Tag: editor’s lexicon


As my monthly writing week winds down, and I find myself still struggling with scenes between my protagonist and antagonist, I wanted to share a few insights on what’s working, what’s not, and what I’ve learned in hopes that it will be helpful to at least one of you. I admire Lajos Egri’s book on … Read More »

Writing guide giveaway

As part of a month-long social media course, I’m running an unscientific study on where readers hang out on the ‘net. What’s in it for you? Well, here’s your chance to win one of five free copies of The Editor’s Lexicon: Essential Writing Terms for Novelists. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8265072-the-editor-s-lexicon Head on over to the giveaway page on … Read More »

Thank you, Oregonian!

I received an unexpected Christmas gift from the editor of Portland’s The Oregonian this year: a positive mention of my writing guide, The Editor’s Lexicon (click for link to Amazon). Here’s the review. The mention is at the end of the page: “Instructor Tackles the Whys of Writing.” Thank you, Jeff Baker!

Going once…

If you are a freelance editor, I am giving away copies of The Editor’s Lexicon: Essential Writing Terms for Novelists until the end of this week. (More about the book here.) If you think your clients will find it a useful tool for interpreting your editing and critiques, I encourage you to share it with … Read More »

A resource for writers, editors, and book clubs

ABOUT THE EDITOR’S LEXICON Become a revision-savvy writer with the help of The Editor’s Lexicon: Essential Writing Terms for Novelists. It decodes, defines, and provides helpful examples of the editorial jargon used in writing workshops, critiques, and online forums. Written by an experienced editor and writing teacher, this dictionary-style reference book is a fundamental guide … Read More »

beat (n.)

beat, a moment of silence in a scene. Instead of always telling us “he paused” or “he was quiet for a moment,” you can add a beat of description instead. EXAMPLE: When the point-of-view character needs to pause in the dinner scene, try adding a beat like, “He brushed some crumbs from his lap,” or, … Read More »

plot point (n.)

plot point, any action a character takes that can’t be undone, which moves the plot ahead. EXAMPLE: The fast-paced first 100 pages are dense with plot points, but while the main character is recuperating from the car accident, he doesn’t make enough progress in his investigation, and the novel drags. ***Until April 12, the official … Read More »

clarity (n.)

clarity is the writer’s first goal, because without it, art cannot affect its audience. It eliminates vagueness, avoids awkwardness, and shies from over-writing. Revise for clarity by showing us what something—an emotion, a person, a setting, a gesture—is not, while also attempting to show us exactly what it is. Using precise details and your ear … Read More »