Sunday, October 28, 2012

Updating on the Blog World

Apparently it was a false warning or a temporary internet glitch on the part of Wordpress. That is, my newer author blog is up and running:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Talking Cats

At seven this morning, I could swear I woke to the sound of my cat Cheetah saying, in English, “Aren’t you up yet?” I felt a bit indignant. She was right next to me and had apparently said this in my face. After I was a bit more awake, this struck me as odd.

I’ve occasionally written fiction that involves talking cats. Perhaps I was a bit fixated on this as a teenager, because, coming to think of it, the first versions of both the works of fiction I’m thinking of date back to my adolescence. One is now my novella “Witch’s Familiar,” which is available in electric form as part of the Wormhole Electric Anthology on The other was my first novel, My Curious Adventures with a Witch, the original (and drastically different) version of a middle grade series I’ve begun writing, with the working series title “The Rowanwick Witches.” Perhaps it’s inevitable that the cat I live with would also start speaking. Or perhaps I should recall the words of the Cheshire Cat: “I’m mad. You’re mad. We’re all mad here.”

So Much for that Wordpress Blog

Since Wordpress is pretending as if I don't have a blog on its site, it looks like I have to go back to this blog. I had switched because another writer told me that Wordpress is more professional-looking than Blogspot. No matter how professional it may look, a blog doesn't have much point if I can't add new blog posts to it. I was able to access it as though I were someone else:, so I now know the blog still exists. But the site won't let me create new blogs and won't admit that I'm the same person who created that particular blog.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Developmental Editing

A developmental editor as gentle as a kitten

If your developmental editing feedback doesn’t make an author feel eager to get to work revising the manuscript and instead makes your author depressed and reluctant to work on the manuscript, then maybe you’re doing something wrong.

When I’m working on a developmental edit—that is, editorial feedback on major elements such as characters, plot structure, and dialog (rather than grammar and spelling)—I typically mix in a lot of praise with constructive criticism about how the manuscript can be improved. Even as I do this, I sometimes think this praise is useless fluff. Perhaps the praise isn’t as necessary as pointing out how the book or story can be better, but it instills a sensitive author with confidence and encouragement. This is important, believe it or not.

Back in my undergraduate days in the early 1990s, I had a college instructor who was great at giving such feedback. No matter how much the story needed improvement, no matter how rough it was, this instructor got me excited to run to the computer lab or to my dorm room and get back to work revising that story. That’s the best way to do a developmental edit.

That constructive criticism sprinkled with praise is infinitely better than getting developmental feedback that leaves the author feeling battered and believing it’s not such a worthwhile writing project after all. Developmental feedback that’s abrasive, snarky, sarcastic, and/or impatient rubs the author the wrong way. Accusing the author of not writing in a scene or detail that they did write but that you skipped over also rubs the author the wrong way. Doing all that and/or refraining from supplying the author with any praise, not so much as a, “This is a very promising beginning and I’m looking forward to seeing a later draft!” also rubs the author the wrong way.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

First Person v. Third Person

Revision that involves changing first person perspective to third person perspective is a bit on the tedious side, since I'm going through and changing pronouns. A problem I've found with this by getting rid of "I," I end up with an awful lot of "she" and "her," between Violet and Amaryllis interacting together. I just looked over a paragraph before changing it and now suspect that it works better in first person. Of the three editors who gave me feedback on this manuscript, only one of them said I should change it to third person, so maybe I'll just ignore that after all. Or maybe I'll continue changing it later, after I've worked on plot development more. Decisions, decisions.

I'm lucky nobody said I should change it from past tense to present tense.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Completed Draft

I just e-mailed the more or less first draft of my novella The Woodland Castle to Wormhole Electric, which has previously published my novella The Witch's Familiar in serial e-book format ( The Woodland Castle (and that's a working title, by the way, not necessarily a final title) is a fairy tale inspired by the Burning Times and set in an alternate reality based on sixteenth-century Germany. Here's a little description of it:

WOODLAND CASTLE by Susan E. Wigget

Princess Sarabina runs away from home when she discovers that her best friends only like her powerful position and that her father, King Arnulf, has an active role in the witch burnings.
The crown princess, Sarabina, embarks on a journey from the royal castle of Matriolia to the legendary Enchantress’s castle in the eldritch woods. Brought up as a Polytheist by her mother and maidservant, Sarabina is disillusioned with her witch-burning father and with courtiers whom she mistook for friends. At the Enchantress’s castle, she may discover genuine friends… or more foes. But how can she end the witch burnings?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wormholes, Witches, and Castles, oh my

I just found out that Wormhole Electric, the e-book site publishing my novella The Witch's Familiar serially, is getting three to four visits a day. It's only been around for a few months, which is quite different from an old, established business.

Meanwhile, as obsessed as I am with revising my YA fantasy novel into three or so Middle Grade novels, I'd better set that aside for now and get back to work on Woodland Castle, the next manuscript I'm submitting to Wormhole Electric.

Deadlines are good. They cut down the procrastination. Without them, you might never get projects done.