Tag Archives: short fiction

A Word About Editors

I have just turned in a revised version of the short story I submitted to TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER, the new anthology being edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray. I am on “Team Patty,” which means that Patricia edited my story. And her feedback, and the subsequent revisions I did on my story, reminded me once more (as if I needed reminding) of how important a good editor is for all that we write, regardless of length.

As it happened, my story didn’t really need extensive rewriting. But it did need polishing and some subtle changes to deepen the character work and clear up the plotting. I hadn’t realized that it needed these things; it took Patricia pointing them out to me, gently, diplomatically, professionally for me to see the issues and find solutions. It helped that she was looking at it fresh — having a different set of eyes look through a story always helps, which is why having Beta readers can be so helpful. But more than that, Patricia is a fine editor who understands storytelling and can diagnose narrative problems with a simple read-through.

Of course she’s not the only person who can do this. Joshua is an excellent editor as well, and I have been fortunate enough to have worked with countless others — both on my books and my short fiction — who have improved my work and taught me valuable lessons about the craft. And that, really, is the point. We ALL need editing. I have been writing for a long, long time, and I have never written anything that was so perfect it didn’t need at least some help. A good editor is invaluable. And a good writer understands that her/his work can always — ALWAYS — be improved by editorial feedback.

“Long Nights Moon” is Live at Baen.Com

“Long Nights Moon,” the first published short story (or fiction of any sort for that matter) in the Justis Fearsson universe is up and available at Baen.com.  This holiday themed short story takes place before the action described in Spell Blind, Book I in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, which will be released by Baen Books on January 6, 2015. I had a great time writing this story and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I hope you enjoy it. The story can be found here.

And just a note, the first line should read: “December’s full moon is known among some of the tribal peoples of North America as the Cold Moon, or the Long Nights Moon.”

Web Site update

[Looking around.] Yeah, the place is starting to look good. The site is coming together. We’ve got some content up, there’s information about all of my books, and we’ve even posted sample chapters from much of my backlist as well as from SPELL BLIND, the first novel in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, the new urban fantasy series I’m writing for Baen.  SPELL BLIND comes out on January 6

On December 15, a short story set in the Fearsson universe will be published at the Baen website.  The story is called “Long Nights Moon,” and it pre-dates the events chronicled in the first book.  So you can read it without fear of encountering spoilers. I hope you’ll check it out — I like the story a lot.

Not much else to report. I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving, and I look forward to seeing you back here soon.