Open Floor

Sorry, everyone. Today’s post is going to be late…as in late morning to sometime thus afternoon. I have contractors coming in shortly and have to do a grocery run begore they get here. Then I have other errands that must be done today. So I need your help. Toss out some topics you’d like me to discuss. I will pick at least one and run with it when I can finally sit down long enough to write a post.

Until later!

Image by Michael Kleinsasser from Pixabay

19 comments

  1. Whistlepigs, rockchucks, woodchucks, and groundhogs, are they interchangeable?

    On the importance of being earnest.

    Contractors: threat or menace?

    On the care and feeding of dust bunnies.

    Inside the paper sack, a cat’s tail.

    Which is worse, crunchy snow or squeaky snow?

    The lurking luggage.

    1. I just realized that my kids have no idea what “nails on a chalkboard” sound like.
      (Dominoes triggered by squeaky snow. A bunch of y’all get it.)

    1. There is no one rule. I usually stick to one content edit/rewrite pass. That’s because I tend to edit the life out of something if I keep going back and nitpicking at it. If you are doing more than one content re-write, I recommend you have someone(s) who hasn’t read the mss yet read it and tell you if there is something you need to fix. As the author, you are probably your own worst critic. I know I am.

      1. Ok, that makes sense.

        I’ve noticed that either something is never going to get tremendously better than it is, it is something that’s just beyond my current skill level to significantly improve or it is something that has a fundamental enough flaw in it that I need to scrap large chunks of it and start over again.

        So of course I’ve written myself into a spot where I need to pull off a double story… It’s practice!

        (Fanfiction thing: Needed motivations so made a guess at a character’s backstory that has not been elaborated in cannon. It’s not excluded, just no-one knows. But it means the story needs to explore the ramifications of it without ever saying what it is I’m speculating because word of God could completely run it over tomorrow. I think what I have to do is hide the important arc behind another arc so the important dynamics can be shown without explaining to the audience what is actually going on. It is making my head hurt but I think I’m getting there, slowly.)

    2. This doesn’t work for everyone – and wouldn’t work if I didn’t have subject matter experts on tap. Especially for scientifically technical / fight scenes / military actions, I often go to people who’ve been there, done that, got the scars, and say “this is the outcome I need. How would I set this up?” And then shut up and listen, take careful notes, ask questions, and then sometimes ask for alternatives based on needs of story. I then write it, and run it past the person / people I asked for help, in order to make sure I understood them correctly.

      Once I’ve done this, I throw it out to a small group of usual suspects. Usually I get a thumbs-up emoticon or two. Sometimes I get confusion – that’s bad. Confusion to the enemy, not the reader! I rewrite for that. Sometimes I get people telling me I did it wrong. If so, I check with the subject matter expert, and consider whether this is true, or if the beta reader is wrong. If the beta reader is wrong, then I may need to clarify to adjust their expectation (ie – Yes, that’s how you do it in the US army, but not in the British navy. Throw in a few extra terms to hint heavily they should stop trying to assume the wrong thing.)

      Or I may just accept that they’ll think I’m wrong, and move on. That happens, sometimes.

      That’s content editing. For copyediting? I send it to my Calmer Half, who is not dyslexic. And apologize profusely. Because I can do (and have done, before) 12 edit passes, and it’s still miserably typo-ridden. So once he’s done the copyedit, I do one last pass, send it back to him… and when he’s fixed my fixes, then he will publish it. Because every edit pass, I will put in more typos in the process of fixing the old ones.

      1. Thank you. I’ll have to pay attention to what genres and subjects I’m writing on and start building those expert circles.

        I will say the people here have already very helpful when I’m trying to work through how women talk with each other, especially when guys are not around, along with the essential differences between men and women. I’m realizing that’s sort of been dropped from popular culture and their characters are less alive for it.

        I wonder if that’s also part of why so many of the hostess’s characters seem to want to leap off the page?

  2. I asked a shepherdess how to steal a sheep for a story. She was so explicit that I felt I couldn’t possibly write exactly that way… it would have worked.

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