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The editing stage - a process that has left many a talented writer banging their heads against their desks in frustration. We can help you get through it, with these articles on the art of the rewrite and the common mistakes you need to be looking for.

Being Edited

The Thieves of Pudding Mill Lane

So you’ve finally done it. After years of submitting manuscripts to agents, publishers or dentists you learn you share with either of the above, and then collecting enough rejection letters to wallpaper a very sorry-looking writing room, you finally grab an agent or editor’s interest. You’re …

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Bending Genre

Bending Genre

Author, essayist and professor Margot Singer on how bending genre and approaching your writing in a new way can help you revise and rewrite your way to the finished piece. 

Once—just once—I wrote a story that that I didn’t need to revise

From shining idea to fingers tapping at the …

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Discover the art of the rewrite

A designer friend of mine who loves conundrums, said to me last week: “Sometimes the more cornered you are, the more fun you have.”

That struck a chord with me as a writer. I’ve become increasingly convinced of the creative value of writing to constraints. It sounds counter-intuitive but …

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Dusting Yourself Off & Starting Again

Kate Wiseman

Earlier this year I wrote an article for the Writers’ and Artists’ website about my experience of being a runner up in a national writing competition, and about how I used that moment in the spotlight to secure an agent. 

And then, in July, my agent and I parted company due to creative …

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Editing, Editing, Editing

Thanks to all who read and commented on last week’s post about community. It seemed to go down pretty well – perhaps writers aren’t such a solitary bunch after all.

There’s hope for us all yet, eh?

Today’s post is a doozy and I feel like I should start this one especially with a caveat:

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Embracing change: why you shouldn't fear your editor

As authors, selling our work to a publisher is the Dream — capital D. But that dream is often tinged with fear, because selling a book means giving up control. Suddenly, your voice is not the only one that matters, and never does that become more apparent than when you get your first edit …

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Five Ways To Improve A First Draft

William Ryan, acclaimed novelist and course leader of our 10- week writing course Your Novel, shares his five top tips on improving your first draft and honing your manuscript to make it the best it can possibly be.

I take my hat off to anyone who completes the first draft of a novel. It’s …

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From First to Final Draft

Claudia Cruttwell - From First to Final Draft

Claudia Cruttwell takes some time away from yet another re-write to provide an account of her relationship with the editing process... 

‘The first draft of anything is shit.’ So, apparently, said Hemingway. A misconception held by many inexperienced writers is that the first draft …

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In the name of research

How much research do you have to do for your novel?  A BBC radio programme on a spy cruise (a fascinating concept in itself) interviewed some of the participants, and one was doing research for her novel.  She said her character had suddenly developed an Intelligence background and …

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Six pet hates of an editor

OK, I’m putting my neck on the line here and naming the most common pitfalls I have seen writers fall into. In today’s blog, I boldly name and shame what I would happily never encounter again:

  1. An entire chapter revolving around a character walking or driving from A-B alone, …

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The Making of a Book: Editing Process

Arnie Jenks and the House of Strangers

In this new series for Writers & Artists, successful self-published author Tim Bradley will be explaining the process of writing his first children's novel, Arnie Jenks and the House of Strangers, from initial conception through to getting the book into readers' hands. In the second article of …

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Their is a problem with you're grammar

Did you spot the deliberate mistakes?  If so, read no further, you're off the hook!

I am often asked how 'perfect' a submission needs to be, in terms of its grammar and spelling.  Spelling should be spell-checked, preferably by a person rather than a machine, and grammar shouldn't …

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What happens when your manuscript is in the hands of a professional reader?

Cressida Downing, is a professional reader for Writers' & Artists' services, literary agents, publishers and literary scouts. Among her slush-pile finds has been a novel that attracted a six-figure publishing deal.

It’s true, if a manuscript is on the substantial side, it can get …

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What to do after the first draft’s done

Thanks to all who read and commented on last week’s post. It’s great to see writers getting engaged and eager to make better art, and tell better stories.

The topic for this week is both really, really big and really, really simple. It’s daunting to try to give advice to such a vast …

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What to do after you've finished your book

Finishing a book is a feeling unlike any other. The moment after your story is written – the tale written down and the last word, the last full stop, typed up – is a special one. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe if you haven’t been through it. There’s the excitement that you …

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What to Do Before Hiring a Professional Editor

When you think you have finished your book and it is ready to be published, think again. No matter how good the plot line, if your manuscript is filled with typos and grammar errors, it will greatly reduce your chances of getting a publisher or agent to take you seriously.

Perhaps you are intending …

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What to look for when you're line editing

In my experience, line edits can be both invigorating and incredibly frustrating. On the one hand, this is where I get to make my prose really sing, on the other, these edits often come hot off the heels of major story revisions, by which point I’m exhausted, so finessing the language can feel …

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Writing Is Rewriting

The Spider in the Corner of the Room

Writing a book is like running a marathon. No, scratch that. It’s like running five marathons, nay, ten, back to back, one after the other, feet pounding the pavement until you’ve nothing left, then you reach the end, crawling over the finish line, dribble drooling from the corner of your …

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