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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Best Editors

I've been thinking a lot lately about the role editors have played in my development as a writer and I think they have a much more important role than many people would admit.

But the editor has to be a good one. They can't have a chip on their shoulder and they need to look at your work as a partnership. Teamwork.

What's a good editor, to my mind?

A good editor is one who is going to force you to ask questions about the reasons behind your thinking. "Why" is how they start most of their sentences. Often, they'll be approaching your work from a direction you hadn't considered at all.

A good editor is one who will take all the knowledge and experience they have in the field, and help you apply it to your piece. An editor isn't just someone that looks for typos. They're looking for cliches they can help remove, they're looking for tired story elements they can axe, they're looking for the sentences where you were on auto-pilot and could come…

Star Wars Update!

Last weekend I had the tremendous honor of attending Star Wars: Celebration - Anaheim. It was four days of merriment based around the greatest space film saga of all time and I had the time of my life. I was on a number of panels and you can listen to most of them online:

Full of Sith - This is the podcast I host and we had a great show with a lot of cool guests.The Mythology of Star Wars - This panel was a dissection of the mythology of Star Wars and the hero's journey. (I'll have audio of this one soon, it'll be of a lot of use to writers, I think.)Star Wars Journalism -  This panel took a look at what it's like to cover Star Wars as a journalist and a freelancer.A Tribute to Aaron Allston - This panel consisted of me, Del Rey Editor Shelly Shapiro, and Star Wars author Christie Golden and we told stories about our old friend and colleague.  I was also in attendance when JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy unveiled the new Star Wars trailer and was asked by the folks at St…

Star Wars Celebration and an Update

I'm leaving town tomorrow, so I won't be around to do my regular weekly update, but figured I'd get it out of the way early and let you all know about a chance to sync up with me this weekend at Star Wars: Celebration.

I'll be on four panels and at a variety of other events as well.

As far as my panel schedule:

Thursday:


6:30 - 8:30 pm - Hilton Lobby - Podcast Listener Meetup - My fellow podcast co-hosts and I will be meeting with listeners at the Hilton Lobby in a massive mix and mingle.7:00 pm - Fan Stage - The Hero's Journey and the Power of Myth - This is myself and some other experts discussing mythology and Star 
Friday:


10:30 am - Fan Stage - Star Wars Journalism - Myself and three other Star Wars Journalists (Dunc from Club Jade, Amy Ratcliffe from Nerdist (and others), and Eric Geller from TheForce.Net) will be talking about covering Star Wars and what you should and shouldn't believe on the Internet.

Saturday:


Noon - Podcast Stage - Full of Sith - I will…

Knowing When to Say Yes (...or No)

I get asked to do a lot of stuff.

Whether it's an interview or a short story or an essay, there are a lot of factors that go into my decision to say yes or no. But my first instinct is always to say yes, even when I don't think I'm exactly right for the job.

Why is that?

Well, every project I've ever agreed to that I was hesitant about taught me a lot about myself as a writer, as a freelancer, and produced work I would have normally never embarked to create on my own. Taking assignments forced me to think about things in ways I ordinarily wouldn't.

I think it's most important, though, to challenge yourself by saying yes with short stories, especially if they're on really tight deadlines.

One of my favorite short stories began as a call from an editor who needed a favor. They had very specific parameters for a story and they needed it delivered within three days. They gave me a rate and wished me luck.

Three days later I had an 8,000 word short story I was i…