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Johne last won the day on January 25

Johne had the most liked content!

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About Johne

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  • Birthday March 11


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  1. I always assumed ELEMENTS OF STYLE was more of a guideline than a Bible. I read it, absorbed it, and then forgot it. Knowing those principles has informed my own writing style but I don't consult it as a source of absolute truth.
  2. Yes - the endgame here is publication through SG Publishing, which I am told is a foregone conclusion if you learn the SG theory and apply SG principles to your work. They believe in the efficacy of their system and they're putting their money where their mouth is. SG has a mailing list of 30k writers and editors and getting a SG-published book in front of that audience is very attractive to me. (Also, the SG breakdown of royalties where half of the proceeds go straight to the author.)
  3. Nod. After the SG editor gives me the packet of responses (and there are, like, five deliverables), I'll then make another round of edits based on her feedback, and then pass the novel through a healthy group of Beta readers, make another round of edits, and then finally give it to a Line Editor friend of mine. After that I'll compile the final Story Grid spreadsheet and submit a package with my manuscript and all my SG worksheets and spreadsheets to SG Publishing for publication.
  4. Cats are fine, but this isn't about the cat, it's about Clay. Think about what makes for a pet peeve. One of the things that occurred to me is one aspect of the pet peeve is it is something that hits too close to home. I'm frequently irritated by people who do the exact thing I excuse from myself. Why is Clay allergic to the idea of cats? Clay is an outsider in a human world, an independent thinker, a gadfly to the society in which he finds himself in. He's allergic to the idea of cats because he, himself, is very feline in the way he resists love and makes his own rules in society. It's not that cats are bad or wrong, it's they unconsciously remind him too much of himself and he is repulsed by this aspect of himself. And because cats sense some kindred spirit, they warm to him even as he is repulsed by them, which just makes them love him more. Which leaves him in misery. Which they also love. Because they're cats.
  5. It's an editor who has completed Story Grid certification. https://storygrid.com/cert/ https://storygrid.com/editing/ Shawn Coyne wrote about how this all came about and his own process for analyzing stories:
  6. My wife is my first reader, kind of. She cares nothing for genre books / movies and doesn't read at all, but she will listen as I read from my WIP and has become invested in the story over the last couple of years. She's awesome because she doesn't have time to pretend - if she's bored, I know it, and if she hates something, she reacts violently. But if she laughs, I know it's working, and if she cries... well, that's pure gold. But there is one even better reaction. When I read to her the very ending of my golem novel over the holidays and her jaw dropped open for five full seconds, it was the very best Christmas she could have given me. That, my friends, was the best moment of my writing life.
  7. A writing tip from author Merrie Destefano:
  8. I'll give an example from my WIP: Cats. Clay Golem hates cats. He's allergic to them. (Not physically - he's animated blue clay. He's allergic to the /idea/ of cats.) And of course, cats know this, and shower him with contrary affection, leaving him in a constant state of misery. ;) Dogs love him because they're dogs - cats love him out of sheer perversity.
  9. I was in Nashville when they first told Story Grid students about the upcoming launch and was VERY excited. Instead of self-publishing - which is an entirely viable publication strategy - I shifted my focus to being picked up by SG Publishing, and this is one more step closer to that. At the time of the announcement they had a mailing list of 30k writers and editors, which is a pretty good group to get my book in front of.
  10. After a call on Tuesday night, I've hired my dream Story Grid editor to help me finish the manuscript for THE BLUE GOLEM and submit it to Story Grid Publishing for publication! She looked at my first chapter, liked the depth of my SG spreadsheet, and likes the premise and voice of the novel. She said she wanted to work with me, which is reassuring because she was my first choice among the SG editors! After I work with her, my plan is make the penultimate version available for Beta readers and then send to my Line Editor for a final scrub before turning it in the Story Grid. SG Publishing is producing 18 non-fiction books this year and four fiction books. The first fiction book will be Tim Grahl's book THE THRESHING. I imagine the other three fiction slots will fill up quickly so I'm trying to turn this around as quickly as I can. I'm guessing it's /possible/ I might place the book for 2020 but it's more probable it will slide to 2021. We'll see how soon we can polish it up and get it approved. It's all coming together!
  11. I've said that one perfect larger word can take the place of many smaller, dumber words. Harlan Ellison came up reading the dictionary every day and exulted in forcing his readers to scramble to follow along. I like his approach. He didn't force words but employed them with the precision of a surgeon. I learned many new words reading his columns and his short stories.
  12. "People need stories more than bread itself. They tell us how to live, and why." https://www.amazon.com/Part-1/dp/B07B6SWJSH/
  13. And even in ARABIAN NIGHTS, the story doesn't start with the sultan slipping into madness, it begins when he's already mad with the discussion that explains that he cannot wait to marry any longer lest he lose his throne to his brother. All this really means is start as close to the essential action and the inciting incident as possible to jump right into the story. You don't have to start in media res per se, but it doesn't hurt. PACIFIC RIM is an extreme example where they start essentially halfway into the larger story, but it totally works.
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