Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Notes from an Editor

I am going to share some notes I received from a professional editor on one of my books. They are specific to my writing, but as I read over them, I realize that they are global. I can use them for the book I'm editing now. 

If you check the same issues in your writing, you will create a stronger piece of work.


  • 3rd person sounds like passive voice
  • Watch P.O.V. changes
  • Voice is too passive / your Main Character must do things - not have things done to them - can't be helpless
  • Pacing issues: too much thinking in the early chapters - get to the action
  • Start with action
  • Set up the chapters equally 1/3 forward action - 1/3 thinking - 1/3 dialogue (to see if your chapters are even, use 3 highlighter colors. Highlight action in green, inner thoughts in red, dialogue in yellow)
  • Too much backstory
  • Ground in the real world more solidly
  • Watch the movement of time: When are we? What time is it?
  • Don't let us forget about important characters - if they are off page too much readers forget them
  • What are your characters fighting for?
  • Keep things happening
  • Why do we care about anyone? 
  • What depends on the main character changing? 
  • What's at stake?

These notes were specific to REDWOOD BLOOD - which is a middle grade novel I wrote a few years ago. I have sense put it in a drawer. It was my first novel, my learning novel. I still believe in the idea, but the whole thing needs to be reworked if it's ever going to attract readers. But the notes I got from the editor have helped my new novels become better works. 

I hope they help you too.


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