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Posts Tagged ‘bad writing examples’

As a youth, I was not “into” comic books. The reason for this was two-fold.

First, the nearest store that had a rack of comic books was a two-mile walk from my house. Now, a two-mile walk wasn’t unusual for me—I spent all summer and many school-day afternoons with friends up in the hills, trekking miles from our suburban homes—and a gaggle of us would frequently walk or ride our bikes down to that store, but once there, the primary reason came into play: as a kid, I was never given an allowance. (more…)

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Stack of BooksPeople have told me that I’m too tough in my critiques. Privately, I’ve been told that these “The View from Here” posts are too harsh, too critical. “New writers will make mistakes,” I’m told. “That’s what editors are for.” Poppycock.

A number of years ago, I used to read slush for a magazine. It was unpaid intern-type-stuff, but it taught me a great deal (as all good unpaid intern-type-stuff should). It taught me about deadlines and time-management. It taught me a lot about publishing, as I was able to see a lot of it from behind the scenes. It taught me the truth of the adage: The only way to make a small fortune in publishing is to start with a large fortune.

But most of all, it taught me to think like an editor.

An editor is like an alcoholic in a 12-step program–Let’s skip right over the joke about how most of them actually are alcoholics in 12-step programs and move right to what I mean by that.–i.e., editors read MSS one page at a time. Screw up on Page One, they’ll never read Page Two. After all, why go farther? Why read any more if page one just sucks? They won’t. Screw up on Page One–hell, screw up in Paragraph One–and you’re done.

So yes, I’m tough. And now, onto the next item I see a lot in some of the fiction posted out there: Bad metaphors and stupid similes.

(more…)

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