The Power of an Abstract

In my day job, I edit a scholarly journal. Potential authors submit an article for consideration. I read it, and it is also anonymously reviewed by members of my editorial board. Then I write back to the author with a recommendation for or against publication, along with comments about the article and specific suggestions for […]

Tips for Writing Children’s Books: Animals as Main Characters

I don’t think I’ve written anything about children’s books on this blog yet, and I’d like to. At the publishing company I used to work for, I was actually the leader of a children’s book editing team at one point. This topic will not apply to many of you, but then again who knows? You […]

Head Hopping: What it Looks Like and Why You Shouldn’t Do it

One of my favorite books I’ve ever edited was written by an author I got to work with on a series of four books. All four books were fun to read and edit, and I didn’t have a lot of major plot concerns. But even though it was good, there were still things to work on. […]

Basic Writing Principle #2: Your Story Must Have Dialogue

I know this seems like a ridiculous problem to even have to mention, but the truth is that I have edited books with no dialogue. This is a serious problem. Of course, if you’re writing a science textbook, you probably don’t need to add dialogue. But for the purposes of this post, I’m going to […]

Learning Point of View: Omniscient Third Person

Point of view means the character whose eyes are observing what happens in the story. A consistent point of view helps a manuscript maintain focus. There are three types of point of view focus–first person (“I”), second person (“you”), and third person (“he/she”). I have read many books where each of these was utilized successfully, but to […]

Learning Point of View: Limited Third Person

One of the ways in which a manuscript can lack focus is if there is no consistent point of view. Point of view means the character whose eyes are observing what happens in the story. There are three types of point of view focus–first person (“I”), second person (“you”), and third person (“he/she”). I have […]