Saturday, November 27, 2010


M1A1 Abrams TankImage by San Diego Shooter via Flickr
"A battle is fought to be won!"

Department of Excellent Writing Advice
As part of learning how to blog – and these days I sometimes wonder whether I’m not more student than writer (or whether the terms should not be interchangeable), I’m currently subscribing to a number of blogs who specialize in giving blogging advice and advice on writing in general.

I’m not just interested in the specifics of such advice, but how they present themselves in general. Inevitably, there are similarities, but all the good blogs have distinctive personalities.

Today, Walt Shiel, author of VIEW FROM THE PUBLISHING TRENCHES  offered a nugget that resonated:

“Begin your writing, fiction or article, where the action begins. This action can be internal (e.g. An important insight or personal decision) or external (e.g. a calamity or key even). Begin too early and you lose your reader. Begin too late and you lose your story.”

Now that is good writing.

Department of Book Doctors
Editors used to do all that that is necessary when it comes to critiquing and developing a book. Unfortunately, with the ever increasing of the corporate ownership of publishers followed by the inevitable pressure to cut costs, the editors of traditional publishing houses rarely have the time to do what may be necessary. 

That is a pity for all sorts of reasons starting with the fact that even the most talented writer cannot bring perspective to his or her own work.

Enter ‘Book Doctors’ who do much the same thing as editors used to but who are prepared to do even more than a commercial editor to save book. Here I refer you to Jason Black at PLOT TO PUNCTUATION  I have neither met Jason, not done business with him; but his site is impressive.

I have done some book doctoring myself, and once spent six exhausting months on a project trying to rescue and restructure a truly excellent book about THE BATTLE OF 73 EASTING. The topic was the famous tank battle that took place in the first Gulf War in 1991. The patient survived and you may read the result as WARRIOR’S RAGE by Douglas Macgregor.  

I should probably have claimed co-author status, but he was the one who had been under fire and had seen his men die so it was, quite rightly, HIS story; and a fascinating one at that. 

We also serve who re-write.

I have to say it is a pretty good book.

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