Yes, in regards to my previous post, I had a moment of panic thinking that one of the gardening club ladies was going to read some of my more specific posts about m/m fiction, but I realized that most of the posts I've done lately were pretty clean, and hopefully she doesn't have any idea of what the abbreviations D/s and BDSM mean.
Here's a recommendation of a post on critics that I thought was good:
[mmromancefans] AUTHORS: Article about Critique and Critics
This is the best article I've ever read regarding critique and criticism:
From Bob Mayer's Warrior Writer Blog
http://warriorwrite rs.wordpress. com
Just thought I'd share. I think it'll be a real encouragement for some of you. You know who you are. ;)
Here's a bit from the blog which I thought was particularly applicable to some of the stories I'm editing now:
"All writers should have a basic command of the English language. Don’t laugh. There are some great story-tellers who wouldn’t know a dangling participle if it bit them on the leg. That said, if punctuation and grammar are weaknesses, then it would be wise to read more books on these subjects. Eats, Shoot & Leaves (Lynne Truss), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grammar & Style (Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D. D. Rozakis), The Elements of Style (Strunk & White).
If you are a grammar Nazi, but story structure is a weakness, then look for books on the craft of writing. The Novel Writers Toolkit (Bob Mayer), The Writer’s Journey (Christopher Vogler),On Writing (Stephen King), Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott), Hooked (Les Edgerton), etc."
Back to the LJ post: I didn't have formal training as an editor in school, so I'm pleased to have gotten the mentoring I received this past year. Even proofreading fiction is very different from proofreading non-fiction, though I was confident about picking up typos and grammatical mistakes. But I think it's good for me to have been exposed to a wide range of writing in various stages of the process -- and being able to see writing errors that some authors make consistently. I've also learned to proofread and edit stories that are not to my particular taste. Some of the stories don't have a logical relationship development at all, but that's not something I can fix within the parameters of what I do as a proofreader or line editor. But there are some women's fantasies that don't appeal to me at all. Stories of forced seduction or stories with scenes on the borderline of non-consensual, but presented as positive experiences, bother me a lot more than they did when I was reading them in the eighties. I think I've commented every time I've proofed or edited them on stories that go too close to that borderline. Stories with incest bother me -- I'm not even that comfortable with stories that have twin brothers involved with another man or woman, though I've edited those without protest. I figure there are so many male fantasies involving twin sisters that the reverse would have an appeal as well. The stories I've been ranting about recently, where characters suddenly change sexual orientation, are not to my taste, though I can understand why it's a fantasy for women.
BDSM stories in which it's clear the writer didn't do the research bother me, because the presentation and dynamics are all wrong. The characters are doing the BDSM because it's "kewl" and trendy, but the author has no idea of what they're doing. It takes a lot of development and good writing to make me understand what appeals to a certain man about being submissive. It's not good enough for me to have the writer simply to say the Dom or Domme is hot, so suddenly the other character wants to be a sub. I'm just not convinced. I want to be shown how one character is temperamentally suited to be dominant, and the other has good reasons to like being submissive. Most stories with women wanting to be submissive turn me off, because a lot of the heroines of romances are doormats anyway. A good number of stories with Dommes show the Domme as being evil, or present her as being unwilling to negotiate about anything, which, again, is a bad dynamic. A woman can have a strong personality without being unappealing and/or someone you'd hate to deal with in person.