Editorial Tip: How To Write Dialogue That Works

how to write dialogue

Writing dialogue seems like it would be so easy. We talk all the time, right? How hard could it be to just write it down? But it takes a little more than that to make dialogue seem real. Frequently, the dialogue we imagine for our characters sounds stilted or overly formal. That’s partly because, when … Read more

Editorial Tip: Colons and Capitalization

capitalization

Using a colon is an excellent way to tack a list, dependent clause or other relevant information onto a sentence. Yet if you don’t use your colon correctly, your editor (and potentially your reader!) is going to notice. First off, remember that a colon can only be added to a sentence that’s already complete—in other … Read more

Editorial Topic: Just One Space

editorial topic

Remember the days when we learned to type in school? “Remember, kids, the way you break up a sentence when you type is by putting two spaces after a period. Got it?” Those days are over. Today, every major style guide, including The Modern Language Association Style Manual, the Oxford Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of … Read more

Why You Need An Editor

need an editor

What a fun job I have, getting to walk writers just like you through the process of becoming authors. It’s something I’ve been doing for 20 years. Yep, I was just 23 years old when I walked through the doors at the Hearst Book Group to interview for the Editorial Assistant position I eventually accepted. … Read more

The Four Pillars of a Kickass Book Title

book title

If you’re an author, chances are you want to get your work out into the world as widely as possible. So—what’s the single most important factor in achieving that goal? Is it writing original, never-been-seen-before content? Is it perfecting your gorgeous, or hysterically funny, or deeply moving writing style? Is it crafting the best version … Read more

Building an Author Platform: Show Them the Money

building an author platform

Lately I’ve been working closely with a client on a book proposal for a self-help book. A proposal, if you’re unfamiliar, is a marketing document used to sell your book. It includes everything a publisher will need to know about you and the book in order to acquire your project for their company—or not. One … Read more

Four Steps for Taking Feedback Like a Pro

taking feedback

Recently I was chatting with a friend who’s a published writer with several books under his belt. We were having one of those conversations where we were teasing each other about our respective roles of “writer” and “editor.” A.k.a., the Hatfields and McCoys of the publishing world. Totally dependent on one another, yet often at … Read more

It’s Not About the Grammar

grammar

One of the persistent archetypes of the editorial world is that of the tight-lipped, punishing grammarian wielding her red pen with ferocious delight. This editor slashes mercilessly at the page, eviscerating all instances of bad punctuation, misspellings and sentences that end with a preposition. But I gotta be honest: That’s not the kind of editor … Read more