Archive for guet post

Writing about Writing

Posted in Reflections, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 5, 2013 by Justin S. Smith

A friend of mine has a site where he primarily writes about writing. For some reason, likely because he’d never read my blog before, he asked me if I’d like to fill a gap in his guest post schedule for today. He gave me a timetable on when he would like to see a first draft and said to just write something (around 500 words) about story telling.

It’s a little strange working with an editor; I’ve not been a fan in the past. I usually have gotten comments like “write it like this…” or “you should say this.” Essentially what I get is “I’m not going to put the effort into writing this, but I think it would be better said in my voice instead of yours so I’m going to tell you how to say it like I would.” Rarely among the amateur elite do you find someone who just gives you suggestions on improving without trying to mold you into a version of themselves.

I understand; it’s a tightrope. Having just taken over the duty of teaching writing to my 11 year old, I already know the effort it takes point someone towards better writing and telling them what to write.

My first draft was returned with 23  notes. Most quite useful (the guy really hates semi-colons for some reason,) some a simple request for rewording for clarity, and one referencing Dr. Who. All in all a good experience. We bounced drafts back and forth a couple of times, and he was overall pleased with the third version. I never felt like my voice was being trampled or that I had to fight against unnecessary changes (I even managed to retain a couple semi-colons in the final draft.)

Anyway, If you’re interested in reading my post Lying: a Folk Art, head over to In Brief look around while your there and tell Nathan you’d like to see more from me. If you got here from the link on my bio on that post, here’s a sample of the Historical Fiction I was talking about: 2800 miles/ 4 days (first of four parts) and here’s some prose I’m particularly fond of: A Song For Actors (first of three songs.) Feel free to look around and comment. Thanks for stopping by.