I can’t believe my publisher doesn’t . . .

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It doesn’t matter if you have a six-figure advance or only got $3,000. It doesn’t matter if you have a big-five publisher or a small indie press or a hybrid publisher. If you’re a first-time author, you’ll soon be whining, “I can’t believe my publisher doesn’t . . . “, followed by some task that … Continued

How to fix rambling, repetitive prose

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It’s an editor’s nightmare. The writer produces content . . . reams of it. There are many ideas, but lots of repetition. And there’s no logic connecting it all. How can you turn this rambling wreck into a usable nonfiction narrative? The key is recognize that the problem here is structural, not textual. Editing the … Continued

Ask Dr. Wobs: Advice to a first-time editor

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Here’s a query from a new-minted editor that gets right to the heart of what an editor must do: Dear Dr. Wobs: I want to be an editor when I get out of school, and right now I’m doing beta projects for free to get some practice. I was looking for advice on my first … Continued

Rutger Hauer is gone, like tears in rain

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The actor Rutger Hauer has died. He elevated his most iconic performance by saying less than was in the script. Towards the end of the science fiction epic Blade Runner, the two main characters confront one another. Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, has been tracking down an escaped replicant — a genetically engineered artificial … Continued

A snapshot of my high-end writing and editing business

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I’m now a little over four years into my corporate life as a freelance writer and editor. I try to be as transparent as possible. In that vein, today I’ll share a little of how I make a living, what works for me, and why. The work: writing and editing pay the bills In four … Continued

Stop arguing with editors

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Your editor makes a comment or suggestion you don’t like and don’t agree with. What do you do now? There is one wrong answer to this question, and three right answers. The wrong answer is to argue with the editor. Why? Convincing the editor that she is wrong is of no value to you. Who … Continued

15 questions editors can ask to get writers unstuck

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Your writer is stuck. The piece seems hopeless. How can you get them unstuck? Probably by asking a question. It’s best to ask these questions in a conversation, in person or on the phone, rather than in editorial comments. That leads to a dialogue. It makes the writer think. And that leads to solutions to … Continued