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We'd Like A Word

104 EpisodesProduced by We'd Like A WordWebsite

A podcast & radio show about words: writers, readers, books, poetry, lyrics, scripts, comedy, illustrators, agents & all things wordy.


64. Editing books (Part 2) with Russel D McLean & Linda Nagle (NB: includes swearing)

Editing books (Part 2) with Russel D McLean & Linda Nagle:  Russel and Linda, both editors, both writers, reveal to We’d Like A Word presenters Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan the secrets of book editing and how they make your writing better. (Warning - includes lots of swearing.) Russel is the Scottish noir author of Ed's Dead (fast, funny and deadly) and the J McNee series. A Dundonian reader once commented on one of his books: "I've read that book. It was so awful I had to burn it!" (PW adds: I also read it. It was awfully good.) Linda is a screen writer and author of work published in Tales of the Female perspective (Chinbeard Books); Paladins (Near to the Knuckle); 6 x 6 x 6 (Ice Pick Books), Within Darkness and Light (Nothing Books), The Black Room Manuscripts, Vol. 3 (The Sinister Horror Company) and her own anthology – Stranger Companies.  We talk about what structural and copy editors actually do, how they deal with rubbish writers who think they're prefect, how they dish out constructive criticism and why you should probably not write a sex scene and definitely never describe someone as having a "nonchalant nose". Other lessons - surprise does not equal tension (see The Sixth Sense), holding back tears is better than weeping, plot = character, abduction is better than murder (Denise Mina), simpler = more profound (says Hemmingway), "show, don't tell" does not mean referencing raised eyebrows in every third paragraph. We also bring in Jericho Writers, Harry Bingham, Duncan Bradshaw, Philip K Dick on hidden meanings, Splatter Punk, the Dystopian States of America, Beer and Book zoom talks with the Craft beer Shop in Little Chalfont, hermaneutics, Haverill House, Theakston's Old Peculier, Stephen King, JK Rowling, Chain by Adrian McKinty, Dreyer's English, Jake Thackray, James Ellroy, Frederick Forsyth, Lawrence Block, Jack Reacher's kidney stones (surely he must have some?), Alan Guthrie, Gerard Brennan, Blasted Heath, Five Leaves bookshop, Severn House, and... why "jock" is the rudest word of all. Phew! That's loads.

We'd Like A Word is a podcast and radio show from authors Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, celebrities, talkers,  poets about books, songs, lyrics, speeches,  scripts, fiction and  non-fiction. We go out on various radio platforms and occasional Wednesdays on podcast. Our website is -  which is where you'll find information about Paul and Steve and our  guests - and details of the radio stations that carry We'd Like A Word.  We're also on Twitter @wedlikeaword and Facebook @wedlikeaword and our email is - and yes, we are slightly embarrassed by the missing apostrophes. We like to hear  from you - your thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you'd like to come on We'd Like A Word in person, to chat, review, meet writers or read out passages from books. . .

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