Musings

An author friend of mine recently wrote a novel that included a chapter about a haunted World War Two Lancaster bomber. I was thinking about the book the other day (yes, I’m talking about you, Rose Zolock), and completely out of the blue I came upon an idea that might help me explain Point of View to authors. Some new writers have a problem with staying in one character’s POV when writing close third person (and sometimes first person). I’ve tried many ways to explain this, giving my own technique and directing authors to various online resources. I’m not

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Categories : Musings
Posted by Lesley Jones
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One of the things my authors ask me about most often is how they can cut down the number of words in their manuscript. Or they might say it feels heavy or wordy. There might be many reasons for this, but one of the most simple – and one of the most straightforward to resolve – is their use of filler words and phrases (to say nothing of favourite words). I wrote a blog post on the subject of killing your darlings some time ago, but have been inspired to write another (yes, it is very short) post after

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Categories : Musings
Posted by Lesley Jones
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What’s a sample edit, why have one, and whom does it help? No, I’m not talking about revision for the dreaded exams we all remember swotting for at this time of year. I’m talking about revisions to your novel – self-editing if you will. Editors receive many requests for sample edits – which they are usually happy to offer because

  1. Doing them helps the editor evaluate how much intervention the MS will require, how much support you, the author, will need, and thus how much to charge.
  2. You will see the sample edit with all the amendments tracked
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Categories : Musings
Posted by Lesley Jones
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Have you seen that student meme making its way around social media – the one where essay writers are jokingly urged to increase their word count to the required figure by innocently repeating words here and there? I’m sure no dedicated scholar would ever stoop so low, but we have all come across repeated definite articles – especially at the end and beginning of a line. That sort of thing will increase the word count of a novel by perhaps a dozen words, but getting rid of the odd ‘the’ isn’t what I’m talking about (don’t get me wrong,

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Categories : Musings
Posted by Lesley Jones
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What Is Editing?

Holidays and books – go together like jam and clotted cream. How many books did you take on your holiday this summer – and were they classics or new releases? If new releases, did you ever wonder when the book was actually written? I mean, when the author first sat down and put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. How long would that have been before the novel was published? Did you know that JK Rowling first had the idea for the Harry Potter books in 1990, and had all seven of the series planned out before the

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Categories : Musings
Posted by Lesley Jones
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