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Posts Tagged ‘editing’

Write Under Pressure, Edit at Leisure… right?

Posted by tansyrr on October 9, 2011

La! You are done for the day. Have a cup of tea.

I finished writing a book last week, which should feel like a huge, milestone moment, except of course it’s not. I got to the end of the book, having written all the scenes I think should be in the book, and that’s a most excellent thing.

But it’s not finished, I know it’s not finished, and all the editing, tweaking and tidying I need to do to make it even pretend to be finished, is overwhelming me.

A lot of writers use word metrics to track their progress on a book. This is a lie. We know it’s a lie. We know that you can have a perfectly good, productive day on a book that leaves you with less words than you started with. And we know that you can write 3000 words that are going to need to be chopped out the following week.

But we keep using wordcount as a tracking system, because it can be tracked – it’s one of the few systems we can use to mark regular progress and that’s important, because without that momentum, it’s hard to get back regularly and get the damn thing finished.

Momentum is my friend. Lurching from Chapter 1 to Chapter 30, I need momentum desperately. It’s the only way (for me) to get through writing something as hefty as a novel. I’ve found that it takes me a few weeks of pretending I am the kind of writer who sits down and produces words every day, before something clicks and I actually am that writer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Indy Press Opens to Spec Fic Novels

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 8, 2011

Twelfth Planet Press will be accepting speculative fiction manuscripts

for the month of January 2012.

Alisa Krasnostein (interviewed here) nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her work with Twelfth Planet Press, has decided to branch into novels. She says:

‘Twelfth Planet Press is looking to develop a new line of dynamic, original genre novels. Twelfth Planet Press novels will push boundaries to question, inspire, engage and challenge. We are specifically looking to acquire material outside that which is typically considered by mainstream publishers.

We are looking for science fiction, fantasy, horror and crime. We will consider borderline literary, new weird, steampunk, space opera, hard science fiction, soft science fiction, urban fantasy, cyberpunk, military science fiction, young adult, paranormal romance and everything in between.’

For information on what to submit and how see here. Best of luck with this venture, Alisa.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Editors, Genre Writing, Indy Press, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Getting your book in front of an Editor

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 7, 2011

You will have all heard of The Friday Pitch at Allen and Unwin.

I assumed it was set up by Louise Thurtel because she was reading the manuscripts, but I could be wrong there. At any rate they have been buying manuscripts from these pitches:

‘Friday Pitch has discovered several bestselling Allen & Unwin authors, including Fleur McDonald, the author of Red Dust and Blue Skies; Helen Brown, whose book Cleo has sold throughout the world and is currently being made into a film; and Mary Groves, author of An Outback Life. ‘

As for what they are looking for:

‘Allen & Unwin publish a wide range of literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction.  See detail and examples listed under Company Profile>What we Publish on the website. We are not interested in assessing poetry, straight romance, short stories or scripts.

For academic submissions and books for children and young adults, please see the separate submissions instructions on the A&U website.’

There’s a list of instructions on how to structure your pitch so take the time to make sure you present yourself professionally.

Now PanMacmillan have set up a Manuscript Monday.

It appears to work along the same lines. They say:

‘Commercial fiction – women’s fiction, thriller, crime, historical, humour, paranormal, fantasy; a story can have romantic elements but romance will not be assessed

Literary fiction and non-fiction – novels, short stories, and narrative non-fiction only

Children’s books and young adult – junior and middle grade fiction, young adult fiction; we are not accepting picture book submissions

Commercial non-fiction – history, memoir, mind body spirit, travel, health, diet, biography

Please familiarise yourself with what we publish at ‘

And they have instructions on how to pitch along with the form/s you need to fill out.


So it is getting easier to place your manuscript in front of an editor these days.


Posted in Editors, Nourish the Writer, Pitching, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

That dreaded Query Letter and Synopsis

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on July 23, 2011

We all have to write them, and I don’t know many authors who enjoy doing it. The query letter isn’t so bad, for me it is the synopsis that I dread. How do you write a synopsis for a 100,000 to 150,000 word fantasy novel without making it sound generic? When you reduce even the most inventive fantasy books to its bare bones, it sounds derivative.

Over on Donna Hanson’s blog, she talks about the good and the bad she’s seen in query letters and synopsis while reading for Angry Robot. On the topic of query letters, she says:

‘What made me lift an eyebrow and wonder was the A4 page of oversharing, unamusing attempts at humour, which make the writer sound wankerish, (just personal taste), saying that you have submitted 500,000 words, or 300,000 words or even 275,000 word manuscripts. These word counts are well in excess of the guidelines and did not give me a good impression at all.’

Donna says When writing a synopsis …

‘It helps not to clutter it up with sub-plots and minor characters. In my opinion, you need the central narrative of the story and those bits that impact on it and not every single detail. Angry Robot asked for character lists. I remember rolling my eyes when someone would say there are hundreds of characters but here is the first twenty or so. Yep I’d head straight to the MS tail between my legs.’

As a writing tool/exercise for myself I like to write a one page character bio for my main characters (usually the PoV characters). It covers their back-story, strengths and weaknesses and I also include a description of their character arc. I know what they want when the story starts, and what they need to achieve to reach their potential during the course of the book.  I’ve found, not only does this help me when I write the book, but I can use an updated version of these character bios when I come to story background for the series on my blog (see Outcast Chronicles).

For a few tips on writing  synopsis see this ROR post, based on what I’ve gleaned over the years. In some ways I find it easier to write a synopsis of a book I haven’t written, because before I start I have a general idea of where I want to go, the characters and the theme I want to explore. As it isn’t written yet, I don’t get bogged down in details. The synopsis helps me get my thoughts in order to write the book. Invariably, the book varies from the synopsis, because the characters come to life and insist on their time centre stage. But this isn’t a problem as publishers understand the final book will vary from the synopsis.

I tend to write a variety of synopsis:

There’s the one paragraph synopsis, which appears in the query letter and can be tweaked to create the back cover blurb.

There’s the one page synopsis which gives a brief overview of the book.

And there’s the 5-10 page synopsis which covers the major plot points of the book. Since I write fantasy novels which contain convoluted plots several narrative threads, I find it useful to keep a second document open beside me while I write. Into this document I put the scene length and page numbers, whose PoV it is in, and a brief description of what happens. I’ve found this really helpful when writing the long synopsis.

Don’t get a synopsis mixed up with a chapter outline. That’s what I was working from. Because I’m obsessive, I colour code the PoVs, so I can see at a glance if one of the character’s is getting forgotten.

If you are looking for an agent, then you can’t go past this site: Agent Query.  How does it work and what does it do? See here. This site includes How to Write a Query Letter. I read it to make sure I hadn’t been steering people wrong all these years. Whew!

Here is a ROR post on The Getting of an Agent. The business model of publishing is changing, but there are still times when it is a relief to know that you can call/email your agent for advice.

And, if you’d like feedback on your Query Letter there’s the Query Shark.

Do your research, send the kind of synopsis the publisher is looking for, be professional. Is there anything to do with writing craft and the publihsing industry that people would like the ROR team to cover in these posts?

Posted in Agents, Editors, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Query Letter and Synopsis, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Inner Editor

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on May 14, 2011

(Cross posted from Mad Genius Club – Writer’s’ Division)

This is the cover of book three of my new trilogy The Outcast Chronicles. With thanks to Clint Langley the artist and Solaris, the publisher!

I’m on the home stretch now, cleaning up book three ready to send to the publisher. Yesterday I was working on a scene when I realised I needed to add a new scene near the beginning to foreshadow an event and build tension. I’m a pantser. I have an idea where I’m going and a feel for what I want to say, then I go on a journey with the characters discovering the story as it unfolds.

I’m not alone in this. In an interview with Joe Abercrombie, George RR Martin said: ‘There are two types of writers – the gardeners and the architects. The architect plans the entire house before he drives a nail; he draws up blueprints, he knows how deep the basement is going to be dug and how many rooms there are going to be, where the plumbing is going to be. And then there are the gardeners who dig a hole, plant a seed and water it with their blood, and then they see what comes up, and they kind of shape it. I’m much more of a gardener. ‘ To see the full interview go here.

I don’t know if I could write any other way. It is a leap of faith, but I trust my Inner Editor to let me know when something isn’t working. And, after I’ve mowed the yard or cleaned the kitchen, the answer will come to me. I’ll know what’s needed to pull the story together.

For many years now, I haven’t been able to read books without seeing the writing craft that went into it, just as I can’t watch movies without seeing the art direction, the camera angles, the characterisation and plotting. When I do discover a book or a movie that makes me forget the craft because the story sweeps me away, then I consider myself really lucky. (And of course I have to watch/read it again to discover the hidden craft).

I’m beginning to think there is such a thing as the ‘story gene’. Sure you can learn all the writing or movie making craft, but some people just have the ability to tell a good story. Do you think there is an innate aspect to writing?

And just for fun – here’s a look at people and their on-line avatars.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Covers, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Amanda Green talks about E-books and the Naked Reader Press

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on April 4, 2011

With best selling author Barry Eisler turning down a $500K advance to self publish and Amanda Hocking becoming a millionaire at 26 by selling her own books through Kindle, the publishing world is changing grasshopper. Now we hear that Amanda Hocking has gone traditional and signed with St Martin’s Press.

This week I’ve invited Amanda Green to talk to us about the industry and Naked Reader Press (NRP) aptly named, because there is ‘nothing between you and the story’, meaning they produce e-books. Amanda is Senior Executive Editor of NRP.

Here in Australia the impact of e-readers and e-books is only just starting to hit. In the last twelve months I’ve seen more and more people using e-readers on the train going to work. Before that, there were hardly any. Recently I read an article in the Science Fiction Writers of America magazine which said if you’re a published author and you aren’t selling your back-list as e-books you’re crazy.














Q: I’m going to lead in with a question about Amanda Hocking. She’s already made almost 2 million from self publishing now she’s signed with St Martin’s Press. On her blog she said: “I want to be a writer. I do not want to spend 40 hours a week handling e-mails, formatting covers, finding editors, etc. Right now, being me is a full-time corporation.” You follow the publishing scene in the US were you surprised when she signed with a traditional publisher?

Hi, Rowena.  Thanks for having me here at ROR.

As for your question, no, it didn’t surprise me to see Hocking sign with a traditional publisher.  In one of her blog posts, she admitted that she knew her success as an “indie” was the exception and not the rule.  She’s also been very open about the amount of time it takes to do the promotion necessary to make her the success she’s become.  She’s hoping that signing with St. Martin’s will take over a great deal of the promotion so she can do what she likes – write.

But there is another aspect of the signing we need to recognize.  I think everyone’s aware of just how difficult it is to get a publishing contract these days.  That’s going to get even harder, especially if Borders and other troubled chains are forced to shut down, because publishers will have fewer outlets for their books.  I think we’re going to see more instances of publishers seeking out and signing indies (self-published authors) who have a built-in audience already.  The question will be if that audience follows the author to a traditional publisher.  Some will, but others will not for one simple reason – indie books are traditionally priced below $4.99.  Most are in the $2.99 or below range.  Traditionally published e-books are much more expensive.

Q: You post regularly to the Mad Genius Club blog on publishing topics. It was through your posts over the last couple of years that I was made aware of the advancing market share of e-books. How do you keep up with everything?

I don’t sleep – or at least not nearly enough.

Actually, every morning as I have my coffee and try to get the brain working, I read certain blogs, the Kindle boards at Amazon and publishing-related sites.  Among those I regularly check out are Shelf Awareness, Publishers Weekly, and GalleyCat.  Also, even though I don’t use Twitter nearly as much as I should to tweet, I do check it out to see what is trending.  It really is amazing what you can find out that way.  There are also several author and agent blogs that I check on a fairly regular basis.  All in all, I probably spend about an hour each morning checking these sites and will do a second check when I break each afternoon.


Q: On the Naked Truth blog, you listed the Associated American Publisher (AAP) sales figures for January.  There was a 115.8% rise in sales of e-books, with sales of almost 70 million. That’s a big figure and a big leap. I’d no idea e-books were selling so well. Yet, you say, it was a lower rise in sales than in previous months.

It was a slightly slower increase than in the previous month, but a part of that was the huge bump in sales just after Christmas.  That week between Christmas and New Year’s always sees a jump in sales of both e-books and hard copy books as people are busy redeeming their gift cards.

What was interesting to note in the latest figures is that, other than education books, the only areas showing increased sales were digital – e-books and digital downloads of audio books.  While I don’t see the end of traditionally published books any time soon, it does presage a flip-flop in coming years as to the preferred format.

As the cost of dedicated e-book readers continues to come down, as more people adopt “smart” phones and as more companies come out with competition for the iPad, the number of people reading e-books will continue to grow.  Yes, there is something about the feel of a book.  But there is also something to be said about being able to carry your entire library with you in a device that weighs less than the typical mass market paperback.

What is going to have to happen for mainstream publishers to fully embrace e-books is for them to finally figure out how to deal with e-books.  They are worried now about e-books cannibalizing the sales of paperbacks and, if you look at the last few months’ sales figures, you can see where they are coming from.  The problem arises from the fact they are offering the e-books version of a title at the same time as the hard cover.  Some people will buy the e-book then.  Others won’t, citing the high price (e-books of best sellers are often priced only a dollar or so below the price of the hard cover on sites like Amazon).  So these readers will wait until the soft cover version of the book comes out.  The problem is, by that time, they’ve forgotten about the book and have moved on to something else.  So the publisher has lost at least one, if not two sales.  Whether this means to bring out the hard cover and then, at some later time, bring out the e-book in conjunction with the soft cover, I don’t know.

Q: As a writer I find my books have been pirated and I keep getting Google alerts for sites where I can download my books for free. Some authors feel that book piracy is promoting their books, while others feel that it could impact on their sales and this could lead their publisher not to offer than another contract. What’s your take on e-book piracy?

I fall into the latter camp.  The way I look at it is that if someone reads a pirated copy of one of NRP’s books, they are going to go looking for more books by our authors.  When they do and they see how inexpensive our titles are, they will pay for them.  Maybe I’m an optimist, but I believe that most readers are willing to pay a reasonable price for their books and short stories.

If you will let me get on my soapbox for a moment, part of the problem with e-piracy is DRM.  That’s like waving a red flag and daring someone to break it.  It also adds to the cost of the e-book.

The way I look at it, e-piracy is always going to be there.  But if you make your books available in non-DRM formats and at reasonable prices, you take away a lot of the reason for piracy.  I keep going back to the Harry Potter books.  J. K. Rowling has been very open about her resistance to putting the books out in digital formats.  It has also been well documented that the books were available in PDF formats online within hours of hitting the shelves in stores.

In fact, if you look at a lot of the piracy sites, what they are offering isn’t a digital file they bought somewhere and now they are just passing on.  These are PDF scans of books they’ve made, or that someone else has.  So, it doesn’t matter if you have a digital title out there filled with DRM or not.

Q: NRP is offering authors 60% of the cover price (less the credit card processing fee) and 50% of the amount received from the reseller. This is a better deal than traditional publishers are offering authors. Why do you think the large publishers are charging so much for e-books and paying authors so little?

The short answer – traditional publishers are still operating under the same business plan and ideology they have for years.

No one likes change.  That’s especially true in an industry that hasn’t had to change all that much in decades.  Add in the fact that the industry is struggling right now, revenues are down in a number of areas, and there is resistance to doing anything that might take money out of the stockholders’ pockets.

NRP was formed by a group of people who have worked in various aspects of the publishing industry.  The one thing they all agreed upon was that the author is the source of our product and, therefore, we need to do everything we can to get as much profit into their pockets as possible.  I guess you could say we like thinking outside the box that way.


Q: Is NRP also offering readers the choice of printed versions of books as well as e-books?

Great question, Rowena, and I’m really glad you asked it.  We have two titles being prepped as we speak for release in soft cover and two more planned.  They will be available through Amazon and other outlets.  Once they are available, we’ll be making announcements on our website, our blog and on facebook.

Q: I see NRP is offering give-away on their web site. Is this a regular thing?

It’s semi-regular right now, but we have plans to make it more of a regular feature.  As our catalogue expands, we will be offering more give-ways as well having contests and author events our readers can take part in.

Giveaways right now are B. Quick by C. S. Laurel and Kate’s novella Born in Blood.  You can find my blog entry about them here.

Q: My first book sale was in 1996 when publishing was still very traditional. It has all changed so much in the last fifteen years. Where do you see it going in the next 2- 5 years?

That is the million dollar question.  I think we’re going to see e-books continue to take over more of the market share.  However, until an industry standard format is agreed upon, e-books will continue to trail traditional books.  Think of how digital downloads of music increased once mp3 became the standard format.

I think we will also see an increase in the number of authors releasing their backlists either on their own or through small e-publishers.  The flip side to this is that I’m afraid we’re going to see more publishers trying to hold onto e-rights long after they should have reverted to the authors.  Out-of-print is going to have to be redefined to protect authors and that, I’m afraid, is going to require litigation and that will only wind up hurting publishers in the long run.

The next few years are going to be interesting in publishing, probably a little scary, but growth always is.  As an editor, I’m looking forward to it.  But then I’ve always enjoyed a challenge.  As a reader, I’m thrilled because I’m looking forward to being able to get books I remember from when I was younger and that I can no longer find.


Amazon Naked Reader Press books.

Smashwords Naked Reader Press.

Posted in e-books, Editors, Publishers, Publishing Industry | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Edits, Beasts and Cookies

Posted by tansyrr on February 24, 2011

“I’ve walked through death and out the other side for you – not just for Aufleur or the Kings, but for you personally, Ashiol Xandelian, and I’d do it again in a second. Question my loyalty once more and I’ll stab you in the throat.”

I’ve been neglecting this blog! Truthfully I’ve been neglecting all my blogs, though it’s perhaps a little less obvious over at my main one.

I haven’t been blogging about writing. Partly this is for a very good reason: I haven’t been writing. For most of the school holidays, apart from a brief flirtation with proofing (the world would fall into a black hole if every contracted writer wasn’t given a pile of work just before Christmas) I have been very much Not a Writer. Partly this is because I received the unexpectedly awesome news that Book 3 of the Creature Court did not need a structural edit. This is the writer equivalent of being handed a giant box of cookies with LESS WORK FOR YOU printed in chocolate icing.

Book 2, incidentally, required two structural edits, so this was doubly exciting.

The effect was that I actually did get a holiday, hanging out with my daughters, catching up on housework, and not putting pressure on myself to use my work brain at the same time.

But now school is back, the baby is in two days a week daycare (which is extra nice because she has proven to be the Escapologist of Doom and every hour she’s awake and at home I am far too busy making sure she doesn’t destroy herself to get anything else done) and I am staring down the barrel of my copy edits for Book 3.

I blog less when I’m not writing. Even less when I’m not working at all. My bloggiest times are when I’m in deadline hell, or doing Nanowrimo, or something equally crazed.

So, here we are at Book 3, which was once called Saturnalia and I’m pretty sure now will be called Reign of Beasts. It’s been a long journey. When I started the Creature Court, many years and several RORs ago, I was still in the midst of academia and still in love with my Classics PhD thesis. I wasn’t a mother yet. And my publishing dry spell had turned into something of a drought.

Books 2 and 3 still felt a long way off, back then. I was busy grappling with Book 1. I didn’t know how it was going to end, but every idea I had then about the final volume turned out to be completely wrong. Except for the first chapter.

I always knew I was going to do something a touch wacky with the structure of Book 3. Something that might surprise my readers. I had this plot in mind, and made quite a few changes to Books 1 and 2 in order to make the odd structure of Book 3 feel like a natural, if still wacky, development. So coming to this final book, and discovering that my plan actually worked, it paid off (at least, the best freelance editor IN THE WORLD thinks so and I’ve come to really respect her opinion) is remarkably freeing.

And yes, I should be working on those edits right now. Why else would I be blogging?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

In Which The Creative Writing Teacher Finds Himself Not Above Suspicion

Posted by trentjamieson on September 16, 2010

I’m always suspicious of people who profess a mastery of writing. Mastery’s a very slippery term. And when you start spreading that so called mastery around as some sort of writ, rather than a possibility among a multitude of possibilities, well, it becomes a little dangerous.

Teaching writing (at least) is only ever suggesting, I hesitate to use even the term facilitator because it’s less about enabling and more about, well, suggesting. So, yes, that’s about the best descriptor I can find, and if it sounds somewhat uncertain, a little shaky even, well, that’s probably a good thing.

Suggestion is good, because it offers options.

It’s when you start stating “that this is so” and that this is how it’s done to the exclusion of other things (just as I am doing here, by the way) you drift swiftly into perilous territory.

And to say, “well, this is wrong” well then you’re heading into dangerous waters in a boat that is leaking, at an alarming rate, because so much interesting material comes from things that are regarded as wrong, and to wrap things up in a litany of wrong is to be blinded by rules to the beauty that occurs when someone gets it right.

I don’t enjoy everything and you probably don’t either.

And to teach writing I think you at least need to recognize this, otherwise you increase the likelihood of stunting the writing of someone who is getting right what you see as wrong. Which is why I believe teaching must always be approached with humility and care.

We’re all miserable failures in some way. We’re deaf to at least one, though more likely many, aspects of the human story. We’re all grasping in the dark.

If anything, teaching writing is an acknowledgement of that, and at best you can only hope to provide the tools that work for you, in the chance that they might help shine a little light in helping another writer find their way, but not so much that they are in themselves blinding.

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Nourish the Writer, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Revision and Editing

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 11, 2010

Having escaped my work and family for about 10 days I went to the World SF Con but first we did our 2010 Melbourne ROR where, Dirk, Richard and Maxine confirmed what I had suspected about my latest book. Luckily, I was prepared for this. (Oops, Id written a science fiction books instead of a fantasy).

We read Richard’s new book Liberator, the sequel to the highly successful Worldshaker, Maxine’s intriguing new book in which proves that obsession can lead to great writing. Who would have though Maxine had been reincarnated from a World War One Flying Ace? And then we read Dirk’s libretto, set in bedlam, staring Lord Byron and the Queen of the Faeries. Honestly, no wonder I felt like a wall flower!

Anyway, what this is leading up to is revision and editing. We call came away with suggestions to make our work better. While I was in Melbourne I was working on the first book of my new trilogy. And it was only on the day before I was due to come back that I realised I’d ended book one in the wrong place and needed to start book two earlier. This meant I had room for extra scenes in book one, and book two would have a better introduction to the characters. All of this is great, but it meant a major reshuffle of scenes and time line.

How did I know the book ended in the wrong place? I don’t know. I just did.

Editing and revision is a really tricky thing. Over at the Mad Genius Club, Sarah Hoyt did this great post on editing and revision and it got me thinking about the ROR Sunday Craft post.  When I came to research this topic there were a lot of sites offering software to help you edit your fiction. (I bet a software package couldn’t have told me my book ended in the wrong place). There are plenty of sites to advise you on how to edit your academic essay. And there are plenty of sites offering fiction editing services.

Thank goodness for Holly Lisle! Here is her One-pass Manuscript Revision article. I like the way she comes at this by first asking you to think about theme. Often discovering your theme will help you strengthen your work. When I critique work I often ask people what are your tyring to say in this story. Then Holly asks you to write down the story arc for the main character. Notice she hasn’t talked about actual editing yet. That’s because she’d helping your refine your vision for the book! (If fiction writing were as simple as an academic essay everyone could do it). And Holly has an excellent list of questions to ask yourself about each scene. All of this is really useful.

But you do reach a point where you have looked at a book so many times you can’t see it any more. That’s where I’m a great believer in – I’ll read your first-draft, if you’ll read mine.

When you don’t have a year to put your book aside and refresh your brain with other work, giving it to your critique partner to read can be a life saver. This is why we set up the ROR writing group. For those of you who are interested this is how ROR works. And this is how we critique.

The most important thing about editing and revision, is being open to changes, while keeping in mind your vision for the book. I really like editing. For me the temptation is to go on adding layers. Then I need a crit buddy to take me aside and gently tell me I’ve added too many layers.

How do you tackle editing and revision? Do you work alone? Do you have a critique partner?

Posted in Editing and Revision, Writing Craft, Writing Groups | Tagged: , , | 15 Comments »

The curse of being a Writer

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on July 6, 2010

(This is the 13th Warrior poster. I really like the movie, think it should have received more attention than it did. I showed the first 15 minutes to my class to walk about world building).

The curse of being a writer is not that you have to write (That’s a given). It is that you can’t switch off the internal editor.

I catch myself anticipating twists in movies and books, getting impatient and itching to rewrite.

And since I’ve been teaching about Vogler’s the Hero’s Journey I catch myself identifying the steps. Oh, that is the refusal of the call, I think. And then I’m thrown out of the story when I want to be immersed in it.

When I do find a book that makes me forget I’m reading a book I’m so excited I have to read it three times. Once to enjoy the experience. Once to see what works and why. And once more to see where it is weak, because on the third read through, I can see the bones.

Obsessive, moi?

Does anyone else have trouble switching off their internal editor?

Posted in Creativity, Editors, Genre Writing, Nourish the Writer, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »