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Hiding Your Eyes From Edits?

An iconic promo shot from ‘Bird Box.’ That’s Sandra Bullock at the oars with Julian Edwards , left, and Vivien Lyra Blair. Image: Netflix ‘Don’t Open Your Eyes’ While I confess that I’ve been tempted to wear my #BirdBoxChallenge blindfold when editing other people’s copy, I was wide-eyed when Josh …

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How Writing and Submitting Short Stories Improved My Novel

Photo by Aftab Uzzaman If you’re writing a novel and are nowhere near the end, why spend time on short stories? Doesn’t that distraction delay getting to the end of the current draft, a moment that always feels months away? I thought so once. One year, I wouldn’t let myself …

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The Editor’s Clinic: The Limits of Editing

    One of the comments in last month’s Editor’s Clinic suggested that the piece I worked on should have been rewritten once or twice before the editing commenced.  (Incidentally, I’d encourage you to go back to that discussion.  At the time it went up, I was working to get …

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But I Won’t Do That: Sex and Revisions

Photo by Clint Mason Many years ago, I worked for Planned Parenthood as a sex educator. My primary work was going into the community and talking to people about things we most often think of as sex ed basics: sexually transmitted infections and birth control methods. Those are important issues, …

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Mathematical Equations of Perfection in Nature

Photo Credit: Pictoscribe – Fibonacci Math Nobody’s perfect, I thought by myself to myself, as I walked my mountain cove one spring morning. I am measuring me against me. The time of writing consistently and arrogantly and prolifically against the me now who watches her bank account as if it …

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Writing What You Don’t Believe

Photo “face time-2” by Albyn Davis No, this isn’t about writing dishonestly. Quite the contrary. I’m returning to a topic I’ve touched on before, but with a different slant this time around. Please bear with me. We live in an era of such extreme social and political division that if …

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Seeking Truth in Fiction

photo adapted / Horia Varlan A few weeks after my first husband’s suicide, when I was able to think again, one thought pulled me forward through the difficult years of recovery to come: I was meant to write about this. But how? Back in the late 90s, the memoir revolution …

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Fudging History: Is It Ever OK?

As a reader of fiction, I appreciate historical accuracy. A novel with a historical setting, whether that be Tsarist Russia or Feudal Japan or the South America of the Aztecs, can spring to life for the reader when the author has a genuine passion for the period and culture. To …

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The Different Types of Editing Explained

My last article, on the pitfalls of self-editing, provoked some discussion about the different types of editing. There’s certainly a lot of confusion around, and it’s not surprising. There’s line editing, copy-editing, developmental editing, structural editing, substantive editing, and then proofreading. Editors can hardly agree on exactly what’s involved in …

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Bandersnatching Your Writing Career

image by Lumenoid Around 12:10 a.m. on January 1st, just after 2019 began, I made what I hope will prove to be my worst choice of the entire year: I started watching the latest “Black Mirror” project on Netflix, alone, in the dark. “Black Mirror” is eerie at best and …

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