Editing Fiction

A Writing Guide

How to write a book then pull it apart. 170+ tips checklist. For all levels.

Morgen Bailey works for a wealth of indie authors and publishers. In this book, she guides you through some of the processes needed to take your (primarily) novel or short story from first to final draft so that it’s good enough to submit to a competition, agent, or publisher.

In this book we will be looking at:
* the components of your story;
* points of view;
* tenses;
* the power of three: start, middle, end
* another power of three: characters, setting, plot
* conflict and pacing
* polishing your writing – 170+ tips for making your writing shine;
* the layout of your book;
* and finally (a summary checklist)…

This book is suitable for…
* Writers of any age and experience;
* Writers of novels and short stories (predominantly – it will help scriptwriters and poets too);
* Writers looking to have their writing taken seriously!

Morgen Bailey is a writer, freelance editor, writing blogger, former writing group chair, and creative writing tutor. She has been helping authors refine their novels, short stories, poetry, scripts, and non-fiction since 2008 and has worked with independent and traditionally published writers at every stage of their career.

Morgen writes novels and short stories so is also experienced to help you as a writer, not just as an editor.


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Writer’s Block Workbooks

Useful for any writer at any level, whether they have 10 minutes or 10 hours, to start a new project. Also an ideal tool for writing groups. With a combination of six first-person, six second-person, six third-person and three non-specific point of view starts per week, there are plenty to choose from. Beginning at ‘Day 1’ this book has been designed to be started at any time of the year, and regardless of whether the sentences are used in order or not. With a choice of three per day a writer can select one, two or all and see where it leads them.

Workbook 1: with a combination of six first-person, six second-person, six third-person and three non-specific point of view starts per week, there are plenty to choose from. Beginning at ‘Day 1’ this book has been designed to be started at any time of the year, and regardless of whether the sentences are used in order or not. With a choice of three per day a writer can select one, two or all and see where it leads them.

Workbook 2: with a choice of three sets per day a writer can select one, two or all three, to include in their story or poem, and see where it leads them.

Workbook 3: features over a thousand random prompts, three per day, with writing tips at the end of each week to motivate and inspire, providing kick-starts to avoid the dreaded ‘writer’s block’.

Workbook 4: this time there are 1,000+ (1,095 actually) components comprising: two jobs/names, a character trait, location, object and dilemma each day!

Workbook 5: like workbook 1, this workbook offers a choice of 1,095 sentence starts with tips at the end of each week. In case of a leap year, you get an extra three in this volume!


Reviews & Recommendations

A great tool to kick-start your writing journey!

“With three-sentence starts for each day there is definitely going to be something there to grab your attention! 

It’s not just sentence starters though, there are tips to help you write from different points of view. Fabulous POV explanations are provided as well as tips in the use of tenses in writing.

 I really enjoy using tools like this for myself and also with some of the groups I run at work (using writing as a means of exploring self advocacy and confidence building). They are a great tool for people of all abilities and make for a really inclusive facilitator method.”

Want to stop the white pages of nothingness? Here are enough starts to get you going.

“Looking at a white page, the brightness reflecting the blankness in your mind? 

Reach for this book, find today and start playing with the words offered. Write them out and look. There, your page isn’t blank, the whiteness has learned to hold type. You have started so now you only need to keep going. Let the prompt words frolic in your mind, see where a prompt can take you.

Each week you get a useful tip too. This is a lovely example of an author helping others to overcome white page paralysis.”

These volumes should be embellished, combined, re-titled and re-packaged for a wider market

“This book does it for you. The sets of words are set out in groups of seven; in other words, a week at a time, with a writing tip based around one of the week’s words. 

For writers, it can be an essential nudge in the right/write direction and, as such, its value shouldn’t be underestimated.

The author undersells the book, though. As a former English teacher, what I would have given for a book like this – caught short of a lesson plan, too exhausted to think of anything, just get the kids writing – I would have grabbed this eagerly.”

A useful resource

“This is a fantastic book. The book is easy to follow, with three prompts for everyday and you can do just one, two or all of them. 

What I like is that the prompts are designed to test you. You have to vary your writing preferences and try something new, I tend to always write in the third person, and thanks to this book I am now experimenting with different passages, different perspectives and this helps me to look at writing in a new light.

I also love the weekly tips, I learned a lot from reading these. It is interesting information that just adds to a writer’s arsenal. Thoroughly recommended for writers of any level.”

A handy tool for any writer

“The writing tips were probably my favourite part of the book. Some of them were ones that were not news to me, but some really made me think, and a lot of them will provide a very useful checklist in the process of editing my current WIP, so much so that I am going to summarise them in an editing reference document. For a small volume, this definitely packs a big punch.

This is a great little workbook for any writer who sometimes needs a little push to get the pen to the page, or for anyone who wants an odd thought or sentence from a third party that might spark that new creative connection in their brain that leads to a great piece of writing. A useful tool to have in your writer’s toolbox.”

This book will keep me going with lots of story ideas for quite some time!

“After reading only a few prompts, my mind is buzzing with lots of story ideas already. Morgen uses a few words to kickstart ideas, leaving the rest up to your imagination which is how it should be – I don’t want to re-write another author’s work and ideas – I just need a little help to create “original” ones. 

As a newbie writer I liked the intro that Morgen gave on first, second, third person perspectives, past and present tenses and how they can all be used to mix-and-match for even more new ideas. I also liked the “tip of the week” which helps to keep you on the right track and avoid new-writer mistakes.”


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One for the Road

A hit-and-not-run novel

Panicked at killing a man on a Northamptonshire country road, drunk driver Liam Ross buries the body in the woods. The man was an undercover cop. When Liam returns to the woods… the body has disappeared.

Set in present-day Northamptonshire, England, One for the Road focuses on three interweaving threads: the repercussions for drunk driver Liam Ross after he hits a man on a country road when yet another argument with live-in nurse girlfriend, Jo, has driven him to the pub on that fateful night; gang underling Barry ‘Not Gary’ Newman; and newly married Todd Litten aka Neil Ryder, the policeman who was just doing his job.

“Makes you sit up and take notice.
Morgen Bailey certainly knows how to grab your attention with a shocking event at the start. With such powerful and vivid descriptions, I felt part of the story. How would the lives of the three people connect?”
– Ginger Book Geek


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Hitman Sam

A British comic crime novella

A trainee hitman and a love triangle

Having been made redundant as a photocopier software designer, Sam Simpson is lured by a cryptic advert. As he learns it is for a trainee hitman, will he be tough enough to see the job through?

Even James Bond had to start somewhere and Sam, as his alias Josh Bradley, looks forward to enjoying James’ lifestyle, although soon embroiled in a love triangle, Sam hadn’t expected things to get so complicated so quickly.

“My favourite kind of hitman.
Bailey had me chuckling and suspending all belief…
Sam, he just won my heart.”

“This book was FUN! Sam was a great character. The story is told in short chapters that kept the story moving. There is a large cast of intriguing characters and multiple threads, skilfully woven together. The perfect little book to brighten your afternoon. It will make you smile, it will make you laugh, and it will (almost) make you want to be a hitman …”
– Zooloo’s Book Diary


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Short Story Collections

SHORTS  ~ Short Short Stories

This collection contains 82 stories of 500 words and over. We have crimes afoot, characters with and without friends, loves lost and found, homages, heroes and zeros, humans and non-humans, ghosts and a werewolf. With stories in first, second and third-person points of view, the characters shop, work, or go on journeys, some not beyond their own four walls. 


*The stories in SHORTS & FLASHES were formerly  published in Morgen’s Story A Day Collection and The Fifty 5pms Fictions Collection


FLASHES ~ Shorter Short Stories

This collection comprises 249 stories all under 500 words. We have revenge, luck and misfortune, sharp edges, sticky red hands, no faded circle of skin, twins, family heirlooms, legends of history, writer’s block, Chelsea buns, alien hums, and scratches squeaks and barks. With stories in first, second and third-person points of view, the characters live out their dreams, cling to former lives, and discover more than they were expecting.

*The stories in SHORTS & FLASHES were formerly published in my Story A Day Collection and my The Fifty 5pms Fictions Collection


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After Jessica


A British contemporary cozy mystery novella

Money and a Girl Gone Missing

Meet Jessica, an ordinary girl who comes across extraordinary circumstances and pays for them with her life.

As well as identifying her body, her brother Simon then has to wind up her affairs but gets more than he bargains for…

Who is Alexis, and why are Veronica and Daniel searching for her? Why is there a roll of cash in Jessica’s house, and what’s the connection between his sister and Alexis?

“A clever, fun mystery: A puzzle inside of a puzzle, with characters you care about. Quirks of personality and accidents of circumstance turn ordinary lives into something unexpected.”
– Bill Adler, author

“A pacy, full of intrigue, thrilling read that I couldn’t put down. I thoroughly enjoyed the short snappy chapters. The characters’ stories weave together perfectly as each one brings another piece to the puzzle that is Jessica’s life! ”
– Dash Fan Book Reviews


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Henry Houdini – Dog Detective

A fun British cosy dog-detective amateur sleuth mystery

—for the young in all of us—

There have been amateur sleuths, there have been talking animals – Henry is both. This is Family Guy’s Brian meets Poirot meets My Fair Lady.

Set in Northamptonshire, England… Henry, a talking Jack Russell, is part of a small team researching a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. He is the target of several dognappers but can he use his wit or guile to outwit them and, with the help of laboratory assistant Gwynne Davies, find the proof needed to convict the criminals? Thus begins a series of adventures for the unlikely pair.

Henry, a nineteen-month-old Jack Russell, has been given the ability to talk and now they can’t shut him up! Family Guy’s Brian with just as much attitude but better sleuthing skills

“An entertaining light-hearted read. Henry is a clever dog with a great sense of humour. Anyone who has ever owned a dog will wonder what their pet would say if they had the ability to talk.”
– Mark Tilbury, Author

“Charming and quirky. A must for lovers of quirky cosy mysteries.”

“Henry gains the ability to talk, and not just talk, he’s really rather clever and quick-witted with it to. Burglary, dim-witted dognappers, and also at times quite emotional, especially when Harry, sorry Henry met Sally, and a clever mystery all make for an entertaining and enjoyable read.”
– Alex J Book Reviews


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Henry Goes to the Beach

The Case of the Missing CaseWhen given the day off, laboratory assistant Gwynne Davies and her colleague and erstwhile sidekick Jack Russell, ‘Henry Forsyth the First’ aka ‘Henry Houdini,’ decide to go to the beach.

As with much in Henry’s life, things don’t go smoothly, even before they leave the house!

Having inadvertently been given the ability to talk, Henry’s been told to keep quiet while they’re in public.

Confronted by a sleeping Gwynne, Henry has to solve a mystery alone, all while conscious of acting like a regular dog.


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The Serial Dieter

31 Dishes in 31 Days… and a Sexy Colleague as a Distraction!

Following on a year later from the end of ‘The Serial Dater’ where Northampton-based technology journalist Isobel McFarlane had to date thirty-one men in thirty-one days, her health and beauty colleague, Donna Evans, is given the task of trying thirty-one under five hundred calorie dishes in thirty-one days and writing about it.

To add a complication, she has to cover her equivalent (Veronica) at their sister newspaper offices at Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England, while staying nearby with her exuberant mother, Lesley, at her house in Tring, during the week. 

On Donna’s first day she meets James, a married hottie who she can’t get out of her mind. 

Is the whole project a recipe for disaster or a sweet success?


Buy The Serial Dieter, book 2 in The Serial Series, on Amazon or read for free  on KU.

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The Serial Dater

31 dates in 31 days… what could go wrong? An endearing British dating novel

Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.

Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble,’ whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.

By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?

Readers’ Reviews

Wow! I loved this book. 

It was a refreshing read and I found myself engrossed in the antics of Izzy and her 31 dates willing just one of them to sweep her off her feet.  – The P. Turners Book Blog

Fresh and funny

The clever writing kept my full attention from beginning to end and left me with laughter in my heart and a warm, fuzzy feeling.

– Grace Smith – Reviewerlady

The Serial Dater on GoodReads

“This book is just brilliant and seemed to feature every bloke that I have ever known! Right from the start I just connected with Izzy, a journalist who normally reviews new techno stuff but has agreed to a bit of an undercover mission from her boss William. Izzy has to date 31 men, of her own choosing, from an online dating site and she has to complete it in within 31 days. This makes for some pretty funny reading. It is an absolute perfect pick me up to put a smile on anyone’s face.

A super book that makes you feel part of what is going on. This is a book that I could pick up time and time again. A perfect feel good read!”

– Books From Dusk Till Dawn


“Izzy is a fabulous character and I loved going on the dates ‘with’ her, it is a very funny book in places and I loved the way the book was set out and I loved the ending – and best of all this book brought back some memories!!

A very enjoyable story that gave me quite a few giggles – highly recommended!”

– Donna’s Book Blog

Buying Options

Buy The Serial Dater on Amazon or read for free on KU. 

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