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The Editor's Lexicon: Essential Writing Terms for Novelists Paperback – April 15, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0971796072 ISBN-10: 0971796076

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Glyd-Evans Press (April 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971796076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971796072
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 4.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,543,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The writing world has waited for a crisp, clear guide for novelists equal to The Elements of Style. The Editor's Lexicon is that book. Every fiction writer and every editor should own, read, and reread Sarah Cypher's concise masterpiece. --Elizabeth Lyon, freelance book editor and author of Manuscript Makeover

"The Editor's Lexicon" is not only an essential tool for new writers, it's an invaluable immersion into the realm of storytelling. It transcends its surface function as a dictionary of literary terminology to create a contextual world of meaning for writers, one that reminds us of how many variables are involved and how essential the various storytelling elements become. Too many writers develop their stories outside of this awareness, they write organically and instinctively, and at their peril. This valuable book introduces the writer to the requisite building blocks of successful storytelling in a way that makes them immediately useful. --Larry Brooks, freelance writer, writing instructor, and critically-acclaimed bestselling author

About the Author

Sarah Cypher is a writer and book editor in Portland, Oregon. Before going freelance in 2003, she served as an assistant editor for the Carnegie Mellon University Press in Pittsburgh, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Creative Writing, also from CMU. In the summer of 2001 she attended Trinity College in Dublin on scholarship through the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Now, besides editing manuscripts, she is a volunteer workshop facilitator for Write Around Portland, and her book reviews appear regularly in The Oregonian.

More About the Author

Sarah Cypher is a writer and editor. Before going freelance in 2003, she served as an assistant editor for the Carnegie Mellon University Press in Pittsburgh, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Creative Writing, also from CMU. In the summer of 2001 she attended Trinity College in Dublin on scholarship through the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop. Now, besides editing manuscripts, she is a volunteer mentor for Communities in Schools San Antonio, and her book reviews appear regularly in The Oregonian.

She is a middling triathlete and a terrible telemark skiier, but she's good at taking apart and reassembling bicycles, juggling oranges, traveling light, and making baklava. The recipe is her great-grandmother's, who probably tasted it first near the coast of northern Lebanon, sometime before the Ottoman Empire fell.

Customer Reviews

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Indispensable - a must for every fiction writer and editor.
Michael J. Hunt
Reading it was like having a fairy godmother hovering above my head, each new page a wave of her wand to magically increase my talent and ability.
JedidiahJames
The book serves two purposes: A lexicon for you to look up terms while working with your editor, or a guide to help improve your writing.
Mark R. Probst

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Libby Cone on May 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a very helpful book. It gives names to many of the pitfalls we try to avoid in our writing, such as scope (which I would call "getting bogged down in one little detail") and info-dump (nobody wants to know that the conference table was rectangular or the taxi was drive-by-wire). The author even has the courage to use a passage from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight to illustrate weak style! She includes typical editorial comments to demonstrate how one might come across the terminology, as well as book excerpts illustrating good and bad execution and concepts that might otherwise seem obscure. It is a very short book, but its treatment of editorial lingo gives writers another tool for looking at their work with a bit more objectivity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JedidiahJames on June 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a novelist, I have spent the entirety of my adult life honing my command and understanding of writing fiction, and this book has been the single greatest resource that I have ever come across to improve my craft. It's value cannot be overstated. It is concise, accessible, and expertly assembled. Every defined term was like a light switch illuminating more and more understanding of, frankly, everything that I have been doing wrong, immediately followed by simple insights into how to make it right. This book was an experiential journey into deep self-discovery (sounds extreme, I know, but I take my work seriously), and a crash-course in advanced writing techniques. Reading it was like having a fairy godmother hovering above my head, each new page a wave of her wand to magically increase my talent and ability. Maybe it's just 'cause I never went to college that I can make this outlandish comparison, but seriously, this wee lil' book was like a master's degree in creative writing for me. If you're a starving artist and struggling writer with eleven bucks to your name, do yourself the biggest favor of your life and spend ten of it on this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Hunt on April 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Indispensable - a must for every fiction writer and editor. Literary reference books are often too wordy, with their over-lengthy examples and valuable information difficult to locate. This lexicon is just the opposite: it offers all the principle terminology in alphabetical order under five useful categories - Premiss, Theme, Voice, Plot, Character and Style - and is cleverly designed for easy reference.

For writers, especially newbies, this little book will almost certainly de-mystify the often cryptic comments made by publishers in those maddeningly brief rejection letters; for editors it makes for a very handy reference to check out first impressions; for book reviewers it will help prevent errors of judgement, and for editors it will sit well alongside their more comprehensive literary texts. In fact, there's something for everyone here.

I shall be recommending this to the would-be authors in my novel writers' support groups and to all my other writing acquaintances in England, so well done Sarah and Glyd-Evans Press.

Matabele Gold The African Journals of Petros Amm Two Days in Tehran
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