Using a Query Letter to Identify Developmental Problems in a Manuscript

One of the first things that acquisitions editors and literary agents learn in their jobs is to use the query letter to evaluate a manuscript. AEs and lit agents are looking for cues that a project is or isn’t right for them. In my career, I’ve worked as both an AE and a lit agent.… Read more Using a Query Letter to Identify Developmental Problems in a Manuscript

Helping Authors Fix Perspective Problems

When our authors write stories with perspective problems, generally they’re in for a long haul during the revision process. An author who can’t “see” the head-hopping (jumping from one character’s perspective to another’s within a scene) they’re doing needs a lot of sentence-level handholding to get it right. Steps to Take Since a big perspective… Read more Helping Authors Fix Perspective Problems

Avoiding “Here’s How I Would Write it” as an Editor

In making editorial suggestions, editors sometimes drift into “here’s how I would write it” territory, which is something I discourage. Authors don’t care what you would have done. They want to learn what they can do that will make their manuscript better. What “Here’s How I Would Write It” Means First, let me quickly say… Read more Avoiding “Here’s How I Would Write it” as an Editor

Offering Solutions to Developmental Problems

When we write editorial queries for the author, we need to identify what the problem is and why it’s a problem for the manuscript—in other words, we can’t just slap generic slogans on a manuscript (“Use fewer adverbs!”) and think that’s editing. Effective Editorial Guidance Part of the editorial guidance we need to offer in… Read more Offering Solutions to Developmental Problems