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Archive for the ‘Editing’ Category

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Welcome to the February 25, 2008 edition of writers from across the blogosphere. It’s a bit late and there are some repeats from the last carnival (due to an error with the carnival posting–I’ve kept them in so newer submissions weren’t accidently deleted), but it’s also full of new good reads as well. Enjoy!

writing

Terry Dean presents 21 Ideas for Hot Press Releases – Part 1 posted at Integrity Business Blog by Terry Dean.

Richard Lee presents How Controversy Works posted at Richard Lee.

Rebecca Suzanne Dean presents How To Research 5 Times Faster posted at Rebecca Dean.

Sagar presents Take it Back! 100 Tips to Defeat Content Thieves posted at Virtual Hosting.

Stephen Dean presents The Mathematics Of Testing Your Sales Copy. posted at Stephen Dean’s Copywriting And Internet Advertising Blog – Copywriter.

claire presents Writing Contest | Bebo Author posted at Bebo Author, saying, “Writing Contest – free to enter, lots of great prizes. Anyone who enters, sponsors a prize or promotes this contest on their blog receives a link back.”

Bumbeak presents Tips for a new Notebook posted at Quills are Swords.

Carol Bentley presents Getting your thoughts on paper posted at Carol Bentley.

Tiffany Colter presents Lesson Learned and How I got here posted at Writing Career Coach, saying, “This blog discusses how to have success beginning from the first day of this New Year!”

Freddie L. Sirmans, Sr. presents Can The US Prevent A Starvation Crisis? posted at Can The US Prevent A Starvation Crisis.

James Lee presents The Secret Copywriting Technique That Keeps Prospects Riveted to Your Website posted at Online Business Freedom.

Carol Bentley presents How appealing are you posted at Carol Bentley.

The Countess presents Erotic Excerpt – The Party Crasher posted at The Countess.

Allen Crosse presents Three Hours Between the 34th and 35th posted at Cup o’ Poe, saying, “I wrote this when I was standing in a place that I very much didn’t want to be. Please, enjoy my pain.”

Eric Koshinsky presents ESL Writing Activities – Computer Based Editing and Correction Lessons posted at Teachers Call.

Carol Bentley presents Yesterday?s blog-post was completely off-track posted at Carol Bentley.

CG Walters presents Spirit Story…an Old Genre Reawakening posted at Into the Mist, saying, “A path of communication with the subconscious—as opposed to a communication with the conscious mind—is alive, more a communion between the personal subconscious and the Collective Consciousness, possibly awakening or speaking to the personal consciousness a little along the way.”

Tiffany Colter presents Writing Career Coach: A Pleasant surprise and How I got here Part 2 posted at Writing Career Coach, saying, “A pleasant surprise on how to have success beginning from the first day of this New Year!”

Neelakantha presents 50+ Open Courseware Writing Classes from the World’s Leading Universities – College Degree.com posted at college degree.

Steve Osborne presents “Are You Done Yet?” posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne, author of “Writing Tips for the Real World,” is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years of experience.”

Ward Tipton presents Writing in Earnest | The Write Page posted at The Online Writing Resource Center, saying, “While freelance writing is great in many ways, wouldn’t it be nice to have your name on your writing and put the money it earned in your own pocket? I was finally able to get started doing this.”

Carol Bentley presents 4 easy steps to authorship. . . posted at Carol Bentley.

Steve Osborne presents The Well/Good Conundrum posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years experience. His blog teaches writing rules, strategies and techniques in a memorable, easy-to-understand way, spiced with a bit of humor.”

Alfa King presents Degree or experience? posted at Alfa King Memories.

Steve Osborne presents E-Mail Etiquette posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne, author of “Writing Tips for the Real World,” is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years of experience.”

Sagar presents Rookie Mistakes: 15 Blunders New Freelancers Make and How to Avoid Them posted at Bootstrapper.

Alfa King presents Clarity and Brevity Make Good Blogging posted at Alfa King Memories.

Orna Ross presents Planning Your Writing posted at WRITING ADVICE & PUBLISHING ADVICE from Font, saying, “Article on the importance of planning for writers”

Jessse Hines presents The Best Writing Advice I Ever Received posted at Vigorous Writing.

Jessse Hines presents Got Writer’s Block? Just Eat that Frog. posted at Vigorous Writing.

blue skelton presents The First Junkie Ninja Monologue posted at This Wasted Monologue, saying, “Scene: Present Day, Hospital Waiting Room – Blue Skelton is reflecting on the imminent birth of his first child.”

ScottG presents Notebook on a Passion: The Writer Begins with the Begiining posted at Notebook on a Passion, saying, “Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.
–Aldous Huxley”

Steve Osborne presents First Things First posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne, author of “Writing Tips for the Real World,” is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years of experience.”

Thursday Bram presents What If? Emergency Planning for Your Writing posted at thursdaybram.com.

GrrlScientist presents Bridge To Opportunity (Reprise) posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “This is just a story about the Brooklyn Bridge, as written by a non-native NYCer; me! Includes history of the bridge and Emily Roebling’s remarkable contribution to its completion.”

Vaibhav Gadodia presents Habitually Good » Blog Archive » Writer’s block – what is that? posted at Habitually Good.

GrrlScientist presents Today’s Adventure in The Land of Medicine posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “After a day like this, I would be crazy, if I wasn’t crazy already.”

Rebecca Suzanne Dean presents How To Kick Writers? Block posted at Rebecca Dean.

Richard Lee presents How To Write Magnetic Headlines posted at Richard Lee.

Brent Diggs presents Writing Prompts for the Not-So-Prompt posted at The Ominous Comma, saying, “Humor for writers”

publishing

Marcus Hochstadt presents Why Drafting Messages Saves You Time posted at Marcus Hochstadt, saying, “Drafting messages in order to publish them at a later time is a great way to save a bunch of time. You sit down one time, focus on writing, writing, writing, and then you’re done for a couple of days or even weeks.”

Amy Munnell presents Writing Nationally… posted at 3 Questions…and Answers.

reading

Sol Smith presents 20 Great books to get you Reading posted at How to be a Badass Dad.

ivanisko presents A Report from Budapest posted at Bookstore Guide, saying, “Our blog aims to provide a database of all the European independent bookstores selling books in English. We also publish reports from our travels and personal visits of the bookstores included in our guide.”

uncategorized

Michael@TSM presents Travel Writing Contest! Win $150 Cash Prize | Traveling Stories Magazine posted at Traveling Stories Magazine.

old-wizard presents Old-Wizard.com Top 100 Video Games of All Time List / Introduction posted at Old-Wizard.com.

Deborah Dera presents Have you found a niche? posted at The Rhythm of Write, saying, “Not having found a niche is not necessarily a bad thing. There’s no need to limit yourself and your writing.”

Charles H. Green presents Aristotle, Maister, and the Fat Smoker posted at Trust Matters, saying, “The old writers advice is to draw from your own experience. That’s what author David Maister did, starting with the fact that he’d been a fat smoker for almost all his life.”

Carol Bentley presents Death of the long letter posted at Carol Bentley.

Rob Moshe presents Live Your Best Life By Serving Others posted at Rob Schaumer, saying, “This is not necessarily a fitting post for your carnival. Once the project starts, each day I will recognize a fellow blogger that “Helped””

Amy Munnell presents Short Stuff…Say A Lot With A Little posted at 3 Questions…and Answers.

Amy Munnell presents 5 Steps to a Better Interview… posted at 3 Questions…and Answers.

Brandon Rike presents What To Do About BEING FUNNY, OR NOT BEING FUNNY posted at What To Do About.com.

Orna Ross presents Why F-R-E-E-Write? by Orna Ross posted at WRITING ADVICE & PUBLISHING ADVICE from Font, saying, “Scarlett Thomas tells people not to attend writing workshops or do FREE-Writing? Here’s why to ignore her”

Orna Ross presents How to Write Good Fiction: Advice from Kurt Vonnegut posted at WRITING ADVICE & PUBLISHING ADVICE from Font.

Tracy Coenen presents Sequence Inc. Fraud Files by Tracy Coenen » Blog Archive » My incredible book writing journey posted at FRAUDfiles.

Tracy Coenen presents Got the blogging blues? posted at FRAUDfiles.

articles

JRickG presents You Are No Different than Successful People posted at $5000 and Up.

Phil B. presents Bloggers Love Giving Advice « Phil for Humanity posted at Phil for Humanity, saying, “The Internet, specifically bloggers, has started replacing self help books and television shows, just how the Internet is replacing traditional news media.”

Kenton Newby presents 10 Ways Article Writing Can Stack the Deck in Your Favor posted at KentonNewby.com.

FitBuff presents Power of the Mind – Much Stronger Than Your Biceps! posted at FitBuff.com’s Total Mind and Body Fitness Blog, saying, “If you’re a longtime FitBuff reader, you may remember I’ve personally experienced the power of mind over muscle in one of my workouts when I lifted 50 pounds with my mind!”

DotLobby presents Breaking Bad Habits – 4 Tips to Drop ‘Em All! posted at DotNLP, saying, “Luckily, there isn’t any addiction on Earth that hasn’t been beaten by someone, somewhere. You might just need a little help, so here are 4 tips to stop bad habits, and start some great ones!”

Jay Deragon presents What Do We Expect? posted at A Relationship Economy….. With WHom & What, saying, “The small could actually bury the BIG with the reach of influential conversations, one to one to a million. The power is shifting and the stakes are high. Be careful with what you expect or don’t expect from the social web.

What say you?”

Alex Hansen presents Ayreon – 01011001 posted at RockRoast, saying, “If nobody tells you what music is good and what music is bad, how will you know what you like?”

authors

Raymond Le Blanc presents What You Should Know about Autism Spectrum Disorders posted at Raymond Le Blanc.

blogs

Ask Matt presents Using Stumbleupon To Bring Visitors to Your Blog posted at BlogTactics.com, saying, “Using Stumbleupon to bring visitors to your blog.”

Ask Matt presents Free Traffic Tactic Videos and Understanding that SEO Malarky… | iamUncovered.com posted at BlogTactics.com, saying, “Free Traffic Tactic Videos and Understanding that SEO Malarky…”

Carol Bentley presents Reasons to unsubscribe. . . posted at Carol Bentley, saying, “Reasons to unsubscribe. . .
Sometimes stopping a subscription is the right thing to do.”

HL Grove presents 4 Steps To Creating Quality Content For Your Blog posted at MoneyWeb24.

Brent Diggs presents The Blog Of State Address posted at The Ominous Comma.

Doug Green presents Running Shoe Design Sucks posted at My-Caboodle, saying, “I’m a full time Internet writer living on an island – actually two islands – one North and the other Southern – and this is my own blog-for-the-heck-of-it.”

Alexander Kohl presents Freelance Writers Wanted | Freelance Writing Career posted at Freelance Writing Career.

James Brausch presents Costa Rican Food posted at Costa Rica HQ.

book reviews

GrrlScientist presents Sixty Days And Counting posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “by Kim Stanley Robinson, is the third installment of his Eco-political thriller trilogy series about global warming.”

Thomas Sweeney presents There Will Be Blood. posted at Think Soul Matter, saying, “Film Review – There Will Be Blood.”

Brian Terry presents Why Bill Gates is unreasonable posted at Big Selling Website Design.

Shamelle presents Your Inner CEO: Unleash The Executive Within posted at Enhance Life.

GrrlScientist presents The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “the book by Helen Epstein, is a clear-eyed look at the African AIDS epidemic and the West’s often misguided attempts to assist in this battle.”

Tali presents The Rise of the Author – More than a Free Marketing Report posted at The Marketer Review, saying, “I’d love to call Mark Joyner the most revolutionary man in our industry, but he’s not just an internet marketer and hasn’t just been one for a long time.
I’d love to call Mark Joyner the most revolutionary man in our industry, but he’s not just an internet marketer and hasn’t just been one for a long time.”

Christina M. Rau presents Turning Poetry Pages posted at Livin’ The Dream (One Loser At A Time), saying, “Three books of poetry. Lots of poems to steal from.”

Raymond presents Rich Dad Poor Dad posted at Money Blue Book.

books

James DeLelys presents New Book/Video posted at Author James DeLelys, saying, “Video of new book!”

Amy Munnell presents Things that make you go “Hmmmm”….. posted at 3 Questions…and Answers, saying, “HarperCollins is offering readers the opportunity to “try before you buy” with their “Browse Inside” feature on their website. The company has a number of titles available for readers to read for free on the website, not just sample chapters, but the ENTIRE BOOK.”

Tip Diva presents Top Ten Tips – Building A Personal Library posted at Tip Diva, saying, “Tip Diva loves reading and one day dreams of a house lined with shelves and shelves of books. She’s started to acquire quite a collection of her favorite books, and here’s how you, too, can build your own personal library.”

GrrlScientist presents The Birdbooker Report: Notes on Bird (and Natural History) Books posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “Update about natural history books that are either new to the market or will be published soon. [new book news]”

David Cassell presents The Why Behind Select Courses Blog posted at selectcoursesblog.com.

interviews

Cheryl Snell presents Shiva’s Arms: Chariots of Flame posted at FeedBulletin for: financialbullet.

Anne-Marie presents Five questions for Sara Zarr, author of the YA novel Sweethearts posted at My Readable Feast, saying, “Check out Sara’s latest novel, Sweethearts – fantastic!”

Amy Munnell presents An Interview…with screenwriter Michael Lucker posted at 3 Questions…and Answers, saying, “screenwriter Michael Lucker”

Amy Munnell presents An Interview…with humorist Cappy Hall Rearick posted at 3 Questions…and Answers, saying, “Humor columnist Cappy Hall Rearick”

Amy Munnell presents An Interview…with Novelist Julie L. Cannon posted at 3 Questions…and Answers.

Jade Blackwater presents Feature Artist Interview – Lisa D. Kastner posted at Brainripples, saying, “Brainripples shares a Feature Artist Interview with writer Lisa D. Kastner of the Rittenhouse area of Philadelphia, PA. Lisa Kastner writes fiction, and is currently shopping her psychological thriller novel “Jersey Diner”.”

life

DandelionBlog presents A Small Treatise on Happiness posted at Author Suzanne McMinn.

Alex Blackwell presents How Much is Too Much? posted at The Next 45 Years.

Lorace presents Looking to the Future, With a Smile posted at What Not Thought: How To’s and A Lot of Randomness.

Nick at BnG presents The Beernut Gallery – Gridlocked posted at The Beernut Gallery, saying, “An article detailing the joys of a traffic jam.”

cait presents Whats the crisis compadre? posted at cait, saying, “I couldn’t find humor up there…maybe its not so funny anyway…”

Alex Blackwell presents In the Blink of an Eye posted at The Next 45 Years.

philosophy

Thomas Sweeney presents To come into the present… posted at Think Soul Matter.

Pearl presents How the movie Groundhog Day can lead to a happier and more productive life posted at :: Interesting Observations ::.

Untruths presents Science + Religion = Conflict? posted at Untruths, saying, “Are Science and Religion Compatible?”

politics/current events

Kathie Goldsmith presents You know it?s getting ugly in some markets when? posted at Team Reba Real Estate, saying, “Team Reba is a real estate firm with a blog that covers many subject. This post is about the turn in the market and how one agent is being sued as a result of the housing bust.”

santousha presents *Seeking*Serenity*: Waiting on the strike to end and my concerns for Ms. Spears posted at Seeking Serenity.

articles

Bela presents How to Catch a Mouse | House Chronicles posted at House Chronicles.

blogs

Michael Bass presents Hints for writing great blog posts. posted at Debt Prison, saying, “Don’t write junk, anything worth writing is worth writing correctly. Bad articles will leave readers with a negative impression of your site.”

Nick Cobb presents Felonious Ramblings: My First Day In The Joint posted at Felonious Ramblings.

Warren Wong presents The Different Types Of Website Visitors And Their Value posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “An article describing the different types of websites visitors such as search engine, direct, referring, and social bookmarking and the value they bring to your website.”

Bob Younce presents Setting posted at Writing My First Novel.

articles

Michel Fortin presents Give Your Joint-Venture Offer An Extra Punch | The Michel Fortin Blog posted at The Michel Fortin Blog.

book reviews

GrrlScientist presents Speciation in Birds posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “by Trevor Price, is a wonderful review of the literature that reveals the process and nature of speciation in birds.”

GrrlScientist presents Attenborough in Paradise posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “A remarkable set of adventures to the South Pacific islands and beyond on DVD as David Attenborough pursues his most deeply burning passions. [educational DVD review]”

Peter Jones presents The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: New Mystery Keeps You Reading posted at Great New Books that Are a Must Read.

books

James DeLelys presents Am I the Only One? posted at Author James DeLelys, saying, “Prelude to a new book.”

Sarah presents Eugenides and Saunders read from My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead posted at SARAHSPY.

interviews

Marilyn Terrell presents The Inn at Little Washington Celebrates 30 Years posted at Intelligent Travel, saying, “Susan O’Keefe interviews the celebrated chef-innkeeper at the Inn at Little Washington, Patrick O’Connell, as his inn and restaurant turn 30.”

life

Madeleine Begun Kane presents One Car Guaranty I?d Gladly Forgo posted at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.

Alex Blackwell presents And a Side Order of Positive Attitude, Too Please posted at The Next 45 Years.

Justin Duval presents www.DarkGrin.com – mind TRIP posted at The Dark Grin, saying, “Philosophical creative writing piece.”

Joshua Wagner presents Getting Your Ducks in a Row posted at Total Possibility.

Joshua Wagner presents Love and Fear posted at Total Possibility.

Alex Blackwell presents Feel the Music in You posted at The Next 45 Years, saying, “While allowing my heart to hear the words to the song, it occurred to me that I did indeed own my life. Regret and shame were just pieces of garbage I had been carrying around long enough. But there was still plenty of time and there was still plenty of hope and fight left in me.”

philosophy

Akemi presents Belief can Change the Course of Life posted at Gratitude Magic.

Samuel Bryson presents The Philosophy of Happiness – Accepting Yourself posted at Total Wellbeing.

Scholars & Rogues presents A human thinking trap (and how to avoid it) posted at Scholars and Rogues, saying, “Thank you for your consideration.”

politics/current events

Meggie Pace presents Craft Research: Craft 2.0 posted at Earthly Paradise, saying, “The arts and crafts movement is experiencing an incredible revival on the web. This article discusses the movement’s origins and future.”

Heidi Whitaker presents Viral Blogging: What is the Price of Profiting from the Politics of Bigotry and Hate? posted at Work from Home Choices, saying, “This article discusses how political blogs are stirring up hatred and bigotry.”

Cheryl presents Cop a plea: to criminal stupidity posted at Glob-a-log, saying, “Dimwitted cops and criminals”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
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We all often forget in the glorious insanity of writing that if you wish to publish, your writing is a business. That means you have to treat it and your interactions with everyone as a business dealing. These are my “rules” that I’ve developed by watching and talking with other writers as well as feeling my way through my own career.

1) Writing “cache” is earned not bestowed.

It is like any other job. Really. You must pay your dues as the new kid on the block before you can start to break the rules. I’ve got seven novels and a slew of short stories out there now. The publishers I work with can bank on my name on a title to bring in a certain amount of sales. Because of that I’ve earned a certain amount of license in how I work.

My first novel, not so much. I got the dreaded: we like it, but can’t take it as is. Do some significant re-writes and we may consider publication. I also got the same on the second novel. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and accept that.

The first one, I queried the editor and politely asked what re-writes. “Chop 2000 words of the front. Expand this relationship. And by the way, your female love interest (a male/male/female triangle) is an absolute raving bitch…tone her down.” Did that bug the hell out of me to have someone critique my baby so bluntly? Hell yes. Did I do the re-writes? Hell yes. And the second set of re-writes they asked for as well. They never did accept that book. But, in the end, I ended up with a much better novel.

The second book, the editor said, “Its great, but to fit our formula, I need the main characters to hate each other by the end of chapter three.” I didn’t do that re-write. It would have changed the entire plot. I politely sent a letter stating that it would require the re-write of the entire plot, but now that I knew what they were looking for, I’d try and write a book geared toward that.

You must sometimes sacrifice your baby to the Gods of Publication. If the second publisher had come back with similar requests to the first, I would have done them. Because, at that time, my name meant nothing to anyone.

2) You’re only as good as your promotion on your last book.

Really and for true folks. Your publisher watches. Even if you have a big named bank roll behind you, they watch. People who are active about getting their own name out there are money makers for them. I have a friend who writes for Bantam. That is BIG. Her editor told her, this is what we expect you to do to promote your own book. It’s not just the small presses who want you out there stumping. The authors I know who’ve sat on their “my book is wonderful” notions and done nothing, they get dumped. Your publisher wants to know that you are invested in you book as well. They don’t expect you to arrange nation wide book signing tours, but passing out flyers, maybe getting on a speakers panel or arranging a chat date on some reader loop: they watch for that.

3) If I’m reading your blog, so is your potential publisher.

I don’t know why so many people have a problem with that concept. They air their dirty laundry in public. My basic philosophy is: Tout your successes to everyone who will listen. Mourn your defeats in private.

I have been watching a certain new writer tank herself. She has written a short story for a collection and two longer stand alone works. The short story was contracted and the longer works under consideration. This is someone who has “broken in.” She then spent the next two months publicly agonizing over the re-writes in her blog. Blasting all the people who offered to help her with them as “red-liners” and “hack artists.” She turns in a re-write, noting something to the effect that she doesn’t know at all why they wanted her to do them. Gets a second request for more clean up and does a public freak out. Pulls the story from the antho (which she’s allowed to do under that contract), announces that she is doing so because she “just can’t work with editors like that,” and other people have told similar “horror” stories.

The best part: She was surprised when two days later she gets a rejection on the two longer works. I will bet that she gets rejects from a lot of publishers as well. She has not earned the right to act like a prima donna.

It is really demoralizing to have someone be brutally honest about your work that you’ve slaved over, agonized about sometimes for years. But go have your bitch fit in private. I railed for nearly a month with the requests I got. Privately, bending my poor guy’s ear off at length and to a couple of private friends. Not on a public blog post.

4) Everyone you meet has the potential to help or hinder your career.

You never know where the next reviewer, news media persona or publisher is. I’ve gotten invited into anthologies because I met someone (who I don’t remember) at some conference. I’ve gotten major reviews outside my genre because I impressed someone while speaking on a panel at some po-dunk convention, or the nice clerk at the book store…who isn’t the clerk but the manager in charge of setting up signings.

I have a friend, both personal and professional, who is a major freelance writer for some major GLBT publications. I met him at someone else’s reading where we just got to chatting. We went and had a drink afterward. Turned out he had a press pass to an event a few weeks later and didn’t want to go stag so I tagged along. Now, anytime one of his publications needs emergency filler I’m one of five people on the rolodex for the “hey what’s new with you?” interview.

Years of managing law offices has taught me that your best business deals are made in riding up the elevator or in the airport bar after the conference is over.

5) You will take crappier deals when you start out.

You don’t have to once you’re established. Obviously, you don’t want to sign away your complete rights in perpetuity to your work for royalties only. Jumping at the first deal, if it’s incredibly one sided, is not a good idea. But, it may be worth your while to take a contract that doesn’t pay much to get your foot in the door.

Keep an eye on what rights you’ve kept. If you’ve sold electronic rights to a work, but kept the print…you still have something to sell. Your publisher will make decisions based on who sells how much. Sometimes it’s fair for you to wait and sometimes its not. If they wish to take a wait and see before offering to buy more rights, and someone else will do it now…well there’s a lot of weighing of risk and such you should make, but sometimes it’s better to take the other deal.

As you get farther up the food chain you have more leverage to negotiate deals you don’t like. Don’t be afraid of a “take it or leave it” card thrown on the table. If you already know what your value is, sometimes the best negotiation strategy for you is to say, “I’ll leave it.” I, at my level, in my market, have options. Deals I would have taken when I started out (and I don’t have any qualms about having made them) well, sometimes they’re just not good enough any more. I have to look at this as a profit making business.

Now, if I take a shot at the next “tier” up of publishers…I may end up taking a deal that’s not quite as good to get my foot in that door.

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Welcome to the January 5, 2008 edition of writers from across the blogosphere. Enjoy!

writing

M. Cruz presents Developing Unique Characters – Its The Little Things That Count! posted at NOIRLECROI.COM.

Steve Osborne presents Proofreading Tips posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Writing tips for the real world, from a professional writer.”

Missy presents It may not be a traditional dance, but it’s a dance just the same posted at Incurable Disease of Writing, saying, “A musical revelation freed me from my self-doubt and writing is back on track.”

Sean-Paul Kelley presents Recreating Long Lost Drama: The Xiongnu and the Han, 200BC posted at The Agonist, saying, “The question I’m facing right now is how to bring out the inherent drama of an event that took place more than two thousand years ago and is little known in the West.”

Carol Bentley presents The power of words. . . posted at Carol Bentley.

Ward Tipton presents Coming Write Up | The Write Page posted at The Online Writing Resource Center, saying, “Many people would like to get into writing but either have no knowledge about where to get started or worse, they become consumed by “analysis paralysis” or feelings of insecurity because they doubt themselves. Doubt no more!”

Jason Mueller presents Poem of Pain posted at Over Ten Years Serving the Reading Public.

Rebecca Wallace-Segall presents Yay, Motivation! posted at a community of young writers in new york city.

Nicola Marsh presents Romance, rumours and rogues posted at Romance, rumours and rogues.

Carol Bentley presents Do your headlines grab your reader?s undivided attention posted at Carol Bentley.

Jason Mueller presents Plausible Denial posted at Over Ten Years Serving the Reading Public.

Tali presents THE NIGHT-CELL posted at Helium – Where Knowledge Rules, saying, “I’m trying to build up this character, while writing a few shorts, involving her. This is the first.”

authors

Jason presents ExecutedToday.com » 1849: Not Fyodor Dostoyevsky posted at Executed Today, saying, “We catch up with Fyodor Dostoyevsky — including some original translation of his “holy crap, I’m alive” message — on the anniversary of his mock-execution.”

Kilroy_60 presents Kilroy Fear & Loathing, A Hunter S. Thompson tribute – A business management consultant, spiritualist & writer looks at life – Sex Drugs Rock & Roll posted at Fear And Loathing – The Gonzo Papers.

blogs

Jeanie Marshall presents Blogging for Coaches, Consultants, and Other Professionals posted at JMviews Meditation and Empowerment, saying, “Over the years while coaching and consulting, I have encouraged many of my clients to write. Sometimes I suggest they write to sort out ideas, with no intention for publishing or even sharing the writing with anyone. Other times, I suggest they write so that they eventually publish something. More and more, I am suggesting that my clients write a blog. The blog is one of those very powerful mechanisms, readily available.”

Alfa King presents Blogging year, against all odds posted at Alfa King Memories.

Susan presents Monetarizing Your Travel Blog posted at The Innovative Traveler, saying, “Montearize Your Travel Blog”

Warren Wong presents How To Start A Successful Blog posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “Tips on how to start a successful blog and what it takes to succeed.”

articles

Joshua Seth presents Getting Lost in Istanbul posted at Joshua Seth Blog, saying, “A Voyage to feel the taste of Old Europe through Hippodrome, the site of chariot races in old Constantinople and the Egyptian obelisk.”

Jim Sansi presents PR What? posted at The Kaizen Business.

book reviews

John presents Review: Of a Feather posted at A DC Birding Blog.

Sean-Paul Kelley presents So, You Want To Travel The Silk Road? posted at The Agonist, saying, “In his new book, Shadow of the Silk Road, Colin Thubron makes clear the magnitude of the task for writers who want to tackle the Silk Road. (I’m one of those writers.)”

Tiffany Washko presents Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal! posted at Natural Family Living Blog.

GrrlScientist presents The Snoring Bird posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “This book by Bernd Heinrich, a noted biologist, is a memoir that documents his father’s life and their relationship, and how his father influenced the scientist and the man that the author became. [book review]”

Torrie presents Book Review: Father’s Aren’t Supposed to Die posted at A Time of Grief.

interviews

Jeanie Marshall presents Jeanie Marshall Interviews Peter Shepherd posted at JMviews Meditation and Empowerment, saying, “Jeanie Marshall interviews Peter Shepherd, who is the Owner of Tools for Transformation, a personal development site which he started in 1997. He offers a considerable amount of valuable information at his web site, in his products, and through his mailings.”

Jason presents 1962: Arthur Lucas and Ronald Turpin posted at Executed Today, saying, “This is an interview I conducted recently with Canadian journalist Robert Hoshowsky on his recent book “The Last To Die” — about the last men hanged in Canada.”

life

Joshua C. Karlin presents Why You Need to Ask posted at Marketing & Fundraising Ideas.

Edith presents How to Stay Focused posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act., saying, “Are you distracted? Are you thinking about 3 things at the same time? Do you have more than 3 screens opened on your computer right now? If you said yes to any of the questions above, please stay focused here and read on.”

Rebecca Wallace-Segall presents Poetry Slam–Now That’s a Competition posted at a community of young writers in new york city.

John Crenshaw presents “He Tells Me To Burn Things” posted at Dominate Your Life, saying, “How do you distinguish good advice from bad, how do you know when someone is just telling you to “burn things?””

Warren Wong presents Conversation Skills / Tips: How To Have A Good Conversation posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “Tips to improve your conversation skills and help you have a good conversation!”

Chickens in the Road presents The Slanted Little House posted at Suzanne McMinn, saying, “A writer at a turning point in her life picks up her laptop and moves to the country with her three children to find the real meaning of home–and life.”

Alex Blackwell presents Ask for What You Want posted at The Next 45 Years.

Justin Duval presents www.darkgrin.com – Why You Choose to Get Angry posted at The Dark Grin, saying, “Check out why you choose to get angry!”

Terry Dean presents Overcome Fear posted at Integrity Business Blog by Terry Dean.

Carol Bentley presents Invitation to birthday celebration posted at Carol Bentley.

philosophy

Meggie Pace presents A Beautiful House and Books–The Most Important Things in Life? posted at Earthly Paradise, saying, “William Morris’ philosophy integrated art, philosophy and “everyday life” in a way that almost seems impossible to today’s reader. He once argued that having a beautiful home and books were two of the most important things in life. Was he right? On reflection, I think he was!”

CG Walters presents Truth is But a Resting Place posted at Into the Mist, saying, “Many people are willing to accept that experiences and memories of the past become guides for our choices in the present, thereby dictating the future. Most people see these memories or experiences as defined once and never changing. I, on the other hand, am forced to view them as a more fluid commodity.”

Justin Duval presents www.darkgrin.com – The Spectrum of Extremes posted at The Dark Grin.

Pearl presents Spreading the Love via Compassion posted at :: Interesting Observations ::, saying, “Whats your definition of compassion?”

Matthew Spears presents Trusting Perceptions and Higher Communication posted at Loving Awareness, saying, “One of the most fundamental aspect of any growth or is the trust in one’s own perception. There is no question it is an incomplete perception; as a human, you will not see even a minuscule fraction of the totality of what’s out there, or that of your self. But it is still your perception. It is your link to your power. It is the basis for all growth, for if you rely on someone else’s eyes and intuition, you are not living your own life, discovering your own power, but are being a guinea pig for other’s experiments”

politics/current events

Jason Hughey presents The Assasination of Benazir Bhutto posted at Logical Consistency, saying, “Pakistan is emerging as a crisis. Read how the assassination of opposition leader, Bhutto, represents more serious and deadly problems, not only for Pakistan, but for the world.”

Sholom Anarchy presents Stumping for Ron Paul again posted at Anarcho-Judaism.

James K. Bashkin presents Kicked out of Cuba! “When crime fiction is a crime” by K Henkel: Fact and Fiction collide, with serious consequences. posted at Nearly nothing but novels, saying, “The fragility of free speech is indicated by this report of a Cuban writer’s exile in Germany.”

Madeleine Begun Kane presents Dear Editor: Enough With The Polls, Already! posted at Mad Kane’s Political Madness.

humor

Jason Mueller presents Beer, Bear, Body Bag: The Inspirational Story of What Not to Feed Yogi posted at Over Ten Years Serving the Reading Public.

contests

Susan presents New Podcast Documentary Contest posted at The Innovative Traveler.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
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Hello from the newest writer moving onto the block! I’m thrilled to be part of this great group of writers. Let me set down my things and introduce myself.

My name is LaShawn. I’m an African American stay-at-home mother of a 3-year-old little boy. I’ve been making up stories since kindergarten, but it wasn’t until college that I took the first steps in becoming a writer. My favorites stories had always been in the fantasy genre, a favorite I share with my grandmother. However, back then, there were very few books, if any, that had African characters in it. I wanted to change that, so I started working on my first fantasy novel I titled “The Weeping of the Willows”. That was at the beginning of 1994.

Yesterday, I finally finished the first draft of that novel.

It’s a pretty hefty novel–over 460,000 words. Granted, I’m not that slow of a writer. Out of the thirteen years between when I first started the book and when I typed “The End”, there was at least seven years where I didn’t write a thing. No stories, no novel, nothing. Part of that was due to graduating college, adjusting to married life, and working as a full-time secretary for an African mission office. But part of that also stemmed from being just too drained of creative energy. After spending all day in the office, I’d come home too pooped to do anything but veg. There was a tiny part of me that wanted to write, craved to write–during the first couple years of my marriage, I kept up my writing skills by doing fanfiction, which didn’t require creating original characters. It satisfied my writing bug a little, but soon I was too exhausted to even work on that (plus, back in those days, our house only had one computer–and when you have two techno savvy people fighting for it all the time, things can get pretty ugly).

So for seven years, I did not write. The story inside me faltered, then dwindled to a wisp. Occasionally, I journalled. But mostly I moped. I used to brag that I could take anything and make a story out of it, but I couldn’t do that anymore. Nothing came out. So I worked, came home, and pretty much figured I wouldn’t write anything again.

All that changed when my son was born.

My husband and I had agreed that I would stay home with him. So I left my job, intending to take on a part-time secretarial job with our church. But it didn’t pan out as well as I thought. For one thing, it ain’t easy trying to breastfeed a screaming six-month-old and type on the computer when your pastor is in the next room trying to work on a sermon (I gotta give props to my pastor, though. He was pretty patient and never once complained about the noise). When I realized it was too much for me to handle, I stepped down. I wanted to work, but I wanted to do it on my own terms in a way that would help me to be with my son.

Then, out of nowhere, this little voice nudged me: Say, didn’t you always wanted to be a writer when you grew up? Don’t you think that time is now?

For the first time, I thought about that novel I didn’t finished. Well…yeah. I guess I am all grown up now, aren’t I? So I pulled it out of the file cabinet I’d thrown it into, intending to finish it…and that’s when I realized that I had written about sixteen chapters worth of crap. I had completely forgotten my characters and plotlines, some of the stuff I written were physically impossible, even for a fantasy world, and there were so errors in the text that if I was to write it again, I needed to start over from scratch. A very daunting prospect indeed for someone who hadn’t written a thing in several years.

But here’s something–all those years of not writing did teach me a lot. Working in an African mission office, I learned much about African culture–I even had a chance to go to Africa with my boss in 2002. When I read my story over, I saw that what I had assumed was African culture was false. What I knew now gave me ideas on how to flesh the story out, making the story a lot stronger than it was when I started. I also was able to approach the story with a fresh, new perspective of being older and (presumably) wiser.

I didn’t start rewriting the book right away, but I did start taking steps into becoming a writer: I started writing more. I did practice exercises. I wrote a short story and sent it off, and it got picked up by Mytholog. I attended a Writer’s Festival in Aurora and got to speak to many authors who gave wonderful advice. And after that festival, I started rewriting my book from scratch. That was six years ago.

So now that I’ve given you all this history on the novel I wrote, I’m letting you know that I’m not going to work on it anymore. I’m putting “Weeping of the Willows” on hiatus.

Oh, don’t worry. I don’t intend on letting it sit for another seven years. Seven weeks is more like it. While it’s good to involve yourself in a work, sometimes, it does wonders for your creativity to let a work sit and simmer at the back of your mind for a while. What I want to do is let my book rest for a couple of months while I focus more on short stories and just some fun writing for a while. Then, when I am ready to return to it, I’ll be able to look at it with fresh eyes, be able to figure out what needs to stay, what needs to go, what needs to be revised, and what needs to be added (though I do hope that when I finish the second draft, the word count will at least be cut in half).

Even though I’ve accomplished writing a book, I still feel that I’m just starting out as a writer. There’s so much I have to learn, not just honing my skills, but also learning the technical side, and of course, enduring rejection after rejection after rejection. I don’t know if this book will ever make the bestseller list–I don’t even know if a publisher will take it. But I’m going to try my hardest to make it so. And I am deeply honored that you get to share this journey with me, all the trials and tribulations, and all the joys and jubilations, too.

Because in the end, it’s all about the stories, right?

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In a age when writers rarely fingerhug a pen or type on a typewriter, it seems that writers these days must wear multiple hats in order to be successful.

Not only do you need to know how to write a variety of communication pieces such as articles, web content, blogs, novels and more….there is also the marketing of the writing, keeping up with the latest promotions, blogging and guest blogging as well as working on clients’ materials.

Now we have what is called “Book Trailers”. I am a huge fan of this medium and yes, I did it. I made a trailer of “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road” before it is even published. Why? First and foremost, I believe in the book THAT much. I feel it is easily one of the best books I ever had a hand in creating. Number Two: I am hoping to catch the publisher or agent’s eyes by creating a great marketing piece.

I would invite all of you to watch my blog and PLEASE, leave a comment. And, if you need someone to create YOUR trailer….I can do that too (sheepish grin).

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I’ve long been fascinated by psychology and what it has to say about the possible variations in human behavior. I considered a double-major in psychology while I was in college but eventually decided to pursue other interests instead. Still, I explored many texts on the subject, and I would often consult those texts when writing short stories and coming up with character ideas. Unlike psychiatry, which seems to use medication to subdue not only seemingly irreversible mental conditions but some types of temporary problems as well, psychology appears to attempt to get at the root of issues through analysis of the human condition.

I used my own observations and personal beliefs regarding human nature when writing some of the stories included in Portraits in the Dark, and I also researched and read texts by various types of psychologists. At times while creating some of these characters, I needed to step outside of of what I thought was a normal course of action in order to figure out what the characters would or would not do. Some were easy–who hasn’t been annoyed at some perceived negative behavior or slight? Who hasn’t thought “what if…”?

But when it came to the decision-making process, I needed to be able to study how far certain decisions can go. Everyone has to make decisions and everyone makes mistakes, but some are more extreme than others.

For instance, in “Fine Print,” the character wavers between accepting an offer that he knows has dire consequences and living a life that he finds difficult to stomach. On the surface it is an easy enough decision but when other factors are included, the “correct” path isn’t the most desirable. Throughout the story there are clues to what type of man he is and why he would do the things he does–his decision is not just based upon a whim or upon what would be my own personal choice in such a situation.

Every day we are confronted with making decisions, how to approach this or that situation. And every day, in the news or in our personal lives, we find unanswered questions. Why did he or she do this, why did something turn out the way it did? How will this turn out, what should be done here? Without the aid of some fortune telling device, it is impossible to know how something will turn out with 100% accuracy. In “Darkened Sky,” the main character is confronted by the decisions that others have made, with deciding if those choices are options for her, or if she should take another route in life. She can’t forsee her future, but she gains some insight by the choices others have made and how she reacts to them. How she chooses is of particular importance being that she is a teenager and the situations in her life contain much danger for someone her age.

There are decisions that need to be made behind everything that goes on in life. Of course, in Portraits in the Dark, the characters and situations are taken to the extreme–bloody deaths, dealing with the supernatural, horrible creatures, surrealism. But there are also the real life quiet horrors of knowing that one decision can possibly have a huge and lasting impact on one’s life and the lives of others, of dealing with situations that one has little control over but must still learn how to navigate.

One reader commented to me that a story he read in Portraits in the Dark, “Fine Print,” changed his outlook on where his life was headed and made him question whether or not he was going in the right direction. I was glad that what I decided to include in the story had such an impact on him, even though he didn’t go into detail about his situation. That is one type of reaction that I think as writers some of us hope for–that our work will connect on some level.

How we view the world, our experiences, how we deal with things, even our genetic make-up can give us some clues as to what we, and others, will do when confronted with such questions. By exploring psychology, we as writers can use our natural abilities to make the characters real. Of course, there is a balance between enhancing the story with psychology and basically creating characters that are straight out of a text-book. Psychology, while helpful, doesn’t cover all of what a human being is capable of; nor does it cover writing style and storytelling ability.

But creating that written world can sometimes allow us to do what we can’t always do in real life–see why others truly act how they act, do what they do. And sometimes what our fictional characters do can leave a lasting, lingering impression on the mind of the reader.

PORTRAITS IN THE DARK ON AMAZON.COM

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Welcome to the June 12, 2007 edition of writers from across the blogosphere.

Neela Menon presents Well Done, Director! posted at One Hundred Years of Solitude, saying, “This is a collection of intensely personal notes from the diary of an artist, meant for the flames in her winter home. But so much water has flown under the bridge since then, and I dont care now!”

Bob Jones presents Writers Block, How I Deal With It posted at Bob Meets World, saying, “How I deal with writers block.”

articles

Josh presents Stop the Junk Mail posted at My Credit Scores, saying, “Find out why you get so much junk mail, junk email, and phone calls from telemarketers. Then stop it in its tracks.”

Divya presents Plagiarism in freelancing : the ABCs posted at inkpenny, saying, “All you need to know about plagiarism…”

authors

polliwog presents Guest Frogger – Meg Cabot posted at Polliwog’s Pond.

blogs

http://forgottenblueline.blogspot.com presents Can’t take it anymore, Good Bye posted at The Forgotten Blue Line, saying, “I write stories from my work place. I am a security and safety officer for a major East Coast hospital”

book reviews

Numina presents Book Review: Contact by Carl Sagan posted at Numina Reviews the World, saying, “Not complimentary towards the novel, but not a bashing either. Or at least I tried not to bash.”

Meredith Mathews presents I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids. posted at Lemonade Stand, saying, “Both the cover art and the confessionary title caught my eye. But the writing tone is what I respect most; the authors speak candidly about being a mom and their feelings on it.”

life

Damien presents Que? – A Funny Experience I Had as a First-Year | Riley Central posted at First Edition: Doing What They Love.

politics/current events

Steven Silvers presents Rankles over U.S. News best colleges list hint at bigger issue with media rankings. posted at Scatterbox at stevensilvers.com, saying, “Information-age transparency turns what used to be slam-dunk annual marketing promotions into ongoing controversies about news media methods.”

reading

Ashok presents Notes on Dickinson’s “There’s a certain slant of light” posted at Rethink., saying, “I’m not sure what category this may go under, if anyone cares to read it. One of Dickinson’s most famous poems is posted and then discussed in this post.”

writing

Elvis D presents Looks Like Rain posted at 365fiction.

Elvis D presents Crippled posted at 365fiction.

Elvis D presents Impulse posted at 365fiction.

Jade Blackwater presents Show and Tell Friday – Poetry Selections posted at Brainripples, saying, “Greetings. The Brainripples blog is a place to discuss writing, art, and creativity. Show and Tell Friday is a new feature at Brainripples, and I launched it last week with a selection of my poetry called “Singing of the Spheres.” Thank you for considering my work, and enjoy!

Cheers,
Jade Blackwater
jadeblackwater@brainripples.com”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
writers from across the blogosphere
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

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I just finished Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices by Jodi Picoult. Miss Snark praised her, I’ve seen her name everywhere, she writes both young-adult and adult fiction, so I grabbed this one. It was good, interesting for me from a craft sense, but somehow unsatisfying. Is this women’s fiction? I think so, or some region on the border of women’s and literary fiction. It’s the account of a marriage breakup and reassemblage told from five different first-person viewpoints with the chronology all shuffled up. So technically that was interesting but I had a strong sense that the choice was not inevitable. That it was less “it has to be this way” than “let’s try this.” And the other thing I found disappointing in such an acclaimed writer is that the voices of the five different narrators all sounded curiously the same. There were a few overtones of individuality, but the way they looked at the world, their literary voice, was at foundation the same. So, interesting yet unsatisfying. I didn’t learn anything here except maybe what to watch out for in my own work.

I know, hideous hubris for me to be dissing a well-loved and recognized novelist while I–a self-pubbed author–am still languishing  in the slush, but I pound my chest and declare it’s my right to be a critic if I want. (blows raspberry)

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Welcome to the last edition of a contest carnival – submit your article! From these entries we will choose one winner to receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card as well as free books and/or promotional material from authors on The Writers’ Block that will be participating in this contest. (*Please note that not all authors on The Writers’ Block blog will be participating.)

articles

FMR presents The Minor League theory posted at FollowtheMusicalRoad, saying, “Thank you!”

presents Treasure of Life posted at Success Step.

books

Jon Swift presents Who Needs Books? posted at Jon Swift, saying, “For a long time I have been saying that actually reading books is overrated. Now I have an unlikely ally: librarians.”

Aspeth presents How To Write Chick Lit In Ten Easy Steps posted at TwelveYearsOfBeingAnnoyedByChloeSevignyDotCom, saying, “A critique of the “chick-lit” genre.”

contests

Brent Diggs presents Building My Career With A Book Signing Tour posted at The Ominous Comma, saying, “Thank you for your time”

fiction

Lorraine Roach presents Anxiety Sufferers posted at Coping With Anxiety, AnxietyEnded.com, saying, “My article is a simple idea about the help that we as anxiety sufferers can receive from published programs and techniques. There are many types of helpful books etc. available and I had a comment concerning the money made by publishers from peoples desire to end anxiety.”

publishing

Corner Scribe presents Which route? posted at cornerscribe.com, saying, “In this article I talk about traditional publishing verses print on demand, and why an author might choose one or the other.”

EelKat presents Business Plans: Moonsnails Magazine: We’re Back! posted at MoonSnails Magazine: The Official Blog.

writing

Ruth Mitchell presents 12 Step Program for Bloggers posted at Buy Outside the Box, saying, “Just when you thought it was safe to blog.”

articles

Dorothy Thompson presents How Self-Syndication Leads to Free Publicity posted at Pump Up Your Online Book Promotion.

publishing

David Maister presents Writers and Performers posted at Passion, People and Principles.

Greenearth presents Become Carbon Neutral posted at A New Green Earth, saying, “Together we can create a new green earth.”

publishing

Robinson Go presents A Comprehensive Blogging Guide posted at Robinson Go dot Com, saying, “This is a future comprehensive blogging guide to help all aspiring bloggers from the newbie to the above average blogger. I believe this is a good tip for your readers who may exhibit enthusiasm for blogging online. Thanks.”

Past posts can be found on our

blog carnival index page
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Can you guess what I’ve been up to?

Polishing your work is a mentally time consuming project, but also interesting and most definitely worth it.

I’ve said in posts before that the technical side of editing, aside from the basics–like putting a period at the end of a sentence and proper spelling, is not my cup of tea. (Bless great editors everywhere!) However, as much as I may grumble about it, trying to make sure the commas are in the right place is part of the “fun” of editing. Going through the pages and sorting out the good parts from the bad or not-so-great ones, and deciding on what to keep and what to throw out can really do wonders. I don’t consider the former to be one of the “technical” aspects, as it seems to have more to do with creative analysis of the work, but it’s also a part of the refining process.

I’ve started consulting The Elements of Style more and more, and one thing I appreciate about the book is that it acknowledges the fact that some of the “rules” are absurd and arbitrary–but they are still the rules. Once I’ve done what I can to edit the work, creatively and technically, it’s nice to know that I can turn it over to a more-than-competent copy editor to get the (hopefully few!) commas and semi-colons, and other technical do-dats that I missed. Whether I enjoy that aspect or not, part of being a professional writer means getting the little things right, as much as I possibly can.

For some, sitting in front of the computer and writing/editing is not considered productive; I know–almost every week I have a conversation with someone or another telling me that writing is not a real job. But anyone that knows, knows better.

Whether you are writing for a company or writing short stories, screenplays, novels, or all of the above, writing is work. If you love it (which you should if you want to be a writer) and you’re good at it (again, which you probably should be–or at least practice enough to expand your talent), then it’s satisfying and it can be easier than some other types of jobs–but it is still work. And someday (hopefully) all that work pays off.
Nancy O. Greene
http://www.portraits.bravehost.com
http://www.amazon.com/Portraits-Dark-Collection-Short-Stories/dp/0595392806/

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