Thursday, March 24, 2011

The best writing advice of the week month.

Read this blog post by Alison Janssen on 10 Things You Can Do To Make Your Editor Love You.

Print it out.

Memorize it.

Implement it.

Repeat as needed.

11 comments:

L.G.Smith said...

Damn, I'm doing better than I thought. I got it covered except for the character bible thing. Find/replace and me are besties.

Steve Stubbs said...

I just try to be consistently polite. I would prefer to say that I am constipated regarding a certain subject rather than to say that I don’t give a shit. Or in a different mood I might say I am celibate on a certain subject rather than say I don’t give a certain something else to connote indifference. I am not a priest or anything, but when I say I am celibate regarding a particular issue people do tend to know what I mean and what alternative phrase I am avoiding. Miss Manners would probably know and I am sure she would approve my alternative choice. I prefer the words chatting or conversation to intercourse even though they both mean the same thing, and if I must use the word intercourse in that connection I use it consistently in preference to some other more vulgar um – well, you know what I mean. I consistently never order coq au vin in a restaurant since chicken seems so much more polite a word for the bird than – well, you know what I mean, and waiters give me a funny look if I order chicken au vin. I have to slip them an extra twenty each to wipe that weird look off their faces. Better to get off cheap and order something else.

But when I actually get paid for my work, my politeness and composure come completely to nothing, and as I sit, staring open mouthed at my check and its humongous, bumptious size, it comes out. I refer of course to the word “Golly.” Plebeian, I know. Inconsistent to be sure. Fortunately I live alone, so nobody can hear me and it is not embarrassing.

Nobody can use polite language all the time, damn it.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Thank you! I'm there right now.

Kristin Laughtin said...

Interesting! I thought I had read on an agent's blog a few years ago--it might have been Nathan Bransford's, but I can't remember now--that it's actually better to use the double hyphen instead of an em-dash in your manuscript to avoid visual confusion for the editor with en-dashes; it's just easier to see two hyphens and the copy editor or typesetter or someone can later do a find-replace to change them all to em-dashes. I know I changed my Word settings not to auto-correct, but it sounds like I may need to change them back. (At least I'm consistent about the spacing.)

I've still got to learn to only use single spaces after sentences. School habits die hard. At least this is easy to fix with a find and replace. I'll have to double-check whether I've been consistent with the tabbing, as well. I fear it may have gotten mixed up from typing on different computers with varying settings, but at least these are all easy fixes!

li said...

Thank you for this blog post link, some really great tips there. Have a great time in NM, I'm sure you'll enjoy the change in weather!

Trisha said...

Thank you for the link!!

RJS said...

I am a technical writer by day, so that stuff is nigh-automatic. :) Undoubtedly helpful reminders, though!

Charli Armstrong said...

Well damn, all I need is an editor to love all this.

jesse said...

I'll die, before I stop double spacing!

(Which is fine, really, because switching to the right font auto-corrects this egregious error)

shtrum said...

The wife is a textbook editor and has mentioned these issues as well. Most of it's lost on this Luddite. Especially the 2-spaces after a period . . . to me it's what I was taught in high school (on a typewriter) and is, thus, enscribed in stone. To her it's a haunting forest of white ghosts on a page. All in the eye of the beholder.

Beth said...

I will continue to do the tab indent. Automatic indent drives me crazy.

I don't have a character bible but probably should make one.

Everything else -- check!