Why I think ‘track changes’ sucks as an editing tool

One of the recent trends in publishing has involved using ‘track changes’ to let proof-editors and authors exchange notes about work going through the publishing process. In some ways it’s a good idea. In others, it isn’t. Actually, it sucks royally. And here’s why. Microsoft’s ‘track changes’ protocol isn’t exactly that of anybody else. Even… More Why I think ‘track changes’ sucks as an editing tool

What is your writing voice? And how to find it.

Voice is as crucial a part of writing as anything else – the characteristic style and flow of words that an author develops which inextricably associates their work with them. It often takes a while to develop. You’ll know when you have, because your revisions will stop being filled with ‘rule application’ edits – you’ll… More What is your writing voice? And how to find it.

Rebuilding from the Stone Age is haaaaaaard…

The other week I read a marvellous short story by blogging friend Eric Wicklund, who posts extremely good stories on his blog. His setting involved a US carrier battle group, mysteriously transported to an alternate universe where magic worked. But so did twenty-first century tech, at least while it could be maintained. The story got me… More Rebuilding from the Stone Age is haaaaaaard…

Going viral – the problem with authors being discovered on the web

I’ve got a question to which I don’t – yet – know the answer. One of the biggest problems with the new publishing paradigm is the fact that the tools publishers have to make themselves known by are common to all social media and internet users. Any individual voice consequently gets lost in the noise.… More Going viral – the problem with authors being discovered on the web

Why short stories lashed together as novels don’t work

It seems to me that one of the main differences between a short story and a novel isn’t just scale; it’s perspective, which is why novels made up of lashed-together short stories with the same setting don’t always work very well. Let me explain. A novel typically has the length to engage in a fairly… More Why short stories lashed together as novels don’t work

Editing secrets for publishing – line editing and final quality control

In the last few posts I’ve been outlining how publishers edit manuscripts – which, at this part in the process, is quality control ahead of release. This process applies just as much to those who are self-publishing. Once the manuscript has been proof-edited and the author’s comments taken in, a variety of things happen – all… More Editing secrets for publishing – line editing and final quality control

Editing secrets for publishing – the necessary skills for proof-editing

When a publisher receives an author’s manuscript, several things happen. If it’s unsolicited (which happens where the agency system doesn‘t apply), it’s sent to the ‘slush pile’ – the term for the heap of unsolicited manuscripts that might, maybe, contain a gem. Typically the most junior editor gets the task of reading them, then packing… More Editing secrets for publishing – the necessary skills for proof-editing