K. Ceres Wright

Self-Editing for (Business) Writers: Five Steps

by , on
Oct 29, 2012

It is often said that writing is rewriting. With that adage in mind, the following tips are offered to aid in self-editing (or rewriting) to produce purposeful, concise, error-free writing.

1. Distance yourself from your document

Put your work aside for a few hours or even a few days. Don’t try to edit your own writing as soon as you’re done. It’s too fresh in your mind and you will read what you think you wrote and not what you really wrote. Your brain will skip over even the most obvious errors. As Mark Twain once wrote, “…you think you are reading proof, whereas you are merely reading your own mind; your statement of the thing is full of holes and vacancies but you don’t know it, because you are filling them from your mind as you go along.”

2. First pass: Read like a reader, not like an editor

The first time you read through a piece, read it as a reader. Ignore mistakes and read for comprehension . . . The Big Picture. Are you getting your message across? Can the reader understand what you’re trying to say?

Don’t forget that everyone wants something, and your reader will want to know, “What’s in it for me?” Answer that question near the beginning of the document.

3. Second pass: Edit for organization

Don’t jump from a paragraph about glaucoma to another about cataract, then back to glaucoma. Make sure similar topics are grouped together.

If you have a lot of subtopics, use subheadings. You don’t have to ham-fist a transitional sentence between each paragraph.

4. Third pass: Copyedit

• Correct typos, spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
• Ensure bullets are consistent (all start with either a verb or noun).
• Check for redundancy.
• Check headers/footers. Make sure they contain correct title, date, and page number.
• Call out acronyms.

5. Last pass: Read it as corrected

Read the document with all changes made and check for additional errors. Make note of your weaknesses and develop a checklist for you to use.

SFFS: Snippet of “Cog”

by , on
Oct 25, 2012

Welcome to my first installment of a Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday snippet! I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to post comments, as well.

This snippet is from my book, Cog, where the heroine, Nicholle, is on the run from the VP of her family’s company and has to ask a favor from her gang leader ex, Tuma. He, of course, wants something from her in return.

******

“You remember Lydo,” Tuma said.

“Of course,” Nicholle said.

Tuma’s eternal thorn in the side. Lydo led a squad of skeemz rackers on the other side of Baltimore, in Owings Mills. They worked out of the basement of the mall. Nothing like Tuma’s operation, though. They were connected. Really connected. His programmers just sat, wearing fryers, writing skeemz for weeks at a time, their medinites monitoring and patching the effects of inactivity, nourishment forced into them intravenously. They resembled hollowed-out corpses, skin and flesh sagging on their bones, but man, the end product was worth it—groundbreaking, visionary shit.

Writer Challenge

by , on
Oct 24, 2012

Sir John Edward of Lawson infected me (like I always knew he would,) and now it’s my turn to spread the disease. Basically, it involves searching for the first use of the word “look” in your work in progress, then pasting that paragraph, and those immediately before and after, on your blog, after which you spread the disease to five other authors.

“No. She’s busy recreating the Prado in Anacostia. I didn’t want to distract her. It’s her first full-scale exhibit,” Geren said.

Wills relaxed somewhat, straightening and placing his arm on the desk. Mrs. Arthur Knowles and her Two Sons looked on the proceedings from the wall behind Geren. In the painting, Mrs. Knowles sat on a couch, one son clinging to her as his hand rested on a book. The other son lay wrong-way on the couch, barefoot, his hand on his chin, as if contemplating some mischief.

“I don’t want anything material. . .no money, no stock. I just want acknowledgment,” Perim said.

by , on
Oct 1, 2012

Western Maryland Indie Lit Festival
Downtown Frostburg, Maryland
October 13, 2012
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Several Raw Dog Screaming Press authors and editors will be attending the Western Maryland Indie Lit Festival, including Michael A. Arnzen, Jennifer Barnes, S.A. Check, John Edward Lawson, Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, and K. Ceres Wright.

The Frostburg State University Center for Creative Writing, in partnership with the Allegany County Library System, is excited to announce that the sixth annual Western Maryland Indie Lit Festival. The event brings together editors and publishers with writers and educators of the local community. Panel discussions and roundtable sessions include topics on various creative genres, DIY publishing, self-publishing, promotion and marketing, writing local, and reading and writing online.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Washington Street Library at 301.777.1200 or the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing at 301.687.4340.

And check out the updates on their blog: http://fsucenterforcreativewriting.wordpress.com/