Archive for July, 2007

A Sure-Footed Voice

A funny thing happened to me during the editing process. I realized my biggest problem scene is in the first chapter. In the first scene of the first chapter. I’m actually pretty happy with the rest of it–the other eighty or ninety or one hundred scenes. I’m not sure how it happened that the first and most important scene became dud-ish. Well, I have a few suspicions. That first scene was, literally, the first that came to me in this […]

New Books & Business News

New blurbs are up on the WU Google Notebook. Read them

Harry Potter and the Narrative Charnel House

Warning: If you don’t want to hear what happened in the book, don’t read this. There are spoilers ahead.

It read like an episode of the Sopranos.

Beloved characters die gruesome deaths with little or no mourning for their passing. A caged animal blows up. A hat bursts into flames while being worn. The mucus pouring from a dying man’s orifices is collected and studied. A snake punches out of the neck of an old woman’s rotting cadaver.

These vignettes […]


Anyone interested in breaking into the children’s or young adult market, take note: Today’s interviewee knows a lot about this business. Alice Pope is the editor of the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market (CWIM), the foremost guide for these genres, published annually through Writer’s Digest Books. We’re thrilled she’s agreed to answer some of our questions about CWIM and the market itself. Enjoy!

Interview with Alice Pope

Q: For people who might not know, what is the CWIM? What makes it a […]

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I’ve caught myself sounding tired and negative in my recent posts—I put this down to a lengthy struggle with the current wip. This started out as a book called Heart’s Blood, then when I was about five chapters in and under contract in Australia and the UK, the US rights were sold for that novel and another stand-alone book on the proviso that I delivered them in the reverse order. The deadline was the same. I had to put away […]

Postpartum Pottermania

It’s over.  Or is it?

In an exclusive interview with American television, Rowling confirmed she “probably will” publish more details about her beloved characters.

She said the encyclopedia would include background stories of characters she has already written but had to cut – such as Harry’s school friend Dean Thomas.

She also said the book would include details of a new headmaster at Hogwarts, and who was teaching defence against the dark arts at the magical school.

“I’m not going to do it tomorrow […]

MOVIE ANALYSIS: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Part 2

Yesterday, Therese and I dished about the newest Harry Potter flick. While we both gave it the thumbs up, we did have a few nits.  Mostly we were pleased with the way the filmmakers managed to streamline an unwieldy story into a swift two-hour movie while retaining plot coherence. Today, we continue our analysis.

Kathleen: The Umbridge character is really worth dissecting for writers who want tips on creating memorable villains. Rowling took the mantra of contrasts to the […]

MOVIE ANALYSIS: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

We’ve neglected them, but no longer.  Movie Analyses are back!  This time, Therese and I managed to go see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and being the screenplay buffs that we are, we’ve dissected the movie for its storytelling aspects and overall merits.  If you’re sick of Pottermania, we can’t help you this week. Here goes.

Kathleen:  Hurrah!  I finally got to see a summer popcorn movie and it was a doozy.  I adored Harry Potter and Order of […]

INTERVIEW: Dave King, Part 2

If you missed part 1 of WU’s interview with Dave King, click HERE, then come on back. Dave’s not only a professional editor, he’s the co-author of the must-have book, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print. We’re honored to have him with us.

In this part of our interview, we talk about managing backstory, choosing a POV, adverbs, and the secret to good dialogue. Enjoy!

Part 2: Interview with Dave King

Q: You want your readers to know […]

Separating Fact from Fiction

One of the things that has surprised me most, now that The Department of Lost and Found is out there in the world, is how so many people assume that the book is true to my real life. As if the word “fiction,” is really just code for thinly disguised memoir. I’ve even had close friends say to me, “So, you’re obviously Sally, right?” or “Ooh, I recognized all of your ex-boyfriends in the diaries.”

Erm. No. […]

Farewell, Potter, and Thanks.

Did you know that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is being published in 90 countries? Yeah, I’m one of the kazillion people anxiously waiting for this weekend and the final installment in JK Rowling’s fantasy series. Will good crush evil? Will Dumbledore’s Army find the remaining horcruxes before the Death Eaters gain strength? Will Harry discover that HE is a horcrux (that scar, that scar!)? Will he survive his final confrontation with Voldemort? Who will die?

Mostly, I’m just […]


Want to know what a real editor will do for your manuscript? So did we, and we wanted to know some of his secrets as well, which is why we’re so pleased that Dave King, professional editor and co-author of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print, granted us this interview. Read on to learn Dave’s process, how having your work edited becomes a true learning experience, common mistakes he sees, and what he really thinks about […]