Tag Archives: editing

Beta Readers For Your Writing

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Diana Rowland, Moses Siregar, and Jordan Ellinger talk about beta readers.

For some writers, beta readers are an integral part of the writing process. But how do you know what advice to take and what do ignore?

Well the most obvious answer is that if you see a particular critique popping up over and over again, you can be pretty certain that it’s a point that needs to be looked at. If a particular point was only brought up by a single beta reader, there’s a good chance that it was just a detail that struck that particular person wrong, and does not need to be addressed.

That’s not always true — you have to keep in mind the levels of expertise and knowledge-bases you’re working with. If you have sexist Uncle Tito tell you he thinks it’s wrong where you have the female lead punch her boyfriend in the chops when he smacks her, maybe take that with a grain of salt. But if you have your history buff tell you that they didn’t use flintlocks in the 1500s, then you probably want to double-check that.

Listen on for more.


Writing Rules You Can And Should Break

This week on Hide and Create, Moses Siregar, Diana Rowland, Jordan Ellinger, and Joshua Essoe talk about writing rules that are okay to break.

I think our final thought today is one of moderation. Learn when it is okay to break rules and when it is not. And please — make sure you know the rules you’re breaking and break them purposefully. Blundering through because you read some other author write that way is not the way to go. But when you know those rules, go ahead and break them — only break them when it benefits your story. Not when it doesn’t.

Writing Dialects with Grammar Girl

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Jordan Ellinger, Moses Siregar, and Diana Rowland are joined by Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl, to talk about dialects (and some grammar, of course).

Remember, the key to writing dialects, or accents, or using made-up words is clarity. Realism is good to a point, but if your realism makes your dialogue hard to read, you should dial it back.

As we mention in the podcast, Mignon’s campaign for her new card game ends at the end of the week so hurry over and check out Peeve Wars! I’ve gotta say, the game looks awesome, and I’ll be backing as soon as I get this posted.

Also, here is the book on dialects that Mignon suggests this episode: Trip of The Tongue by Elizabeth Little.

Superstars Writing Seminar’s Panel on Editors

We’re back! Technical difficulties (gorillas and alligators) aside, and best forgotten about.

This week we have something different, and special for you. I was asked to moderate and speak on a panel titled “The Importance of an Editor” on Feb. 7th at the Superstars Writing Seminar held by Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, David Farland, Eric Flint, Brandon Sanderson, and most recently joined by James A. Owen.

It is the most comprehensive seminar for writers about the business of writing available, held every year in Colorado Springs. Jordan, Moses, and I are all alumni, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The information and the access to New York Times best-selling authors and guest speakers can create contacts and ins into the business that are hard to duplicate.

Next year Hugh Howey and Baen editor n’ chief, Toni Weisskopf, will join the crew as guest speakers.

With permission, here is that panel discussion.

An Interview with Joshua Essoe

This week on Hide and Create Jordan Ellinger interviews Joshua Essoe about how he got into editing, how you can get into editing, and what it takes.

Part three of our series of episodes where we interview the hosts of Hide and Create.

And, as promised, here is a sample of Joshua’s work. These are the first three pages of a recent MS. This is the kind of work that would be returned to the client along with an  extensive critique.

Editing Sample

Also, Joshua will be moderating a panel on editing at Superstars Writing Seminar next month. There is still time to sign up! If you’re going to one seminar this year, this should be the one: http://superstarswriting.com/


Defending Our Writing Paths

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Jordan Ellinger, Jaye Wells, and Moses Siregar talk about why the path they took into publishing is the best.

When you decide to get become writer you should definitely start with tie-in writing. Or when you hit the path toward a  professional writing career, the best way to begin is to go through a traditional publisher with your original novel. Perhaps, what I mean to say is, if you want to make a living as a pro-author you have to go indie, cause it’s the best. Well, actually, what most don’t know is if you really want to break into the publishing industry the absolute best way is to first become an editor and get your chops working on both your own and others’ work.

There, the secret is out.

Stupid Writer Tricks! For Writers!

This week on Hide and Create, Jaye Wells, Jordan Ellinger, Moses Siregar and Joshua Essoe talk about stupid writer tricks.

We all use them, we all have them, and we’ve all heard of some of them. This is where we each share more of our cool and perhaps not-commonly-heard-of tips and shortcuts of the trade.

And here is the post Moses references from the book he recommends, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.

Worldbuilding in Writing

This week on Hide and Create, Jordan Ellinger, Moses Siregar and Joshua Essoe welcome Jaye Wells to the show as Diana Rowland takes a couple of months leave of absence. (Don’t worry, she’ll be back!)

Jaye, for those of you who don’t know, is a USA Today best-selling, urban fantasy author. We throw Jaye a softball this week to discuss what’s in her wheelhouse, worldbuilding!

The whole point of worldbuilding is to create something vivid and alive. To give a strong sense of place — and not just any place. Your place. Your individual creation, different from any of those other worlds out there.

With that in mind, don’t let it distract you from the true purpose of engaging in its creation in the first place — your story. You could literally ponder all the implications and ramifications of Transporter technology, for example, for a year and maybe still not get under the skin of it.

So remember your world is in service of your story, your story is not in service to your world.


Writing Awesome Endings

This week on Hide and Create,  Moses Siregar, Joshua Essoe, Diana Rowland and Jordan Ellinger talk about ending your stories.

The stronger you’ve emotionally invested your reader, the more impactful the ending will be. The more you make your readers feel your protagonist’s heroism, or pain, or both, the more effective your ending will be.

Your ending is where your protagonist really gets to show that he’s a hero, earns it — so make sure you’ve set your character up so that your readers can really feel that heroism.

Your climax is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, right? So you’ve got to make sure that the treasure at the end of the quest is worth it.

(And the answer to the end of the show is to keep them wanting more. See what we did there?)

Writing Awesome First Pages

This week on Hide and create, Jordan Ellinger, Diana Rowland, Moses Siregar and Joshua Essoe talk about writing kick-butt openings.

There are plenty of good guidelines and rules — don’t start with dialogue, give the entire novel in the first sentence, give yourself a focus for the scene, intro your character with a name, don’t start with an info dump, don’t start with someone waking or dreaming . . .

But writing a good first page, a good first line, is more than that. To quote Stephen King, “To get scientific about it is a little like trying to catch moonbeams in a jar.”

Here are ways to make your Jar of Moonbeam Catching.