News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

April 13, 2016

What We Can Learn From Lee Child & Jack Reacher
A lesson in handling exposition in mystery/suspense from a master

Exposition: a discourse of information. Often necessary, but also challenging to handle skillfully. In an earlier post for mystery writers, I talked a little bit about the value of resisting the urge to lecture your readers on what you might have learned in the course of researching your […]
April 7, 2016

Query Do, Query Don’t
Ten tips literary agent Kate Johnson wants you to remember

I’ve recently worked through a post-holiday backlog of submissions, and stumbled on some recurring themes and – naturally – some recurring pet peeves. Agents are as diverse in their taste for query letters as they are in their tastes for reading material, so please know my advice comes […]
March 16, 2016

Spotlight on Sentence-Level Editing
Demystifying the distinctions between line editing, copy editing, and proofreading

In an earlier blog post I talked about the importance of developmental editing and why the focus on big-picture stuff – structure, book-spanning issues like plot or organization, character development, dialogue, and that sort of thing – needs to come first, before you spend too much time worrying […]
February 11, 2016
career of evil book cover

Review of Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
A reflection on J.K. Rowling's talent as a mystery writer

“When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible–and Strike […]
January 29, 2016

Common Language, Different Rules
Literary Agent Kate Johnson compares and contrasts the U.S. and U.K. book markets

When I relocated part-time to the UK last year, there were many mysteries to figure out: Why so many tea breaks, and how does one brew it in the Orwell fashion? Where does one find canned pumpkin come Thanksgiving? What’s a knees-up, and what does it mean to […]
January 28, 2016
book stacks

A View From The Trenches
Literary Agent Lucas Hunt reflects on the state of the today traditional publishing market and what authors need to know to be successful

If you want to publish today, your work must be impeccable. Whether you have a novel manuscript that has been slaved over for years, or are an expert in your field with a non-fiction book proposal, the case is the same. Your writing must be in the best […]