Author Archives: manuscriptdoctor

About manuscriptdoctor

Wanda Whiteley is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of manuscriptdoctor.co.uk

Mapping your plot

  A good structural skeleton is achieved  through study, analysis, and hard work. This is one area that is not about some innate gift – yes, there will be delicious flashes of inspiration, but diligence will be a better friend … Continue reading

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Dialogue masterclass

How can you advise writers on dialogue? Firstly, I ask them to use their ear; read their dialogue aloud. Those who get it right have what amounts to a musical gift but, frankly, most of us don’t have a knack … Continue reading

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Agent behaviour

Many commercially savvy agents live by the rule: When going through the day’s post, deal only with those things that make money. The rest can be consigned to the bin, or something rather like it: a pile (often on the … Continue reading

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Author’s voice

I know some of you may well be fretting about whether you have a truly unique and individual ‘voice’. Maybe an agent has knocked you back saying that your voice isn’t distinctive enough. Some authors undoubtedly do have strong and … Continue reading

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Similes

For the past week I’ve been working on two thrillers by talented new writers. Interestingly, both suffered from the same tendency to overuse similes. This seems to be a common complaint, which has a whole legacy of education and literature … Continue reading

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The author brand

People love talking about brands. Recently, Orange made an unintelligible move, renaming themselves ‘ee’. This, of course, means nothing to those of us who aren’t in on the secret that this means ‘everything, everywhere’. Orange was one of those really … Continue reading

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Are you an introverted author?

When I attended Bloomsbury’s excellent ‘Self -publishing in the Digital Age’ conference the other week, it occurred to me that there is a glitch inherent in this whole new age of publishing: What if you like writing – you may even … Continue reading

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Treading on Toes

Colm Toibin, the Irish novelist, once told one of his writing classes, “You have to be a terrible monster to write. Someone might have told you something they shouldn’t have, and you have to be prepared to use it because … Continue reading

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Bigging yourself up

If you’ve ever watched Antiques Roadshow you may have noticed how an ordinary Joe, when questioned by a boffin, and with a camera lens in his face, begins to use words he wouldn’t necessarily ‘employ’ (there, I’ve used one). ‘When … Continue reading

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Enemy Agent

I met up with a friend last week who was on the third draft of her novel. She said that she had been on a writing course hosted by a well-known literary agency. I asked her how she’d found it. … Continue reading

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