The Magic of Fiction: Crafting Words into Story: The Writer's Guide to Writing & Editing

The Magic of Fiction: Crafting Words into Story: The Writer's Guide to Writing & Editing

by Beth Hill


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The Magic of Fiction: Crafting Words into Story: The Writer's Guide to Writing & Editing by Beth Hill

The prospect of writing a novel can seem daunting, but writing, revising, and editing fiction don't have to be headache-inducing tasks.

In The Magic of Fiction, editor Beth Hill helps you master the ins and outs of writing fiction. Learn how to create stronger first drafts to streamline the revision process later. Learn how to work and rework the fiction elements. And learn how to self-edit your stories whether you intend to self-publish or plan to submit your manuscript to an agent or publisher, whether you're a first-time novelist or a many-times-published author.

This book is your comprehensive guide to crafting fiction. It’s the perfect resource for writers planning to self-publish, authors looking for an edge for their manuscript submissions, and freelance fiction editors looking for a handbook on the craft. Students and educators will also benefit from having specifics about writing and editing in one book.

The Magic of Fiction addresses all aspects of writing and editing, from the mechanics to story issues to style concerns. In it you'll find tips, explanations, suggestions, examples, and a boatload of questions to guide your writing and editing.

This guide includes:

  • A comprehensive editing checklist
  • Fixes for common writing mistakes
  • Specifics for punctuation in dialogue
  • Tips for putting setting to work for your fiction
  • Recommendations for strengthening plot, character, and dialogue
  • Suggestions for editing for the reader
  • Help for writing to genre conventions
  • Tips for word choices
  • A guide for editing approaches

and much more.

Why you need this book:

Every fiction writer should be equipped to not only write well, but to rewrite and self-edit. There are books designed to help you write a novel, books to help you revise, and books to help you with the nitty-gritty of punctuation and grammar. The Magic of Fiction brings all these elements together in a single friendly, easy-to-digest, and comprehensive resource for the writer looking for an edge in today’s literary marketplace.

Easy and convenient to use

The format of The Magic of Fiction helps you focus on what you need when you need it. Chapters provide a detailed discussion of topics and end with “quick lists” and suggestions to help you get straight to work on your own stories.

Written by a freelance fiction editor who’s seen hundreds of works in progress, The Magic of Fiction will help you produce high-quality fiction that will stand out for all the right reasons.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997177008
Publisher: Title Page Books
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Pages: 606
Sales rank: 570,567
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Beth Hill is a freelance fiction editor whose clients range from USA Today best-selling authors to writers just wading into fiction's waters. She's a long-time lover of fiction and considers it a pleasure and an honor to help writers craft their words into strong stories. Her blog ( receives thousands of visits daily from writers and editors searching for tips on perfecting their writing. "Punctuation in Dialogue," her most popular article, has been viewed nearly 375,000 times.

Table of Contents

1-The Magic of Fiction; 2-What You Should Know Before You Start; 3-The First Draft; 4-Rewriting, Editing, or Proofreading; 5-Verifying Viewpoint: Affirming Point of View; 6-Narrative Tense: What Happens When; 7-Shaping Characters; 8-Creating Emotion in the Reader; 9-Inspecting Plot: Does Anything Happen; 10-Showcasing the Setting; 11-Crafting Conflict; 12-Dialogue that Doesn't Stink; 13-Setting and Breaking the Pace; 14-Tone and Mood: Getting Them Right; 15-Exploring Exposition; 16-Refining Style; 17-Dealing with Description; 18-Genre Expectations; 19-More Than Humble Beginnings; 20-Significant Introductions; 21-Shore Up Sagging, Soggy Middles; 22-Endings that Rock; 23-Notable Story Moments; 24-Verify the Presence of Scenes; 25-Punctuation in Dialogue; 26-Numbers in Fiction; 27-Grammar and Punctuation and Spelling, Oh My!; 28-Common Mistakes and Their Fixes; 29-Examining Word Choices; 30-Cut the Flab, Pump Up the Lean; 31-Mute Your Message; 32-Weed Out Author Intrusion; 33-Be a Miser with Your Words; 34-The Name Game; 35-Search For Mistakes; 36-Working Through the Text; 37-The Super-Simple Stuff; 38-The Editing Checklist; 39-Editing Checklist: The Short Version; 40-Editing Checklist: The Ultrashort Version; 41-Tips for Proofing; 42-The Don'ts; 43-Keep the Reader in Mind; 44-Write for the Characters, Edit for the Readers; 45-That One Other Thing; 46-Play Up Your Strengths; 47-Flouting the Rules, Flaunting Your Style ; 48-Exceptions; 49-Talk to Yourself: Ask Some Questions; 50-Smoothing Out the Big Picture; 51-Knowing When the Story Is Finished; 52-Final Thoughts; Appendix One: My Style Sheet; Appendix Two: Hedge Words and Filter Words; Appendix Three: Short Fiction

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