How To Work With An Editor

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I’ve had a lot of really, really good editors in my career. The student news editor at my high school newspaper—not my English teacher!—taught me grammar. My first pro newspaper editor showed me the ropes and guided me away from dozens upon dozens of stupid errors. The fiction editors I’ve worked with recently have strengthened my novels and stories immeasurably; they’re generally always better at pacing and structure than I…

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Work in Progress

Friday, August 9, 2019

    I used to have this weird typo tic where I never got the acronym for work-in-progress right. It always came out WOP. I’ve even tweeted about my wop and never noticed until it was too late. Maybe there was something Freudian about this little tic. Because “wop” always makes me think about a cartoon where some character is being repeatedly bludgeoned over the head. Not that my works…

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Cutting Room Floor

Friday, July 12, 2019

    When I finally felt as though I had a reasonable draft of The Dream Peddler, the one I began sending out to agents, it came in at right around seventy-nine thousand words. This was a nice length for a debut literary book, as in, appropriate to the genre and not so long as to be scary. I had cut many things, because I tend to go on and…

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Letter from an Editor

Friday, October 26, 2018

  There are a lot of ways to approach this topic, now that I think about it. We revise our work so many times before it’s published, with feedback from so many different people. After I wrote The Dream Peddler, I went through it twice, then I gave it to a few beta readers, and went back in with their feedback in mind. Then I began to query, and I’ve…

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Do your edits like a grown-up would

Thursday, October 25, 2018

This week, we’re supposed to be writing about how to survive an edit letter — which refers to the list of revisions that your editor wants you to make after acquiring your book. I guess it’s hard to make big changes to your manuscript after you’ve sold it, but you should never really be that attached to your story anyway. You should always be open to making it better. I’ve…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Burying The Time

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

When I was a reporter, the best and worst part of my workday resided next to each other. The best moment was when I beat the deadline and turned in my news story to the impatient copy editors. The worst moment came next, when the copy editors and I would engage in a competitive dance off, figuratively speaking, questioning each other’s word choices and grammar (I have a thing for…

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Dorothy Parker and the Vicious First Draft

    It is one of the minor tragedies of my life, perhaps a major tragedy in my writing life, that no one ever told me first drafts are supposed to suck until I was thirty-eight years old. Yup. Thirty-eight. Now, this is most likely because I never really knew any writers, and I rarely took any actual writing classes. While most writers would probably agree that having an MFA,…

Friday, October 12, 2018
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Tips for Handling the Edit Letter

Book Editing
Thursday, March 1, 2018

      This week we’re talking about edit letters, and today I’m going to talk about what to do WITH your edit letter…concrete strategies to make something that feels overwhelming just a little more manageable. Getting an edit letter is hard. It can sometimes be painful to realize how much work you have left to do. While fishermen sit around comparing the size of the fish they’ve caught, writers…

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The World’s Longest Edit Letter

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

  This week’s topic: the edit letter. Before I published The Queen of Hearts, I’d assumed the edit letter was just that: a letter with some suggested editorial changes, but that turned out not to be the case for me. I never actually got an edit letter. When I got the call from my agent that we had an offer on my book, I was out of the country. Cell…

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Editing a World

Monday, February 26, 2018

This post about edit letters is really a post about worldbuilding, because that’s a lot of what my edit letters were about. Oh, there were things about character arcs and pacing and such, too, but much of that went into the manuscript comments. My edit letters, particularly the longest that I received from the first of my two editors, were a lot about world-building. In a successful fantasy novel, the…

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