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Ask the editor 12: The limitations of editing software

The limitations of editing software

A new writer, setting out on that curious and occasionally perilous journey that, sometimes, ends in publication, needs help getting there; very few writers get it all right without advice or intervention. The internet has made the task of finding appropriate help and advice much easier; if your ivory tower is connected, that is.  Read more

Ask the editor 11: English language editing

English language editing

English is the world's lingua franca. Over two billion people speak it as a first or second language. It is the official, or everyday, language in fifty-nine countries. Perhaps two billion more have considerable experience of English via movies, gaming, pop music, or (increasingly) social media. That's half the world.  Read more

Worldbuilding 7: It's a kind of magic

It's a kind of magic

In the first article on magic in fantasy writing we looked at power scaling, plot armour and plausibility. Here we will look at the different types of magic and, more importantly, the cost of magic. Like many other elements in a constructed world, magic is, effectively, a technology; and technology always has a cost.  Read more

Worldbuilding 6: Magic

The uses and limitations of magic in fantasy worldbuilding

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Ask the editor 10: Writing your blurb or cover copy

Writing your blurb or cover copy

It's not a pretty word, 'blurb'; it smacks of nonsense, or slightly less than entirely honest marketing. Which is unfortunate, because a blurb is a useful and necessary thing; without it, your book is at risk of being a blank text, what you might call a closed book.  Read more

Ask the editor 9: Why do I need a report?

Why do I need a report?

Writing is, in some respects, an isolated and isolating occupation; but it doesn't have to be. Feedback, particularly if it comes from an informed, professional reader, is invaluable.  Read more

Ask the Editor 7: Researching for a book

Researching for a book

One could probably write a book about researching for a book. It's a big topic and it covers a lot of different subjects and approaches. However, whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, there are some general principles that are worth paying attention to. In this article, I'll explore some basic ground rules for research.  Read more

Ask the editor 8: How I assess a manuscript

How I assess a manuscript

Assessing a manuscript for editing is a skill all of its own. Individual editors may have different routines for assessing a text but we are all aiming for the same goal; a realistic grasp of the work that's required to bring a book up to a professional finish. In this article, I'll explain how I go about assessing editing jobs, and why.  Read more

Ask the Editor 6: Writing non-fiction

Writing non-fiction

Writing a non-fiction book is a very different project to writing a novel; the motivation, purpose, style and approach are quote distinct. ‘Non-fiction', of course, covers a wide range of genres and formats; however, there are some principles that apply across the board. In this article I will explore some of the basic requirements in writing a non-fiction book.  Read more

Ask the Editor 5: Non-fiction submissions

Non-fiction submissions

Submitting a non-fiction book for publication is a broadly similar process to a fiction submission, but there are differences, and those differences are important to understand. In this article, I will look at non-fiction submissions and how they differ from their fictional counterparts.
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