About Dave King

Dave King is the co-author of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, a best-seller among writing books. An independent editor since 1987, he is also a former contributing editor at Writer's Digest. Many of his magazine pieces on the art of writing have been anthologized in The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing and in The Writer's Digest Writing Clinic. You can check out several of his articles and get other writing tips on his website.

Recent Posts by this author:

  • The Art of Transparency
  • Why Write?
  • Bombing Through It
  • Feeding Your Readers Information: A Look at a Master
  • What Do Your Readers Know and When Do They Know It?
  • Learning to Love your Fanatic
  • Forthwringing Tonguishness
  • Everything I Need to Know About Character, I Learned From Buffy
  • Everything I Need to Know About Plot, I Learned From Buffy
  • It’s a funny world.
  • Bafflegab
  • Newton’s Third Law of Writing

  • Bombing Through It

    Back in the nineties, before social networking or even blogs had been invented, I belonged to a chat list for published writers.  You carried on a slow conversation with like-minded people by sending e-mails to a central server, which then sent them out to all members of the list.  Tom Clancy, another list member, used […]

    What Do Your Readers Know and When Do They Know It?

    As any good operative can tell you, information is power.  Whether you’re dropping bombshells on your readers, teasing them with hints and suggestions, or letting them know ahead of time that disaster is approaching, you control their reactions by how and when you dole out the facts.  So how do you best wield the power […]

    Learning to Love your Fanatic

          “The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”  C. S. Lewis. Fanatics make terrific villains, whether it’s an animal activist […]

    Forthwringing Tonguishness

    A client recently asked me why English is so bizarre.  She was trying to explain its quirks to a precocious, bi-lingual eight-year-old, and not doing very well.  Not that I did much better – English is a genuinely freaky language, with random spelling rules, no particular sentence structure, and far more words than any reasonable […]

    Everything I Need to Know About Character, I Learned From Buffy

    Which is more important, plot or character?  It’s one of life’s great dichotomies, like the question of nature vs. nurture or Coke vs. Pepsi.  And like most great dichotomies, the answer is:  all of the above. So it didn’t surprise me when last month’s column on Joss Whedon’s gifts with plot triggered a discussion that […]

    It’s a funny world.

    A lot of humorous novels build the comedy into the characters.  We watch two hapless lovers stumble toward each other in rom-coms or pull themselves out of increasingly bizarre situations in screwballs.  You can write this kind of humor with nothing more than insight into human nature and enough love for your characters to laugh at […]

    Bafflegab

    This delightful word was originally coined in the fifties to describe deliberately confusing bureaucratic jargon.  Since then, science fiction writers have co-opted the term for the scientific background you feed your readers to explain the ways in which your world differs from reality.  It’s the bafflegab that persuades your readers to suspend disbelief. It’s most […]