i have ideas if you want them editors

fir-trees-unite-deactivated2017  asked:

Hey mom let's say I'm a writer and let's say I wanted to hire a freelance editor and let's say I wanted to be Mr. Fuck Your Rate I'mma Pay You Way More Because You Deserve It --- what do you consider a fair/ideal rate for editing work?

It really depends on what kind of editing work you are engaging them for. Is it a proof and grammar only? Or do you want copy edit and feedback? Or do you want to engage them for a process of all of the above?

Some editors will list their fees per how many words they edit, and some houses will even pay their editors per word, but I have found this system to be utterly, utterly shitty for everyone involved who is not at the top taking a huge cut. 

I’ve spent maybe a month working on something which was 100k words, and the author had to pay a premium rate in the thousands, but I did minimal work to it like fixing a few errors here and there.

I’ve also spent a month working on something that was less than 10k words, but only got paid the going rate for 10k, regardless of the fact that it needed so much work I couldn’t take on any other projects during that time.

This is why I now list myself as per hour, not per word, and request people send me their file/manuscript in full first so I can read through it and determine how much work it will need, rather than offering a blind estimate per word count. In my FAQ I have it listed as a $50 reading fee once the manuscript goes over 10k words ($100 if it’s a 100k+ manuscript), but I’ve been so desperate lately I’ve actually lowered it to $25.

The rates I am currently charging are $25 per hour for anything under 10k, and $50 for anything over that. That’s my rate for copy edit, and it’s half what my rate for copy edit was in house. 

If you’re only wanting proof reading for minor fixes, I’m only taking $25 per hour (provided it wasn’t a total nightmare on the read through), though I have gone lower if it’s been something really short and I know it’s not even going to take me the full hour to work on. Basically I try to make it as fair an exchange for both of us as possible. I know most of the people trying to engage me for work are broke, I know most of them are college students or in a similar situation to mine, but I am also trying to not drastically undersell my work either because I also need to eat.

So if you take the idea at the moment that a living wage, and I mean a basic “you’re able to make ends meet without killing yourself working 60 hours a week” wage, is $15 an hour, you’re probably looking at paying someone a minimum of $20+ per hour for the time as an editor at a base rate. That is, if you want to pay them fairly, and even then I have some editor friends on here who are likely hissing between their teeth at me for low balling it.

But like I said, there’s a lot of work out there being sold for significantly less than that, and it’s killing us, it really is. I had an email this week from a freelance site from a client wanting me to rewrite his entire 100k manuscript for $150 and he thought that was “more than fair”. When I told him it wasn’t and I would not take on something of that size for anything less than $500 at a minimum, he went off on one about how there are other editors out there just desperate for work. And that’s the problem. 

Also, just throwing this out there, if an editor hits you with a quote and you think “wow, I can’t afford that, guess I’ll not bother…” ask them about payment plans. If this is a project we will likely be working with you on for several months—and if it’s long we likely will be—some of us are more than happy to accept monthly installments. We’d rather have secure reliable work and take our time helping you to create the best damn thing that you can, than have no work at all. 

And we want to work, we want to help people make awesome things, we want to see you get published and become successful because then that means you’ll write more which means we’ll get more work and do you see where this happy little cycle of productivity is going? I hope so. I really do, because the way current freelancing and editing work is set up, it’s helping no one. 

Anyway, I hope that is helpful and answered some questions. If not, sorry, I’m tired and heading to bed. I hope when I read this in the morning it’s not just an incoherent ramble but who knows, maybe I made some sense.

Edits are hard *grumblegrumble*

So, okay. One thing writers don’t talk a lot about is The Dread Editing Letter.

It’s the letter that you get from your editor once your manuscript has been signed with a publisher and turned over to the publisher and your lead editor to begin the process of making it into A Book. This is the letter where the editor says “Okay, so I loved this. And it was great. And I also loved this. BUT… THIS needs to change/be cut out/be punched up/be set on fire” or whatever it is that they saw that you, as the author, need to fix in order to make the manuscript you gave them into a fantastic book.

And sometimes these letters are easy. Full of praise with a few small suggestions for fixes. Or the suggested fix is just so good and so obvious that you love it immediately and wonder why you didn’t think of it first, and dive into it feet first. And sometimes it’s filled with things that make you think Oh god no absolutely not and you get on the phone with the editor and talk it out, and either one or the other of you has their mind changed.

And then you get the kind of letter that I got on the third book of The Accidental Turn series, which is… hard to take. 

Not because I don’t agree with the changes my editor wants. But because I do.

I absolutely agree. 

But I have no earthly idea whatsoever how to take those comments and turn them into actionable plans of rewriting.

I mean, what she’s asking me for,I had been trying to do all along. And to hear that I wasn’t successful is like a knife in the throat. But the hand holding the knife handle wasn’t my editor’s - it was mine. Because I didn’t get it right. I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t figure it out. It’s my fault.

And that is the worst feeling in the world. It’s compounded by everyone around me saying “I know it’s hard, but you’ll figure it out. You always do.” It makes me feel like even more of a failure because if I could have figured it out, I would have done it that way the first time.

I am, as Anne would say, in the absolute depths of despair over this edit.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t often get this way with books. I always know when a book isn’t quite right yet (and I knew this one wasn’t right, I just didn’t know it was so wrong), so usually I nod along with most of an Editing Letter, appreciate the insight over what bits need the work so I know where to aim my focus, and get on with it.

But this one has me spinning my wheels because everything I come up with boils back down to exactly what I’ve already put on the page. I don’t know how to do what my editor wants.

I don’t know.

So, for now, I am doing the things I can do.

I made a list of actionable requests, with little check boxes.”Change the tense”, check. “Add the characters names to the top of POV shift sections”, check. That feels like accomplishing something, even if I haven’t actually implemented the changes yet.

I spent the weekend rewriting the plot outline, with the possible changes, and sent it to the editor for her feedback. I’m scheduling a Skype call to try to get more specific, targeted feedback. (”I think you should do X Y and Z” is good, but what I need at this point is “In which part? With which scene? Where? And how?”)  My fear with this is that I’ll totally rewrite huge sections and hand it in, only to have her say: “That’s not what I meant.” 

I want to ensure that what I do is what is wanted.

Today I’m transfering the book chapter by chapter into Scrivener and breaking up the scenes and noting where new scenes might go or which scenes may be cut.

It’s small things, but it makes me feel a little bit more accomplished. A few paces closer to the finish line. Breaking up something like this into bite-sized tasks is helping with the panic. And it’s giving my brain time to percolate.

Hopefully, with this call, and this list, and this outline, and this broken-down scene map, when it comes time to actually sit down to rewrite, it will feel like a breeze.

It’s difficult, and I’m panicking, and I’m floundering, but I will get there. I will get there.

It’s not a magic cure-all. 

But I wanted to share with you, with all of you, that writing isn’t all soft summer days, and gently steaming cups of tea, or rich jammy wine on a patio while watching the sunset.

It’s hard, and it’s filled with self-doubt and self-recrimination, and sometimes hurt feelings. Mostly it’s a lot of being mad at yourself for not doing better.

And then sitting down at the keyboard anyway, and doing it. Even if you have to break it into small tasks in order to ever figure out how to understand the shape of the mountain you’re trying to climb.

It’s hard.But you’re clever. You’ll figure it out.

Top 10 Comics of 2016 (Objective Facts)

Welcome to the top 10 comics of the year, these are comics released in print in single issues. There is several comics I wanted to read that I had not got the chance to read in single issues so they won’t be included on this list. These are 10 damn fine comics I read this year and I hope if you haven’t read them you give it a look.

Squirrel Girl:  A sadly declining star for me, last year Squirrel Girl was no doubt at the top of my lists but this year I feel a bit less engaged with it. This is actually pretty common around all of Marvel with Civil War 2, relaunches, universe changing event after universe changing event it makes it hard to feel attached. Still Squirrel Girl is full of laughs with some stand out stories that came out this year like dealing with Doctor Doom from the past after being sent further into the past. We also had the stand out choose your own adventure issue where subtly Koi Boi is revealed to be a trans man and that is super awesome!

Wic/Div: This comic is the serious, it is not tonely the same as the others but I adore it.  We have gods walking among us on earth, mystery, betrayal, queerness, action, great designs, and a great book. If you want a story that is crafted masterfully and can invoke a wide range of emotions then The Wicked + The Divine is for you.

Space Battle Lunchtime: When Oni Press announced their new lineup this was the title that stuck out to me the most. Turns out my gut feeling was right as this book transports the reader to this new world of aliens that is fascinating to watch unfold. One creator managed with help from editors and what not to do the art, colors and storytelling for this epic cooking show in space. This is one of the most fun energetic books I have ever read. The only problem with this series is it goes by so fast but with only one issue left getting them all together is a great idea. If you want to watch a funny space cooking show and a cute lady on lady romance then come here.

Backstagers: This wasn’t a title I was expecting to even buy. I mean all boy lumberjanes sounds cute but I generally, as you’ll find on this list, don’t read stories about dudes. However, this book is fantastic, fun, queer, and all the great things that Lumberjanes is. I think Backstagers does an amazing job of dispelling the toxic masculinity present in much of male lead media. The creative world backstage is fantastic, it has such a great visual style and everyone who works on this project has everything in them in it.

Jem and the Holograms: The truly outrageous gift that just keeps giving. I love the story, Sophie is like my favorite artist and even with her leaving we have had some solid people taking over and there’s a lot of fun to be had with this series. I do worry about future placement but I am very excited for Misfits and this year is all about this year. With stand out scenes like Blaze coming out, the misfits and holograms working together, the cuties of a 3rd rival band, and more all in play this year I am at the front hoping they will let me on stage.

Princeless: Princeless is a modern classic, a series that every volume is great for all ages. This year I read a lot of Princeless, my little sister adored reading volume 1 for the first time.  More then that I adored reading all the volumes and the short stories of Princeless. This is one that works for the whole family and manages to really go over a ton of great stuff. We have our hero learning new perspectives, saving people, exploring the world, she is a fantastic protagonist.

Kim and Kim: Kim and Kim the queer bffs that do that bounty hunting thing. They have amazing chemistry and are the kinds of loser badasses I love. They screw up a lot, they can be kind of an asshole but their hearts are in the right place. We follow them in one journey this year and it’s a fun journey to follow. Also like it has a trans writer and latnix gals on the art team so that is pretty badass too. This stories only problem is an ending that feels a bit rushed.

Jonesy: This was the biggest surprise for me comics wise in 2016. I saw it and was automatically charmed by the art. I decided it was worth risking wasting 4 bucks on. So i did and haven’t looked back since. The funny world, the endearing characters, the general feeling that this comic is different without trying hard to be. Jonesy is queer,  she’s latnix, she’s funny, she’s a bit of a loser but in a way that makes you feel okay to be a loser too. Jonesy is a story that makes me happy whenever I read it, it’s always at the top of my stack, it’s a book that I can count on. The fact it isn’t number 1 but might be in my top 10 series of all time just says how great comics have been this year.

Raven the Pirate Princess: Raven the Pirate Princess is that book that no one really talks about but should be a staple of everyone’s pull. It’s so fun, funny, illustrated so well and it feels like a massive breath of fresh air. Amazing comedy, a bunch of queer ladies, women of all sizes, skin colors, and we even have some varying ability. It’s great to see so much diversity threaded into this epic scaling tale of a women trying to get what was stolen from her by her brothers. 

Angela Queen of Hel: Angela Queen of Hel is one of my favorite stories of all time. It joins the hallowed ranks of other classics in my mind and despite a few issues moves far past them. The series being canned on issue 7 means so much potential was thrown away and we lost. This story is the most compelling romance I have ever read and it’s such a badass story too. Conquering hell to get your lesbian love back is super cool and then the follow up story is an awesome cap to show their relationship past the climax. No matter what Marvel does to the pair we will always have this story to look back on and cheer for.

Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection - Localization Blog #2

“Rally-ho, true believers!” I shout, swinging into the grand hall on a chandelier, interrupting the fancy party. Everything stops as eyes are focused solely on me – on my roguish good looks, my brand-name tabard, my elk leather highboots. I somersault to the floor, landing on my feet with a flourish and a bow. “I know you must have thought this high society gathering dreadfully dull without me here to tell you about the intricacies of composing prose for novel electronic amusements, so I’ve come to enlighten and entertain thee. Also, did you know all the food here is free? My pockets are full of cocktail wieners right now.”

Indeed, it’s an honor to see you again, dear readers. I hope you enjoyed my previous blog about the upcoming PC release of Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection. As a small refresher, it served as something of an introduction to Zwei: II as a game – what it’s all about, its two main characters, the setup of the story, and its battle and leveling system. You can think of it as a sampler platter to give you a taste of why this game’s cool.

Do a barrel roll

Today, in my second Zwei: II blog, I’d like to go into more detail on the process of writing and editing for the game, and some of the things I dealt with and thought about as I localized it. I’ve done an entry like this for each of my prior projects, and I always enjoy it because it gives me a chance to briefly pull back the curtain and share with you some of the minutiae of localization, and the truism that every project is its own beast.

One interesting thing of note about this project is that it’s the first project on which I served as the sole editor. When I started working at XSEED, most of my prior localization experience had been as part of a team working on large single projects, while most of XSEED’s workflow at that time had been to keep a single editor on a project as much as possible. Each method has its own benefits, as you’d expect. When I work with a partner or team, I enjoy being able to bounce ideas off them or ask for hot takes any time I want, like, “Okay, which of these five potential quest names sounds the best to you?” or “Here’s what I have so far for this scene, but I want this girl to sound more disinterested. How would you do it?” We solicit general impressions from the office fairly regularly, but having other editors acquainted with the specifics and setting of the project you’re working on gives you access to an informed, expanded scope beyond your own intuition and experience. That’s important, because every editor is naturally going to have some characters or scenes they click with more readily than others.

On the other hand, flying solo can also be nice because it represents a purer distillation of editorial voice. With single-editor projects, you know that all the text in the game was overseen by the same person, making thoughtful choices with full knowledge of where everything fits in the greater scheme of the story. I think that’s what XSEED values about this methodology, but with the arrival of mammoth-sized scripts like those for the Story of Seasons and Trails of Cold Steel games, it became a matter of practicality to learn to work well as small teams on projects – a challenge I think our editors have risen to meet in admirable fashion. Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t have a lifeline or two working on Zwei: II. Junpei and Tom were an ever-present source of support whenever I had a question about something in the Japanese – and there were many, many of those over the duration of the project. Even when you’re working alone, you’re never truly alone when you’ve got the office familia backin’ you up.

Getting to work on a project by myself has also helped me better understand my own work process. One nice thing is that everything I mentally bring to a project – the stories I’ve consumed and experiences I’ve had that color how I interpret characters and scenes – remains consistent throughout. This is especially pertinent when writing for comedic scenes, as no two editors will have the exact same sense of humor, and Zwei has more than its share of wisecracks and comedy. The scary thing about being the sole face of a game, though, is that anything that’s weird or wrong, any jokes that totally fall flat, emotional connections that don’t get made – that’s all on me. In a way, it’s a test of myself as a writer and editor, with you all as the judges. With the original Story of Seasons, Tom and Ryan lent me a hand, and I had the dashing Young Kris as my partner for the first Trails of Cold Steel, but here, you get pure Nick, for better or worse (hopefully for better).

I mentioned briefly in my previous blog that Zwei: II felt like it was deeply informed by ’90s anime and manga, and I’d like to unpack that a little more for you here, in case your curiosity was piqued at the notion. After all, a lot of the games we work on here at XSEED are pretty anime-flavored, right? What’s one more on the list?

Here’s my take. Over time, the general vibe of anime has undergone change, as all thriving arts tend to. One major difference – the one most relevant to our discussion – is the observation that protagonists in many modern series tend to be passive, disaffected, reticent, or otherwise hesitant to engage the world and situations around them. They’re the reactive sort. Sometimes it’s because they’re exceptionally socially aware. Sometimes it may be because they’re awkward youths. Sometimes it’s because you get the impression that the writer really wants you to think this person is cool or above it all. Anime from the ’90s, on the other hand, is much more associated with protagonists who leap into situations without thinking, do things without considering the ramifications of their actions, and adhere to a personal code or philosophy that the character consciously or unconsciously holds. Both approaches, in the hands of a good storyteller, can and have made for some great entertainment, but from a writing perspective, the “’90s anime” types are definitely easier for me to work with. They’re more expressive, more willing to engage, and their very being tends to create conflicts that help drive the story and the growth of both themselves and other characters.

During the time I was working on Zwei: II, I actually ended up rewatching a season of Ranma ½ (those blu-rays are preeeeetty sweet) and seeing the Tenchi Muyo TV series for the first time (on loan from Tom). Seeing those really made this whole point click with me, like, “…That’s it! That’s the kind of comedic stylings Zwei is trying to channel!” Not in the sense of specific plot points or characters from any particular series, but the sort of atmosphere that was about creating opportunities for amusing things to happen. Ranma, for instance, tends to nettle many of the characters in his series not on purpose, but just by being who he is. And not just that – doing it on purpose also comes very easily to him (just watch how he loves to bait Ryoga or Kuno with his taunting). Ragna is less purposefully ornery, but his decisive personality draws the admiration of some and the exasperation of others. Plus, later on in the game, you run across a genuine hot spring, and we all know what a staple of the era that is. ;)

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Tragedy is easy, comedy is hard,” and there’s truth in it. Most of us love a good comedy, but do any two of us love all the same comedies or laugh at all the same things? Humor is deceptively difficult because it’s so mercurial, influenced by the times, by moods, by delivery, and more. A bit that might leave you stone-faced Monday night could have you busting a gut Thursday night. Understanding why something that makes you laugh does so is the study of a lifetime. There’s really no shortcutting it – you have to get the mileage, experiencing things that make you laugh, thinking about why, and chasing the next thing you think might give you another shot of mirth. I can only hope that I’ve imbibed enough of the spirit of humor to properly convey the charm of what is perhaps Falcom’s most levity-laden title.

Yeah…just hangin’ in there, y'know…

Beyond my approach to the game itself, we have its characters – the heart and soul of the action. Quite often, early on in the process of localizing a game, I’ll get an impression of a character as, “Oh…I guess he’s a lot like X from [other source],” and as I make a couple of those anchoring connections and begin considering the characters in the game from those perspectives, they begin to show their multiple facets. Lest you think this sounds too close to, “Oh no, he’s just taking an existing character and foisting that persona on this carefully crafted, unique game character!”, take a measure of comfort in my assurance that I, too, would be dissatisfied with an approach that oversimplified. Think of it more as a basic framework – scaffolding that lets me clamber around the object d’art to get at the fine detailing.

With Ragna, for instance, his characterization is very front-loaded in the game. Right away, you know he’s a freewheeling pilot, sort of a hotshot, and likes to do things his own way. The image he creates is very “early 20th-century flyboy,” and I sort of conceptualized him as a guy who wouldn’t feel out of place if you stuck him in among the cast of “The Rocketeer.” Speech-wise, his alternating between laid back and fired up reminded me of Gundam Wing’s Duo Maxwell, and like that character, Ragna likes to chime in with some tongue-in-cheek commentary if something patently ludicrous or weird happens in the game. Finding characters who are reasonably like the one you’re writing for helps, as does understanding the milieu in which a character exists – what they were doing just before the story began, and what the world around them that shaped them is like.

There are actually a couple characters who have what I termed “Ragna-variant” speaking styles. Ragna’s main vocal tic is that he sometimes truncates words ending in “-ing” (so “nothing” would become “nothin’,” and “fighting” would be “fightin’,” though I tried to generally keep it to one per text box – it’s a spice, not a marinade), so among the expanded cast, you get some people who speak that way because they have similar lifestyles. Odessa, as a rough-and-tumble Treasure Hunter who specializes in capturing bounties, is very colloquial in her faux old-west style. Gashler, who runs the garage out by the airstrip, is a full-bearded, goggled mechanic that sort of reminded me of Cid from Final Fantasy IV, and his speaking style is pretty thick – one of the most affected in the game, though I tried to make it still pretty easy to comprehend. One also has to consider that people who have special styles of speech have certain occasions where that’s either suppressed somewhat, or is expressed with even greater emphasis than normal. Even old man Gashler might speak (mostly) standard English if you dragged him to a black-tie event, but on the other hand, if someone said his workmanship is rubbish, I have no doubt that he’d be cussin’ up a storm, blastin’ furnace-fire, and lettin’ loose with the sort of strange, idiomatic expressions that only grease-stained mechanics know.

Ragna being an unusually “American-feeling” character made him pretty easy to write for right from the start. Alwen took a little more finesse and more time to find her ground – but not because she was difficult in a conventional sense. The trick with Alwen was that she definitely inhabits a certain archetype, at least partially, but I needed to figure out how much of that I needed to accurately represent her, and when to let her individual characteristics shine.

Alwen, as the daughter of an esteemed Trueblood vampire house, can be very prideful, bordering sometimes on haughty. She learns fairly quickly that the world beyond her castle has more complexities than she gave it credit for, but her distance from the world of humans actually gives her some surprising insights. Now, the most common way you see characters like Alwen played are that they step out into the greater world, eventually realize how much they don’t know, and depend on their friends to teach them what it means to really live along the way. Alwen…has some of that, but it’s the way she interfaces with the world that makes her an interesting and fun character. For example, she doesn’t technically NEED to eat food, but likes eating a ton of it (on Ragna’s dime, of course) just because it’s tasty. She’s not afraid to walk right into town and make small talk with the people. Alwen may be a vampire, but she’s refreshingly (and oddly) free of so many of the preconceived expectations people have about what vampires are like. She even calls Ragna out on this early on in the game when he’s shocked that she walks around just fine in the bright morning sunlight. A great deal of Zwei: II’s story is really her story, especially when it comes to getting the ball rolling, and it helps the story greatly to have a character who both entices with a bit of the familiar but also stands out due to individual quirks.

I also did with Alwen a variant of what I did for Laura in Trails of Cold Steel, where I shifted her from talking with a “proper,” antiquated style of speech to a more natural speaking style that still retains the idea that she’s highborn. Coming at this from a lore perspective, Alwen hasn’t been out of her castle in the last 100 years or so and has learned what she knows of the world from her estate’s extensive library, so it would be very feasible for her speaking style to sound older than that of Ragna or the people of Artte. In practice, though, Ragna having a casual style of speech and Alwen’s speech being fairly rigid made it difficult for the comedy to land, and to really connect with Alwen as a character. Can you imagine what Star Wars would’ve been like if Princess Leia spoke like a medieval fantasy princess while trying to banter with Han Solo? That’s the kind of disparity I’m talking about. It might’ve been funny, but for reasons entirely unintended. So after thinking on it a while, I decided to adjust Alwen’s speaking style, dialing it back. My priority was to keep her sounding articulate and well spoken, but casual up the language so that the banter between her and Ragna has the requisite snap it ought to. In my opinion, the net gain from that was well worth the adjustment, which you’ll be able to see for yourself when you play.  

Sort of tangentially related to that, in the Japanese version, Ragna goes through basically the whole game calling Alwen “Princess” (“hime-san”). The best reasoning I could figure is that maybe, having taken on some power from their blood contract, Ragna feels he should acknowledge her as his liege, but…that explanation totally flies in the face of Ragna’s personality. Ragna is a guy for whom there is ONLY a first-name basis (or a nickname if he finds one for you he likes). The most likely explanation is that it’s just the difference between politeness levels in Japanese personal address versus Western personal address, but the title put a certain amount of “distance” between them that I didn’t want to remain there for the duration of the game. The alteration I made to compensate for this was to have Ragna refer to Alwen as “princess” a bit at the very outset of the game, but quickly fall into using her first name, which feels much more natural for the character. To draw the analogy with Star Wars again, think of it as Han Solo going from calling Leia “princess” or “your worship” in a sort of snarky context when he doesn’t really know her to simply calling her “Leia” once he’s spent time with her and knows her as an individual. Plus, with as big a deal as Ragna makes over wanting to work together with Alwen as “equal partners” at the start of the game, it would be weird for him to then go on to refer to her by her royal title for the rest of the game.

This discussion isn’t meant to be a comprehensive retrospective of Zwei: II’s localization, of course; just a list of some of the noteworthy things I grappled with working on the game. Editorial work does have its pressures and difficulties – when the buck basically stops with you, how do you know you’re making the right call? – but ultimately, these kinds of challenges are what keep the job fresh and interesting. The point of all the character personality profiling, the speech styles, the fine-tuning, is for players to be able to sit down and experience a fun story and memorable characters that “just work,” no speculative  microscope examinations of the translation required. I think my obsessive tweaking and spit-polishing will make for a better game experience…but you don’t have to take MY word for it. Give Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection a try when it comes out and see for yourself!

Overworked [Yixing x Reader]

Rating: K+

Warning: None

Word Count: 2193

Wishes: I changed it a little bit, but I hope you like it.  


Originally posted by ilmondodivenneverde

You were having a drink at the bar, your glass half empty as you reminded yourself you needed to spend this time away from your work.  You had to have fun.  Looking around, down at the other end of a bar, sat a man, a very attractive man at that typing away on his computer.  You don’t know if it was the rum, but you were feeling confident.  Walking down to the end of the bar you sat next to him.  He only glanced up once and went back to typing.  Then he suddenly stopped and looked at you again, as if it was his second take, but it took him a couple of seconds to register to take one.  He gave a slight smile, bowing.  

“Can I help you?”  He took a sip of his own drink.  

“What are you having?”  

“Vodka Tonic.”  He placed it down, his interest in you slightly growing.  

“Are you working?”  he closed his laptop turning to face you.  

“At this very moment no.”  He held out his hand.  

“Yixing.”  

“___.”    You take his hand, both of you slowly shaking it.  He doesn’t let go for a little as he just smiles at you.  Releasing his hand, he slowly moves his back as well.

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owlsshadows  asked:

3,5,17,21 aaand there was one more I wanted to ask but I forgot so I'm just gonna ask again!^^

3. name three favorite writers

I’m going to stay within the obiyuki fandom for this one instead of going to my library shelves… *cracks knuckles* : 

@sabraeal, naturally. She is my writing buddy and I love her deeply. Plus, she knows EXACTLY how to murder my ass.

@infinitelystrangemachinex - Shares stories once in a blue moon but slays every single time I can’t even how do you do that? (pls do it some more?)

@xaphrin - Hnnnnnnggggggg, this woman. This woman destroys me ALL THE TIME with all the lovely goodness (She’s also one of my favorite readers! Because she gets SO MAD AT ME :D )


And here’s where I break the rules because AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA MY BLOG I DO WHAT I WANT XD XD XD

In alphabetical order:

@akai-vampire - Putting out some of the SWEETEST stories that I feel like I need to book an appointment with the dentist. Girl is gonna give me some cavities, I swear.

@another-miracle - Has dared to put onto the screen the hurt/comfort follow up fic that we all wanted, we all craved. I have it saved in my inbox so I can have feelings about it regularly.

@azalearhoden - Writes some amazing prose of short moments glued together into something gorgeous and beautiful that I would have never thought of!

@codango​ - Freakin HOW DARE YOU WITH THIS COWBOY OBI THING THAT I DID NOT KNOW THAT I WANT BUT NOW I DO SO VERY MUCH (Also, newspaper editor Obi was v v hot :D )

@claudeng80 - Has a million ideas and puts them to paper in record time! There’s too many stories for me to wrap her up into one sentence!

@jaygirl987 - From short hot scenes to her first multi-chapter fic that is turning into something epic, I love her stuff!

@k-itsmaywriting - Freakin amazing woman who puts out the most beautiful AU’s. I love it when she can come to play and I hate to see her leave, but school is the most important, yo!

@kaedix - Writes the sweetest stories, from mama and papa Obiyuki to the Mall AU that I am still dying over almost a year later.

@krispy-kream - I don’t know how many times I have seen this one post and I have been LITERALLY TERRIFIED to click on the link because she DESTROYS ME WITH HALF A SENTENCE. (No, seriously, I still can’t get through this without tearing up)

@lalesath - Has written ONE GORGEOUS, FEELS INDUCING FIC for us, but there is more trapped away in her computer. I feelz it in my bones. Won’t you feed us? XD

@littleaverill - Puts out some amazing ficlets that have you begging for more! I wish I could write like her…

@maverae​ - Has written ONE fic to share with the class, BUT I KNOW SHE IS HIDING MORE FROM US. Give us your delicious prose! We are hungry little things!

@nebluus - Has STILL written my all time favorite Obiyuki fic, Blizzard. That story gives me all the feely feels in my little shipper heart.

@nonstopdoodle - Girl is filled with fantasy and writes the COOLEST AU’s. I love them all so much.

@obiisms - I lovelovelove her Meaning of Trust fic on AO3 you don’t even know how much. She takes hard subjects and just delivers.

@obiwannabemylover - Made a fantastic fic filled with everything that my little shipper heart could ever want. It was lovely and beautiful and WE ARE STILL HUNGRY FOR MORE :D :D :D

@onoheiwa​ - Hnnnnnnggggggggg writes some of the most amazing short stories. I die over her arranged marriage fic (Did not know this was a thing of mine, BUT I GUESS IT IS A THING)

@ruleofexception - I wanna say she is our FASTEST writer, throwing out some amazing fics within a day and cutting through ALL the BS!

@vivianwisteria - Our newest Obiyuki writer with such amazing characterization and execution of storylines, I am in awe


And I haven’t even begun to touch our amazing artists, editors, translators, scanners, and FANS. You are all so fantastic and make this fandom the beautiful thing that it is!

(I hope I didn’t miss anybody. If I missed you, tell me! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH)


5. since how long do you write?

Umm… I’ve written since I was very young, but I stopped writing fiction around 12 or 13 and only picked it back up within the last year.


17. favorite au to write

If we’re not talking about my canon-esk series on AO3, then I am a little torn. Hmmm…. Mob AU has a fantastic backstory, but so does Stumptowne. Ohhhh… I dunno? I think I really like my Bakery AU right now because it’s going to be the most challenging to write.


21. least favorite character to write

If you asked me six months ago, I would have said Zen, but I’ve spent a good amount of time writing with him now and I think I got the hang of him. Umm… I’m thinking I would probably have a hard time with Izana now, primarily because I haven’t spent so much time in his head.


lol. That was probably more than what you were looking for, but thank you for asking!

thisisemobuddy  asked:

Yo, question, im self publishing a short story but how the actual f do i go up to editors and be like, hey so heres my finished manuscript can u check my spelling and stuff without making me wanna chuck it in the river and never write again??? Im extremely anxious about it but i dont want to just have friends proofread my manuscript. 😢😢😢

Depends on what you want to hire them for, is it copy of proofing or both?
(Copy being they are checking for consistency and plot holes and may recommend restructures or suggested edits to improve the text, proofing being “yep your spelling and grammar are correct, here you go!”) 

Usually when people want to hire me they want both, they just don’t know how to word it. Which is why I will always ask them “what do you want from this editing experience”. Do you want me to pick apart the story to make sure it all fits back together again, or do you just want me to make sure it’s well punctuated and spelled correctly? Sometimes they’ll start out with “oh just grammar and spelling is fine, I think I’ve got everything pretty down, but y’know if you have any suggestions” which is when I have to very gently tell them they actually want a copy edit, and this will be a lengthier process than me going through it on a speed run basis. So also allowing yourself ample time to have it edited before a deadline, is a good idea. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve agreed to a project, asked them when they want it by and the email I get back says “well the deadline for open submissions ends tomorrow so if you could just” and I have to tell them no, this is not a thing that will be happening.

You may also want to ask your editor to do a read through first (offer to pay, even if they don’t want payment for it, it’s still the polite thing to do) to see if they have any suggestions as to what you can fix before they start combing through it with a fine tooth comb. This will also give you a vague idea of how they work as an editor and their approach to criticism. 

Some editors only ever leave the negative feedback, short little sentences at the side like “This doesn’t work, fix it.” which to my mind, is one of the least helpful comments you can leave at the side of something. But I’ve also worked with editors who do that and shrug when you tell them that and say “it’s not my place to spoon feed them, if they can’t figure it out they shouldn’t be writing” which I mean, that’s one way to get your coffee spiked I suppose.

Personally I like to let the author know I am enjoying their work. It helps boost their morale a little bit, and means when you do need to tell them “hey this doesn’t really work”, it can soften the blow because I know, I know it’s so easy to look at something and hear “this is shit, why did you even write this”, when what I am actually trying to tell you is “you’ve written something really good here but this part lets it down, why not try rewriting this or consider cutting it entirely”. I have actively squeed in the comments section of manuscripts when I have figured something out or when the characterization is on point, and part of this is because I am expressive, but another part is because I just love words, I love seeing the clever ways people fit them together and I really don’t see the point in not telling someone they did a good job. 

So, how do you approach an editor? Send them an email.

“Hi, my name is XYZ and I was hoping to engage your services for a final draft of my manuscript which I hope to self publish/submit to a magazine/competition/open submissions call/pitch to an agent*. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy/literary/romance/contemporary piece and I’m primarily looking for copy/proofing workand was wondering about your rates. I have an open timeline/approaching deadline so a rough estimate of how long you think it would take would also be welcome. If you’d like to review the manuscript first I would be amenable to paying a reading fee for your time.
Thank you, I hope to hear from you and look forward to working with you,
Best, XYZ.”

Or as some people do on here “ @ joy I need help lmao how much money do I need to throw at you to fix this???” which has also worked :P

(*these are important distinctions to make, it helps us to tweak your work)

anonymous asked:

Could you analyze takada kenta and kim taedong? I really appreciate your pd101 analyzing, thank you!

hey there! i can definitely do takada kenta but unfortunately, dont got much (read: anything) on kim taedong

kenta though wow, underrated as heck amirite. i didn’t even notice him until i was bored one time and searched up the rest of the trainee auditions in the first episode and realised that he covered taemin’s sayonara hitori???? it’s such a hard song to sing and dance to at the same time because WHEN DO YOU BREATHE

what im coming to here is  - he’d talented. like a perspeverance and hardwork kind of talented not plain old gifted. which is great because thats a great PR strategy to work anyone’s way up to the top in this show. if only he knew how to use it this poor boy has no idea about manipulating the public does he?

its truly unfortunate that he doesn’t have any sad stories that would catch the eye of mnet’s editors because he is just straight up talented and hard working idol. a young boy away from home, knows what he wants to do and working hard at it. so there is no evil story spin on him or an emotional one. but i truly did like his dynamic with hong eunki. the two of them show a lot of behind the scenes hard work you know? like they’re cool with not getting the limelight. they seem to be the show to genuinely learn and grow as artists. from what i see, kenta feels like a “lets focus on the task at hand” kind of person. probably not a fan of thinking of the bigger picture, likes to go through his day one thing at a time. such a simple minded ajhusshi he is

also a very good and liberal leader material. he isnt as fiercely leader-ish like some of the other trainees are probably because he’d do it for his group members and not for himself. but what i can see clearly is that he has a strong grasp on the seniority hierarchy in korea, he respects people older or younger than him and that says a lot about his character.

such a baby squish, one of the innocent ones on this show along with the musical genius in the “If It Were You” team (seriously though, how did he not make it through the eliminations??? he knew musical theory!!!1)

Originally posted by daewi

On pitching.

One of my favorite things about editing is finding new voices. It was my focus for my entire year at Thought Catalog — though it wasn’t necessarily my job description at the time, it was something I naturally fell into — and it’s something I’m really looking forward to doing at my new job at Teen Vogue. I like hearing what other people have to say. I like considering angles and takes that I wouldn’t necessarily think of or argue — that’s why I’m assigning the piece out to you, the writer, instead of taking it on myself. But in finding new voices comes what is easily the worst part of the entire writing process: The pitch.

And it’s something that nobody really teaches you how to do.

This is, in part, because English courses at colleges can vary widely in their usefulness — like, seriously, that poetry workshop I took junior year where we talked about the color of clouds for half a semester?!?! — and also because no two editors like to be pitched the same. It takes time and effort to nail down an all-purpose formula that is the least offensive to the greatest amount of editors, but in my experience on both the writing and editing sides, there are a few things that help.

Please note that these preferences do not reflect my employers in any way, and are just the habits of a very, very type-A neurotic.

1. Take a stance. It doesn’t have to be the hottest take this side of the sun or even the most novel spin on the same tired subject everyone is writing about, but it does have to be a stance. Have an opinion. Pick an angle. Find a catchy way to worm your way in. And don’t be afraid to back it up, no matter how absurd it may seem. 

2. Flesh it out. A headline is all well and good, but signing up for that could be a recipe for disaster. You could go literally anywhere with a headline, and I might need to kill a piece if I take that risk. Send me a paragraph instead explaining what it is you want to talk about and why. Hook me in. Make me want to know more. This can be 100 words, it can be the first half of your piece. As long as you explain your stance fully enough to convince me to see the rest of it, we’re good.

3. Please don’t ask me what kind of pitches I’m “looking for.” The short answer: I don’t know. The long answer: I don’t know, but I’ll know when you tell me what it is! Really. It’s often as simple as a gut feeling. I will know what I’m looking for when you tell me what it is I’ve been looking for all along.

Full disclaimer: I’m guilty of this, too. I used to do this all the time, and would reach out to editors blindly, introducing myself and asking if they’d give me a little insight. They are too busy to give you insight. Take a look around at their website, and things they’ve published lately. Draft up a few pitches off of what you’ve seen around. Even if they’re all wildly off base, I can at least give you a reason why. I can’t give you a reason why off of nothing. Trust me — I’ll appreciate a wild stab in the dark more than an open-ended inquiry any day. 

(And while I really, really appreciate people who reach out to introduce themselves out of the blue, there is about a 0.5% chance I will remember your name and area of expertise when it comes to assigning a piece on a deadline. I just can’t separate one email out of the rest. Bylines and clips are important, and they give you a bit of pull, but ideas are important, too. Mostly, I’m interested in those.)

4. Remember that I might not always be able to provide feedback. I try to. I really like providing feedback, partially because that’s how I always grew as a writer. When people would ask me questions and back me into a hole where I had to explain my way out and really stand by my ideas, that’s when I’d create the most fully-formed argument. And I’d like to think I’m good at providing feedback! The main way I measure whether I’m a good editor is if I help you become a stronger writer — the best writer you can be in that piece and in that moment. I’d like to think I’m not bad at it, but IDK, I’ll let other people I’ve edited chime in on that verdict.

… All of that said, sometimes I might not be able to explain why I made changes to a piece, or why pitches aren’t the right fit, whether because it’s a long day and I’m busy, or because it’s just not part of the greater scope of what we’re trying to achieve. Please understand that I might not always be able to give you my insight, so sometimes just taking another stab at another pitch later in the week or month is for the best. It never hurts to ask why, but pressing the issue isn’t a cute look. 

5. Ask yourself if the angle you’re taking is the strongest one. I’m putting this next to last because seriously, go back to step 1 and ask yourself this again. If you’re working on an evergreen story, does it have a timely peg? If it’s a more time-sensitive piece, would you read this a month or even a year from now? See if you can expand it. The longer a piece can live on, the more I like it.

6. Make friends. This is by far the most useful thing I’ve ever learned how to do, and I chalk it up to my hometown’s motto of it being all about who you know. (I mean, you have to have talent, too, but knowing people helps.) Follow people on Twitter. Engage with them. Engage with the stories they post. Show an interest not only in them, but in the site you want to write for. Make yourself memorable, and then pitch them. It was sort of sneaky, but I would often build up a rapport with editors before pitching them, but it worked in my favor because then they already knew who I was, and they had a better idea of my humor, my stances, and what I was capable of. 

(It also lead to a lot of people emailing me out of the blue asking if I’d share my contacts so they themselves could pitch them, and like, just please don’t do this. Your writer friends worked hard to make their connections. Make your own. They’ll be stronger for it. And you’ll look like a less awful, opportunistic leech if you don’t email only when your writer friend has a super awesome byline. Really. That’s suspect every time.) 

TL;DR, I don’t bite, and I want to hear from you. Please say hi, even if it’s just on Instagram. Even if I don’t work with you now, we might work together in the future. Who knows — maybe one day I’ll be pitching stories to you.

Help me find a photo editor?

Okay, so I have this idea for what to do for my grandparents for Christmas this year. They only have one photo of their wedding day (the rest all burned in a house fire in the 90’s). They were married back in the 50’s, so the photo is in black and white.

I want to find someone who can edit this photo into color so I can present it to them in a way they’ve never seen it before. Would you please share this and help me find a credible and talented person who could do this? Thanks!

anonymous asked:

I'm trying to write something with modern hitmen/assassins. Anything really important I might have looked over while researching?

Okay, if I’m being honest, there is no possible way I can answer this question. My psychic powers have failed me. I don’t know what research you’ve done nor how exhaustive it was. As a result, I don’t have any idea what you might have missed.

I can point you at our relevant tags for assassins and writing them. But, I can’t tell you what your research covered or failed to cover. There’s simply, no way for me to know that.

As with any kind of research, the first thing you’re going to want to do is start by identifying the core literature from the field. You can do this by simply looking at the Wikipedia references, and then following up with those. (The actual Wikipedia articles are usually worthless for research, but what the editors cited can be a valuable starting place.) Once you’ve started reading those sources, see what multiple sources reference. If someone’s worth talking about, then they’re probably worth reading. If no one’s referencing what you’re starting with, then it may be a sign that the source isn’t really that important. If it is cited, it will either be important information for the subject, or controversial. The tone of their citations should tell you which.

While you’re doing that, keep track of who the respective authors are. Those biographies slapped on the dust jacket are a good place to start. You don’t need to know everything about them, but if you’re looking at someone who spent decades in law enforcement or the intelligence community, they’re probably more reliable and useful than a random fan of 47 who mostly posts on Gamefaqs or a housewife from New Jersey publishing under a pseudonym.

Obviously, this will be easier if you’re in an academic environment, and have access to scholarly articles, though even without that, the basic framework is solid. Though, you might have to hit an actual library to find some of the material you need.

If you didn’t do any of that, then the answer will be, “a lot.”

-Starke

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Well, while The Voyage of the Kaus Media is at the editor’s, I figured I’d have some fun and put together a personality quiz featuring the main protagonists! (But not the main antagonist ‘cause he’s a secret.) Want to know which character most resembles you? Answer these questions and find out! All you need to do is keep track of the letter (or letters) that corresponds to each of your answers (or at least remember which letter you got the most of).

Keep reading

“Don’t rewrite someone’s work how YOU would have written it. That isn’t editing. Editing is bringing out the best of the story in line with the author’s voice, tone and goal.” - Amanda Pillar 

I have seen too many non-professional people who fancy themselves to be editors (and a couple of pro editors) fail at this very thing. Not to mention editors confusing ‘editing advice’ with ‘emotionally abusing a writer.’ If your editor - after you get back rewrites and notes - makes you feel like you want to write less, sweat bullets over the idea of writing, stress out about writing ‘right’ or feel like the process of creating is becoming only more and more painful over time, ditch them, and ditch them fast. Not everyone gets notes they like (that is the point of editing, after all), but you always have the right to reject anything that doesn’t click, and you should always walk away from a collaboration with an editor feeling stronger, not weaker.

I’m very fortunate that I got to interact with professional, lauded editors of great projects at university, and then later on in life as I pursued varied professional projects. All in all, I’ve probably met about 20-30 editors over the years, and I’ve learned much, including what a good editor won’t do to you or your work. I’ve had the privilege to work with professional editors on different published works (from poetry, to short stories, and now onto novels - some award winning and nominated) and I know how this process is supposed to go. I’ve seen too many authors and authors-who-don’t-know-better get crushed by people who believe they know best for a story and really don’t. 

Remember - You always have the right to ask for a new editor at a publishing house if your visions don’t mesh (and they won’t always). You always have the right to pull your work from an editor if they are destroying your work (it does happen, and I’ve recently seen one publisher in particular begin to fall apart because of this). A relationship with an editor should be collaborative. The editor needs to be consummately respectful of the author’s concept of style, execution. Ultimately an editor is there to assist a writer in the writer’s own work, not sneak their own voice and style into someone else’s work. The latter is not making a work stronger, but making it into something twisted. The true collaboration is when two people come together to make the original story shine in the way the author always intended it to, and the editor knows exactly what to bring to make that happen. 

An editor who insists brutality is key is not a professional. They go against most codes of ethics in many editing organisations in the world. An editor who uses abusive language is not a professional. An editor who tells you ‘this is how real editing is’ when they aren’t a member of an Editing Society and do not have an Editing Degree and don’t have any published books behind them is grandstanding. They are also lying to you about what the editing industry is like. Don’t believe me? Ask an editor affiliated with a Society with multiple published books behind them. An editor who is proud of their ability to be brutal above and beyond respecting the author’s voice, is an editor who enjoys the feeling of being right (whether or not they are) above respecting your creative work and passion.

If you tried to write the equivalent of a rose quartz, and your editor insists you need to be writing the equivalent of a smokey quartz - do yourself a favour, get the fuck out. 

anonymous asked:

hey there! I've been following this blog for a little while now (I believe I found you when you started posting - lucky me!) and I was wondering if you have any tips on editing, since I make anime backgrounds! I've been stuck in the same place for a little while new, and I'm not really making progress, so I wanted to get some tips from editors I really like! Thank you so so much and keep up the great work!💖💖☺️

Anon you’re too kind, thank you for the nice words! ☺ I bet you do lovely work already, but I’d be happy to give you some advice! My first would be to definitely get ideas from people you look up to, but don’t just copy them! Inspiration from people you look up to can really help! It can also be a base to possibly build off of! Like, I aspire to edit like this person, and that’s my goal! But again! Copying isn’t what I mean by this, everyone has their own unique style! My other would be to just practice! Try new techniques, see which ones you like, and which ones you don’t! And finally I’d just say to have fun! Edits are a fun way to show your interests along with a talent you enjoy! They should be made as a way to make others happy and to also please yourself! <3

I hope this was helpful to you lovely! Have a terrific day! 😘

A Month Later (Carol 2015)

Therese stood next to the kitchen counter in the dark of night, nudging at photos developing in fluid. She leaned against the marble top, chin resting in hand as she waited for the image to appear in the moonlight. It had been a month since she had moved into Carol’s apartment on Madison Ave, and she’d been enjoying herself, considering the circumstance. While she had agreed to move in, Therese was very much a different woman than when she and Carol had first met. Gone was the naivety, the whimsy of inexperience and saying yes to everything. That was a new point of hers to correct; to not blindly agree to everything that crossed her path.

She knew she was playing it safe, keeping her cards to her heart more than she had been during their prior relations, she wasn’t such an open book anymore, but the photographer was trying, honestly, to work past the barriers she’d set up in the first place. It was hard for her to immediately trust Carol again, and she wasn’t so sure if she entirely did, though she felt that she was getting there.

Carol could tell that Therese was different. Still the woman that she’d fallen in love with of course, but she was jumpy, almost restless. After a month of living there, the sense of it had dulled somewhat; they were working back to what their normal had been, but perhaps a more balanced sense of it.

The sound of bare feet against the hardwood padding their way into the kitchen caught Therese’s attention, and she tensed for a moment. Carol walked to her, wrapping her manicured hands around Therese’s waist and pulling the younger woman up from the hunched position at the counter, Therese’s back to her front in a warm embrace. Carol rested the side of her face against the curve of Therese’s neck, exhaling. Therese could smell the perfume she’d put on that morning, though hours had past, and she would swear to anyone that it smelled just as wonderful as the first time it had, every single time.

“I thought you’d gone to bed,” Therese murmured, her heart beating a pace slower, calm in Carol’s arms.

“I can never sleep right without you,” Carol explained, kissing the spot behind her lover’s ear. “All these late nights are bad for your health, you know.” A beat of silence passed. “Come to bed, love,” she encouraged the idea with another kiss, this time to Therese’s neck.

Therese swayed into her lover, wanting to concede defeat in her exhaustion, humming in thought. She groaned in irritation, knowing that she couldn’t leave the photos in the fluid overnight, “I have to finish these; my editor wants them in his office tomorrow morning.”

Carol, unaffected by the refusal, simply let her left hand wander to the drawer underneath the countertop, slipping out two cigarettes from a pack and sticking one in her mouth. “Well then, if we must be up so late, then we may as well have a midnight treat.” She smiled at Therese knowingly, pressing the second cigarette between her lover’s fingers before rummaging in the drawer again for a lighter. Therese covered Carol’s hand in the drawer, drawing out the lighter herself for the two of them. She lit Carol’s, her hands so close to the woman’s face that she could feel her body heat after the lighter had served it’s purpose.

Carol’s almond shaped eyes looked at her, the glance unwavering, and her cool grey irises enhanced in the moonlight of the window. The older woman inhaled deeply, exhaling away from Therese; she found it rude to blow smoke in the face of others, regardless if they were smoking as well. Taking her lit cigarette, she brought it down to Therese’s own to light hers with the burning ash. The act was strangely intimate to Therese, and she felt a warmth pool in the pit of her stomach, her cheeks turning pink in a quick blush. She raised the cigarette to her lips, anxious to calm herself down. Carol caught her free hand in her own, running her pink, polished thumb, over the back of Therese’s hand, noting the sparse vibrations it was presenting.

“You’re trembling.” She breathed, her voice low, as though her lover were a frightened animal.

Therese took in a shaky breath, eyes closed, recalling the last time she’d been told that. Taking a long drag on her cigarette, she breathed most of it out in a sigh, just as shaky as before, and part of it in a cough. Carol brought her arm around her to support the brunette, leading her away from the counter and towards the couch to sit. The brunette allowed it, fatigued from lack of sleep and trembling with anxiety. Carol pulled Therese to her, gently, allowing her young lover to rest on the angle of her body as support, her breasts making comfortable pillow for Therese’s head.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” Carol asked her, voice tender, running her fingers though her lover’s straight, brunette locks in an attempt to soothe.

Therese couldn’t have explained why she said what she was about to say; perhaps this was her underlying issue throughout their entire reconnection as a couple and it was simply rearing it’s head as an issue. She closed her eyes, wrapping her arms tightly around Carols frame, and whimpered,  “Please don’t leave me again.”

Carol’s heart sunk with guilt, feeling firsthand what kind of damage she’d done to this young woman when she ripped herself out of her life. She’d intended it to be clean, like ripping off a Band-Aid; easier done quickly and not dwelled on. Of course, that hadn’t been the case; and the two of them had lost so much in the process. Tossing her cigarette in the ashtray on the coffee table, she wrapped her arms around Therese tight, so tight that she wasn’t entirely sure where her forearms ended and Therese’s body began.

“I will never, ever, leave you, Therese Belivet. I swear it to you. I swear on my life. I swear it on Rindy.” Carol meant it, she really did. She could not imagine a life without Therese, could not fathom the scenario as any possibility of her future. “I love you so much, sweet Therese,” She kissed the top of her lover’s head, then her forehead, moving further down until she kissed her firmly, seriously, on the lips. It felt like fire. “I love you so much that it aches my heart to see you so distraught.”

With one hand still firmly around Therese’s middle, she used her other to wipe away tears with the pads of her thumbs from her brunette’s eyes. “My angel, flung out of space…” Therese snuggled closer to Carol’s chest, craving the sense of security and the feeling of the other woman’s body against her own, the photos forgotten about entirely. She sniffled, swallowing despite the lump in her throat from crying. Carol held her tighter.

Kissing her on the forehead again, Carol began to sing low, just loud enough for Therese to hear, loud enough for the vibrations of her chest to calm her lover’s racing heart.

This is a thing I’ve never known before…” Carol sung slowly and easy, running her fingers through Therese’s hair again, lightly scratching at her scalp with her fingernails, “It’s called easy livin’” Her hand moved lower to massage the brunette’s neck, seeking to remove the tension she found so readily.

“This is a place I’ve never seen before… and I’ve been forgiven,” She would let the last syllable linger on for each line, keeping her pace slow and melodic, calming her distraught lover. “Easy livin’ and I’ve been forgiven, since you’ve taken your place in my heart,” In her head, she could hear the piano Therese played this on for her, during one of their first meeting. She smiled as she sang, nostalgia tickling at her heartstrings.

“Somewhere along the lonely road,” Carol continued, and Therese breathed in deep, soaking up Carol’s scent into her lungs to send her senses into overdrive, listening to Carol’s low, almost husky voice, “I had tried to find ya,”

Carol understood long ago why Therese had chosen this song to play and give to her, and she’d never stopped associating them with it. “Day after day on the windy road I had walked behind ya,” She kissed Therese’s temple.

“Easy livin and I’ve been forgiven, since you’ve taken your place in my heart.” Carol was almost sure that she could hear Therese sing along with her, in a whisper, but she decided not to draw attention to it. Whatever brought her soul mate some peace. “Waiting, watching, wishing my whole life away…” She gave another kiss for her sweetheart, this time on the part of her hair. The blonde pulled an afghan from the top of the couch, laying it over the two of them. “Dreaming, thinking, ready for my happy day, and some easy livin’” Carol smiled, relieved that Therese had stopped visibly shaking, save for the occasional tremor; her tears had nearly stopped as well.

Somewhere along the lonely road I had tried to find you”, Carol could definitely tell that Therese was singing with her now, still quiet, but louder, stronger than before. “Day after day on the windy road I had walked behind you,”

Therese looked up at Carol, her eyes red-rimmed from crying, but they were currently dry. She cracked a shy smile as they both sang in tandem “Easy livin’ and I’ve been forgiven, since you’ve taken your place…” Therese shifted closer to Carol’s face, “in,” their mouths were near touching, “my” both of them could feel each other’s breath, “heart.”

Carol, not wanting to force the kiss, let Therese take the lead here. Her lover did not disappoint; she closed the gap between the two of them, kissing Carol passionately and with fervor. Her hands found themselves in blonde hair, gripping loosely, not wanting to be apart from any part of Carol. She wanted to breathe her in, to taste her, to feel hear and hear her. Therese wanted Carol in every part of her senses; she wanted to know nothing but Carol. She pulled back an inch to breathe before diving in again, biting at Carol’s lower lip and making the older woman moan throatily.

So engulfed with Carol in her senses, Therese almost didn’t notice when she breathed out, “I love you,” as it came so naturally to her in the moment. She realized that Carol was exactly what she wanted; nothing else but Carol. Carol froze, immobile. She had professed her love a fair number of times to Therese, and she knew that Therese must love her too, but it had never been professed aloud. Carol stared her grey eyes into Therese’s hazel ones, stuck in shock, then she begun to smile, grinning widely and pulling Therese to her to kiss her hard. Therese realized what she’d said, the weight of holding it in having lifted. She grinned, her chest feeling airy and light; full of Carol Aird. “I love you.” She repeated, kissing Carol’s neck. “I love you, I love you, I love you!” There was weightlessness to her, and she couldn’t repeat the phrase enough. Each time, Carol felt warmth spread through her insides, as though she’d taken a shot of whiskey, or drank an entire pot of tea.

The two whispered their devotion of love back and forth to one another until exhaustion took them, embraced in each other’s arms, asleep with smiling faces.

Sugaru Miaki & loundraw: "Azure and Claude" Creator Discussion

A two-part interview with Sugaru Miaki and the artist loundraw regarding the upcoming Azure and Claude manga. (Also, the start of the first part mentions another announcement from two days prior: a Three Days of Happiness manga, drawn by Shoichi Taguchi, published online in Shounen Jump+.)

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100.000 FOLLOWERS - THANK YOU !!

Thanks everyone for supporting ARCHITAGS and giving an architecture blog such an important space in your life. I’m really happy, because ARCHITAGS is a very special place for me. It’s a space where achitecture and design meet unprecedented ideas, pioneering solutions, tradition, nature, fun and a touch of zen. 

I want to give a big thank you to all my fellow architecturebloggers and editors for giving ARCHITAGS a “voice” and spot in the tumblrverse- you know who you are! 

Finally let me share my 100K cake with you all.- my friends gave it to me as a special present. I feel very honored to have them and you guys in my life. 

Enjoy Every Day, Design, Learn, Laugh, Respect Others and Live your Life to the Fullest ! 

The Proposal - Chapter 4/?

Summary:  Dan Howell is the executive chief of a very known company which deals with publishing best seller books. He is hated but everyone in the office but everyone is too scared of him to say anything, unless they want to get fired. Phil Lester is his assistant. As much as he hates Dan and the way he treats him, Phil keeps quiet because of his dream of becoming an editor. When Dan learns that he might be facing deportation charges because of his expired visa, he convinces Phil to marry him in order for all charges to be dropped. The plan is to get a divorce after a few years but a weekend spent in Phil’s family house might just change both their plans, and the way they think.

Read it on AO3

A/N: First of all, I’ll start by apologising for the very long wait. It’s been a crazy few months so I desperately needed a break but I love ‘The Proposal’ with all my heart so I promise that at no point did I even consider abandoning it.

To make up for my very long absence I wrote a longer chapter then usual (4,299 words!!) and I think quite a bit happens in this one. It’s actually my favourite so far and I loved writing it so I hope you love reading it just as much! 

Anyways, I’ve left you waiting long enough and I’m pretty sure you’ll kill me if I leave you waiting any more so enjoy Chapter 4 of 'The Proposal’!

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Amy Gray: Successful pitch examples and understanding editors

If I were Leslie Knope, I would constantly refer to Amy Gray as a generous, smart and genius-level ginger tabby cat. Her bylines are many, her game is strong, and she has kindly agreed to share some of her past successful pitches, with commentary. (And basically tips on everything else, too.) She has given us not one, not two, not three, but SIX WHOLE PITCHES to look at with wonder. We thank you, Amy. LAP IT UP, ALL! And follow Amy on Twitter.

I am a full time freelance writer. My time is spent either pitching or thinking about pitches. I aim for 3 to 5 articles per week, which can mean up to 7 pitches or more per week.

Understanding Editors

Most articles are an attempt to answer a question the writer is tumbling over in their head. The trick is to convince editors your question is an interesting one.

First up, you’re not just submitting work from a remote place to an organisation. You’re pitching to a person. You should be trying to develop a relationship with editors. Get to know them and how they work.

The more you write, the more your pitches will vary based on your relationship with the editor. You get to know them better and – through that constant agitation of acceptance and rejection – you learn what gets them interested, how they respond and how they work. Plus, they get to know you and will start contacting you with specific commissions.

Central to this is understanding that most editors are completely overworked and haven’t got time to hold anyone’s hands. Your job isn’t just to write, your job is to somehow make an editor’s job easier: your pitch needs to arrive in a format that suits them, at a time that suits them, and gives them the information they need to make a decision for an audience you had better understand.

Understand their schedules – when do they have their daily/weekly meeting to discuss stories? Get your pitches a minimum of two hours before (more applicable for print news op-ed).

Understand what they want – not only by reading their publications but, if possible, meeting or talking with them and finding out their interests. This is where you discover their pet interests and preferred working style, information that helps refine your pitch. Can’t talk or meet with them? Read their social media for clues.

Understand what you want to say – what is the topic and how will you answer it? Unless you have at least 3 months of regular writing with them under your belt, there should be no surprises between pitch and submitted piece. Tell them the issue, your argument and if there are particular elements you’re going to include.

The easier you make an editor’s life, the more likely you are to get published.

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I got my first novel rejection letter today! \(^_^)/

If you were following me in April you might remember at some point I decided to start writing a novel, and I posted daily wordcounts for awhile until I decided it was annoying you all and stopped doing that. 

I finished the thing around the end of June, I wasn’t super proud of it and actually hated most of it and thought it was boring and lame but it was a FINISHED THING and since I’ve never done the novel thing before I just wanted to get out there and so I submitted it to a publisher, just to see what they’d say.

So today I got a letter back from an editor and they declined my manuscript. And then something really cool happened that I didn’t expect, they gave me feedback on what didn’t work and why. Coming from a point where I strongly disliked the finished thing to begin with, I have a bunch of new ideas to rework it and have a better idea of what they’re looking for. 

Thank you all for liking those wordcount posts/replying to them with encouragement /messaging me with support while I was doing this, it really meant a lot. It’s been a great learning process and I’m going to incorporate a lot of these things into the second novel I started and also the reboot of this one.