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

How Developmental Problems Connect to Each Other

When you’re editing fiction, you’ll find that many developmental problems are interrelated: An insufficient conflict can be connected with unclear character motivation (or lack of motivation) to do something or achieve something (a goal). If the protagonist doesn’t have a goal, they can’t really come into conflict with another character who has a different goal.… Read more How Developmental Problems Connect to Each Other