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21 July 2010 @ 01:39 am
On writing, Part 1  
Ages ago, the lovely georgia_hawkins  asked how people sit down and actually write: the brass tacks practical version of things. I've been an editor, writer and journalist for over 20 years, so I waved my hand loftily at the ease of answering such a question and then started to jot down a few notes. Then a few topics to cover at more length in my response, which quickly grew beyond the limit of a comment. And then beyond the limit of a single post. And then I needed to research it more and provide more examples ... and suffice to say that now, what must be coming up on a year later I have still not come close to finishing the bugger and have 11,000 words of practical writing, technical and editing tips languishing on my hard drive, helping nobody.

So, as part of Operation Finish Things, I am going to start posting bits when I have finished them up to something approaching my satisfaction. They will be, as the trains say here, late and out of timetable order. But I hope, also like trains, of some use.

There are two very important caveats. Firstly, nothing I say represents the One True Way. There is no One true Way, these are just things that I have seen work for myself or others over the years. Please feel free to comment with things that work well for you, too. 

Secondly, everything I have written below and everything that will come in future parts in this series is written from the perspective of the advice I would give someone who was planning to publish their work (because I cannot turn off my work brain to write this). Not all of it is appropriate for every occasion or for everyone in fandom. Do not think that you need do any more than you want to, because fandom is first and foremost about the enjoyment of participants. Needless to say, I sometimes fail at everything I am going to advise all through these posts. They represent an ideal, like five serves of veg and an hour's exercise every day. But like all ideals, they are good goals.

All quotes are given with attributions, all unattributed quotes are made up on the spot for the purpose of the exercise and should not be judged too harshly. Annoyingly for the lovely georgia_hawkins , I've begun at the end with my section on editing your own work, which is of absolutely no use in answering her original question, but may be of some help for some of you. Inevitably there will be an appalling typo or two below, as there is in every 'how to edit' post. I apologise in advance and submit that it cannot be worse than the time I received a rejection from a Political Figure telling me that my freelance copy was far too easygoing for the Pubic Service.


Spotting blunders
By the time you finish a fic, giving it a read through may be the last thing you want to do. Fair enough. Go for a run, watch a film, eat some chocolate, wait a day or two, or read a good book. Then do it, because there’s no getting around it.

It’s most likely that you will spot all of the times you use the wrong name or pronoun straight away. You’ll probably find most of the accidental changes in tense and POV. If you’re really awake, you’ll pick up most of the typos and homophones (and most of us make these: brains just stop caring about they’re/there/their, sight/site, or faze/phase after a while!) But don’t feel cocky, there’s more.

Have paper and a pen handy. As you go through each scene, make a note of who is in an area within your story’s world. Are they all needed? Are they all involved? Can they all hear what’s being said by two characters talking to one side? Can they see them? How would they react? Who knows what and when? How did they learn it?

This is a great way to spot the holes in your story. We can accept many gaps as being just the way things are. For example, if you have two characters discussing something that happened in the morning paper, and someone comes to their door to discuss the same topic, we assume they read the same paper. But if you have Hermione telling Ron a secret, and Harry comes to the door and knows the secret, then you only have three options: she told him first, he’s bugged the room, or he’s part of the nefarious plan that is the subject of the secret. If you spot any holes like these, fill them! Or use them to add tension!

It’s also a good way of seeing places you can cut or add material. Think of it as a play: do you have eight characters on stage but only two performing? Are those other six needed? Sometimes the answer is no, you’ve just brought them along out of habit and they can go back into their boxes with no harm. Sometimes you need them for set dressing, people rarely find themselves at dances or in schools with only one or two others. You can often find a non-essential use for them in the background, for humour if nothing else.

Rather than putting characters away, you may need to add some. If, say, you have a complex political story where only two characters are running all of the action and those two players are not in positions of supreme power and your story consists of more than one conversation, you probably need a few more people to make the narrative work.

Then there are the physical blunders you can catch by this process. If you ever did ballet, you can probably remember people sketching out choreography for you with their fingers, while footballers will recall watching moves marked out on boards (black when I was young, white these days -- in fact, probably plasma these days ;-)). It’s no different in the world of fiction, you need to work through your action sequences logically. People cannot see through things or through other people unless they have special powers, so keep an eye on where they are in the physical world of your story. It’s entirely possible for three people to be in a room, but for one of them to think they are alone, or in the presence of only one other.

The final blunder to look for at this point is blunders of mathematics. For some reason, many writers are dreadful at maths. Check numbers! If your characters met 10 years ago, don’t have them discussing things they did 16 years ago. If they are 25, it is unlikely they have been married for 13 years. If they go back in time 78 years, they are unlikely to be hanging out with their parents at university, unless the main characters are much older than the parent characters at the time the story is set.

And if you have time travel, or a story that is set over years, for the love of little bunnies, have a timeline that you write down as you go and give it to someone else to check the maths unless you are absolutely confident!

Put it aside for a time
This is one of the easiest ways to improve your stories. Work your way through, tidy it up for sense and structure, then put it away and work on something else for a week, or a month, or even longer.

Don’t stress that your story is not out there being seen; it’s ageing, mellowing, like a bottle of wine. In the back of your head, even though you are not thinking about it, that story is still happening. While in the front of your head, you are forgetting parts of it and letting go of any of the pain it caused you.

Now, on a weekend, or a day off, take the story out. Print out a fresh paper copy and grab a few pens. Make a cup of tea, or sit in a quiet cafe. Read through your story. It will be surprisingly fresh, even though you wrote it.

Does it move you? Does it surprise you? Does it make you think? Does it take you on a journey you want to go on? Because if it doesn’t, you have significant rewrites to do, regardless of how brilliant your characters are, or how hot the sex scenes (obviously, if you're writing erotica, it need only move you and have hot sex scenes.)

If the answer to all of the above is yes, then you are doing well, but keep the pens handy. Copy that looked clean to you and your first beta a few weeks ago suddenly reveals exciting typos, and a wilful disregard for the rights of commas.

Using a different colour pen, mark up any questions that you have; they are almost certainly the same ones the reader will have. Why is character X back in this scene when they left noisily two pages ago? Where did character Y find the horse reins she uses, since you made such a fuss of her leaving hers behind before? Just how many knives does character Z own? Why is this section such a pain in the arse to read? Fill in the gaps, pump up the dull bits, then repeat the above process.

Basic Beta Checklist
It is an accepted 'fact' in bookworld and magworld that you can't properly edit your own copy. While not being 100 per cent true, it’s not far off the mark, because you know exactly what you meant to say, so all those tiny words that you’ve accidentally left out, and the homophones you’ve popped in, and the words that aren’t quite actually words or at least not the ones you meant will resolve themselves into perfect ordered sense within your brain as you read your deathless prose.

That said, there are days when you cannot find a beta for love or money, and the bloody thing has to go now! Or your beta has the flu and has promised to do what s/he can, but if you would be so kind as to check a little for SPaG issues first … For such times, here is a handy list of actions you can follow to at least cut down on the cock ups.

* Run a spellcheck, in the language you are writing in. Don't rely on those red squiggly lines, run the whole thing!

* If you realise at the end you’ve stuffed something repeatedly (someone's name, for example), run a find and replace – Edit/Find, then select the replace option in the dialogue box. This way you can fix all incidences of the one blunder quickly and easily. If you know you have an issue with a particular word, look for all instances of that word. For example, I sometimes type work as word and vice-versa, so will run a find for both to check that I haven't slipped up. If at any point you have changed the name of a character or location, run a find for the original just in case.

If you have a word you tend to overuse, run a find and count the number of times it comes up. If the frequency is too high, look for places to make tweaks (and check you are not replacing it with a word you used a line later instead of the overused word in your first draft – why yes, that is a mistake I make all the time.)

* You can also use find/replace for correcting formatting errors, such as double spaces (just type two spaces into find, one into replace, hit replace all, then hit replace all again until there are none left to replace). If you need to correct a formatting error such as correcting a style, instituting capitalisation, making double paragraph returns single, or to change soft returns to hard returns, you can use the ‘more options’ within the Word Find dialogue box. This often appears as a little box with a downward pointing arrow. Here you can choose among options including formatting and special characters (such as returns).

* For the same reason, when you run a spellcheck after finishing your story, choose Ignore All for unusual names. That way, if one still comes up, you’ve probably made a typo (or it’s in the possessive form). If it’s a name you use regularly, add it to your dictionary in Word or whichever program you use.

* Turn off your autoformatting in Word, all of it. Especially ‘Automatically use suggestions from the spelling checker’ – this is an evil option. It’s how you end up with Kingly rather than Kingsley, with humped rather than numpty and with Working rather than Woking. To turn off, go to Tools/AutoCorrect, and turn off options in AutoCorrect AND AutoFormat. If you prefer curly quotes to straight ones, you can leave the ‘smart quotation marks’ option selected without risking disaster. If you are a genius at using Word and have your entire system set up perfectly for you, you can have some leeway with this, but on the whole you are better off finding the tehs and frmos in your spellcheck rather than risking unwanted corrections.

* Remember to punctuate speech properly. There are a few basic rules in standard English:
Use commas to break off a speech act from the speaker, so:
“Mr Peters was looking for you,” said Jim.
Siobhan said, “I could have eaten three of them.”

If the speech act is a sentence, punctuate as for a sentence:
The Society has been running for several decades, or, as Robin put it: “We began when I was a young man, and now I’m drawing a pension.”

If the speech act is a fragment, punctuate as part of the sentence:
Calvin frequently muttered that the end was not merely nigh, but ‘about to trample us’ whenever Mirabelle walked into the room. We always assumed he was joking.

A long speech act can be broken into paragraphs. Do not close the quotes at the end of the unfinished paragraphs, only at the end of the whole speech. So: 
'You have always done this,' said Emma. 'Always run off to chase your own dreams, unheeding and unconcerned. Never mind that the dreams were ridiculous, never mind that you yourself were ridiculous; only that it was a dream and because of that you were living the brave life.

'But what of those who had to clean up after your brave life? Paying your bills, settling your debts, making sure that Mother and Father thought you a brilliant success when you have never been more than a hack? What about the reality that supports your dream existence? Have you ever given that a moment's thought?'

* Remember to make it clear who is speaking. This is not to say that everything should be given a speech tag, you can easily get away with not giving tags to each speech act, and can omit them for longer than every second exchange if you have distinctive voices for each character. But even then, a said X or said Y every now and then will not hurt. Imagine the reader who has dropped into the middle of a page of your dialogue, it should take only a little scanning up or down to establish who is speaking and allow them to pick up the story. Swapping around X said and said X is a very easy way to avoid monotony, or you can write with distinctive voices and add interior directions and little gestures to help the reader keep track. So:

'It's in the chest, Harry, just look properly!'

'I am looking, Hermione! There are about ten thousand things here, one piece of paper is not as easy to spot as you might think.'

Ron leaned in to see if he could help. 'Is that it? Hang on, Lumos.'

'Cheers, mate. Right.' Harry sat back and held the paper up. 'Is this it?'

Remember, too, that speech tags should indicate speechy acts. You can say, you can whisper, you can admit, you can ask. Say/said is great and should be the dominant tag, but it is fine to mix things up. You cannot smile speech, though. A full stop should separate things like:
Albus smiled. ‘I have every faith that things will work out for the best.’

If a speech act ends with a question mark, ‘asked’ is better than ‘said’. If it ends with an exclamation point, ‘demanded’ or ‘said brusquely’ makes sense, ‘sighed’ does not. Keep an eye out for attacks of hysteria, if you have:
‘I loathe you with all my soul!’ shouted Miriam.
‘That’s fine! I have detested you for years!’ exploded Katryn.
‘I wish you had never been born!’ Miriam bellowed.
‘I wish your parents had been lost at sea before you were conceived!’ Katryn shrieked.
Then you had best either have the other characters reaching for a bucket of cold water or be writing farce, as the high drama of the speech tags inflates the actual speech past rationality.

* Parenthetical clauses in the middle of sentences need punctuation before AND after. Look to each of your commas and en dashes to see if they are missing a pair. So:
Peter Levinson, noted slug researcher, gave an excellent talk on molluscs.
Lisa stared at Marie — whom she had known for years — and wondered, had she always been this dour?
‘And now it turns out that Potter is the Chosen One (Merlin save us all) and the only thing standing between us and Voldemort.’

You can tell a clause is parenthetical if you can lift it out holus-bolus and cause no problems to the sentence’s meaning. If it is essential to make the sentence make sense, there should be no punctuation separating it out. So:
Wellington had come at last to the battle that would make his name eternal and see either the end of Napoleon or the end of Britain as he knew it.
People who are older than I am have no business wearing pink sparkly miniskirts as formal work attire.

Compare this last to:
Some people, who are even older than I am, are still revelling in the clothes of their youth.

The meaning of the second sentence is deepened by ‘who are even older than I am’, but does not depend on it, while the meaning of the first requires ‘who are older than I am’, as obviously there are people out there in their teens and early 20s who work in publishing or PR and can get away with the odd pink sparkly miniskirt.

As a general rule of thumb, there should never be a comma before a correctly used ‘that’ in this sort of phrase, and there will usually be a comma before a ‘which’, unless it’s being used in place of a that because it was written by someone English, pretentious, or old. Look up restrictive and non-restrictive clauses for more information on this rule.

* Some things are just style. Things like quote marks, en dashes or em dashes, ellipses and inverted commas have a number of different ways they can be used. Most of these are governed by style choices, for example, I would consider it insane to finish a sentence with a full stop and then an ellipsis to indicate missing text, but not very long ago this was recommended English usage. An ellipsis at the end of a sentence followed by a full stop (period) is still common American usage, while most of the rest of the world allows the ellipsis to function as sentence-ending punctuation in the same way that we do not add a full stop to a question mark.

The key point with punctuation marks like these is to pick one style and stick to it. It does not actually matter a great deal which style you choose, just don’t mix and match within the one story. Some people will like it, some will loathe it, some will mention sweetly that it reads just like the 1960s – you can claim house style and tell them all to bugger off with confidence if you are consistent.

The same thing goes for quotation marks, you can use single or double as you prefer, though ideally you will use one for speech and another to mark idiomatic usage and speech within speech. So:
‘Alack a day, Master, she threw the bairn at me and declared, “I’ll no more suffer at his hands,” then was out the door afore I could stop her!’

“Oh don’t be so ridiculous, Myrtle,” said Simon, using his best ‘grown-up’ tones.

Keep a note of your choices and aim to be consistent within the one fic.

* If you are keen to improve your editing, or do more beta work yourself, then all these rules are better explained, and more besides covered off, in a good style manual or writer’s grammar guide. There are MANY on the market, check out your local second-hand bookshop or library if it is not something you want to spend much money on. If I had to recommend just one, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is a delight and fits into a handbag. It covers much of what a writer will need, and is relatively easy to flick through to find the answer to the question you have right now.

Current Location: still sofa
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Mika
rosathome on July 20th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
On the double space thing, I would always run the replace at least twice (I am perfectly capable of putting three spaces in, or more) - or ideally until it tells you there are no more replacements to make!

I am slightly horrified by the stylesheet for an academic publishing house I'm working with at the moment which suggests putting commas where you want a pause and semi-colons where you want a stronger break but not as much as a colon. I am going to ignore these instructions and punctuate correctly instead.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 20th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
I recently went back to occasional teaching at universities after a very long break, and found myself boggling at how much worse everything was. I fear that style guide is yet another proof.

Excellent point on the double spaces, one of those things I do so automatically that I naturally assume people will psychically intuit it ;-)
Kareinakareina on July 20th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
Am I old-fashioned? I insist on two spaces after a full stop. However, in my case it would be easy to do the find and replace to get rid of all, and then do another to replace all full stops with a full stop plus one more space, were I concerned about extra spaces in places other than after the full stop.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 20th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 20th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kareina on July 20th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 20th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kareina on July 20th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _inbetween_ on July 20th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
glorafinglorafin on July 20th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
What a timely post. :)

blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 20th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome!
oldenuf2nboldenuf2nb on July 20th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
This is awesome, brammers. Thank you! I'm printing this out to have on hand.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 20th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome! I have just taken on a new mag and found they have no style guide, and I will have to brief freelance subs without one -- I have nothing like the time to get that sorted in the next month, but at least it spurred me to be a bit of use in fandom!
Eanelineaeanelinea77 on July 20th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
I know I have issues sometimes. I either use too many saids when others would be more appropriate, or I repeat a person's name 50 times in one paragraph, or I just assume people can read my mind and leave things out.

I have one beta, but trying to get someone else to beta when I'm not like the rest is hard for me. Good tips all around.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 20th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
Don't be too hard on yourself, I have seen FAR worse things in published authors, fiction and nonfiction, than in your fics or most of fandom in general.

We're here to enjoy ourselves after all, and people can hardly complain they did not get their money's worth!
(no subject) - eanelinea77 on July 20th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 21st, 2010 06:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα: J-handwriting_inbetween_ on July 20th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
trepidationtrepidationtrepidation nothingleftihaventreadbefore butitsbrammersandanyway butisntreadingthisthegazillionthwaynottoactuallyeditthelastfournovelsargh hoookay question remains is how to manage that read through if it's been years and years but once I finally remember what I intended, the necessary distance is already gone, woosh. That doesn't seem normal, from the countless texts I read, but I do go from "uh did I actually write this, I must have copied this from somewhere, wtf" to already filling in the unwritten blanks because of the whole picture being known to me (cp. your intro to point three) and reader-like reading being impossible. Ever had those extremes without managing to get to the right editing phase?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 21st, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Heh! Yep! That's where you accept that self-editing isn't possible. Though you can still often manage a bit of the self critiquing in the first part. Some people do just need another person to look over their work!
(no subject) - _inbetween_ on July 21st, 2010 10:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
Catscatsintheattic on July 20th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
It's awesome that you're doing this! *happy dance* I love posts on writing. :-)

I will have to save this post for next week, but I wanted to let you know how much I'm looking forward to reading it.
chrisvelchrisvel on July 20th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this post. I haven't ever written very much and most of that has never been read by anyone other than me but you made me think that I'd like to tak eit up again. I should take a look at what I have written more than a year ago and maybe even continue. Thank you!

bare_memabonwitch on July 21st, 2010 02:19 am (UTC)
*copies and pastes* Excellent timing! I'm just going through fic I finally finished writing and can't seem to find a beta for. (I suspect averaging one "a bit" every page and a half is too much.) Definitely a few tricks in here I've never heard before. Hurrah!
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on July 21st, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
Very nicely written-up! I have done the cliché-search more times than I can count.

Though I will note that it's a good plan to fiddle with the big structure first, and then the little things second, because it does not much good if you spend five hours polishing a paragraph perfectly, and then you find you have to ditch the whole thing.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 21st, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
You're quite right! In the original document, this all came right at the very end. Alas, it was the only section I ever completed properly! I've been working on the start a bit today, might try to get that up before the end of the month ... if Fathers co-operates in being finished.

The one thing you can never control is the sheer contrariness of some stories. I wish I was American so I could get away with saying 'cussedness'!
(no subject) - _inbetween_ on July 21st, 2010 10:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
hunyddhunydd on July 21st, 2010 08:34 am (UTC)
Hah! Timelines... I wish there was more attention paid to timelines, even by those who should know better.

There is a particular series of booksl that I have read, by a very well known author, about a forensic pathologist/chief medical examiner, set in Virginia. In the very first book, (written in the first person) she tells the reader that someone is "probably much younger than my forty years", and that she has left her ten-year-old niece at home in bed. Cut through many books to one of the more recent, now written in the third person. In this tome, the niece, now in her late twenties, (it doesn't give exact details, but does mention that she's had her helicopter pilot's license for 10 years - I doubt they give them to 15 year-olds) comments on her aunt (our ME) being "forty-six".

Sigh. So, you're telling me that 18 or 19 years have gone by for the niece, but only 6 for the main character? Give me a break!

PS: I know that I changed from alpha to numeric in the middle of that, but it's freezing in here, and my fingers are going numb. So there.

It's that Bucket woman!: coffeecuria_regis on July 21st, 2010 09:12 am (UTC)
I automatically put in two spaces after periods, even though I know it's an outdated practice. I keep on trying to stop doing it, but then I end up with some periods being followed by a single space, and some followed by a double! *fail*

I overuse adverbs. Everybody is always saying things loudly or happily or mischievously or morosely or quietly. *g* I also tend to abuse qualifiers.

Great post!
george pushdragonpushdragon on July 21st, 2010 11:47 am (UTC)
Look up restrictive and non-restrictive clauses for more information on this rule.

Oh you great tease!! I was sure you were about to make the whole that/which nightmare clear for me, in a way that Strunk and White could not.

This is all fabulously useful and an excellent refresher. I will never forget your beta for Tale of Horns, in which you explained that the spelling "arse cheek" was preferable to hyphenation. This established you as a deity in my book forever.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 21st, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
Oh darling, here, let me!

Restrictive clauses limit the meaning of the sentence part they modify. So:

People who are over six feet tall find it easy to reach the top shelf.

Here, 'who are over six feet tall' is a restrictive clause and limits the group of people you are talking about to that set. So ONLY that set can be said to find it easy to reach the top shelf, according to this sentence.

People, who are over six feet tall, find it easy to reach the top shelf.

Here, 'who are over six feet tall' is a NON-restrictive clause. Rather than limiting the set, it just gives you more information about the set. In this sentence, all people are over six feet tall. And presumably the rest of us are hobbits.

'Every one of the group of scientists that replied to the survey said they had felt some degree of political interference in their work.'

Here, although it was every one of the scientists, it was only every one of the set of scientists 'that replied to the survey' -- this clause is restrictive and limits the meaning of the sentence.

It is necessary to understanding the meaning of the sentence, if it read:
'Every one said they had felt some degree of political interference in their work', the obvious question is 'who are these ones?' If we are then told, 'the group of scientists', we find ourselves asking 'which scientists?'

Only when we know it is the group of scientists that responded to the survey do we have enough information for the sentence to make comfortable sense. At which point the smart reader immediately goes off to look at the survey and see who filled it out, and how it was worded!

The report, which was based on a survey filled out by some of the country's leading scientists, showed that political interference with research is a significant problem.

Here the non-restrictive clause is not necessary to understand the sentence. If you take it out, the meaning is still satisfying. Adding just reinforces the meaning. Because you are smart, you will notice that it can be much easier to weasel with a non-restrictive clause, because you are not giving as precise a set of pieces of information as you are in a restrictive clause.

As to whether or not one should use which or that, in a non-restrictive clause, it is always which.

The house, which was painted blue, was where Tim and Emma lived until they were adults.

For a restrictive clause, 'that' is most often used, though 'which' can be used in place of it.

Tim and Emma lived in the house that was painted blue.

Tim and Emma lived in the house which was painted blue.

Both are directional: they tell you that if you want to find Tim and Emma's old house, you need to look for one that was blue in those days.

You can also have the non-restrictive:
Tim and Emma lived in the house, which was blue.

This tells you two things: that Tim and Emma lived in the house rather than the shed, and that the house itself was blue.

As an easy rule for that and which in this type of clause: if you can replace which with that, it is a restrictive clause, if you cannot, it is non-restrictive.

Of course, that and which pop up in other usages at times, but let's worry about them later, because I have been drinking a very big mug of hot spiced cider while writing this and am now not up to it!

(no subject) - pushdragon on July 23rd, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - calanthe_fics on July 21st, 2010 04:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
calanthe_fics on July 21st, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
I fear the editing process because I don't understand it. It's like the existence of real magic revealed to a Muggle.

Yet now I read this post I realise that I'm more than proficient in the editing department. I'm not claiming to know it all or be perfect (the leaving something for days/weeks and going back to it is something I cannot seem to do), but I feel a lot, lot better now about the way I review my word before posting it publicly.

I can't believe I haven't seen a ton of recs for this post all over my f-list. Peiople need to know this stuff. Or maybe you have lurkers. Can you type something controversial at the end of the next installment, just to find out who's reading? G'wan. You know you want to :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 21st, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
I shall make all the examples Merlin/Arthur and declare that I will be making An Announcement about my future fandom involvement in upcoming days ;-)

And yeah, I keep telling you you're smart. Honestly, you think you'd listen to me!
(no subject) - auntpurl on July 21st, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
auntpurl: I shot the serifauntpurl on July 21st, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
You have no idea how timely this is, as I'm beavering away on my hd_travel fair fic! Thank you thank you for these fantastic words of advice! xoxo