Snow! Fud! Editing!

I’ve got snow falling on my icon, and I’ve got snow falling on my website (although you’d have to study the header picture to notice) but is there anyone who knows how to make it snow on Livejournal?

The snow here is a lot worse here at Dad’s than it is at home, the weather in Norfolk is terribly localised, so it can be sunny here – like now, but with six inches of snow on the ground, and blizzarding on the coast where I am. The roads were pretty horrible coming over, so if there’s any more constant snow I’ll go early, because otherwise I’ll get stuck—I have the AA, but they are going to be stretched, I would imagine.And my phone is out of juice – argh!! (eta: got home safe, obviously)

Fish pie today,(sadly no, I am a cheat when it comes to pastry) and i have a chicken stew on for tomorrow. Get me, the domestic goddess. Next I’ll be watching Nigella. No. Seriously. No. Shoot me if that ever happens. (I have Mrs Bridges in my head right now going “A Stew Boiled is a Stew Spoiled, my girl…” as i let the stew boil. oops)

I’ve been doing a bit of second-eye-ing for a couple of writers recently—I don’t flatter myself to call it “editing” or even “beta-ing” because I am not qualified to be either—and I highly recommend it for anyone who hasn’t done it for others. One of the reasons I do it is because it’s a habit formed in fandom, that everyone scratches each others’ back, and that you never put a story (even a drabble) out there without someone having looked it over. But I do it for another very good reason—and that’s because I learn so much. 

I’ve complained before about not having serious authory subjects to blog about—and the reason I feel that is because I don’t know enough to do so. I write, and that’s about it. When I started writing—as anyone who’s read Standish can tell—I didn’t know there were any rules or guidelines with writing. I didn’t know head hopping was “wrong” for example.  It took the editor to teach me that—and subsequently I rewrote many scenes in Transgressions which were headhoppy. The editor however for Transgressions was SO thorough that she really makes me think every time I write anything.

So while I doubt that anyone will learn anything from what I say, I have certainly learned a lot from working through their manuscripts. The things I knew were wrong – such as entering another’s thoughts while in pov, or even having the pov slide into omniscient, I can SEE why they look wrong—some of the time. I don’t think actually that passive is evil and omniscient should never appear, but there’s a time and place. similarly speech tags, I used to use them all the time – ALL THE TIME – because I thought “said” was boooorrrring, and coming from fandom, many people wrote like that. “He sighed,” “he whispered” “He choked” “He murmured” but it wasn’t until I saw it done in original fic that I realised why it was –not WRONG, exactly, but inadvisable.  If you do it every single time someone speaks, it becomes like a hammily acted play—because people DON’T put expressions and emotions into every sentence, perhaps unless they are already in a loony-bin, because that’s somewhere where it would work, especially against the bland “saids” of a psychiatrist asking the person questions. It’s part of the show don’t tell. Don’t tell me that he hissed, make the sentence spiteful and stuff with sibilants and I’ll know that he did.

So, yeah. Very instructive for me. If you don’t already do it for someone – do it. it will teach you more than you pass back to the other person. Bread upon the waters, guys.

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