About the Book

The Fiction Editor, the Novel, and the Novelist

The Fiction Editor, the Novel, and the Novelist

A Book for Writers, Teachers, Publishers, and Anyone Else Devoted to Fiction
October 2006
Trade Paperback · 167 Pages
$16.95 U.S. · $18.50 CAN
ISBN 9781589880306
Paul Dry Books


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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.

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.