The Fiction Editor, the Novel, and the Novelist: A Book for Writers, Teachers, Publishers, and Anyone Else Devoted to Fiction

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9781589880306: The Fiction Editor, the Novel, and the Novelist: A Book for Writers, Teachers, Publishers, and Anyone Else Devoted to Fiction
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"Lucid, thoughtful writers and teachers will learn much from it Belongs wherever Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style finds frequent use." Booklist

"Writers will actually learn things here." Los Angeles Times

"Perfect for teachers, critics and general readers." Library Journal

"Required reading for all those who care about good fiction." Kirkus Reviews

Drawing upon twenty-eight years of experience as the CEO and editorial director of St. Martin’s Press, Thomas McCormack gives practical guidance about how to plan, write, and revise a novel. A standard reference for editors since its first publication in 1988, The Fiction Editor has also become popular with writers because McCormack’s advice is constructive at every step of the creative process. From individual word choice right up to the overarching effect of the work as a whole, he details how to structure the novel, choose the characters, drive the story, diagnose narrative ailments, and find and apply specific remedies.

In this revised second edition, McCormack takes advantage of almost two decades of additional experience to clarify and expand on what he has learned.

"Written in an amiable tone, often using examples, hypothetical writing scenarios, or dialogue-style discourse between industry professionals to clarify its points, The Fiction Editor, the Novel, and the Novelist is a superb handbook for fiction writers but especially recommended for prospective and professional fiction editors." Midwest Book Review

Thomas McCormack edited authors as diverse as James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small) and Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs). He was awarded LMP's Lifetime Achievement Award and the AAP's Curtis Benjamin Award for Creative Publishing. For two years, he wrote "The Cheerful Skeptic" column in Publishers Weekly.

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About the Author:

Thomas McCormack was the CEO and Editorial Director of St. Martin's Press for 28 years. He personally edited authors as diverse as James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small) and Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs). In 1997 he left the book world to write plays. He also wrote "The Cheerful Skeptic" column for PW for 2 years.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Editor's Lot

Once, as a beginner, I had an experience that revealed the editor's lot to me. I was a raw and gauche assistant that you would not inflict in person on any author, but I was thought of as a good `backroom' boy--someone at whom you could shove eleven hundred pages of chaos and demand, "Fix it!" That was my assignment on a James T. Farrell manuscript. No one had told me the difference between an editor and a rewrite man, so I toiled manically for six weeks, cutting four hundred pages, rearranging sections, rewriting sentences, rendering two hundred straight-narrative pages into scenes because the great man, then in his twilight, had simply forgotten to write dialogue. My boss did not have time to look at what I did in any detail, and the manuscript went straight into copyediting, where it fell under the eye of Frank Riley, veteran checker of scripts. I can see him now: a hundred ten pounds, very pale and gray, riven with tremors, and always seeming to smoke three cigarettes at once. "This is for you," he said, darting into my hand a memo that he had just written my boss. "In my seventeen years at Doubleday," it began, "I have never seen such a job as young McCormack has . . ." If I had had the money, I'd have hired a plane to scatter thousands of copies of the memo over New York. In fact, cross-eyed with pleasure, I promptly lost the thing.

Next came the author. Queasy with doubt, I had to bring the galleys to Farrell at his room in the Beaux Arts Hotel. (My boss decided not to show him the postoperative manuscript; the revision was put directly into type.) Farrell sat me down and went to his desk to address his novel. He read exactly six pages. Then he turned to me. This is it, I felt, and I could see the headline: NOTED AUTHOR RUBS OUT SNOT-NOSED TAMPERER. What he said, in his tough-guy Chicago voice, was, "You're good, kid." Not another word about the book, and he never read more. He spent the rest of the afternoon telling me about the Black Sox scandal.

I was young and green, but after an hour's proud elation I saw the moral clear: Except for Frank Riley, no one would ever know what I'd done in my editorial servitude. In this case, not even the author. (And don't think you now know; underlying everything I say is this unsettling fact: For all you can be sure, I too have the sensibility of a bedpan, and I may have driven a graphite stiletto through the heart of Farrell's book. Any editor can summon up some self-congratulatory story.) When working at that second part of their general assignment--the editing of the script--editors are always in the `backroom'. And I agree with Perkins: That's where we should be. I should add that my efforts did not take chaos and turn it into a great book. I never worked harder in my life, but all I managed to do was make it publishable. That too is a comment on the editor's lot.

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9780312022099: The Fiction Editor

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ISBN 10:  0312022093 ISBN 13:  9780312022099
Publisher: St Martins Pr, 1988
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9780312114671: The Fiction Editor, the Novel and the Novelist: A Book for Writers, Teachers, Publishers, Editors and Anyone Else Devoted to Fictoin

St. Ma..., 1994
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9780283998270: The Fiction Editor, the Novel and the Novelist: A Book for Writers, Teachers, Publishers, Editors and Anyone Else Devoted to Fiction

Sidgwi..., 1989
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Book Description Paul Dry Books, Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Lucid, thoughtful.writers and teachers will learn much from it.Belongs wherever Strunk and White s The Elements of Style finds frequent use. --Booklist Writers will actually learn things here. --Los Angeles Times Perfect for teachers, critics and general readers. --Library Journal Required reading for all those who care about good fiction. --Kirkus Reviews Drawing upon twenty-eight years of experience as the CEO and editorial director of St. Martin s Press, Thomas McCormack gives practical guidance about how to plan, write, and revise a novel. A standard reference for editors since its first publication in 1988, The Fiction Editor has also become popular with writers because McCormack s advice is constructive at every step of the creative process. From individual word choice right up to the overarching effect of the work as a whole, he details how to structure the novel, choose the characters, drive the story, diagnose narrative ailments, and find and apply specific remedies. In this revised second edition, McCormack takes advantage of almost two decades of additional experience to clarify and expand on what he has learned. Written in an amiable tone, often using examples, hypothetical writing scenarios, or dialogue-style discourse between industry professionals to clarify its points, The Fiction Editor, the Novel, and the Novelist is a superb handbook for fiction writers but especially recommended for prospective and professional fiction editors. --Midwest Book Review Thomas McCormack edited authors as diverse as James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small) and Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs). He was awarded LMP s Lifetime Achievement Award and the AAP s Curtis Benjamin Award for Creative Publishing. For two years, he wrote The Cheerful Skeptic column in Publishers Weekly. Seller Inventory # AAG9781589880306

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Book Description Paul Dry Books, Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Lucid, thoughtful.writers and teachers will learn much from it.Belongs wherever Strunk and White s The Elements of Style finds frequent use. --Booklist Writers will actually learn things here. --Los Angeles Times Perfect for teachers, critics and general readers. --Library Journal Required reading for all those who care about good fiction. --Kirkus Reviews Drawing upon twenty-eight years of experience as the CEO and editorial director of St. Martin s Press, Thomas McCormack gives practical guidance about how to plan, write, and revise a novel. A standard reference for editors since its first publication in 1988, The Fiction Editor has also become popular with writers because McCormack s advice is constructive at every step of the creative process. From individual word choice right up to the overarching effect of the work as a whole, he details how to structure the novel, choose the characters, drive the story, diagnose narrative ailments, and find and apply specific remedies. In this revised second edition, McCormack takes advantage of almost two decades of additional experience to clarify and expand on what he has learned. Written in an amiable tone, often using examples, hypothetical writing scenarios, or dialogue-style discourse between industry professionals to clarify its points, The Fiction Editor, the Novel, and the Novelist is a superb handbook for fiction writers but especially recommended for prospective and professional fiction editors. --Midwest Book Review Thomas McCormack edited authors as diverse as James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small) and Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs). He was awarded LMP s Lifetime Achievement Award and the AAP s Curtis Benjamin Award for Creative Publishing. For two years, he wrote The Cheerful Skeptic column in Publishers Weekly. Seller Inventory # AAG9781589880306

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