Tag Archives: The Savior of Turk

I’m slightly less stupid than a year ago

10 Jan

Reason #1: I know I should not be my own editor

I published my first novel, The Savior of Turk (Only $2.99. Hurry while digital copies last!) a little more than a year ago. I don’t know if I’m any smarter, but I was dumber then than I am now.Turk_Print_Cover

An adage, which I just made up, goes that even John Steinbeck needed an editor. Everyone, no matter how good they are at writing, requires a good editor to keep them on the right path. However, I was so sure of myself when I wrote The Savior of Turk  (Only $2.99. Hurry while digital copies last!that I thought I could get by without a professional putting the thing under a microscope.

No matter how good a writer I may think I am, I need someone who can look at my work objectively. This person is not my dear wife, Michele.  I find it a good idea to have Michele read my work because she takes the better or worse thing seriously and has willed herself to be my biggest fan. If she doesn’t like something I’ve written—and, believe me, there have been such occasions—it confirms I have written junk. If, however, Michele praises my work, it doesn’t prove anything, except that Michele is a supportive spouse.  Michele said she really liked the manuscript for The Savior of Turk  (Only $2.99. Hurry while digital copies last!). This proved that our marriage was on reasonably solid footing, but it did not confirm anything about the book’s quality, other than it was at least slightly better than something a baboon could produce.

Professional editors do more than look at a manuscript objectively. They also see the big picture. After Michele read the manuscript, I asked two friends with extensive writing experience to take a look.  Glenn Kleier, whose novel The Knowledge of Good and Evil is available for $7.99 while digital copies last! also read the manuscript. All three gave me favorable feedback and good suggestions. However, none of them could be expected to go through the manuscript as an editor, who would evaluate the story arc, character development, dialogue and all that. That’s what a professional editor does. And they don’t care if they hurt my feelings like my wife or friends theoretically might. An editor is paid to help the writer craft the best possible story.

Since The Savior of Turk  (Only $2.99. Hurry while digital copies last!) was published, I have revised it twice, primarily re-proofing, shortening and eliminating some sections that I decided added little to the story. I know the book was always good, but now it’s even better. It could have been that way all along if I had gotten an editor to look at it. Next time, I will, you know, because I’m not the idiot I was twelve months ago.

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Next Post: Reason #2 I’m slightly less stupid than a year ago

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Twenty-Five Things I Don’t Want to Write

4 Oct

The following needs no introduction, but I’ve written up a short list of things I try to avoid when writing anything other than a grocery list.

  1. I don’t want to write that something needs no introduction and then introduce it.
  2. I’d like to be an emcee who says “this next guest needs no introduction,” and then walk off the stage.
  3. The dictionary defines nausea as “extreme disgust; loathing; repugnance.”
  4. It nauseates me when a written piece begins with a definition.
  5. Let’s get this one out of the way early: I don’t want to over-exclaim. I loathe exclamation points! They make me nauseous.
  6. I don’t want to write “nauseous” when the correct word is “nauseated.”
  7. I’d rather not be too anal about the difference between “nauseous” and “nauseated”.
  8. On a related subject, did you know the correct spelling is “adviser” rather than “advisor?”
  9.  Again, I don’t want to be anal about stuff no one else cares about.
  10. And what’s the deal with asking questions in the middle of a list?
  11. If I write a novel about a murder, I won’t call it a brutal murder.
  12. “Brutal murder” strikes me as redundant.
  13. I mean, is there a nice kind of murder?
  14. I suddenly remember that when I finish writing  a novel, I need to do Ctrl F to delete all references to “suddenly.”
  15. That word doesn’t belong anywhere except in a nostalgic piece about an old sitcom starring Brooke Shields.
  16. I do not feel wistful for Brooke Shields sitcoms, especially ones co-starring Kathy Griffin.
  17. I think semi-colons are a bit pretentious; honestly, I’m never sure how to use them correctly.
  18. “Honestly” always reads like I’m lying.
  19. Was everything written before that point dishonest?
  20. There I go, asking questions again.
  21. I don’t want to write anything with a zombie…
  22. Archer…
  23. Or wizard in it. Other writers have that stuff pretty well covered.
  24. I’ll stick with my little stories about regular people.
  25. I could always change my mind on that.

 

P.S. To see how well I’ve done so far with this list, check out my books here, here and here. Please. I have a daughter starting college soon.