Welcome!

Welcome to the blog of Lewis Editorial! I’m Cecilia Lewis, a freelance editor and writer dedicated to the art of bringing stories to life. I hope to use this blog to share some of what I’ve learned during my years as an editor with other writers looking to improve their craft or learn about submitting their work. I have lots of new content planned for the coming weeks, so consider following the blog for updates!

And while you’re here, take a look at my Services page to see what I offer, or find out more about me.

Have an idea for a topic you’d like to see on the blog? Leave a comment or contact me!

Query Letter Red Flags (Part 3)

typewriterIn honor of the Pitch Wars writing contest gearing up this year, I thought I’d revisit my Query Letter Red Flags series (you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here). As someone who routinely reads through a submission pile, I see a lot of similar querying mistakes. While none of these issues will make me outright reject a manuscript, they’re red flags that will make me more hesitant about the submission. Here are a few: Continue reading

Book Marketing Tasks in 15 Minutes or Less

illustration-of-books-pvRecently, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by my book promotion to-do list. It seems there’s always an infinite number of marketing tasks. While I remember to carve out time for the biggest ones, I think it’s the little things that often fall through the cracks. It can take me weeks to get around to making a simple website update, for instance, even though the task itself takes less than five minutes.  Continue reading

6 Tips for Writing Character Deaths

1280px-Stipula_fountain_penI’ve written tips on writing sad scenes before, but now I’d like to take a look more specifically at scenes involving character deaths. (Note that I’m focusing on the deaths of “good” characters here, rather than villains—that’s for another post!) Many writers will have to write a character death at one point or another, but it’s a challenging moment to tackle. Too much emotion can feel overly dramatic, while too little won’t evoke the right response in the reader. How can you write meaningful character deaths with the right amount of emotion? Here are my tips: Continue reading

5 Reasons Editors Stop Reading Your Manuscript

redpenAt my day job, I routinely read through the submissions pile of manuscripts to consider them for publication. I often enjoy reading through them, as I’ve found some amazing gems that way. But, more often than not, I stop reading a manuscript before I get to the end, because I already know it isn’t ready for publication (or isn’t right for publication with us). I thought it might be helpful for writers to know what happens on the other side of the submission pile—why do editors stop reading manuscripts? Continue reading

A Year in the Life of a Book in Progress: Part 2

Guest post by Ellie Presner

Note from Cecilia: This is a continuation of last week’s post by guest contributor Ellie Presner, who has graciously shared her chronicle of her book’s progress with this blog. These book progress reports were originally shared on Ellie’s blog, and we’ve compiled them together here. This is an interesting look at the timeline of a book and the querying process, for anyone who might be interested in what the process is like—and how long it takes! Check out Part 1 here. Take it away, Ellie! Continue reading

A Year in the Life of a Book in Progress: Part 1

Guest post by Ellie Presner

Note from Cecilia: This week’s guest contributor is author Ellie Presner, who has graciously shared her chronicle of her book’s progress with this blog today. These book progress reports were originally shared on Ellie’s blog, and we’ve compiled them together here. This is an interesting look at the timeline of a book and the querying process, for anyone who might be interested in what the process is like—and how long it takes! This will be a two-part post, with the second half to follow next week. Take it away, Ellie! Continue reading

The Do’s and Don’ts to Dialogue Tags

Guest post by Ryan Lanz

DialogueWriters use dialogue tags constantly. In fact, we use them so often that readers all but gloss over them. They should be invisible. However, there are ways to misuse them and make them stand out.

In an effort to avoid that, let’s take a closer look at dialogue tags. Toward the end of “Tag travesties” is something I sorely wish someone had told me before I started writing. Continue reading

From the Archives: 5 Tips for Writing Supporting Characters

I’m on a writing deadline this week, so in lieu of a new post, I’d like to share this one from the archives for those who may not have seen it (or those who’d just like a refresher). This was originally posted June 9, 2016.

1280px-Stipula_fountain_penWriters typically spend a lot of time characterizing their protagonists. Which makes sense, as the protagonist is the character that the reader will spend the most time with. But it’s important to make sure that you’re not neglecting the characterization of your supporting cast, too. A good supporting cast can often elevate your book for readers, who will remember all of the characters they loved long after they’ve finished reading. Continue reading