Monday, February 6, 2017

The Writer and the Editor by Landis Wade

Landis Wade gives us an amusing insight into the editorial process.

First Chapter

Writer: Rain hit Shelia's windshield like pellets from a scattergun as the sun broke through the clouds.

Editor: Don't start a story with the weather. And don't use so much description that it detracts from the pace of the story.

Writer: __ ___ Shelia's windshield __ ___ ___ _ _____ __ ___ ___ broke ___ ___ ___.

Fifth Chapter

Writer: Momma said Shelia's baby was as cute as a button.

Editor: Don't use clich├ęs. You need to make it real.

Writer: Momma said Shelia's baby was as cute as a real button.

Ninth Chapter

Writer: John was sure Shelia would confess. The judge thought so too.

Editor: You can't be in the heads of two different people in the same scene. It's called point of view. Be creative if you want to show that both men were thinking the same thing.

Writer: John and the judge were like a two-headed man. They both thought Shelia would confess.

Fourteenth Chapter

Writer: Shelia was sure Harold would take to her. She'd prepared her lines. Dressed well. Done her homework. Turns out. She was right. He loved her right away.

Editor: There is no conflict in this story. Stories have to have conflict to be interesting.

Writer: Shelia was sure Harold would take to her. She'd prepared her lines. Dressed well. Done her homework. Turns out. She was wrong. Harold was a bastard.

Sixteenth Chapter

Writer: "Can you tell me where to hide?" Shelia shakily asked.

Editor: Careful with the adverb. Just use the word "said" when writing dialogue.

Writer: "Can you tell me where to hide?" Shelia shakily said.

Twenty-First Chapter

Writer: Having taken the last round of medicine and gotten no better, the doctor said Shelia's chances were hopeless.

Editor: This is a dangling participle. You make it sound like the doctor had taken the last round of medicine. Surely, that's not what you mean.

Writer: The doctor did take the last round of medicine. So much for Shelia's chances.

Thirty-Second Chapter

Writer: "The jewel is missing, Shelia, and I know you took it. Where is it at?"

Editor: Your inspector is too sophisticated to end a sentence with a preposition.

Writer: "The jewel is missing, Shelia, and I know you took it. Where is it at, bitch?"

Epilogue

Writer: Shelia had won the race but her hamstrings were as tight as the tick on her dog's butt.

Editor: This simile is predictable and trite. You can do better.

Writer: Shelia had won the race but her hamstrings were as tight as the stick up her editor's ass.

THE END (OF THE WRITER-EDITOR RELATIONSHIP)

11 comments:

  1. Fabulous, I loved it - it made me laugh out loud. That said, there are some amazing editors out there too ..... Thank you so much,
    Ceinwen

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  2. first class!more than a hint of truth!

    Mike McC

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  3. Hilarious - I loved it! Laughing is a great way to start a Monday. Landis, I appreciate your providing humor and education. Bravo and thank you!

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  4. I'm getting deja rue - I rue similar results by submissions get. Shameless and shameful self promotion: The results of a robo editor on "House Of Rats": http://365tomorrows.com/2017/01/18/brave-new-word/

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  5. Maryangel Mendoza ChapmanFebruary 7, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    Oh this was wonderful! I had a smile on my face the whole time. I wear both hats - writer and editor. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

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  6. This was fun, and a much better way to start off a Monday than reading the never-ending bickering of politics! Great story ;-)
    Jim

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    Replies
    1. Thanks everyone for the kind words. I had fun with it, but I'm sure I only scratched the surface. Keep writing.
      Landis

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  7. This was fun. Its funny when what we think in our heads somehow slips out and ends up in an email/message/text/tweet. Hmmm. lots of stories can have that theme.
    Nicely done.

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  8. Thank you for the laugh! My fave part: "Where is it at, bitch?"! Too funny!

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  9. Yes, so true. A real slice of writerly life. Clever. Made me laugh out loud. Thanks. Jane

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