Friday Fundamentals: Choosing the Right Editor

Happy Friday, friends!

This time last week I was just starting a fabulous weekend at ConGregate, one of my favorite conventions, and thinking about the panel I was to sit on later that night: Finding the Right Editor.

It was a great panel, or at least I thought so. Sharon Stogner, Leona Wisoker, and I were the panelists discussing what a writer needs to consider when hiring a freelance editor. Since I talked a good bit about Magical Words during that panel, I thought I’d share some of what we discussed.

We primarily focused on hiring editors for either self-publishing or when looking for a publisher and/or agent since a lot of this doesn’t apply so much to publisher-assigned editors. Some does, so take what you want.

We compared finding an editor to dating, which actually works out really well.

Decide you want a date:

First, […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Learning From Inexperience

Not so long ago, I posted here about revising my early work. I’m preparing for the re-release of my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle (more on that later) and so have been editing the books: cutting adverbs, strengthening my prose with more forceful verb constructions, and making the writing more concise and direct. You can find the post I wrote about this here. And you can also read Joshua Palmatier’s post from June 28, because he’s been doing much the same thing with his work.

I want to return to the process in this post, because I’m now almost finished editing The Outlanders, the second LonTobyn book. The Outlanders has long been among my favorites of all my books, not because I think it’s the best I’ve written, or even one of the top two or three. It’s not. Rather, I’ve always loved this book because it exceeded my expectations […]

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What I don’t want to see…

So, I’m going to follow what Misty did yesterday and discuss Congregate. (I promise, a discussion of adjectives is coming!!)

I was on an “Ask the Editor!” panel with a few other people, and the first thing that was asked was “what really makes you say no, or what do you not want to see?”

That’s easy. The most obvious is a story that starts without any action: a description of the weather; a description of the setting/ landscape; a description (including backstory) of the main character. The submissions that do this have a very difficult time being published. Readers want to be engaged, and tension /conflict /action do that. To quote Nirvana: “here we are now, entertain us.”

But the thing that disappoints me even more than that is the following. When I open a sub and read a great opening line, and then it is followed by great […]

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What the Actual?

I love going to cons. Very often it’s my only chance to see people I adore, since we don’t all live close enough to have coffee dates. But not only that – it’s just fun. I got home from Congregate a few hours ago. While there I moderated a panel on diversity in SF/F and its fandom (which was incredible! I wish you all could have been there!) served on panels about the Weird Wild West, settings in fiction, and Kickstarters, read my work out loud to an appreciative audience, and appeared as the middle bottom square in a truly hysterical version of The Hollywood Squares (John Hartness sat next to me, and I just can’t describe how crazy the whole game was!) Friday night I shut down the bar with a bunch of people, and Saturday night my husband and I flitted from room party to room party until […]

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Say You Don’t Know Me

I’m constantly told that Amazon (the mighty, mighty online retailer that can sell you books for crazy low prices as long as they’re not throwing a fit against the publishers of said books) is a bad company and I shouldn’t buy from them because they contribute to the fall of the brick&mortar stores. It’s hard to resist, though, when you can shop and buy without ever putting on your shoes, right? The trouble is that Amazon likes to institute policies that make us less interested in using their services. The latest involves reviews.

Originally, Amazon would not allow family members or very close friends of authors to post reviews. I suppose I can understand that – a review from my mom or my bestie would automatically be a five-star because they love me and want me to succeed, and goodness knows, we don’t want that to happen, right? But now […]

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Emily Lavin Leverett: It’s All In How You Say It!

So—I’m Emily Lavin Leverett. If you’ve been reading here a while, you might have seen me comment as Peafaerie. I’m a writer of short stories and novels, an editor of The Big Bad I and II with John Hartness, and an English professor. Thanks very much to Magical Words for letting me be here today to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart!

I’m here to talk about grammar.

(The sound of people clicking to something else is overwhelming, so I’ll just wait for a moment, until it passes.)

Grammar is important. I’ll put that out there first. Anyone who tells you it is not, or that if your voice or characters or story are really good, bad grammar won’t hurt, is a lying liar who is lying. Great voice, character, and story will get people past typos, but not persistent problems. Good grammar is the key […]

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Magical Words Writing Workshop

It’s time to let the cat out of its proverbial bag. As I mentioned in my New Year’s post, the Magical Words team (David B. Coe, Faith Hunter and Misty Massey) will be holding an intensive critique workshop at this summer’s Congregate in Winston-Salem, NC. If you’re planning on attending the con and would like to participate in this workshop, you can find all the information here: http://con-gregate.com/magwordsworkshop.htm

Looking forward to seeing some of you there!