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- 25 Steps to Edit the Unmerciful Suck Out of Your Story
I’m editing a book right now. It is its own happy brand of hell — but, for all its hellishness, it’s also a process I dearly love because it’s like purification through flames. It’s a powerful step in storytelling — often, I find that editing is the part where the story is truly constructed.
So, here you go: steps I sometimes go through to get the job done. Other times: I go through an entirely different process. These are not set in stone or meant to be a doctor’s prescription: these are just a handful of options in a relatively sensible sequence to help you get a grip on Forging Your Story In The Fires Of Mount Revision. Do as you will. And good luck, penmonkeys.
- Chuck Wendig
- Why I’m Risking My New Book by Self-Publishing Even Though I’m a Bestselling Author
I’m self-publishing my new novel AND GOD SAID, “BILLY!” Where’s my advance? What will I live on? The New York Times won’t review a self-published book! Libraries won’t know about it! I’m screwed! This is my funniest, darkest and most spiritually reaffirming book. Have I wasted the 17 years I worked on it? If so, then why am I so happy with my insane plunge into the unknown? Why do I feel so bloody liberated in equal measure with my look-over-a-cliff panic?
- Frank Schaeffer (The Huffington Post)
- When We’re Vulnerable: Atlas or Achilles?
I have this friend named Clara. Clara is an unpublished writer, and she and her loyal, dedicated agent have been pitching her debut since June 2012. Since then, nearly forty editors have written kind and thoughtful rejections, most of them including Goldilocks-esque details in their notes. Here are some snippets (and amalgams of snippets):
I loved this narrator and cried in the [X] scene, but I’m afraid the teenage voice would be too hard to sell to an adult audience.
This novel reminds me of John Green/Madeleine L’Engle/E.L. Konigsburg, but the topics feel a little too mature for Middle Grade readers.
[The narrator's voice] is fantastic, fresh, hilarious and unique, but I worry she’s just a little too innocent for Young Adult readers.
Too soft, too hard. Too hot, too cold. The manuscript has even made it to an editorial meeting or two. But so far? Nothing that’s Just Right.
Each time Clara’s agent has to forward another rejection, Clara feels like she is standing naked and thirty pounds overweight in front of a million people, all of whom are hucking rotten tomatoes and water balloons and Slim-Fast shakes at her and her not-quite-right manuscript.
- Sarah Callender (Writer Unboxed)
- Jacqueline Lichtenberg (Alien Romances) with Theme-Dialogue Integration – Part 2 – What’s Eating Her
- Andrew Jack with Ten tips for writing great fight scenes
- Diana Hurwitz (The Blood-Red Pencil) with Sandwiching the Layers Part 2
- Chuck Wendig with 25 Steps to Edit the Unmerciful Suck Out of Your Story
- David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—A Recipe for Great Characters
- Kris Noel with Visualizing a Space [Setting and Scene]
- C.S. Lakin (Live Write Thrive) with Stringing the Segments of Shots Together [Scene]
- Andrew Rhomberg (Digital Book World) with Why Are Ebook Start-ups Dominated by Men?
- Frank Schaeffer (The Huffington Post) with Why I’m Risking My New Book by Self-Publishing Even Though I’m a Bestselling Author
- Jeremy Greenfield (PBS MediaShift) with The Rise of ‘Hybrid Authors’ Who Have Self-Published and Had Publishers
- Clare Whitston (Words & Pictures) with The Editorial Process
- Writer’s Digest: How I Got My Agent: Brian McClellan
- K.S. Brooks (Indies Unlimited) with Author Tips: Post Book Release Checklist
- Joe Konrath (A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing) with I Have Seen the Enemy [IP Franchising Update / Rejections]
- Victoria Grefer (Creative Writing with the Crimson League) with On an Author’s Dreams: what they are, and how they shift
- Ben Umstead (LitReactor) with Writing Through The Fear Of Words
- Gracie Jin (PolicyMic) with The One Thing White Writers Get Away With, But Authors of Color Don’t
- Sarah Callender (Writer Unboxed) with When We’re Vulnerable: Atlas or Achilles?
- James Duncan (Writer’s Digest) with Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction: An Interview with Philip Athans
- K. Ceres Wright (Amazing Stories) with More Women in Science Fiction
- Nina Munteanu (Amazing Stories) with When Science Fiction IS Science Fiction
- M. Asher Cantrell (Apex Publications) with Who Influenced Whom? Lovecraft vs. Kaiju
- Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff (Book View Café) with A Genealogy of Speculative Fiction
- Scott Lynch (Kindle Daily Post) with Sorcery That Stands Out
- S.P. Miskowski (Nightmare) with The H Word: In Search of Horrible Women
- Paul Weimer (SF Signal) with MIND MELD: What’s on Your Mount To-Be-Read Book Pile?
- Justin Landon (Staffer’s Book Review) with Mission Statement: The Hugos and Worldcon Aren’t What I Expected, Etc.
- Sherilyn Connelly (Topless Robot) with The 9 Coolest Sci-Fi Read-Along Records from the 70s and 80s
- Niall Alexander (Tor) with Diversity in SFF
Ideas – Books and Reading
- Liberty Hardy (Book Riot) with Bookish Quotes of Note, Volume 3
- Martin Chilton (The Telegraph) with Classic books in 140 characters
Ideas – Climate Change, Collapse, and Post-Apocalyptic
Ideas – Science, Technology, and Space
- Sean Gallagher (ars technica) with DARPA reinvents peer-to-peer for battlefield with tactical “torrents”
- Mike Riggs (The Atlantic Cities) with Why Firefighters Are Scared of Solar Power
- Fast Co. Design: Michael Bloomberg And Janette Sadik-Khan On The Future Of Walking, Biking, And Driving
- Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan (Gizmodo) with Could Future Astronauts 3D Print Habitats Using Mars and Moon Soil?
- Jordan Kushins (Gizmodo) with Goodbye Astronaut Ice Cream: NASA Is Growing Salad in Space
- Annalee Newitz (io9) with One day, a spider army will build our circuit boards
- Jesse Hirsch (Modern Farmer) with Space Farming: The Final Frontier
- Michael Byrne (Motherboard) with Does Earth Live In a Dark Matter-Free Zone?
- Becky Ferreira (Motherboard) with Scientists in Antarctica Found Life in a Subglacial Lakebed
- Space.com: New NASA Ion Thruster To Propel Spacecraft To 90,000 MPH [Video]
- Damon Lavrinc (Wired) with Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Needs This Gorgeous Passenger Station [Gallery]
- Adam Mann (Wired) with Future Space Robots Will Mimic Scientific Curiosity With Clever Cameras
Ideas – History and Prehistory
- Mark Byrnes (The Atlantic Cities) with What Early 1900s Torontonians Would Look Like on Today’s Streets [Gallery]
- Vincze Miklós (io9) with Famous Historic Photographs, Transformed by Color [Gallery]
- Brian Switek (National Geographic Daily News) with As Fashion Week Ends, Pondering the Origins of Clothes