Write well. Write often. Edit wisely.
I’m pleased to announce that The Magic of Fiction: Crafting Words into Story is coming soon.
This book has been three years in the making and has seen many changes since the early days, but I trust that it will prove an invaluable resource for both writers and editors.
The Magic of Fiction contains updated versions of several Editor’s Blog favorites, including the popular “Punctuation in Dialogue” (viewed more than a quarter of a million times) and a vastly expanded editing checklist.
This comprehensive fiction handbook includes:
~ how-tos of both writing and editing for the major fiction elements:
Affirming Point of View
Showcasing the Setting
~ how-tos for major sections of story text:
Endings that Rock
Verify the Presence of Scenes
~ suggestions for what to look for as you edit
~ fixes for common writing mistakes
~ suggestions for editing for the reader
~ tips about genre conventions
~ tips for word choices
~ approaches to rewrites and edits
~ questions and more questions to help you zero in on weak areas
~ suggestions for strengthening big-picture elements as well as detail areas
~ checklists for editing and proofreading
~ easy-to-understand examples
and much more to help you write, rewrite, and edit.
The arrangement of material allows you to focus on individual fiction elements or different aspects of the writing and editing processes without having to read the book from front to back.
Whether you plan to self-publish and self-edit your own work or want to create the best possible manuscript for submission to agents and publishers, The Magic of Fiction will be helpful.
The first version to be released will be a PDF.
Pros of a PDF—
It’s searchable; any word or phrase is easy to find.
You can work on your manuscript with the PDF open on the same computer. Consider it an editor you can consult as you edit and work through problem areas.
You can print pages as often as you need them, especially useful for the edit and proofing checklists.
If you want to collect chapters or sections (or even the full book) into a notebook, you can; margins are wide enough for hole punching.
A PDF can be used on a variety of computers/devices, including tablets. (An app might be required to improve the reading experience for some devices.)
Using portable computers and devices, you can carry the book with you.
You can zoom in and out to adjust page size, yet the font is sufficiently large enough for an easy read.
As with a print book, navigation is easy.
Notes and highlights can be added to PDFs in OneNote. (I’m not sure which other programs allow changes to PDFs.)
Softcover Print Book
A softcover book will be available in the near future.
Pros of a print book—
You can make notes and highlight text on the page.
You can carry it with you.
Searching for major topics and indexed words is easy.
You get to touch the pages.
While I am considering an e-book version, I recognize that the e-book format isn’t the best option for nonfiction books with their many style considerations. If The Magic of Fiction can be formatted well for an e-book and navigation isn’t burdensome, you’ll find an e-book version at about the same time the print version becomes available. Otherwise, I’ll wait until someone develops a better way to format nonfiction for e-readers.
Cons of e-book reference books—
Formatting isn’t optimum for a reference book’s needs.
Navigation, even going back to an earlier page, can be an annoyance. Searching is difficult as well.
When the PDF is ready, you, the readers at The Editor’s Blog, will be the first to know. I’m excited to bring The Magic of Fiction to print.