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Editing for Sport: Q&A with John Ethier, Author

Editing for Sport: Q&A with John Ethier, Author

John Ethier’s novel, a basketball thriller titled The Little Red Boat, was edited by Marie Valentine of Book Editing Associates. Here, she gets more information on his process. MV: Tell us about your book. JE: The Little Red Boat is the story of two friends, Jamie and Angel, who come from a small town in northern […]

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What Agents and Editors Look for in a First Chapter

What Agents and Editors Look for in a First Chapter

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that as much as an agent or editor might wish otherwise, they will never be able to read each and every page of the projects they have in on submission. They have to eat, pay attention to pesky children and spouses, and occasionally even read other books so they have […]

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Finding Your Writing Style as a Novelist: Part 1

Are you a pantser or a plotter/planner? If you’re a novelist and you’ve done even a little bit of reading about the craft of fiction, then you’ve likely come across the terms “pantser” and “plotter,” which is also called “planner.” Simply put, if someone asks which kind of fiction writer you are, she or he […]

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The Superhero Mystique

The Superhero Mystique

In the last few years, superhero fiction has become extremely popular among writers not associated with the traditional publishing scene-and personally, I rather enjoy this trend. I’m not sure why. I never grew up reading superhero comic books, though when I was in grad school, I borrowed my roommate’s, and became a Grimjack, Firestorm, and […]

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Are You Overcomplicating Your Novel?

Are You Overcomplicating Your Novel?

Recently I’ve seen a number of manuscripts by talented new writers who are falling into a trap. Writers are overcomplicating their novels, often by choosing unnecessarily experimental narrative techniques, or by deliberately leaving out important plot information. The choices range from switching, seemingly randomly, between past and present tense or first and third person POV, […]

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Living the Publishing Dream

Book Editing Associates editors frequently work with self-published authors. Writers have myriad reasons as diverse as their books for self-publishing. Caroline Robinson self-published her first book and got to enjoy the satisfaction of “finishing” the book, which allows a writer to move on to the next work. In Caroline’s book, House of Mourning, House of […]

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How To Create A Book Outline

Say your novel-to-be is about rock and roll-that much is clear-and you’re ready to outline. Or rather, ready or not, you need to outline. You sit down to your spreadsheet or blank Word doc, your head abuzz with story elements and impressions: the thudding loudness and in-your-faceness of rock’s heyday; some patchy character profiles; a […]

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When an Appositive Becomes a Negative

Part 1: Avoid Long Phrases Separating Subject from Predicate Subject “¦ Predicate “¦ Appositive “¦ For those of you who are already cringing at the thought of an entire article focused on Grammar 101, take a deep breath and relax. This isn’t about grammar so much as good writing that allows readers to more easily […]

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The Difference Between Action and Narrative Tension

You’ve heard you need to grab your reader’s attention with a compelling first page, but often I see writers who start their novel with action, but not tension. The difference is perhaps subtle, but very real. Tension is created when the reader sees a character grappling with specific and relatable problems, while action without context […]

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Age Levels For Children’s Books

Age Levels For Children’s Books

If you’re writing a children’s book, it pays to be familiar with how publishers classify them. Publishers generally assign age groups for readers of various formats as set out in the following list.

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