Adventures in editing, part 2


“Not all the backstory,” said my clone when I showed him this meme.

See, you can tell that’s supposed to be him instead of me in this picture because the cartoon guy is holding a pencil instead of a Red Pen of Doom (DOOM, I tell you!).  Trust me, though, there’s still a lot of backstory for setting and characters that doesn’t get mentioned in this novel, much less explained in detail.

Just wanted to share that.  Now, back to plummeting through the deep…


About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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One Response to Adventures in editing, part 2

  1. In my writing, the backstory is provided to the reader on a strict need-to-know basis.

    I know it – my story extends in all directions – and I invent as necessary. But it doesn’t belong in the story unless it is crucial information for character, theme, or plot – and preferably doing several things at one, and fed in very slyly.

    In any case, that’s what I’m hoping I’m doing.

    As a reader, nothing bores me faster than to be lectured by 1) a bossy narrator, or 2) a character ‘remembering’ things they would never really ‘remember.’ If any of that gets in, it must be properly motivated by something relevant.

    People have to wait for all kinds of things, but I give them lots to chew on meanwhile.

    Because that’s the way I want to be brought into a story.



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