March, 2017 Newsletter

Post date: Mar 03, 2017 8:1:36 AM

It's All Fun and Games Until the Story Gets Hurt

An interesting Academy Awards, Oscars, show this year. It was a Hollywood story with all the glitz and glamor, many characters, subplots, intrigue, pacing, suspense, conflicts, humor, and the finale.

The story was exciting, but was it the story they'd intended to tell?

An editor's job is to make sure that a writer's work says what the writer intends, and in the writer's voice and sensibility. Editors work to make what is good better, and what is great, outstanding. The writer does the hard work and the fun of creating a story. The editor serves the project, author, and reader by refining. Through editing we validate that the intention is clear, enjoyable, logical, flows smoothly and conveys the author's meaning.

Just as Oscar's star designers have an eye for details and also for the overall look, a skilled freelance editor can be hired for different assignments at different stages of the project.

Copy editor - deals primarily with spelling, grammar, punctuation, fact checking, and word definitions

Developmental editor - helps the writer from the idea stage through the final draft suggesting topics, help with research, verifying facts, and planning the manuscript structure

Substantive editor - focuses on story elements, plot, characterization with sufficient motivations, dialogue, order of scenes, conflict, point of view, characters' individualized voices, sentence construction and syntax, and pacing

Both the fiction and non-fiction editor will bring an outsider's eye to a manuscript and notice when and where elements don't fit, or where there's something missing. The editor will advise whether the "envelope" opened at the end of your story satisfyingly serves your intention and holds true to the story, fulfilling the promise of the story opening.

I'm proud to share some compelling and entertaining new author podcasts -

Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with author Mike Lawson -

Award-winning author of fourteen published novels. He has been nominated for the Barry Award six times, and has twice won the Portland-based Friends of Mystery Award for his Joe DeMarco political thriller series. The first book in his second series, titled Rosarito Beach, involving a rogue DEA agent named Kay Hamilton, was optioned for television. Mike’s eleventh DeMarco book, House Revenge, was released in July, 2016 and his third Kay Hamilton book, K Street, in January 2017. Prior to turning to writing full time, Mike was a nuclear engineer employed by the Navy and he lives in the Northwest. He truly writes books that transport you.

Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with writer Keenan Powell -

Mystery writer and practicing attorney in Anchorage, Alaska. Look for her legal column called Ipso Facto written for the Sister in Crime group’s Guppie’s Newsletter, called First Draft. the Guppies are the unpublished writers. She’s also an interesting and vivid blogger on her Mysteristas blog. And her short story The Velvet Slippers, was recently selected to be published by Malice Domestic 12: Mystery Most Historical. Another of her short stories, The Cattle Raid of Adams, will be published by Level Best Books in its Busted Anthology. We talk in part about getting to the Truth of a legal mystery.

Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with author Bob Dugoni -

He burst onto the NYT Bestseller list in 2006, and wrote more successful books in the David Sloane legal mystery series, stories set in the Seattle area. The first book in that series was Damage Control, successfully followed by Wrongful Death, among many others. He earned stellar reviews and awards. When he wrote My Sister’s Grave, a more recent series featuring Seattle detective Tracy Crosswhite, that book was the No. 1 Mystery Suspense Bestseller on Amazon for 3 consecutive months and ranked on the Wall Street Journal’s bestseller list. He's now nominated for an Edgar Award nomination! Best Paperback Original for The 7th Canon. He is the maestro of a successful and sophisticated layering style in his writing.

Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with The Mystery Woman Loretta Martin -

She writes mystery plots for entire towns to enact so the residents and visitors can join in gathering clues and amateur sleuthing. Loretta has been writing the annual mystery event in Langley, WA for 17 years. She also writes mysteries for other towns. Talk about engaging your reader!

Book Recommendations -

My Sister's Grave by Robert Dugoni. You'll enjoy it as a reader, and you'll learn so much analyzing it as a writer -

For those of you who often find yourself reading a mystery and thinking, or even saying out loud, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” I recommend Murdered by James Schannep.

This book is an adult’s choose-your-own-adventure book. Or as the author describes it – “A Click Your Poison book”. Here it’s you who are the main character and you make the choices that position you either to solve the mystery, or to let the killer get away with murder. You don’t read this book from page 1 straight through to the end. At the end of each scene you’re given choices of what you want to do next. Based on your decision you’re sent to different scenes on different pages in the book. How fun is that! You won’t be moving in page sequence. Your choices might send you from page 8 to page 298, to page 33. You won’t know how close you are to the end of the story maze because your next choice could send you anywhere. The story progresses that way on and on, scene to scene based on your decisions. If you choose wisely you can solve a murder. And when you’re finally done, you can start over and experiment with different choices all along the way to create a different story. There are over 50 possible endings. As Deepak Chopra said, “When you make a choice, you change the future.” Murdered is one of 5 exciting books by this author. The most recent is coming later this year and is titled Classically Marooned.