Don't make corrections at the sentence and word level if you still need to work on the focus, organization, and development of the whole paper, of sections, or of paragraphs. Set your text aside for a while 15 minutes, a day, a week between writing and proofing.
We happened to have the same audio reader, a brilliant voice actor named Frank Muller. In November Frank was in a horrible motorcycle accident that left him brain damaged, incapacitated and barely able to speak. Needless to say, when my assistant told me Stephen King was on the phone, I quickly ran through my list of practical joking friends to decide how to greet whoever was claiming to be him.
Well, Stephen King does. Then we agreed to [meet to] visit Frank at a rehabilitation facility.
I got to know [Jerry] through the Left Behind series, which has a lot in common with The Stand—both are stories about the end of the world, with Christian overtones mine has more four-letter words.
The Left Behinds were like meeting an old friend in modern dress. I very much enjoyed The Youngest Hero, which is a crackerjack baseball story written by a man who must be a serious stat freak.
Jerry writes sturdy prose and plots well. Understands families inside and out. Others, of course, find horror horrifying, and some of his stuff pushes the envelope of comfort for them.
But I [also] have a passion for my subject matter. I was a sportswriter as a teenager after being injured playing sportsbut felt called to full-time Christian work. I was thrilled to find out I could use my budding writing gift and accomplish the same thing.
And every day I marvel that I can get money for doing something I enjoy so much. Here I was, writing fiction with an overtly Christian theme the Rapture of the church at the end of time to an audience that suddenly seemed to include everybody.
I tried to remember always where my readers were coming from and to be sure to stay away from insider language. Of course, the singular challenge I had was to allow the message to come through without letting it overwhelm the fiction. The story has to be paramount. Readers must fall in love with the characters and want to keep turning the pages.
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The minute your novel starts to read like a sermon, end of story. The old Robert Psycho Bloch witticism applies here: But—and I think Jerry will agree with this, too—what you write ought to be about something you care about.
Why else would you spend all that time and expend all that effort? And I think Jerry would agree that belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.
Or a broken billboard. They must be clear and textured. The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.
Ironically, the definitions of nonfiction and fiction have flip-flopped these days. Nonfiction has to be unbelievable, and fiction has to be believable. For me that meant that for the Left Behind series, I believed the biblical prophecies are true and will happen some day.
Then I went about trying to show what it might look like, all the while owning it. People are longing for something beyond themselves and their current circumstances.
They want either hope or escape—or both.
If I could say it the way Stephen says it, the Left Behind series would be just one of a string of megahits, rather than an anomaly in my career. As for frightening myself, it happens that by, in at least this sense, being part of the Stephen King school of fiction trying to put interesting characters in difficult situations and writing to find out what happens allows me to have the same emotions the reader will have.
Since I write as a process of discovery—even though I know this is all coming from my subconscious—I am often surprised, delighted, scared, disappointed, saddened, etc.
At least it gives me an out when readers demand to know why I killed off their favorite character.
I usually feel in charge. It happened to me in Cujo when the little boy died.When you start to write a will, there are a lot of important decisions to make. In fact, thinking about what to write in your will is generally harder than constructing the actual document. You want to make careful and deliberate decisions with respect to your children, business, and assets.
Articles to help you launch a freelance writing career, from a former literary agent and PLAYBOY editor. Use a will-writing service. This is a cheaper option than a solicitor, and offers some support and advice, but its very much a case of getting what you pay for.
Proofreading. Proofreading means examining your text carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling. Advice on Writing Proposals to the National Science Foundation.
Susan Finger sfinger at kaja-net.com Carnegie Mellon University. Updated April The original version of this advice . kaja-net.com is much more than a Curriculum Vitae guide. Here you can find information for your whole job search: cover letter tips, interview techniques, job search strategies, career planning, as well as free resume/CV examples, templates and advice.