Professional Editor

First off, a bit of distant back story. I’ve written a trilogy that is trunked. I consider it my “practice trilogy.” It’s not going to go anywhere for so many different reasons. However, these three novels allowed me to get where I am today as a writer. A writer that can sling a great story.

While that trilogy was a sword & sorcery style fantasy series, I’ve started up a new series that is firmly within the urban fantasy genre. Why the switch? Because I had the idea hit me, and it demanded I write it. I also wrote some test material with the main character, and it was fun to write. I haven’t had a fun writing experience in a long time, so I had to run with this for my own sanity.

As it turns out…. if you have fun writing something, people have fun reading it. My critique group gave me a whole slew of improvements to make to the story. I had a few beta readers expand on those suggestions, and this is the strongest novel I’ve ever put out.

So I hired a professional editor. If the book is so “strong” why would I need any editor? Two reasons:

  1. The book was shy of a low-end word count for urban fantasy by about 20,000 words. Maybe more.
  2. This is currently my best hope (but not my last hope!) for getting a novel published. I want to put my absolute best foot forward on this book.

Now for a bit more backstory that is more recent. Back in March, Pikes Peak Writers had Stuart Horwitz come speak at one of our Write Brains (and I hope we manage to get him back for the 2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference!) Stuart is the author of Blueprint Your Bestseller and Book Architecture: How to Plot and Outline Without Using a Formula. When he spoke at our event, I could tell he really knew his stuff. He’s also the head dude over at Book Architecture. When I checked out his books (I have read both and they are excellent!), and his services at Book Architecture, I knew I wanted to work with him.

I reached out to Stuart a while back, and we chatted via email about working together. When I had my finances wrangled to the point where I could afford the edits, I hit Stuart up and we started the process. Within a month, I had his feedback in hand and a phone call arranged for discussing the written feedback.

I just finished getting off the call from Stuart, and he was fantastic. Not just on the call, but all the way around. I’m very happy with the feedback, information, suggestions, insight, ideas, and so on Stuart provided to me. He’s someone I would gladly work with again on a future effort, and I think everyone that is “this close” to finishing the polish on a novel should reach out to him.

You remember that 20,000 word gap I mentioned that’s in need of filling? The #1 directive I gave Stuart is that I need to fill in those words without “padding” or “watering down” the story.

He nailed it.

His ideas for what the book is lacking will easily let me get closer to the industry accepted word counts for an urban fantasy novel.

Enough of me blathering on here about this. You have links above to do the clicky thing on. I have a novel to dive into and get some edits and additions put into place.

Thanks for everything, Stuart!

Chuck Wendig Challenge: Why I Write

Chuck Wending posted a flash fiction challenge here. I’ve taken up the challenge. Here goes my (up to) 1000 words:

This requires quite a bit of introspection on my part. I started writing when I was ten years old. I walked away. I picked it back up when I was fifteen, and dropped it again. I tried some in my early twenties, but had no real support group for it. Again, I moved on to other things.

Despite these stops and starts, I always wanted to create. I always wanted to forge stories in the form of words. I tried music, but I have no rhythm. I tried art, but I just don’t have the patience to master that craft. I tried photography, but it felt too mechanical and artificial for my tastes. (This is no bash against photographers. That’s just how I felt internally when I looked through the viewfinder at the world instead of just looking at the world.)

It wasn’t until I discovered the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group nine years ago (this month!) that I found a home for my writerly heart. With a support group around me, I found the encouragement and drive to continue chasing the goal of becoming published. The random discovery of the CSFWG bookmark/advertisement on a cork board in Poor Richard’s Pizza Shop forever changed my life.

However, this doesn’t answer the question of, “Why do you write?”

For two decades (plus a few years), I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t quite know why. In the past nine years, I’ve come to learn the following:

I write to…

… entertain.
… make people think.
… make people uncomfortable.
… challenge myself.
… challenge my internal assumptions.
… to stroke my ego.
… to leave a mark on the world.
… to allow an escape from this world for others.
… to create an escape from this world for myself.
… to be able to point to something and say, “I did that.”
… to purge my demons.
… to find new demons to chase, and that might chase me back.
… to discover (and create!) new worlds for me to play in.

Now… you may have noticed the “ego stroke” reason in there. That’s me being brutally honest. I’m not a highly egotistical person (though some might argue that point since I’m a writer), but there’s a part of me — a deep-down, driving part of me — that wants to walk into a book store and see my name on the shelf on the spine of a book.

If you have reasons you write, throw the words into your blog (or similar media), head over to Chuck’s site, and drop him a link!