News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

September 25, 2016

Authentic Voice
Elements of Craft: One editor's take on an author's technique

  Fiction readers are very demanding creatures. They want their made-up stories to be as close to truth as possible—sort of like vegetarian meat. If they have to pick between two gritty detective novels, one by an ex-cop and the other by an MFA who has always lived […]
September 8, 2016

Romance: More Than a Formula
TED's Lindsay Guzzardo tells us why romance novels are more than just fluff.

Romance novels get a bad rap. They’re not taken seriously. Some of it (okay, most of it) has to do with the formula. The formulaic covers, titles, and premises. Covers featuring busty heroines embraced by bulgingly-muscled heroes, and never quite enough fabric to cover everything. Titles like The Sheikh’s […]
August 25, 2016
Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
A "first 50" review

George R.R.Martin’s ‘A Game of Thrones‘ turns 20 this month! In honor of twenty years in print, and a hugely successful twenty years at that, here’s a breakdown of the first 50 pages of the book that started it all. Aside from the prologue, the first 50 pages of ‘A […]
August 24, 2016
movie theater

Is Your Book a Movie? (Part 2)
A crash course in book-to-screen adaptation

This blog is part of a series. To see Part 1 and find out what Hollywood wants your story to have, please click here. Is your book a movie? Should it be? How do you get from here to there-and what’s in it for you? Fasten your seat-belt, […]
August 20, 2016

Characters: Making Them Real
Tips on making your characters convincing and memorable from editor Renni Browne

Most fiction writers begin a novel or short story by coming up with characters firmly in mind and then building a story around them—or by coming up with a plot and then building characters to play the various roles it requires. It’s not really that simple, of course: […]
August 17, 2016

Yul Brynner’s Black Hat
Considering good vs. evil in fantasy fiction

Bad guys and black hats are, in the classic American Western film, almost synonymous. Even if you haven’t seen many Westerns, you’ve probably absorbed this knowledge via cultural osmosis—I certainly had. Fortunately, the first Western I was privileged to watch was The Magnificent Seven (if a cowboy movie based on […]