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I came across a couple of interesting posts today while catching up on my blog reading. The first one was via jimvanpelt  - Confessions of a slush reader: why should I care? which talks about a story's lack of Who, What, and Why sending the Meter of Hope into the red zone. And the second was a post from ann_leckie  about default settings and assumptions (of authors) which can become apparent in the slush pile. Both make interesting reading and certainly Ann's post makes me want to flick through some character intros in the books on my shelves (and also in the stuff that I've written) and see whether there's a disparity in how the characters are introduced to the reader - and also whether any differences are greater or lesser depending on the genre of the work.

Something else from jimvanpelt is a useful post on getting rid of redundant word usage http://jimvanpelt.livejournal.com/330064.html - those little words that can turn a five word sentence into one that's sixteen words long. I'm not looking forward to applying this process to the manuscript that's waiting for April, but I know that it will have to be done. Although, probably in draft three when I've added in the missing bits and take out the 10% of redundant material (not just of's, that's etc.) that no doubt litter the whole thing.

newguydave  has created a template for starting new projects - things to think about. Not just your plot, plot points and character but also things like the high concept, pitch and query too.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 18th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks! These are great!
I just got done writing a post to thank slush readers in general, actually. And now that I know more about what they deal with, I have more reasons to thank them :).

I think more writers should realize that when they get one of those hope-dashing rejection letters, the slush reader had dashed hopes on that story too.
Mar. 21st, 2011 10:05 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks! These are great!
Yes, absolutely. And reading through some of the points, it's flagged up some warning signs for me to look for in my work. One of my problems, and I know this, is getting to the point early enough. A reminder that it's frustrating for the reader is helpful. Intellectually I know that but I find it's helpful to be reminded!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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