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Savvy Edit Sharpens Your Suspense Mystery Novel

Careful edit smoothens storyline, fixes loopholes

A mystery suspense novel is the most demanding job to write or edit. This is because not only must the author's research be good and unassailable, the editor is doubly responsible for ensuring that the storyline is sound and logical. The editor must point out to the author, or eliminate outright, any contradictions or inconsistencies he or she discovers. Potentially embarrassing and incongruent errors cannot be allowed to reach the first printing of the story.

The editor should be enough of a generalist to be knowledgeable about current general information. In addition, though, this also requires that the editor has to be very familiar with various specialized areas of knowledge and should be diligent enough to research and delve competently into the arcane environment involved in the story. In the same vein, the editor should be up to date on current events and global as well as local (to the story) political affairs; this is so that he or she can discern whether the individual ideas and events narrated in the book are plausible and can have a basis in reality.

The editor must also be thoroughly logical in order to ensure that the events and situations depicted as the plot unfolds are without loopholes or contradictory scenarios. In other words, even while knowing at heart how the storyline develops, the editor must be able to view the story from the mind of the reader, who only gets to follow the plot sequentially. The author may have overlooked that a passage preempts an event incorrectly and thus blunts the desired impact on the reader; it is the editorís job to point it out and recommend workarounds to the author.

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