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:~: Friday, October 19, 2007 :~:

Things I Learned from My Editor

# of pages I have to edit daily this week to meet my deadline: 47.

Anyway, little lessons I've learned from the Editor Goddess.

1) Less can be more.

2) Sometimes, you need more. (As in, I'm too subtle with my suspense clues sometimes.)

3) You do not need a scene break each time you change POV. (I knew this one, but she lets me use it to my advantage and sometimes she suggests it, so . . .)

4) The world will not end if sometimes there isn't a comma where the MLA handbook says one should be.

5) Readers are harder on heroines than they are on heroes. (Well, I kinda knew this one, too, but it was nice to have it confirmed, even if I'm the odd one out there who will accept a less-than-sympathetic heroine and root for her to change . . .)

6) Never, ever give the reader an opportunity to put the book down. This is more than the obligatory "hook" at chapter's end -- it's every sentence, every scene.

7) Fact check, fact check, fact check.

8) Each new release can sell more of your backlist. (Suspected that, nice to know it's mostly true.)

I'm sure there are two more, but my brain is fried.

What writing lessons have you learned recently, from other authors, editors, agents? Do share!



Blogger Shesawriter said...

Never write while fatigued or experiencing brain fog. IOW, know when to turn the computer off.

Rest is restorative--most of the time anyway.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

Definitely good advice! I've come back and read something I thought was brilliant at one in the morning and thought, "What was I thinking?!"

8:53 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Great list, Lin.

Of course, I have to say, I never ever thought I'd hear you say #3.

12:35 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Amen on the commas! I prefer when it doesn't sound too English-teachery, because then I don't hear so much of the author's voice, you know?

8:25 AM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

LOL, E. Well, what the editor and I have come to agree on is that if the action is taking place during somewhat of the same time period and we're only switching from hero to heroine and back, etc., it works better to simply have a line break instead of a scene break.

Spy, I'm a stickler for comma rules in my English classroom. They have to know them before they can get away with breaking them!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Those are great tips -- share more whenever you get them!!

Unfortunately, I don't have much to share at the moment although I'm sure there are great thoughts floating somewhere in this crammed brain of mine...can't quite dig them out at the moment.

9:09 PM  

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