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On Writing World Weekly Round-Up: 3/18/12

I present to you my attempt at a weekly round up, that is, a conglomeration of good posts from the last week. This will be too long because I follow too many blogs. It will also be too much coolness to handle in its entirety, so just scroll through and open whatever catches your eye. 😀 If this isn’t too painful in the creation, you will get more.

 

  • News & Noteworthy

(As if every single one of these links isn’t noteworthy. My headings need work.)

The eye-popper of the week award goes to A Follow’s Not a Book Sale (Though It’s Really Nice), which asks “Does social media affect sales AT ALL?” via The Intern

Maggie Steifvater with lotsa From Rough to Final links! There is so much to learn from watching the pros edit.

I found Erin Morgenstern’s Flax Golden Tale wonderful this week. Read the flash fiction Monitoring System.

Alison Cherry runs a pretty entertaining blog as a rule, but you know The Things We Do For Research will be a real gem just from the title.

Luke Alistar offers sobering thoughts for writers on The Power You Hold.

Why Finish Books? Yes, this is every bit as odd-ball as it sounds. via The New York Review of Books

  • Advice

Ready to Submit? Think Again is a very comprehensive checklist to go through before, well, submitting. via Fantasy Faction

Pretend you don’t need 3 Ways to Keep Social Media from Taking Over Your Writing Time. Just pretend. I dare you. via Author, Jody Hedlund

8 Tips For Getting What You Want (out of industry professionals). via Go Teen Writers – not just for teens. 😉

Lessons from the Strictly Objective Critique Partner. via YA Highway

  • Writing Advice

We’ll start this off with a good old-fashioned “how to beat writers block.” Creativity Blocked? Here’s the Solution. Write a letter to yourself. Through the MAIL. No, really. via Write to Done

Here’s something with the provocative title of Writing Multiple Books in a Year– It Doesn’t Take as Much as You Think. via Mystery Writing is Murder

Done to Death: A New Trope questions how much original plots matter. via Speculative Faith

This is about changing the way you view subplots forever and Grey’s Anatomy. via Novel Rocket And to continue mining TV shows, Lessons from Downton Abbey.

The Art of Poisoning Your Characters, because we all know there is nothing a little poisoning couldn’t make worse, and worse is better, right? via Fantasy Faction

We were gifted with two brilliant pieces on Io9: How Not to Be a Clever Writer and 8 Unstoppable Stories for Writing Killer Short Stories.

EditTorrent talks about what three varied writers need to start. Once the push from what you need to start a novel wears off, Janice Hardy has So Where Were We? Finishing Manuscripts. She also has Under Development: Ways to Create Characters.

Want The Scoop On Agents? via The Kill Zone Authors

  • Resources

Nifty little things that have been around since the dawn of time I am only now discovering because I live underneath a rock. It’s dark here.

Solving the “I don’t have the money or the oomph to travel” excuse for not attending writer conventions is WriteCon, an online conference for KidLit, MG, and YA authors. It’s free.

102 Resources for Writing. Just in case you didn’t have enough links. This is one to bookmark, ladies and gentlemen. via Here to Create

Donna Macmeans has compiled a list of Rooting Interests, the things that get readers behind characters.

I present to you The Michael Hauges Story Concept Template. In fact, this is going to be the All-Important Reader Engagement Moment of the Week. Fill in the blanks with your novel and post it in the comments below so we can see what each other is writing! iva Jill Williamson

  • Fun

My twitter stream was filled by people tweeting their Hunger Names this week. It gives you your precinct, the number of your game, and the way you die, too. Yes, this is under “fun.”

“NASA has released videos shot from onboard the Space Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Boosters in the past, but you’ve never seen one prepared as masterfully as this.” via Io9

St. Paddy’s Day Writing Prompts – what it says on the tin. via Creative Writing Prompts for Writers

A fellow aspiring writer takes the amusing route in announcing a vacation. Which I should do instead of not posting for a month without notice.

 

Enjoy. Don’t forget to leave the your Michel Houghes Story Concept Template in the comments so we can learn about each other’s plots!

How to Make a Fantasy Character Name

[A note to my subscribers: this post was originally published in October, but wordpress hiccuped and the post was down within the day. Some of you will remember it and some of you will not. I just now made this re-post.]

Usually, fantasy and science fiction names come easily to me. But for some reason my current WIP does not want anything in it named. I was having a headache of a time, so I decided to do a little research. Maybe you aren’t having as bad a time as I was – you just need a fantasy character named, without the writer’s-naming-block. Well, you’re in luck. Fantasy name generators are a half-penny a dozen on the internet. Just google search, pull up a site, press “generate” until you find something you don’t hate, and presto, fantasy name. Go on. What are you standing around for?

Still here? Good. That means you understand enough to know no generator can possibly supply a quality name, specific and tailored and an enrichment to the rest of your fantasy world. You know a generator can not supply originality or the specific need of your story. Yay!

  • Quick: What NOT to Do

I found this humorous piece while researching. In short, it gives a good run-down of how not to make a fantasy name. Since humor does every so much better a job at explaining things (especially why things are wrong), I’ll just link. How Not to Make a Fantasy Name. It’s a quick read.

  • Methods of Creation

I found many authors sharing their method of playing with words and sounds in order to come up with something they liked. I suppose this is what I always did before; it just came naturally to throw together sounds. Lots of writers look through baby name sites and then manipulate a name they like. One author said she would take a word, and then change it one letter at a time until she had what she wanted. At first glance just playing with sounds doesn’t sound like a good method, but don’t dismiss it too soon. This mainly relies on your ability to decide on a name that “feels right.” Which comes to my next topic. . .

  • Connotations of Sounds

What makes a name “feel right”? It’s not psychic. It’s not random. Sounds have connotations around them. Yes, this is scientific. Think about softer sounds versus harder sounds. S and L versus the hard G and K, for example. When a word, especially a name, sounds like what it means, that’s perfect. So play with sounds. . . but know what you’re doing when you play with them. If you have the time – and I highly recommend you make quite a bit of time if you don’t have it – explore the site at http://www.trismegistos.com/MagicalLetterPage/, which deals extensively with this subject.

  • Fitting in the Language

Names are part of a language. Names from the same country are going to come from the same language. Grithinlot and Tien are different fundamentally because they do not sound like they come from the same language. Brandon Sanderson, an author of fantasy, detailed the way he came up with different languages in one of his novels, and I highly recommend the source – anything I say would probably be repeating him. http://www.brandonsanderson.com/book/Elantris/page/35/Creating-the-Languages-of-Elantris. Why do you need to think about an entire language when all you want are character names? Well, what else will you need to be naming? Cities? Animals? Foods? Maybe you need a magical phrase. All words are part of a language, and you can’t ignore that while worldbuilding.

As mentioned earlier, many writers have their own methods for giving their fantasy characters names. What is your method? What is one fantasy name you particularly like? What is your favorite fantasy name that you created?

Book Review of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races is currently ON SALE ON AMAZON. Click picture.

I received an ARC copy of The Scorpio Races a couple weeks ago. I am ever so glad I got my hands on this book.

Some race to win. Others race to survive.

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Some riders live.

Others die.

Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He loves the sky and the island and his horse. Horses and racing are his job. Sean races to win.

Puck Connolly is different. She joins the races as a desperate move to keep her older brother on the island a little bit longer. Puck races to survive.

The premise grabbed me, and the story didn’t let go. This is a tale of courage and carnivorous water horses. The island of Thisby is a salty place like the sea. Here, and only here, do the bloodthirsty Capall Uisce come to shore. They’re the menace of the island, claiming lives both from sheep and loved ones, but if you capture one and train it you have a mount of liquid lightening. The November sea stirs a Capall Uisce’s blood more than any other month. In November they are the most dangerous, the fastest. So in November the Scorpio Races are held.

Sean and Puck live separate lives. Sean is quiet and serious. If he has any doubts he keeps them to himself. His one love and fear is Corr, his water horse – except Corr is owned by the island’s breeding tycoon and Sean’s employer.

Puck is a stubborn orphan managing with her two brothers, the older of whom is tired of the island. She joins the races in a wild attempt to keep him around long enough to change his mind. She is the first girl to join, and will use her regular island pony instead of the much more capable Capall Uisce, partly for principal – the Capall Uisce killed her parents, – and partly because money leaves her no other choice.

Do I need to explain how these two characters’ interaction is marvelous?

Sean and Puck meet each other with mutual admiration and wariness and forge and unlikely friendship. The stakes rise, and they both find the things they hold dearest depending on the race, but only one of them can win. Right up until the last few pages I was unsure of how Maggie Stiefvater could take her story to a satisfying conclusion, but she did.

The Scorpio Races is the only book I’ve read that I could call “slow and gripping.” The pace is slow, with only a few tense actions scenes scattered about until the climax. Even they seemed slow. But the story and scenes are gripping, literally; I have a tendency to shift my weight around and grip the sides of the book when I am excited. Part of this are the skillful POV switches between Puch and Sean.

Maggie Stiefvater’s eye-opening description and phrases also pulled me into the pages. Her craft is flawless, and a beautiful model as well as an exciting read. The one thing that could have made The Scorpio Races more perfect would have been the use of past tense instead of present. I’m one of those people who finds present tense distracting. But in all, The Scorpio Races earned itself a place on my favorites shelf. I’m going to step out on a limb perhaps shakier than my twitter branch and say I see The Scorpio Races enduring time and becoming a classic.

Recommended for ages 15 and up for mild gore/violence and language. 5/5 Stars

It is the first day of November, and so, today, someone will die.

List of Fantasy Subgenres

Originally I was going to post on adventure, science fiction, and fantasy subgenres, but the science fiction subgenres went on and on and suddenly I realized I just needed to divide the post.  I have another three-part series on my hand!

[My post on science fiction subgenres.]
[My post on adventure subgenres.]

I’ve always been annoyed at the various and lengthy lists of subgenres that agree on little.  To solve this problem, I’m combining several sources to create yet another lengthy list of subgenres that defines everything differently from everyone else.  If that sounds good, keep reading.

Fantasy
TheFreeDictionary define fantasy as, “Fiction characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements.”  In my opinion that is an excellent summary of such a broad genre.  Fantasy or divided into two main subgenres:  high or epic fantasy, and low fantasy.

Allegorical Fantasy
High fantasy where anything or everything is allegorical of themes or things in the real world.

Anthropomorphic Fantasy
Animals acting like humans to some extent, or entirely taking their place.  Some or all animals talk, and animals may live in houses, dress, and eat human food.  Humans may or may not be present.

Bangsia Fantasy
Taking place mostly or entirely with the afterlife.

Christian Fantasy
Containing strong elements of the Christian faith, either blatantly or allegorically.

Comedic Fantasy
Either a parody or humorous.

Contemporary/Urban Fantasy
Taking place in a modern, usually urban, setting.  Unlike many fantasy subgenres, contemporary or urban fantasy takes place on Earth, with the inclusion of magic.

Court Intrigue
These take place in a royal court, either in historical fantasy or a recognizable alternate world, and deal with the political developments of a world. Often involving a complex world with many nations.

Fantasy Science Fiction/Science Fiction Fantasy
Differing from futuristic fantasy only in paying science a little more attention, and perhaps carrying some of the deeper science fiction themes – more than “in the future.”

Futuristic Fantasy
A story taking place in the future, but containing characteristic fantasy elements.  Technology is often unexplained or magical.

Heroic Fantasy
Fantasy focusing on the hero and his heroic deeds, but not as epic as sword and sorcery. The protagonist may be deeply flawed and the villain may have redeemable attributes.

High/Epic Fantasy
Fantasy taking place in a world completely created and detached from Earth as we know, have known, or could possibly know it. Contrast Low Fantasy.
As Katie pointed out in the comments below, the other main definition of High/Epic Fantasy is “Fantasy with nation or world wide stakes, an epic.” I prefer the other definition because it is more definitive and, I believe, more widely used. Be aware of both definitions.

High Historical Fantasy
Still taking place in another world, but this other world has the same culture as a historical setting from Earth.

Legend Retelling
Some legends have become known not for their original content, but for their constant retellings and revisions.   This is commonly done with the Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Robin Hood.

Low Fantasy
The contrast of “high” fantasy.  Low fantasy takes place on Earth, in a world otherwise possible expect for the characteristic fantasy elements. Contrast High Fantasy.
As Katie pointed out in the comments below, the other main definition of Low Fantasy is “Fantasy that is character-driven with relatively small stakes.”

Low Historical Fantasy
This subgenre basically asks the question, “What if fantasy elements were present at a given period of history?” Taking place on Earth.

Magic Realism
A setting where magic is part of the culture and everyday life, not just reserved for elitists.

Portal Fantasy
Stories where the real world and a created world both exist, and travel or communication between the two is possible.

Quest
The main plot is a quest.  The hero must go on a journey or in search of something that will destroy the villain or the villain’s power or prevent impending doom.  Leading to a climax where the object of the quest it used.

Romantic Fantasy
Containing a plot or subplot of romantic entanglements and love.  As with most romance crossings, the main characters are normally a man and a woman.  Commonly, the two are throw together for a quest, journey, or other task and love blossoms on the way.

Sword and Sorcery
The stable of fantasy. Involving swordplay or battles as well as magic with a strong main character. Plots are intricate, stretching through lands and nations. There is usually a strong good vs. evil element.

Traditional Stories
Myths, legends, fables, fairy and folk tales.  Often cultural in origin.
~Myths
Cultural stories explaining the world.  Many may feature gods and goddesses, but “Just So” stories and tales following the “How the __ Got Its __” formula are also in this category.  They supposedly take place before written history.
~Legends
Legends are very similar to myths, but recount the deeds and actions of people and gods or goddesses, and normally have supposedly take place during recorded history.
~Fairytales/Folklore
Short stories usually containing morals and written for children.  The main difference between fairy tales and folklore is that fairytales require magic for the hero to succeed, while in folklore the hero must use his own wits.
~Fable
Short, cultural tales told with a definite, usually stated, moral.  Fables often contain anthropomorphism of both inanimate objects and creatures.

Wuxia
Martial art adventures. Often the hero is capable of super-human feats supposedly learned through the martial art. Eastern religions may play a part.

Exhaustive, eh?  But to be fair, I should mention the my primary resources, however contrary to each other.  The largest list (which, in my opinion, called every theme under the sun a subgenre) is here: http://www.cuebon.com/ewriters/Fsubgenres.html. This one, http://www.worldswithoutend.com/resources_sub-genres.asp, has charming explanations. Finally, http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/fsubgenre.html is very basic but covers the general fantasy subgenres well.  If you’re procrastinating, try exploring the rest of these sites.  They’re useful, so you don’t have to call it procrastinating.

If you write fantasy, what are your usual subgenres? Of the fantasy you read, what are your favorite subgenres? Why?

Step-by-Step Edit No.1: Second to Third Draft

For the third draft, I put the story on a critique forum.  This is the clean second draft:

Mirage stood stiffly on the cliff as the fiery ball of day drifted beyond the horizon. He grasped his sword hilt, clenching so violently his knuckles whitened. Every night he stood here. He, a warrior, captive to a simple spell.

There is one way to conquer anything.

Mirage closed his eyes as tightly as he could, trying to block the words. The last rays danced along his chest before dying. As they left his body, a tiny splotch of gray rock appeared over his heart. It rapidly grew, branching fingers all over Mirage’s body. Mirage didn’t struggle. Years had taught him movement did nothing.

The cold stone encircled his body, covering most of it. As the last stone tentacle wound around his face, freezing his expression, locking his hair, the words came to him again.

There is one way to conquer anything.

No! His eyes flashed with desperate anger seconds before he lost his sight to the advancing stone. He was a warrior. He was his own man. He had no need for others, much less some god that let this happen to the world!

Others. Curse them all, the Complacent who had given up their freedom for comfort. His body contracted. Surely there were more options; stone most of his life or hazy submission to the Dark Land. . .

There is one way to conquer anything.

. . . or that woman’s God. Mirage’s body contracted a second time, with a desperate struggle to remain flesh. He could still feel the fading warmth of the sun, the only thing in which he ever found comfort. Ironic that God was supposed to govern the light. But a comfort would not even stall the process. How long could he remain his own man? Each night something gave way to the Dark Prince. If he did nothing . .

No! his mind screamed. But something else had a voice, something special ripped at his soul. Mirage’s lips began solidifying. In a sudden first of resolve, he forced the words off his tongue. “A servant of Your’s told me to ‘Seek the Majestic One while he may be found, call out to Him while He is still willing to answer. . .’ Are you still willing to answer? I need You. . .” Mirage choked on the words. “. . . and I can’t do this on my own.” It was done. Even as the petrification completed, relief soothed his mind. But did the Majestic One truly hear him, this puny creation who had fought The Way of Light for so long? Mirage’s mind slipped into a stone-sleep with that last conscious thought.

In short, here are the responses I received:

Critic1:  Mirage didn’t struggle. Years had taught him movement did nothing.
Is that because this has happened to him before, or from seeing it happen to other people?

Critic2:  Thisisfantasticwillyoupublish?

Critic3:  Wonderful, I loved your imagery, but you might want to check your spelling again.

Critic4:  Mirage’s conversion seems to happen too quickly.  One minute he’s resisting, the next he’s calling on the Majestic One.

There was much more, of course, but I am only showing you the critique relevant to this scene, not the entire story.  Throughout this critiquing stage, I learned two major things.  Number one, even after reading the hard copy you will not catch all the spelling mistakes.  Number two, not everything the author thinks is clear is clear to the reader.

Mirage stood stiffly on the cliff as the fiery ball of day drifted beyond the horizon. He grasped his sword hilt, clenching so violently his knuckles whitened. Every night he stood here. He, a warrior, captive to a simple spell.

There is one way to conquer anything.

Mirage closed his eyes as tightly as he could, trying to block the words. The last rays danced along his chest before dying. As they left his body, a tiny splotch of gray rock appeared over his heart. It rapidly grew, branching fingers all over Mirage’s body. Mirage didn’t struggle. Years of experience [It’s a simple phrase and answers Critic1’s question.] had taught him movement did nothing.

The cold stone encircled his body, covering most of it. As the last stone tentacle wound around his face, freezing his expression, locking his hair, the words came to him again.

There is one way to conquer anything.

No! His eyes flashed with desperate anger seconds before he lost his sight to the advancing stone. He was a warrior. He was his own man. He had no need for others, much less some god that let this happen to the world!

Others. Curse them all, the Complacent, who had given up their freedom for comfort. His body contracted. Surely there were more options; stone most of his life or hazy submission to the Dark Land. . .

There is one way to conquer anything.

. . . or that woman’s God. Mirage’s body contracted a second time, with a desperate struggle to remain flesh. He could still feel the fading warmth of the sun, the only thing in which he ever found comfort. Ironic that God was supposed to govern the light. But a comfort would not even stall the process. How long could he remain his own man? Each night something gave way to the Dark Prince. If he did nothing . .

No! his mind screamed. But something else had a voice, something special ripped at his soul. Mirage’s lips began solidifying. Something special ripped at his soul, an urge, a calling. No, Mirage repeated to himself. He was his own man. The words fell hollow as Mirage’s lips began solidifying. [Critic4 was quite right. This is my redo.] In a sudden firstburst [“First” may rhyme with “burst” but that’s all they have in common.] of resolve, he forced the words prayer [More specific.] off his tongue. “A servant of Your’s told me to ‘Seek the Majestic One while hHe [we’re capitalizing the pronouns referring to the Majestic One, aren’t we?] may be found, call out to Him while He is still willing to answer. . .’ Are you still willing to answer? I need You. . .” Mirage choked on the words. “. . . and I can’t do this on my own.” It was done. Even as the petrification completed, relief soothed his mind. But did the Majestic One truly hear him, this puny creation who had fought The Way of Light for so long? Mirage’s mind slipped into a stone-sleep with that last conscious thought.

First in the series:  First to Second Draft

Next, we get nit-picky.

Step-by-Step Edit No.1: First to Second Draft

I should be posting the second in my series on world building, but after I wrote the post, I realized it simply didn’t have life.  So it’s archived until it decides to get a life (the weekend should help it).

In the mean time, I’m going to show you that step-by-step editing process I was talking about.

To start, here is a scene from a now-finished Christian fantasy short story of mine.  Note it’s awfulness.  Yes, it’s a first draft.

Mirage stood tall, straight, unmoving on the cliff as the fiery ball of day drifted beyond the horizon. He grasped his sword hilt, clenching so violently his knuckles whitened. How infuriating. He, a warrior, captive to a simple spell.

There is one way to conquer anything.

Mirage closed his eyes as tightly as he could, trying to block the words. The last rays danced along his chest before dying. As they left his body, a tiny splotch of gray rock appeared over his heart. It rapidly grew, branching fingers all over Mirage’s body. Mirage didn’t struggle. He knew that did no good. Years had taught him that.

The cold stone encircled his body, covering most of it. As the last stone tentacle wound around his face, freezing his expression, locking his hair, the words came to him again.

There is one way to conquer anything.

No! His eyes flashed with desperate anger just before he lost his sight to the advancing stone. He was a warrior. He was his own man. He had no need for others, much less some god that let this happen to the world!

Others. Curse them all, the Complacent who had given up their freedom for comfort. His body contracted. Surely there were more options; stone most of his life or hazy submission to the Dark Land. . .

There is one way to conquer anything.

. . . or that woman’s God. Mirage’s body contracted a second time, with a desperate struggle to remain flesh. He could still feel the fading warmth of the sun, the only thing he ever found comfort in. Ironic that god was supposed to govern the light. But a comfort would not even stall the process. How long could he remain his own man? Each night something gave way to the Prince of Darkness. If something didn’t happen. . .

No, no, no! his mind screamed. But something else had a voice, something special ripped at his soul. Mirage’s lips started to solidify. In a sudden first of resolve, he forced the words off his tongue. “A servant of your told me to ‘Seek the Majestic One while he may be found, call out to Him while He is still willing to answer. . .’ Are you still willing to answer? I need, You. . .” Mirage choked on the words. “. . . and I can’t do this on my own.” There. He said it. Even as the petrification completed, relief soothed his mind. But did the Majestic One truly hear him, this puny creation who had fought Him for so long? Mirage’s mind slipped into a stone-sleep with that last conscious thought.

I then printed it.  I always make hard copies of drafts to edit them.  I see so much more on paper than a glowing screen.  Redundancy, grammar, spelling, weak words, and clunkiness are fixed in my second draft.  Supposedly.

Mirage stood tall, straight, unmoving stiffly [Redundant, and easily summed into one word.] on the cliff as the fiery ball of day drifted beyond the horizon. He grasped his sword hilt, clenching so violently his knuckles whitened. Every night he stood here. How infuriating. [Not only does the new sentence give more back story, it shows his feelings instead of telling them.] He, a warrior, captive to a simple spell.

There is one way to conquer anything.

Mirage closed his eyes as tightly as he could, trying to block the words. The last rays danced along his chest before dying. As they left his body, a tiny splotch of gray rock appeared over his heart. It rapidly grew, branching fingers all over Mirage’s body. Mirage didn’t struggle. He knew that did no good. Years had taught him that. Years had taught him movement did nothing. [I try to eliminate demonstrative pronouns, since they are weak words. “That” is changed to “movement.” “Did no good” is changed to “did nothing” because I felt “did no good” approached a cliche.]

The cold stone encircled his body, covering most of it. As the last stone tentacle wound around his face, freezing his expression, locking his hair, the words came to him again.

There is one way to conquer anything.

No! His eyes flashed with desperate anger just seconds [“Just” is a weak and unspecific word.] before he lost his sight to the advancing stone. He was a warrior. He was his own man. He had no need for others, much less some god that let this happen to the world!

Others. Curse them all, the Complacent who had given up their freedom for comfort. His body contracted. Surely there were more options; stone most of his life or hazy submission to the Dark Land. . .

There is one way to conquer anything.

. . . or that woman’s God. Mirage’s body contracted a second time, with a desperate struggle to remain flesh. He could still feel the fading warmth of the sun, the only thing he ever found comfort in in which he ever found comfort [Pesky preposition at the end of the sentence.]. Ironic that god God [I realized that he is talking about the true God (at least, allegorically in my story) at this point, not a general god.] was supposed to govern the light. But a comfort would not even stall the process. How long could he remain his own man? Each night something gave way to the Prince of Darkness. If something didn’t happen. . . If he did nothing. . . [I needed to be more precise than “something”]

No, no, no! [Unnecessarily redundant] his mind screamed. But something else had a voice, something special ripped at his soul. Mirage’s lips started to solidify began solidifying. [Never use three words when two will do. When the word “to” is in your verb, it can usually be eliminated] In a sudden first of resolve, he forced the words off his tongue. “A servant of your told me to ‘Seek the Majestic One while he may be found, call out to Him while He is still willing to answer. . .’ Are you still willing to answer? I need, [Don’t split a verb and it’s direct object with a comma.] You. . .” Mirage choked on the words. “. . . and I can’t do this on my own.” There. He said it. Even as the petrification completed, relief soothed his mind. But did the Majestic One truly hear him, this puny creation who had fought Him for so long? Mirage’s mind slipped into a stone-sleep with that last conscious thought.

Yes, I know, spelling and grammar mistakes still abound. I’m showing you how I actually edited a story, not how I was supposed to. After this and the rest of the story had been edited, I proudly decided to show it to a few cyber-friends. Next post – tomorrow – I’ll show you the initial critique I received and how I edited the scene in response.

A word on how this step-by-step editing series will go. I have four drafts.  The next two posts will demonstrate my further edits.  And yes, eventually I will pick up the world building series again. I promise.

Second in the series:  Second to Third Draft

For now, what do you (try) to fix in your second draft?

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