The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

So What?

Right now, you’re thinking one of these things: “My novel sucks.” “What if no one buys my book?” “I got a one-star review!” “I got a hundred five-star reviews!” “I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a writer.” And right now, I’m thinking this: So what? Does your novel suck? Maybe. Maybe not. Some of the best books I’ve edited arrived from the author with a side of Severe Doubt. “It might make you ill.” It didn’t. Conversely, some of the worst books I’ve edited arrived from the author with a side of Unwarranted Confidence. “I…

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Editing, Self-editing Tips, The Writer's Life, Writing tips

Make Something Happen

“Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard I love this quote. Not just because it indirectly gives purpose to the existence of content editors. (Mostly because of that.) But also because it’s impossibly clever and initially appears to be cleverly impossible. I mean, how do you do that? Some readers tend to skip long descriptive sections. So you should leave those out, right? Not necessarily. There’s nothing wrong with good descriptive writing. If your voice happens to be descriptive, some readers are going to go skipping. You can’t stop them. Other readers become…

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Uncategorized

There Will Be More…

Yeah, it’s been an unusually long wait between posts. Your expectations of brilliance must be sky-high by now. Allow me to pop that hot air balloon for you… *POP* There. Now I can safely write a middling post of questionable lasting value. Surely one of my 87 partially-completed drafts will do. Stay tuned. Or better yet, do some channel flipping. I’ll let you know when I’ve said something [potentially] meaningful here.  

Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, Snark Alert

The Society of Abandoned Manuscripts

Transcript from the January 26, 2013 meeting of the Society of Abandoned Manuscripts, Colorado Springs Chapter. Meeting location: Empty warehouse on the lower east side. The one scheduled for demolition 0n Tuesday. In attendance: gallager’s brain – self-proclaimed “literary novel.” Henceforth, “gal.” Bite, Bitte – a vampire romance. You probably think it’s set in Germany. It’s not. Henceforth, “Bitte.” Love Comes to the Loaf’n’Jug at Exit 277 on I-80 – a regional romance. Henceforth, “Loaf.” Harold Nuttersby and the Yellow Fingernails of Magical Thinking – fantasy. To my surprise, not an intentional parody. Henceforth: “Nutter.” Association by Death – “clever…

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About Me, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

How to Love Writing

“I hate writing. I love having written.” – Dorothy Parker I’ve met a few people who are quick to say they love writing. They are sincere, happy people who tend to glow in the dark. People who eagerly sift through tornado-paths of literary devastation to find the one story that can threaten to replace your well-earned despair with un-warranted hope. I hate* those people. I also hate writing. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit strong. How about this: I find it difficult to love writing. Oh, there are moments when writing appears to be lovable. Like the moment when you…

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My Thoughts, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

Meet Me at the Breaking Place

“This book is incredible. You absolutely have to read it.” Ah, these words. More than mere validation for authors who spend so much time in uncertain solitude, they are payment and a generous tip for all the pain endured on the road from first thought to last word. They are the perfect reward. “It’s a good book.” “A great read.” “So well-written.” These are fine words, too. Encouraging words. We’ll take them above silence any day. But they fall far short of “you have to read this,” which, when expanded to its original size, looks something like this: “If you…

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Editing, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Freelance Editors. Okay, Just 13 Things.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t particularly like numbered-list blogposts. They just feel artificial to me. So…um…here’s one about editors. Sorry. 1. We edit because we love books and writers but also for the money. 2. It’s a good thing we love books and writers. (And Ramen noodles.) 3. We don’t laugh with maniacal glee while slicing and dicing our way through your manuscript. We know how hard it is to write, and how much harder still it is to share that writing with a virtual stranger – especially someone whose job it is to find all the things that…

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