Saturday, October 25, 2014

Editing Your Stories

How many stories do you have in your heart, waiting to be told?

What keeps you from telling them?

Sometimes you start to write and it gets too complicated and the characters don't do what you want them to do and the locations aren't clear and the timelines won't fit and you begin to lose track and you give up, because you can't onto the page what you see in your mind.

Sometimes you get that right. It's all in order and the characters behave. But there's something missing, a spark, a voice.

Sometimes you've got it all: a great story and a clear voice. But you don't know where the hell all that punctuation is supposed to go.

Every author needs an editor. I know this because I'm an editor. And a proofreader. And a story editor. I've edited two books and proofread countless other works. And I would never publish without the help of a professional who is not me. (Okay, maybe I'd publish a blog post.) But when I speak about getting an extra pair of eyes to look at my work, I'm speaking about professional eyes in someone else's head. Extra eyes on my own head would look too odd even for me.

So I've teamed up with my favorite editor and writing teacher, John Sandel, to provide editing services, from proofreading to structure to story editing. John is also signing up students for Script Kitchen, a class to help you structure and finish your full-length story, like a novel or screenplay. You can take Script Kitchen online or in person.

Take a look at our new Editing Services page and tell us what you think. What should we call it, for example? And if you've got a story in you that needs to come out, let us know how we can help you find your voice.


William Kendall said...

I'm not sure about a name for it, but I might go with a different toned background colour for the editing page.

altadenahiker said...

Congrats; what an adventure. And if I actually write the post that's swimming around in my head, I'll link to you. That's a half-promise.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, William, I'll take a look.

A half-promise is superb, Karin.

Speedway said...

One of these days, if I ever get my big story together, I'll be in touch. I promise. What I have in mind would make an excellent film, so would be well-suited for the services you and John provide.

Now may I ask a question, sort of in jest? I'm not much of a Mouse fan and I rarely watch The Simpsons. I guess animated film just doesn't engage me. What is "Tenchi Muyo!"? Is that your character, the series, or the genre? A former co-worker was into anime. I watched a couple videos, loved the the beautifully done backgrounds, but thought the characters were flat and stiff in comparison. I haven't watched any since.

Ms M said...

Excellent! A great team!

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi Speedway, We look forward to your story!

The genre is anime. The series is Tenchi Muyo! The character is Ryoko. Anime's been around for a long time, It picked up steam in the 1990s, when I recorded the show, and it seems to be having a resurgence. It's not for everyone. But as is true in anything else, different series have different qualities, and you can't judge the whole genre by one series.

Thank you, Ms M.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

How will you ever find time to write? You must have an Eagles focus. If I had that many balls in the air I'd be drawing in post-it notes.

Petrea Burchard said...

It's about making a living while writing, PA, and since I like editing and proofreading this seems a good way to do it.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

After rereading my comment, you can see who needs an editor.


Petrea Burchard said...

I'm not here to critique those who comment. Wouldn't that be awful? "You should have put a comma there," and "The colon is preferred over the em dash here."

Ann Erdman said...

I keep trying to free myself from a combined 40 years of writing advertising copy, news releases and corporate/government publications.

One day recently at Corner Bakery in Hastings Ranch with my laptop, I was inspired to write my impressions of several people there and their actions, then turn each entry into the opening paragraph of a novel or short story. It was a fun exercise that took me out of that professional writing zone.

Petrea Burchard said...

Ann, what a great idea! If I were teaching right now I'd assign that as an exercise.