Fear of Red Ink...

Red ink. I think teachers still use it, in one form or another. When I was at school, it took the form of scrawled words, exclamation marks and even, in some cases, nasty red blots, deposited with apparent abandon over my carefully prepared homework. Not nice... though I expect it sometimes did me good. But I still shudder at the sight of a heavily corrected piece of my own writing. The difference is, these days, the corrections are often my own. I think many of us feel the same. When we get comments from an editor, a reviewer or a potential agent or publisher, our natural inclination is to feel wounded. We've been mauled - or our precious work-child has been, which can feel even worse. An

Editing Tips - Five Ways to Polish Your Dialogue

Dialogue is one of the hardest things to get right. I don't just mean what your characters say - I mean how they say it. Or how you, as the writer, present it. The mechanics of dialogue are tricky, and as an editor I see a lot of recurrent mistakes. If you're going to submit to a publisher or agent, or if you're planning to self-publish, it's important to get these things right. So here are five tips to get you going. Tell us at an early stage who is speaking Bad example: ‘Hello, it's good to see you again. I've been having a really interesting time since I last saw you. Been all over the world - seen all kinds of amazing stuff,’ said Fred. Bad because we have to wait a l-o-o-n-g ti

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