Monday, November 28, 2011

Write Away

Do people associate good editing and critiquing with good writing?

What I mean is, do people expect someone who has can edit and critique better than the average person to be good at writing?

I have mentioned before that my sister-in-law is a published author. Her three published titles have all made the New York Times Bestseller’s list. I run her contests for pay and I monitor her Facebook page for free. I have been a part of Colleen’s journey from the very beginning including being a part of her early readers group which involves editing and critiquing. I am interested to know what editors of publishing houses are thinking when they are editing. Sometimes the ideas I hear from Colleen that they present to her is very ridiculous. Sometimes they are good ideas.

There are a lot of people who post about how Colleen inspired them to start writing especially when they hear her story and about how she was not a writer. Somebody recently posted that their first chapter and asked for pointers. I asked for what kind of pointers she wanted and went from there. Somebody else saw my comment and asked if I would do the same for her.

I don’t know if either of these two know of my connection or not. If they do, I wonder if they think “she helps Colleen, she must be awesome”. If they don’t, well, I don’t know what they’re thinking. Either way, they asked for very detailed critiques like what Colleen gets from me. I hope they remember that they asked for it.

I do not consider myself a writer. At all. Perhaps it is because I know very good writers and don’t consider myself on par with them. I certainly don’t consider myself a novelist. I cannot think through story lines and create the challenges and happiness and resolutions that a plot needs.

I can, however, tell you if that probably isn’t a good idea. Or if your comma goes there or not. Or if your idea is good but your writing just is terrible. I have discovered that while I do not know everything about punctuation, I guess I know more than others. (Having a degree and working in office management might have something to do with that.)

Where am I going with this...

I guess the bottom line is that I’m grateful that I know people who know where commas go. And who can write well. And type well.

I know some talented people! My sister-in-law isn’t the only person out there. My mom recently wrote a story of a boy who is visiting his grandfather who has Alzheimers. “No matter how slowly my feet go, the sun climbs high into the sky.” A friend (um, acquaintance? We have conversed very seldom) self-published her book earlier this year and I just finished reading it. Well done, Juliann. My sister writes reviews that never fail to make me smile.

Of Jamie’s review on Jane Eyre:

There is also the dis-jointed structure of the book, which can't seem to make up it's mind about what it is exactly and loses track of it's horror elements here and it's romantic ones there. The first third of the book can be skipped without loss, and the final resolution is delayed while the plot skips off into the heather for a while.

These are just a few of those talented people. If I didn’t name you... well, too bad for you. ;-)

(Wow, in going back and reading this... I swear, I didn’t mean to sound conceited.)


  1. I like it when Jamie uses the word "egregious". Her review always make me laugh.

  2. I saw her review of Jane Eyre too, and I thought it was great!