Tag Archives: Editing

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Four Kinds of Editors (and Agents) You’ll Meet In Publishing Heaven

A rule I learned as an editor: when you look at a book’s acknowledgments, the effusiveness of praise for an editor is inversely proportional to the effort he or she put into the book. If a writer goes on and … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why “Do What You Love” Is Bad Advice

In 2005, Steve Jobs gave a now-famous graduation speech at Stanford University. “You’ve got to find what you love,” he said. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly … Continue reading

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MFAs Do It Best: Your Graduate Degree in the Workforce

When I graduated with my MFA this past May, I got a decent-paying job and the hell away from academia. I’d taught for four semesters and knew I didn’t want to do it anymore. I also knew that I had to … Continue reading

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Episodia 1.13: Embracing Your Dark Side

Let me begin by confessing that this was not the post I wanted to write. All week, I have been working on an essay about female friendships on television. Unfortunately, my writer-self is not cooperating. You’ve had that moment—much like … Continue reading

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Writers Behaving Badly

I’m at that stage in editing my second novel where I’m confronted with my own bad habits. It’s much like cleaning out your closet only to discover you still own not one but three pairs of those chunky clogs that … Continue reading

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Reading Aloud: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore

As I wrote in my last post, I’ve been reading a lot of children’s books lately, out loud to my daughter. (She doesn’t seem to hear them when I read silently.) It’s made me more conscious of how words and … Continue reading

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Gatekeepers Part Four-point-One: on why the [red] pen is mightier than the sword (and other politically useful clichés)

Nearly ten years ago, when I was a twenty-year-old baby-poet with a sense of self-importance even more inflated than it is today, I organized a “Poetry in Protest” reading in Amherst, Massachusetts to demonstrate against what became, a couple months … Continue reading

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The Black Hole of Revision

You can potentially revise forever, as there’s always something that can be improved in your story. You could’ve added another dimension to a major or minor character. That word you used in paragraph 14, the third sentence…was that the right … Continue reading

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