on a secret weapon for manuscript revision

By John Robert Marlow Director of Development at The Editorial Department 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 […]
August 5, 2017

Rediscovering Fantasy
 (or, Why Magical Weaponry of Any Kind is a Death Sentence)

The idea that there is a genre of novels called ‘fantasy’ is a lie. Every bookstore worth its salt has such a section, generally stuffed to overflowing with your basic swords and sorcery.Those books and the genre they reside in exist solely because somewhere, someone decided that fantasy […]
July 31, 2017

How do we write about the future now that it’s here?

Science fiction, as a genre, has often struggled to be taken seriously. Oh, it’s garnered some respect, a few classics, and a bucketful of noteworthy authors, but how seriously are we expected to take a class of fiction that doesn’t even warrant its own section in most major […]
July 26, 2017

Accepting the Unacceptable
Why your first draft needs your unconditional love

Every writer has faced the reality of what author Anne Lamott calls “Shitty First Drafts,” in her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. If you’ve never read this before, it’s a great piece on the topic of revision and editing. There’s a link available by clicking the […]
July 21, 2017

Pockets Full of Pills and Snakes in Wait
Ways Specific Language Can Help Your Writing/Editing

During my years spent as a student of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, it often seemed to me that there was a terrible rift between the students in its various disciplines. The fiction writers glanced askance at the poet’s upturned noses while the creative non-fiction folks […]
July 11, 2017

POV Part III: Use of Camera
A Metaphorical Take on Temporal and Spacial Distance

We writers often speak in metaphors, and we often do this pertaining to our craft. We speak about “sculpting” our stories as one might mold clay, chisel stone, or carve wood. We speak of painting pictures with written scenes and composing “musical” dialogue. The gerund phrase, “honing your […]