The Edit (Jorio)

Write, think, write, pause

Rearrange the good words

Dispose of the bad

Consider: ditch the lot

#VignetteSeries – A Queen Angers

Author's Note: This is a snippet from the Steampunk Novel I am currently editing. Here, two particularly slimy scientists are confronted by a — let's say altered — Queen Victoria. She is not a happy monarch.
Objects 177

“What is it you wish of us, Your Majesty?” Monk’s words shot from his mouth like a trigger-happy soldier.
They were met by an ominous silence. The quiet extended from a pause, to a thought, to a comatose sleep.
Monk wrung his hands together as the silence lengthened, his finger ends apparently not up to the job on their own. Somerset fiddled with something deep inside his jacket pockets before reemerging to pick remnants of Monk’s masonry from his shoulders. Each piece fell to the floor with a plink.
“I hate littering!”
“Sorry, Your Majesty,” Somerset’s hasty response as he shoved both hands back inside his pockets.
“I hear you have taken issue with my eyes.”
“No… no, not at all. I just mentioned it to…”
“To whom?”
“Just Sir Magnus, Ma’am, I was concerned nothing more.”
“It concerns me that you are concerned enough to concern yourself with a verbal distribution of facts that do not concern you.”
The words echoed around the throne room like the bells of Westminster Abbey. Sir Magnus covered his ears, Somerset, too. The warning grew louder than ever until the two pitiful figures quaked on the floor like rabbits before the hounds.
Only when the two men wept without care for who or what saw them, mucus pouring from their noses like Cumbrian tarns, did the echoing stop. Not even a ghost of a whisper remained.

Writing Tools for the Professional Writer

Writing Tools for the Professional Writer

Author’s Note: This is a copy of my latest post on Medium. I hope you find it useful.

In real life, I’m not a fussy man. Sure, I like what I like — who doesn’t? — but my tastes are simple. This is not the case in my literary life.

Let’s get the main issue out of the way: I hate Microsoft Word! I use it when I have to and no more. A modern writer does not need every tool in the book only a keypad and screen to see which keys they’ve tapped. A proliferation of ‘tat’ as my Grandad used to say, or, stuff for stuff’s sake, serves only one purpose and that is to delay the art of actual creation.

‘Okay!’ you shout. ‘What should I use?’

I would never tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t write with as it is so individual a choice, but I can share what I use and hope it helps you.

You will have heard of many of these and I apologise in advance that most are for the Mac or iOS as they are my working platforms.


This is a simple choice for an un-simple — can I say that? — application: Scrivener.

Scrivener is a do-all tool that can and do as little or as much as you wish it to. I use Scrivener for all long-form writing. I won’t go into details because it will bore you, but the main reasons I love it, are as follows.

  1. Scrivener handles all aspects of compiling your manuscript so you don’t have to worry about it.
  2. Scrivener is adjustable. I like to feel comfortable when I write. I like information available, index cards etcetera, but out of the way. I like a fullscreen mode, focus mode, dark backgrounds and the list goes on. I doubt there’s anything a writer could think of that Scrivener does not do.
  3. Most of all, it’s reliable and multi-platform. Plus, now that there’s an iOS and companion, although I found the sync hard to set up, the whole ensemble is complete.

Note: I would like to add that I found diving straight into Scrivener and playing around, much easier than watching the screencast, (it boggled my weak mind). Others may laugh at this, but better to be truthful.

Prowritingaid. I finish all my compositions by putting them through You can paste up to 3000 words into it and have the site evaluate all possible mistakes. Take the results with a pinch of salt and learn from them. This is superb and I cannot recommend it enough. I have the full unlimited version but the free one will suffice most people.

Grammarly. When I have put my work through the above site, I then do so again through Grammarly. I find Grammarly better at picking up punctuation issues than Prowritingaid but the latter better at passive voice and adverb advice. Again, Grammarly has paid and free plans so there’s no excuse for not being able to use it.

Short-form Writing

Ah, here we go. As I said at the start, I am a fussy, fussy writer. I like to write on certain coloured backgrounds particularly on small devices. The same goes for fonts and general presentation. The following accommodate my foibles.

  1. Ulysses: Available on Mac and iOS. Ulysses is the closest simple writing app to Scrivener. It uses Markdown, which I love and am using now, but allows for customisation and general simplicity of views.
  2. Byword: As above but much simpler. You don’t have the choice of customisation with Byword as some apps; you don’t need to. The company’s choice of tools is perfect for plain, non-complicated writing in any genre or style.
  3. iA Writer: As above but arguably even simpler as you get less choice with fonts. Another beautiful Markdown writer that makes the job of typing out a story a true pleasure. (This actual post is written and posted using iA Writer).

Author’s Note: All three of the writers above have free services to publish direct to various blogging platforms, (VERY USEFUL).

NB: I would like to give an honourable mention to the new Bear app (Mac and iOS). For general notes and a bit of all the above, the Bear application is stunningly beautiful. A true pleasure to use.

I would also like to mention for sourcing great free images. They, too, also have an iOS app.

Most Important

You! There are no tools to replace a writer’s imagination. Let your thoughts flow and fingers type. Always write the way you want, about what you want, and others will see your heart and talent shine through. Everyone has talent. Never take no for an answer when it comes to writing. Keep going. Make it a habit. Enjoy it.

I hope you enjoyed this post and can make use of some or all of my recommendations. If nothing else, try the grammar checkers.

Thank you for reading


Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

Shhh, don’t tell! The conclusion to the series, Into Eternity, available very soon.

Ooh, very exciting!

Free Writing Resource (

Hello everyone.

I stumbled across a little gem of a site that might be of interest to anyone who does a lot of writing or is looking for something that bit different. I thought I’d share it with you. It’s free.

If you go to, you’ll be presented with a smashing app that works in any desktop browser but appears as good if not better than most native apps. It’s a writing environment capable of single texts or whole projects. There are multiple exporting options, word counts and all the necessary bits and pieces one could want. I also love the fact it is customisable. I prefer to write on a dark background (gentler on the eyes) and this not only has black but a number of other options, fonts and colour, too. Wonderful!

A bonus is that you can share links, export as, to open on or in other writing apps. As a lot of you that read me know, I often write this way.

I hate word processors, so to have another option always helps stimulate the brain. I truly hope you enjoy it. Just so you know, all they require is an email and password for it to work.


Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted


I’ve Been Very Naughty!

Shh! Don’t tell my publisher. I’m supposed to be editing book two of The Eternals, but between you and me, I needed to write. So, a few days ago…….

……then, I got a bit carried away and didn’t stop. Now, I’m up to here……

……now I really should leave this and crack on with my editing. And I would, too, unless……


Well, almost done, anyway.


How Will You Know? (Editing, an Unfortunate Truth)

Here are my top ten tips for knowing when you may have been editing too long.

Everything is fine until dinner break and then this happens.

  1. You put your soup bowl in the microwave but forget to fill it with soup.
  2. You cut more finger than bread with your breadknife.
  3. You then butter said finger.
  4. You get angry when the television won’t turn on, but then remember you have to plug it in first.
  5. You then proceed to curse at the remote control for not working when, in fact, you’re holding your phone.
  6. You can’t understand why your spoon feels awkward in your hand and realise you’re still holding the damn phone. Addendum: You then realise you didn’t fetch a spoon.
  7. You give up and go to make a coffee almost blowing up the kettle as it contains no water.
  8. Storm to the sink and turn the tap on full blast saturating yourself in the process.
  9. Finally, relieved and happy, you sit back on the sofa with your coffee mug between your legs but lean back too far. You are also too tired to care that your crotch is now soaking and drink what’s left of your coffee.
  10. Last of all, in an effort to complete a task that should’ve been done with hours earlier, you regather your writing equipment: headphones; leads; thesaurus; phone (yes, him again) and sit down to realise but not really care, you’ve forgotten your laptop.

This was a public service announcement from the ‘What The Hell Am I Doing Party!’

PS on a lighter note, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who liked my Facebook Author page yesterday. I now have enough likes to customise its address which I shall be doing soon. (God Help Me!!!)

The Editing Poem

Editing poem Image

Editing, editing
That’s all I do
I’m editing this
As I send it to you

My eyes are strained
And so is my brain
But the benefits are
I’m staying out of the rain

I should be going
I’ve got a lot on
And with this procrastinating
I’ll probably go wrong

But, never fear
As it’s time to eat
I’ll come back refreshed
And write like a treat