Bend and Break ?>

Bend and Break

One of the more common problems I run into when editing fiction is the “dimensionless character.” You know her. She’s defined by…um…her lack of definition. She’s a paper doll trying to make a splash in a three-dimensional world. Now, when I say “lack of definition,” I don’t mean she’s not well described (though sometimes this is also true). That she has pink streaks in her midnight-black hair is a fine detail, but it is a meaningless (and potentially unnecessary) detail…

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The Mysterious Importance of Mystery ?>

The Mysterious Importance of Mystery

Not so many years ago, my younger son became a fascinated by videogames. Like his older brother before him, this fascination grew into a full-blown addiction for a time. But unlike his brother – who suffered through the challenges of finishing a level using the age-old technique known as “if at first you don’t succeed, stomp your feet, pout, growl, try out a new word to see if your parents notice, then try again” – my younger son was known…

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A Book, Some Editorial Advice and a Picture of a Kitty & a Puppy ?>

A Book, Some Editorial Advice and a Picture of a Kitty & a Puppy

It’s Friday, which means absolutely nothing to a freelancer since all days end up looking the same. But for the sake of the rest of the working world, I’m going to play along. Hooray for the weekend! (For the record, I almost never use exclamation marks. This is not because F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote of them, “An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes,” but because I rarely feel all that exclamatory. So, if you see one…

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My Brilliant Idea ?>

My Brilliant Idea

Pride and Prejudice  and Zombies by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith was a stroke of genius. Argue all you want about whether or not the book is any good, you can’t deny the brilliance of the concept. This got me thinking – what if, instead of merely adding zombies to an existing property, an author took the best of two novels and wove them together with a few twists of his own to create an Entirely New Work of Fiction?…

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Chasing the Flame ?>

Chasing the Flame

Note: I am a writer as well as an editor. Sometimes I wear my writer’s hat when blogging. This is one of those times. When the source of his fiction was autobiographical, Eddie could write with authority and authenticity. But when tried to imagine – to invent, to create – he simply could not succeed as well as when he remembered. This is a serious limitation for a fiction writer… But Eddie would make a living as a novelist, nonetheless….

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7 Things that Keep Editors in Business ?>

7 Things that Keep Editors in Business

A long time ago, in a life far, far away, I worked as an assistant manager of a Pizza Hut. The owner of this particular store (a former Pizza Hut corporate big-wig) had hired a man we’ll call “Gary” (since that was his name) to globally manage the stores. Since each store already had its own manager and more than a few assistant managers, I wondered what Gary’s responsibilities entailed. I found out one Friday in the middle of the…

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First Things… ?>

First Things…

Question: Do we really need another blog about writing? Answer: Probably not. Question: Then why are you here? Answer: Because I like it here. I know why you’re here. You’re curious about this little writerly blog and wondering if there is enough practical wisdom or entertainment value in it to merit regular reading. (Either that, or you’re related to me. Hi, Mom.) If you came here hoping to find a blog written by a famous, widely-read author who might, in…

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