A guide to capitalising titles and ranks

A guide to capitalising titles and ranks

If you’ve ever had a hard time wrapping your head around when you should and shouldn’t capitalise words like ‘sergeant’, ‘doctor’, ‘queen’, and ‘sir’, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re not alone. Probably about half of the manuscripts I edit contain...
Five ways to fix a sagging middle

Five ways to fix a sagging middle

No, I promise I’m not moonlighting as a personal trainer. When I talk about a sagging middle, I’m referring to the way some stories lose their momentum as they reach the halfway point. It’s a common problem – affecting perhaps 10 per cent of the manuscripts I edit –...
How to write flashbacks

How to write flashbacks

Flashbacks are an important part of storytelling, enabling writers to connect the events and actions of the present to things that have happened in the past. They’re a particularly useful tool for demonstrating character motivations and introducing plot twists. If...
The anatomy of act one

The anatomy of act one

Creating a good plot structure is an important step in writing your historical novel. And within that structure, act one is critical. It’s your chance to pull your reader into your story and show them why it’s worth investing their time. In it, you have to 1) persuade...
What kind of editor do you need? A short guide.

What kind of editor do you need? A short guide.

When you’re trying to find an editor for your novel, it can be hard to make sense of all the different specialisms. Content editor, line editor, copy-editor, proofreader? What do they all mean and which one do you need? To help you make sense of it all, I’ve produced...
Writing case study: The Scarlet Thief

Writing case study: The Scarlet Thief

Sometimes you read a book and, from the very first page, you know it’s going to be brilliant. Reading The Scarlet Thief, the first novel in Paul Fraser Collard’s popular Jack Lark series, was, for me, one of those times. For anyone not familiar with Paul’s writing,...