Saturday, December 15, 2007

Meet the Editors

T: Hi, I'm Theresa and I'm going to introduce my good friend Alicia. Alicia has many years experience in publishing as a novelist, nonfiction writer, teacher and editor. I first met her in 19mumble-mumble at a writing conference. (Neither one of us will admit to precise dates or years of experience because, hey, a lady has to have some secrets.) We soon began discussing the Oxford comma, and are still arguing about it to this day.

Alicia is one of the smartest editors I've ever encountered, and her teaching skills are unmatched. I asked her to do this blog with me under false pretenses. My claim was that we could use it to promote her upcoming book with Writer's Digest Books (Point of View and Your Story, releasing in March 2008). But really, I just wanted to write a blog with her because she makes me look smarter.

A: Hi, I'm Alicia. You've already met Theresa. Let me tell you-- she's the only person I've found who is as picky about language as I am! She's also got a great grasp of what makes a story work or not work, and even more important, how to fix a non-working story to make it work. She uses her legal training and analytical mind to uncover plot holes and suggest fresher and more intriguing plot twists. In my own writing, I've found her brainstorming and revision help invaluable. She actually trimmed 35,000 words from a too-long manuscript of mine without losing any plot or characterization. (That might not say much about my ability to write concisely. :)

Anyway, we're looking forward to sharing our insights and our discussions about language and story on this blog. Please let us know if you have questions about either of those editing subjects!


Liz Wolfe said...

Ha! I'm first! I don't suppose there's a door prize for that?
Anyway, much to my horror I recently committed the heinous error of filling nostrils. Fortunately said error rests in a first draft and therefore Theresa has saved me from myself.
Seriously, this sounds like it's going to be a wonderful blog. You'll be getting a LOT of questions from me.

Carol Ericson said...

I confess, I confess! I have the scent "permeated her nostrils" in one of my stories. I think if the odor is heavy or carried on mist or spray, it can actually permeate or invade a nose or nostrils. It's not something you want to overuse (well, I guess it's something you don't EVER want to use with Alicia and Theresa - LOL). And I would never, ever mention a hero's nose hairs - ewwww. Congrats on the book, Alicia, and congrats on the blog, ladies. Looking forward to more.

Brenda said...

Terrific post...woke me up to all the times I've written about the stuff the nose is doing. And here I thought I had finally mastered fixing the eyes, hands, feet and head from doing stuff, now I have noses to worry about. :-)

I'm definitely bookmarking your blog!


Jody W. and Meankitty said...

Hey ladies! I'm bookmarking your blog now -- looking forward to many interesting conversations!

Jody W.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm looking forward to reading your blog on a regular basis. I enjoyed the wandering eyes and the overworked noses--funny!
Are you going to blog about Plot and Story? Ooh, and maybe Characters, too? That's what I want to hear about.
Maybe I'm the odd person out here, but I worry far more about my story-telling ability than I do about my grammar and expression skills.
Like, I have been told that if you want to use a first-person narrator, that person had better be fascinating. So how do you make that happen? Now I'm all worried that my protagonist is boring because she doesn't jump out of airplanes or perform heart transplants or train seeing-eye dogs or something. (I guess this is more a character question than a POV question).
I'm sure that both you ladies can give me some pointers on that one! Thanks in advance... :)


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Edittorrent said...

Saralee, I'm sure we'll talk about plot and character too-- just easier to write about commas. :)

As for a first-person narrator, I don't think they have to be fascinating PEOPLE so much as good NARRATORS. I wouldn't use first-person unless I could figure out how/why this person told the story in a way no one else would. Does she have a great voice like Bridget Jones? Does he have a unique perspective like Poe's murderous narrators? Does she have a good reason to tell this story?

That's what counts, the "why" and the "how" of her telling the story. If she tells it just like anyone else would tell it, or like you'd tell it in third-person, maybe it should be in third person. But if the reader is going to spend so long in someone else's head, listening to that voice, it better be a good one. :)

Anonymous said...

OMG! Alicia! Hi! *waving* I've taken several of your online classes (this was 2-3 years ago) and you are the ONLY teacher who REALLY helped me with insights. I love modifiers and I hate over-tightening that takes the voice out of prose, so I like your approach. Acquisition editors? Where are you acquiring for? I have one of everything to send you. *GRIN*

Good luck and have fun out there! I'll link to this blog from my exalted, ever-so-popular LiveJournal of Whining.

P. S. Serial comma (Oxford comma) required. Otherwise, this dedication happens: "I want to thank my parents, Hillary Clinton and God." *ducking*