Doing Battle with your Book: Word Count Wars

Word Count Wars

Let’s start with some statistics.

According to Writer’s Digest, the following is a list of ‘good’ ranges for your novels.


  • COMMERCIAL AND LITERARY: 80,000 – 89,999
  • SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY: 100,000 – 115,000


  • YA (YOUNG ADULT): 55,000 – 69,999
  • MIDDLE GRADE (9-12): 20,000 – 55,000

Well… I’m in trouble. Continue reading

Choosing Beta Readers

Choosing Beta Readers


You’ve written a book.


Books are meant to be read, but your first draft is probably not the prize winner you want it to be. Not yet, anyway. That certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be, but you need some fresh eyes. When I first wrote The Elder Throne, my finished first draft was a flawed, exhausted thing. Instead of jumping right into the Beta Reading pool, I knew I had to run it past a developmental editor for a second opinion. Of course, that’s just me. Not everyone wants to do that, and that’s fair enough. What every writer should do, however, is choose a group of Beta Readers. And here’s how. Continue reading

Surviving your first professional edit (Part 2)

PE_Surviving your first professional edit part 2

Read: SYFPE Part 1

I spoke a couple of weeks ago about how to survive the no-man’s land of Editing Season; having your WIP novel removed completely from your control. My novel has since been returned to me, and I’ve started the process of final edits.

The developmental notes were incredibly useful, but it became clear that I had a lot of work ahead of me. Nothing pleased me more than to discover this; it made me realise that my novel was really worth something, and it was in my power to make it shine.

Here are the lessons learned from my first professional edit (including how I handled the edits I didn’t want to make).

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Surviving your first professional edit (Part 1)

PE_Surviving your first professional edit part 1

I am currently experiencing my first ever professional edit.

I’ve edited my own stories before but last month was the first time a book was taken out of my hands completely. I’m pleased and proud to say that Julie Hutchings did the honours, but whilst she was ripping The Elder Throne apart, I was left with empty hands and idle thumbs.

Well, you know what they say about devils and thumbs.

Here are my survival tips for dealing with your first edit.

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