When I critique and edit writing, there is one common flaw that comes through time and time again. Sometimes, it’s subtle and easily overlooked. But then there are times when it hits you in the face. I’m talking about he said — she said.
During a backwards edit, you read a manuscript from the last sentence backwards to the first. When you do this, you’re unable to focus on the story; sentences lose their contextual meaning. As a consequence you focus entirely on the words. (View post for more information.)
Recently, I was skimming through a fellow editor’s website (who shall remain nameless) and encountered a page where people were listing the titles of their manuscripts and their respective genres. OMG, the number of people that listed their genre as FICTION… People, FICTION is NOT a genre. It tells us nothing about your story, except for the fact that it’s made up. And it’s not good enough to tell us the you write Young Adult or Middle-Grade either. All this tells us is who your target audience is. Let’s face it, a science fiction story is very different to a western. […]
Those who live outside of the USA are very familiar with the concept that there are multiple different dictionaries used for English, all depending on what version of English you are using. You heard that right, folks. There is another way to spell those favourite words. And that was one right there: favourite. That’s how those using UK English spell it. Yanks spell it without the ‘u’: favorite.
The confusion between genre and category is something that plagues every new writer. We’re told that we have to categorise this piece of work that we have spent months, if not years, working on, but we don’t want to fit into a box — we want to be in a circle. So… the question is, what does young adult really mean?
When I tell people that I’m a freelance editor, it’s quite common for people to assume that I spend day in and day out just looking at spelling, grammar and punctuation. I don’t get this reaction from just the general public either. Many writers, especially new writers, also make this assumption. However, editing is so much more.
Writing a manuscript takes time; editing it takes even longer. However, rushing the process is the biggest mistake that any new writer can make. One spends months, if not years, pouring everything, including their heart and soul, into this body of work. It’s only natural to want to see it published — they have dreams. But dreams that are worthwhile require time and effort. Editing a manuscript into something worth reading is not something that happens overnight. There are steps that every manuscript must go through before it finds itself as a book on the selves of your local bookstore. […]
Every year, some of my writing buddies get all depressed because they had set themselves some goals for last year that they failed to achieve. The Little Miss Optimist in me is forced to come in and reminded them of all the things they have achieve instead. It’s that silver-lining view, but so many forget to use it. Sometimes it’s a knock back to see that massive goal that you had set yourself come crumbling down around your ears. However, that goal was set for a reason. Without it, you wouldn’t spend the time necessary to turn that goal into a reality. And sometimes, you […]
So many times I hear the argument that you should always plot out your books. My own editor growls at me incessantly when I start talking about some new project and can’t tell her all the details, and I do mean all. Well, tough. The details sometimes elude me for months on end. Traditionally, the plotter will work out all the details for their stories long before they sit down at the keyboard and write: the plot outline, character profiles, the landscape of their worlds, all of it. For some, this works extremely well. It does have the advantage of keeping […]