As a writer, you’ll hear feedback about your work in many different contexts. Notes from your editor; comments from beta readers or writing group buddies; reviews from readers… There are so many avenues for responses to your writing – and not all of those responses are going to be positive.
Whether you are new to writing or an old pro, brushing up on the basics is always helpful. Because no matter how GOOD the story is? If the reader is busy stumbling over this stuff, it ruins the fictive dream and she will never GET to the story. So today we are going to cover six ways to self-edit your fiction. Though this stuff might seem like a no-brainer, I see these blunders ALL the time.
….unfortunately even in (legacy) published books.
When I worked as an editor, I found it frustrating when I couldn’t even GET to the story because I was too distracted by these all too common oopses.
There are many editors who charge by the hour. If they’re spending their time fixing oopses you could’ve easily repaired yourself? You’re burning cash and time. Yet, correct these problems, and editors can more easily get to the MEAT…
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It’s been a busy few weeks once again. Although my internship is winding down, my editing duties are ramping up (yay, money), and in a few weeks I’ll have even more time to write. Here are the most important goings-on of late:
1. On Halloween I married my long-time boyfriend. We had a nice little private ceremony in our own living room and later that night got all dressed up for the holiday. Our favorite bar gave us a free bottle of champagne, and everyone loved our costumes. I highly recommend getting married on Halloween.
2. I won second place in Fiction Vortex’s First Annual Horror Contest. It was the first time I’d ever entered a writing contest. Woot.
3. I received two big rejections in the past week but finished the first draft of a new novelette. It needs serious work. That said, I completed something. Go me.
4. I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I’m behind in word count as usual, but I think I may actually pull off a win this year.
What have you been up to lately?
It has been brought to my attention that I suck at updating this blog. Honestly, I’ve been pretty busy for the past couple of months, and the last month in particular. So here’s a quick recap of everything that’s been going on since my last post.
1. I took over the “Doctor Who Project” column at HorrorNews. Whether I’ll still have time to maintain “Creature Profiles” is up for debate–and I haven’t written one of those in quite some time to begin with.
2. I interviewed for and was offered an internship at In Bliss here in Philadelphia. I just completed my 4th week and have about 8 weeks to go. I get to write content for their eZine, edit website content, and generally learn more about weddings than I ever anticipated. I am also master of their Spotify account, owing to my past as a DJ.
3. After completing my first day of the internship, I phone interviewed with Red Adept Publishing and landed a job as a line editor. I’m already on my second book, and my schedule is full for the foreseeable future. Which is good, because I’m getting paid to do something I love.
4. Waiting on submissions to Cemetery Dance, Tor.com, Samhain, Namel3ss, and DarkFuse. Hoping for good news. I’ve got two more stories needing to be typed up (yes, I still write most of my stuff long-hand), and I’ve started a new novella. Another novella is in need of revisions, and I’ve had a few false starts with my next novel, which is currently on the back burner until my internship is over and until I can figure out which book I’m actually trying to write.
5. I’m taking several classes through Coursera, since I can’t seem to break away from school just yet. Currently I’m enrolled in Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative. Next month I start Epidemics – the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases and Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction. It’s all free, and it’s a great opportunity to take classes not offered at your particular school.
I think that covers everything for now. I’ll try to update more often, I promise.
A long weekend is nearly upon me (hooray for a day job that follows the federal holiday schedule), to be filled with thesis revisions and progress on the five short stories currently brewing. (One is for a dieselpunk anthology put out by the fine folks at Twit Publishing, but that’s not due until the end of April. Whew.) I’ve got “The Bombay Trash Service” out to reprint anthology Best New Zombie Tales, so fingers are crossed. I plan to squeeze some art in over the weekend, too. Hopefully that section of the blog will be updated soon. Lots of collage work going on, but I really want to get back to my pinup girls.
Some of you already know that last month I started working for Musa Publishing as one of the three editors for their YA imprint, Euterpe. I’m currently editing two manuscripts, and I have no doubt that Musa will do great things, given the quality of the work they’re putting out. They also run a spec-fic webzine, Penumbra, so what are you waiting for? Go submit something.
And finally…my alter ego, DJ Lollidrop, wrote a track that was selected to appear on the digital portion of the upcoming Electronic Saviors Vol. 2 compilation. It’s an amazing comp for a great cause–the fight against cancer. My dear friend Jim Semonik, whom I have known for over 11 years, with whom I have promoted shows and DJ’d, and who is truly the brother I never had, lost a substantial portion of his digestive tract to colon cancer at the age of 32. He’s been cancer-free for three years now, and from his experience the Electronic Saviors concept was born. Entitled “The Waiting Game,” my track is a fairly minimalist reflection of the simple terror in waiting for test results. DJ Lollidrop is trying to find time to put up a new podcast, too.
In reference to the title of this post, I had nosebleeds for five days straight, was given a two-day respite, and woke up this morning to a schnoz full of blood. Allergies? Sinuses? High blood pressure strikes back? We’ll see what happens this weekend, and then off to the doctor.
So, what’s new with you?