Congratulations! Your draft is done. You are doing well. Now for the exciting part; starting to get your story ready to face the rest of the world. All those hardwon words need to be cut down to size.

Every single word must earn its place in your story. Every sentence, every paragraph, every scene, every subplot must move the story forward. Readers paying to read your story deserve your very best.

Good luck. Your editor thanks you in advance.

Portable Magic


Print or electronic, in any language and/or pictures, books transport us to our favourite places from the microscopic to outer space, anywhere on earth or in the imagination of the writer.

We can choose to travel back in time and live for a moment in Roman, medieval, regency or colonial times or to some imagined alternate world in the future where space travel and aliens are an everyday part our life. We might meet famous people who touch our hearts with their words, art, their selflessness or sheer goodness, or infamous people we would never wish to meet, safely watch how they lived and thought from the distance which can only be bridged by either a book or a nightmare.

We could live through the happiest or saddest of times, solve the most puzzling riddles, murders or searches for truth, the elixir of life as we choose. Wherever we choose to go with the help of a book, we may learn about ourselves and how we might better live and laugh and love.

No matter where you are today, physically or emotionally, you can choose the magic which may transport you wherever you wish to go. So, what magic will you choose for yourself today?

Good books and their secrets


There are many ways to make your book a pageturner. Here are just some.

  • Craft suspense whatever your genre. Make each scene and chapter a cliff-hanger, leaving the reader with questions for which they need answers.
  • Create a delicate balance between what your reader knows and what each character knows.
  • Foreshadowing what is to come creates anticipation.
  • Lead and mislead your reader at appropriate times.
  • Language and word choice create mood and atmosphere.
  • Lush writing involving all the senses creates an emotional response in the reader.
  • Dripfeed your story, allowing your reader the satisfaction of piecing most things together for themselves.
  • Use pacing wisely. Vary the pace at which the story moves, sentence length and structure to build to a climax or relax the reader before a shock or surprise.
  • Raise the stakes both external and internal for your protagonist, then set a clock ticking on a time limit.
  • Use twists and turns to keep the reader curious.