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Writers Retreat

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 on: April 13, 2014, 12:16:55 PM 
Started by judyr - Last post by ColoradoKate
In a way, I'm sorry these editors are so adamant. Sure, I'm not in favor of clich├ęs, or of silly-sounding activities for eyes to be doing, but... but... eyes are so expressive. Take the expression "her eyes begged me to..." whatever. To stay, to spare the life of the bunny, to keep my mouth shut...

I wonder how the editors would have us rephrase that, since it implies so much about her not speaking and about desperation and all that. "She didn't speak, but I knew from the expression in her eyes that she wanted me to... " That just sounds clunky, to me. Unbearably clunky, and with extra filter words (knew, wanted) that are also better to avoid.

(Please understand I'm not arguing about this; I'm just curious and my brain has gone into a "what if" riff!)

 on: April 13, 2014, 10:30:28 AM 
Started by judyr - Last post by Mikki S

In the example of "her eyes pleaded with me," or "her eyes captured mine," you are still using "eyes", a body part, as the subject of the sentence. My editors tell me that is not acceptable. Eyes don't do anything but see and shed tears. They don't "capture" someone, they don't "plead" or "beseech" someone. Why? Because eyes are not capable of speech, therefore they cannot plead.  Eyes  are not capable of commiting  an action, therefore they cannot capture something or someone.

It's all figurative speech, but I've found in today's publishing, editors just don't accept it. One editor wrote in her remarks, "It is like saying: "My hand took the knife and plunged it into his chest."  No...a "hand" does not operate like an individual, it is attached to the body of a human. Thus it is the human who takes the knife in his hand and plunges it into the chest of another human."  I had used some cliche about Ben's eyes doing something in The Freedom Thief, and she really got on my case about it.

In other words, no body part operates independently of the whole human body, so a particular part can't be the subject of a sentence.

However, it is obvious from some of the books published today, every editor has his or her own ideas about this particular subject. Romance books are full of these awful cliches, which is why I prefer not to read them, so there are probably editors for every genre, not just romance, who don't care if you use a body part as an independent actor. I would just be careful if you are going to use them, and not be surprised if an editor comes down on you because of it.

 on: April 13, 2014, 09:25:04 AM 
Started by judyr - Last post by jojocookie
You could also twist the cliche'.

Perhaps give a juicier word instead. Her eyes captured mine.

Just a miniscule thought from someone who doesn't know a whole lot.

 on: April 12, 2014, 09:03:07 PM 
Started by kim67 - Last post by jfields
In the total "package" of rights protects under copyright, we can actually break them down into specific things:
* the right to publish something for the first time
* the right to reprint something
* the right to create a derivative work
* the right to publish a work in a different country
* the right to publish the work in a different format

All those things belong to you and you only when you create something. Now for a publisher to publish your work, YOU have to let some of those rights go...you do that by signing a contract. Once the contract is signed, you've "signed away" that specific right to that specific publisher. Some publishers have contracts just covering some of the rights. Some publishers have contracts covering all of the rights. That's why you have to read a contract carefully.

Now, just by SUBMITTING a short story/article, you're technically giving a kind of passive nod toward publishing something once. The idea is that you wouldn't submit to a magazine that publishes things just one time and doesn't pay if you didn't really want them to publish it. That's why sometimes folks send things to little dinky publishers who don't pay and don't work with contracts -- then they get a surprise when the piece is published. That kind of "one time use" doesn't actually have to have a signed contract. Your OFFER of the piece by submission is considered enough.

But that sort of "one time use" is pretty much the only time publishing works like that. In all other uses, you pretty much have to sign a contract and the contract will specify what kinds of rights you're giving up and for how long.

 on: April 12, 2014, 05:42:44 PM 
Started by kim67 - Last post by Irish Joy
What does it mean to sign away "all rights"? Does that mean the publisher can do what they want with the story including changing it?

 on: April 11, 2014, 07:31:40 PM 
Started by judyr - Last post by Basil
I think i'm finally getting the hang of this. It's okay to feel someone staring at you, but you can't feel someone's eyes on you, correct?

Been there, experienced that.  But it is something you really wouldn't want to go through.  It is the sort of event that results in recurring nightmares.

Ah, me, time for a few fingers of the Macallan to help pacify the ghosts.

 on: April 11, 2014, 07:55:49 AM 
Started by judyr - Last post by judyr
I think i'm finally getting the hang of this. It's okay to feel someone staring at you, but you can't feel someone's eyes on you, correct?

 on: April 10, 2014, 04:00:41 PM 
Started by chriseboch - Last post by jojocookie
This is great. Thank you again.

 on: April 10, 2014, 03:59:31 PM 
Started by judyr - Last post by jojocookie
Thank you, Susan for the link.

 on: April 10, 2014, 11:43:30 AM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by SusanUhlig

Scrivener lets you do something similar except it's all in your computer. You can try it out for 30 days for free I think. http://literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php  I've tried it, but decided it was not for me.

Cheryl Klein's master plotting classes have you do something similar, too. She teaches them around the country. If you ever see one, you'll probably want to go. ;-)

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