Tuesday, September 20, 2011



"Oh, the Writer and the Editor Should Be Friends”

I’ve edited books for publishing companies and privately for authors. However, with Earth Angel, I was on the receiving end as an author. Having now lived on both sides of the fence, I believe that like the Cowboy and the Farmer in Oklahoma, the Author and the Editor should be friends. We both want the writing to shine.  So here are some thoughts as to what we should expect from each other:

I. Nuts and Bolts

A) Spelling--Writer (W): 

Your word processor went to the trouble of underlining the misspelled words (and a few extra that aren't). Scan the document and make those corrections before you send out the document.

Editor (E):  Just because a word is spelled correctly, does not mean that it is the preferred spelling. E.G. (exempli gratia - “for example”) -- “wannabe” vs. “wannabee”(both are correct alternate spellings. E needs to decide which looks better in context.);“kerb” vs. “curb” (for American target markets, E should take the American spelling every time.)

B) Word Choice--W:  1) Does the word fit?  Even if the eighth dictionary definition of a term expresses your intent, by the time you get that far down, there is

probably another word that will work better.  

2) “X” may be a marvelous and/or useful word (E.G. --"quickly"--you know who you are!).  But how many times did you use it in the sentence? The paragraph?  The chapter?  The entire work?  Get thee to a thesaurus.

3) Watch for anachronisms.  “Groovy”, “dude” and “far out, man” probably will not fit well in your Regency tale.

E: If the sentence or phrase bumps, then check for and suggest another word that will smooth the way. A well placed malapropism can blow the mood for an entire scene. Beware of homonyms! E.G.-- “bare” vs. “bear” or “to” vs. “too” (and rarely, vs. “two”). Hell, watch for assonance as well.  E.G. -- “vial” vs. “vile”.  Also, watch for any anachronistic phrases that slipped by the writer.

C) Verbs and Subjects and Numbers (Oh, my!): 

W:  1) Particularly with longer sentences that may include one or more modifiers (dangling or otherwise), be sure to identify the subject and match the verb number accordingly.  Remember, collective nouns take singular verbs, unless the intent is to describe actions taken by the individual components of the collective noun. 

2) Stay in active voice.  Damn the word count; do not use three words where one will suffice.  E.G.--“Mary had begun to feel aroused” vs.“Mary felt aroused”.

E:  See W.

D)  Quotes--

W:  1) If a quote ends in a question mark or an exclamation point, then any related descriptive language following the quote begins with lower case (proper names excepted). E.G. -- “You were at work, huh?” she asked suspiciously.  “The hell you were!“ she screamed. 

2) If a quote extends to additional paragraphs, then each paragraph opens with quotation marks, but only the last paragraph has closing quotation marks.

E.G.--      “As I said earlier, before she entered into the Veil, the Chosen traveled widely throughout the Seven Realms. She saw many things, both good and

evil. The Prophecy of the Sevens suggests that there was more evil than good.

     As you know, as part of the Second Accords, the spirits of the fallen now power the Veil.  The Chosen is now one with the Veil.  All of the power of countless fallen gods, demigods, and fey are hers to command.”(Excerpt from Earth Angel)

E: See W.

II.  The Big Picture

A) Plotting, Characterization and Time Line: 

W:  1) Does it make sense?  If Joan gets on a plane at 2:00 in Los Angeles, she cannot attend a 2:30 meeting in Boston. Worse yet, they did not have commercial cross country flights in 1865. Pay attention to continuity. If a character loses its legs in chapter two, it will probably be difficult for the character to run away from the werewolf in chapter five.  

2) Is it likely that “X” would do or say “Y”?

E:  See W.  Remember at all times, there is a reviewer lurking out there with far to much time on its bloody hands, waiting to dismember your poor, unsuspecting author‘s pride and joy.  DO NOT MAKE THE REVIEWER’S LIFE ANY EASIER! You are the last line of defense.  It is your job to protect your author.  Let the reviewer complain about the font size. But never leave either a gaping hole, or a literary Maginot Line, for the reviewer to attack your writer.  If a reader might be confused or question a character’s actions or motivations, it is your  responsibility to question the writer first.

Thanks for the opportunity to ramble.




There are seven parallel worlds known as the Seven Realms which are separated by a Veil. Six are inhabited by all manner of entities, some natural, some not. That may not be the case for much longer. The first portion of

the High Sidhe Prophecy of the Sevens has been fulfilled. The Anarch, who is one with the Veil, has escaped. If she chooses, she can part or drop the Veil or she can lift the Veil in its entirety. The Seven Realms will converge. The laws of physics and magic will collide head on. Unless she is stopped,there will be nothing left.

Queen Amura has called for an assembly of the signatories to the High Sidhe's Second Accords, a multi-realm peace treaty to consider how to deal with the threat of the Anarch. An Earthside TechnoWitch and other dark forces also are seeking to control the Anarch. Prince Dzhok (Jack), High Sidhe Ambassador Salash (Jack's oldest friendand lover),and Valkyrie Brunhilde set out to find and befriend the Anarch before all is lost.

Purchase Links: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615724840 (you have toregister-free)

Here's a little bit more about Charlie Kenmore:

I am a 52 year old professional from St. Louis, Missouri with one very significant other(A.K.A. "Alexx Momcat"), two grown kids, and two cats.  I enjoy collecting books, art and cooking. But with my double and triple stacked bookshelves sagging,

I look forward to the new era of e-publishing.  An avid garage sale hunter, I am still searching for an oil painting by Edouard Leon Cortes (or anything from the Drip and Drool School like Pollack or Rothko that can be sold so I can buy my Cortes).

Charlie can be reached at: charliekenmore@gmail.com
And you can check out his blog over at:

Thanks so much, Charlie for stopping by today!!

1 comment:

SJ said...

Nice interview, Charles! Good to know more about you and what makes you tick.

Best of luck,