Archive for September, 2010

timely advice from editors

September 9, 2010

I should like to pay a special tribute to Nik Morton and the Torreviejan Writer’s Circle. I am writing my next book about my husbands dementia. I had been advised that this is the kind of book that is needed. I had written 22 thousand words describing life with my husband and his slow decline into the conditions. I concentrated on trying to make my writing clear and easy to read. I was getting there. Well I thought I was.

Then Nik kindly sent some advice from an editor – what an editor is looking for. It was nothing like the prose that I had been churning out. How could I have forgotten?

I now have a little paragraph at the top of my script: a paragraph that I read again and again before I ever try to write anything.

It is:
“Is there conflict?

Is there a pressing story question?

Does the pace keep the reader turning the page?

Are the character defined through dialogue and action not narrative?

Are the characters’ feelings shown not described?

Does each scene have a location in time and space, is there action and dialogue and tension?”

Many times I have to admit the answer is “No.” so I re-write…. again and again …

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