HYM and HUR is a somewhat whimsical short story involving two fairy-like beings who make a pact with Death, and in the process cause trouble for an innocent human and his girlfriend. Despite its sometimes uneven characterization, it succeeds as a light read with brisk pacing.
Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action. - Kurt Vonnegut
Yesterday I started re-editing my novel after putting it away for six months. It was good to put it aside to gain “distance” from it, but the real benefit was what I learned from all the projects I did in the interim, especially EPIC FANTASY 0.9b. Lack of confidence can be a big problem for new writers; we revise and revise, but always wonder if the changes we’ve made are actually making our stories worse instead of better, sometimes even to the point of going around in circles. But compared to six months ago, I feel much more capable of looking at my own writing and deciding on absolute terms whether it’s where I want it to be, and if not, what it will take to get there. It feels great to bring that knowledge to bear on improving this novel, because I’ve found that even after all this time, I still love its characters and plot just as much as I did when I was writing them. I’m excited to make it as perfect as it possibly can be so that I can share it with others.
In that spirit, the following is my personal editing checklist, which I compiled over the past six months from various sources (mainly craft books, corrections from professional editors and my own experiences). Of course, my list may not fit you perfectly; everyone has their own peculiar set of problems to deal with. But I’ve tried to make it general and included some common issues that I don’t personally struggle with that often. In any case, hopefully someone out there will find it useful.
"Bill and Arlene Miller were a happy couple." - Raymond Carver, "Neighbors," opening sentence.
The passive voice seems to be a common sticking point for new writers. Is there a specific reason for this? Why would the passive voice be any harder to grasp than any other straightforward grammatical rule?
My short story, A Grave in cloudSpace, is now available on Smashwords for the low, low price of nothing. The price on Amazon remains $0.99, but it is possible that Amazon will “price match” the price down to free soon. You can help move this process along by clicking Amazon’s “tell us about a lower price” link and entering the Smashwords URL in their pop-up form.