Monday, 27 September 2010

Let's Start the Week with Thank You

This is my thank you post. It's not at all comprehensive. Without tooting my own horn - because frankly, there's nothing to toot - I think my writing has improved a hundred percent since I first surfed the net as a writer (returned to the fold after a long, long break) about three years ago. If you've helped me along the way and you're not mentioned below, I apologise.

First, Lane Adamson (Permuted Press editor) who rapped my knuckles a couple of years back for my bizarre use of commas and introduced me to Leah Clarke who instructed me on the correct usage. (I still have wobbly comma moments - we're acquaintances not best friends). At school, we were taught that commas were inserted in the places where you paused for breath. Considering that, it's amazing I had any commas at all as I have a habit of talking without coming up for air--one day I shall turn blue.

Next, Aaron Polson. When Aaron sent me an email saying the following about the Strange Men edits - I'm about halfway through an editing pass, changing very little (just a few loose words and a couple double prepositions) - I was all, double what? And no, I didn't tell him that was my reaction. Okay, so Word kept telling me to remove prepositions from the end of my sentences, but I thought Word was insane. Prepo...what? You all think I'm dumb now, right? I'd never heard of the buggers. Seriously, my English lessons sucked at school and I can attest that my teacher would have picked me as the pupil least likely to write a book. So anyhow, I looked up prepositions and started to consider my loose words and I'm convinced my writing is much tighter for it. Also thanks to Jon Gibbs for providing a link to The Wasteline Test, which I'm using to make sure those pesky prepositions are sorted.

Finally, Julia Churchill. Her thoughtful rejection of Grim Glass Vein advising that my story didn't get off the ground fast enough forced me to buy Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers on Page One, and it's been a godsend. The text is a little repetitive, but sometimes repetition is good--it helps the fact stay in. Also thanks to Corinne Duyvis who beta read the story after Julia and agreed with her points.

I wonder what I'll learn next.

And who from. Thanks in advance.

13 comments:

Milo James Fowler said...

I'm adding HOOKED to my reading queue, as I've been rejected for the same reason. Personally, I enjoy a slow start when I'm reading a novel; guess that doesn't matter when agents don't want to represent my work because of it!

Cate Gardner said...

It's an excellent book, Milo. Hope it helps.

Rabid Fox said...

I think I need a comma fuhrer as well. I can get out, of, control with them,

Aaron Polson said...

Cate...thank you for the links. I think I can use The Wasteline Test with my students. Yay!

Ian said...

Hi Cate - Like Milo, I don't mind a slow start (must be why I write them), but it's a valid point and I'll read anything that helps.

The Wasteline Test is great! Says I'm "fit and trim"; well, my writing, at least. Thanks for the links. (btw, shouldn't there be a comma after "acquaintances"?) ;)

Andrea Allison said...

I get a little nervous using things like The Wasteline Test. They have a tendency to tell me what I don't want to hear. However, in this case, it gave me a "fit and trim" diagnosis. I think I like this one.

Cate Gardner said...

Ha, me too, Gef.

Double yay, Aaron.

Ian :P with added ,,,

Andrea, I'm loving the wasteline test.

Danielle Ferries said...

Commas are evil.

K.C. Shaw said...

Hooked sounds like a good book! And considering that everything of yours I've read starts off with a bang and is sort of "hold on tight" for the rest of the ride, I'm frightened at the thought of you reading it. :)

Natalie L. Sin said...

You haven't seen my punctuation. Truly horrifying ; )

Cate Gardner said...

I concur, Danielle.

Ha, that gives me some comfort, Kate.

Ah, but you have Ying, Natalie.

Corinne said...

I am still so, so glad I was able to be of help with Grim Glass Vein. I can't wait to see the end result - or to read Strange Men. It shall be glorious. :D

Cate Gardner said...

Thanks, Corinne.