News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

July 6, 2017

POV Part II: The Third Eye
A crash course in the “most complex element” of storytelling

In Janet Burroway’s book, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft, she describes point of view as the most complex element of fiction. This is because establishing point of view involves  tending to a complicated relationship between reader, author, and characters. Establishing a point of view and maintaining its […]
July 1, 2017

POV Part 1: A Telltale Sign that a Piece is not Ready for Publication
Amateurs make readers’ heads spin with shifty perspective

To the untrained ear the term “headhopping” might be assumed to be a term that applies to home crafted beer. But among professional editors, headhopping is what amateur authors do when they haven’t done quite enough study about point of view. In a story this problem manifests itself […]
June 6, 2017

Where Good Books Go Wrong
Everyone judges a book by its cover: a taste of tasteless covers

There are countless cliches that speak to the idea that beauty is found within, and that the value of what is on the surface is, well, superficial. A facade. “Beauty is only skin deep.” Another old adage points a crooked, arthritic finger from well beyond the grave at […]
April 17, 2017

Part I: The Editorial Department’s Manuscript Evaluation: Then, Now, and Always
Getting the substantive and honest feedback your work deserves

Okay, so we all know being a novelist isn’t easy. It’s laborious, grueling, emotionally taxing, and sometimes an outright torturous journey down an unpaved road. And one thing I hear all the time from writers on the topic of their frustrations is how hard it is to get […]
March 18, 2017

Know Your (Copy) Rights: An Introduction to Copyright for Authors

Over the years, I have attended many workshops, classes, and author panels, and copyright is always a hot topic. Unfortunately, it is also a topic shrouded in misinformation and anecdotal advice. As with many legal issues, copyright is a huge and often intimidating subject, and I don’t intend […]
March 13, 2017

The Role of Mystery in Fiction

Unlike nonfiction, fiction’s motor doesn’t run on information, but on its opposite: mystery. I’m not talking about mystery as a genre, but as the essential quality in all fiction that cultivates curiosity, stimulates the imagination, invites participation, and generally keeps readers reading. Every step of the reader’s journey […]