anonymous asked:

I'm working on the third draft of my novel and some days it easy and other days it feels like a pain and another thing that has to get done. Since you're a writer, did you ever experience those tedious days? How'd you get through them?

I mean, it is a pain and it is a thing that has to get done. Revision is hard work. Writing is not all fun and games and this is part of the process. I’m getting ready to start in on the thirteenth draft of my manuscript, this time with my agent’s input. This is why you have to write what you love—because if you don’t love it at the start, you’re going to fucking hate it ten drafts down the line. Miraculously I still love this book. It’s probably the closest I will ever come to having a child. Sometimes it’s frustrating and exasperating and I have no idea what to do with it, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less at the end of the day. It just needs some attention from me. 

I would encourage you not to think of editing/revision as that odious thing you have to do before you’re really ‘done,’ because it’s so much bigger than that. I would encourage you to think of it as it’s own separate project. I have this book. Now how do I make it amazing?

Like anything else, you’re going to have to find what works for you. I recommend working on paper, because there’s something about having a physical draft that will keep you focused (and keep you from getting distracted by things like Tumblr). One of the things our teacher at the Writers’ Workshop suggested was reading for one thing specifically each time you go through. Read through the whole thing only looking at dialogue. Only looking at the interactions between two specific characters. Make a list of the most important elements of your story and then read looking at just those elements. If you can perfect them individually, the rest of the story will look better as a whole. Above all, stay organized. Use different inks, highlighters, post-its, etc. You don’t want to be making the same correction more than once. 

Here’s the thing you probably don’t want to hear: revision is hard and sometimes you have to just make yourself do it. This is what separates people who really want to be writers from people who just like the fun parts of writing. Determination and dedication are big factors. But revision is also rewarding. I would not be on the thirteenth draft of this thing if I wasn’t seeing major changes—for the better—in each new draft. That’s a kickass feeling, and the only way to get there is to put your nose to the grindstone and work hard. 

As my critique partners and betas I’ve traded with know all too well, I’m rather sensitive about filter phrases. The more I work to try to eliminate them from my writing, the more I notice them in other people’s writing (including published works), so when I get the chance to critique, I frequently slash them from sentences or encourage the author to slash them for their sentences.

I am aware, however, that not everyone knows what I mean when I rant about filter phrases, so read this article by Chuck Palahniuk.

Have you read it? No? I’ll wait. Yes? Read it again. Seriously.

I have linked to this article so many times that all I have to do is type “chuck” in my Google chrome search bar and the article comes up before I even hit enter. To say that I think this article is important is basically the understatement of the year. Why? Because it totally changed how I look at my writing.

In case you don’t read it, filter phrases are phrases like thought, knew, remembered, realized, smelled, saw, wondered, felt, etc. that distance the reader from the narrative. Why? Because they are, essentially, filtering the events through writer-speak. They’re a form of telling and a surefire sign for you, the writer, that you could make that sentence stronger.

Let’s try a couple examples so you know what I mean. Filter phrases are bolded.

Meh: I heard something creak behind me and I wondered if I was being followed.  

Fixed: Something creaked behind me. Was I being followed?  

Meh: As I turned the corner, I saw him sitting against the wall, his face buried in his arms. I thought he was crying, but then he looked up at me, smiled, and I heard him say, “Hey.”  

Yay!: When I turned the corner, he was sitting against the wall, his face buried in his arms. Was he…crying? But then he looked up at me and smiled. “Hey.”  

So obviously these aren’t perfect examples, but hopefully you get the idea.

Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t ever use filter phrases, or that a couple filter phrases here and there will ruin your book. Like all things in writing, there are certainly situations where filters can work.

However, by and large, filter phrases are really overused, and if you take the time to hunt them down and replace them with deeper POV, I think you’ll find that your writing will be much stronger for it.

What do you think? Do you try to avoid filter phrases in your writing?

A book I edited last month is supposed to be coming back to me hard copy because the author apparently printed it out and marked up the manuscript rather than using track changes like a normal person. It was supposed to be overnighted to me on Monday and it’s still not here? So that doesn’t seem good. I have a pdf scan of the whole thing, but the dude’s writing is chicken scratch and didn’t scan well at all. So.

anonymous asked:

Would you teach us how you make your lovely banners? <3

I’ll let you into a secret: white background, text function, pick a colour and font that you like and voilà~ I use Picasa for that but you can use anything really, even paint.

So I got accepted to the editing/publishing practicum course that my school has, which is pretty much the reason I decided to take English at this university. It’s a super limited course and only just over 20 people get in each year so I didn’t know if I’d actually get in, but I did and I feel great.

It basically makes my university experience much more practical and relatable to what I hopefully want to do in my future.

I feel like a big weight has been taken off my shoulders now that I know I have my spot in the course.



I’ve taken 1001jarrad2015 work with his black boxes and transformed them into a propaganda piece inspired by ‘2001: Space Odyssey’ and various propaganda posters.

I liked this idea that there is monumental black box that contains all knowledge and that humanity is enslaved to it. The use of repetition and the red colour provides an overwhelming sensation. )

plumbobsandllamas asked:

Sorry if you've been asked this a million times before, but how do you edit your screenshots? They're lovely :)

Thank you so much! I literally just brighten and then saturate if I’m not happy with the result yet. I also use the super outdated Picasa to do all of that. If I want to blur stuff I use CS2 which is downloadable for free on the Adobe website :)


Swan Queen vs. Xena & Gabrielle 20/∞ based on [x]
Once Upon A Time 2x22 & Xena: Warrior Princess 6x21