Featuring an Interview with Diana Gill,
Editor with Morrow/Avon at Harpercollins

Welcome to issue # 9!  We have a number of great articles in this issue, many of them dealing with the theme of editing and revising. This is a subject that many writers, old and new, find daunting, and we hope that you find something helpful in the material provided here.  You will also find some exceptional articles in the genre section.


For the second year in a row, Forward Motion has been honored by Writer's Digest as one of the top 101 Web Sites for Writers. Thank you to everyone who has visited the site and enjoyed what we offer there.


If you have any comments, drop us a line at vision@lazette.net.  We would like to know what you think of Vision, and what types of material you might find interesting in future issues. 

Vision is  also available Adobe Acrobat™ and Palm Systems™ downloadable versions.  We also have a new archive section for the on-line back issues.  (Please note that Adobe Acrobat™ and Palm Systems™ versions will be available one week after the html version is posted.  This allows us to catch as many typos and mistakes as possible before turning to formats that are not as easy to correct.)

Interview: Diana Gill

Diana Gill is an Editor with Morrow/Avon at Harpercollins Publishers. She primarily edits science fiction and fantasy titles for Eos, along with commercial fiction, nonfiction, and random other titles of interest.

Theme Articles

Autumn Leaves By Jennifer Shafer
When I completed the first draft of my first novel, my initial reaction was, "I'm done!"  

Which was immediately followed by, "I'm not done!"  

True Writing is Rewriting By Beth Shope
Writing is rewriting. Raise your hand if you've heard that before. But flip it around--rewriting is writing--and we have an aphorism closer to the true writing process. 

Reading is Fundamental By Valerie Serdy
Holly Lisle recently ran a survey on her site asking folks to pick the most important non-writing skill a writer could have.  The list included such obvious choices as editing and critiquing, but the listing for reading baffled me.  How is reading a skill writers need, I wondered?

Confessions of a Blunt Critiquer By Andi Ward
I am a blunt critiquer. I have even been called a harsh critiquer. In general, I am not called nasty, cruel, or destructive, although blunt or harsh critiques are held to be nasty, cruel, or destructive because it hurts the author's feelings to have her work flayed so openly. 

Giving and Receiving Critiques By David Stone
One of the biggest problems I have with critiquing a piece of fiction is my tendency to relax and enjoy the story. When I read, I switch off my analytical mind and let the story Entertain.

Revision and Submission By Heidi Elizabeth Smith
After spending an enormous amount of time slaving away at the computer, risking ergonomic injury in order to get the work in progress (WIP) finished (at last), the first thing most writers want to do is print out their spoiled eighteen-year-old with an attitude the size of Texas and ship it off to the nearest editor.

You Mean Somebody Likes It? By Krista Heiser
Rejection never suited me.  Not even a little.  The most professional, non-aggressive, literary rejections left seeping wounds of self-doubt. 

Advanced Writing

The Good, the Bad, and the Icky -- Proposals That Sell/Don't Sell Your Novel By S. L. Viehl
Any writer will tell you finishing a novel isn't easy.  For every completed novel ever written, there are ten thousand partial manuscripts sitting in desk drawers, filing cabinets, or closets, gathering dust.  Completing that last page is a real achievement, but it's also the first part of a new journey.  

Revisions Part 1: Color My Revisions By Carol Stephenson
When I received a four-page revision letter from a Silhouette editor on NORA'S PRIDE, the first thing I did was take a deep breath and contact the editor directly about an item I didn't understand.  

It's a Small World: A Discussion on Agents and SF&F Publishers By Wen Spencer
When I set out to sell my first novel, Alien Taste, I blindly followed a road someone laid out for me. Chose an agent, I had been warned, close to New York City.  Be polite to everyone, I had been told.

Springtime For Writers By Jeri-Tallee Dawson
Writers are, by nature, people who tend to spend most of their time indoors, since most of us use our desktop computers to do our writing. Even handhelds and notebooks only go so far.

Genre Articles

Wither Wander You? By Lazette Gifford
William Shakespeare was far from the first writer to bring fairies and other magical beings into the contemporary world of his time.

Introduction to Horror Part 3: Setting in Horror  by Teresa Hopper
One element that is easy to overlook when writing a novel is setting.  You’re busy trying to make your characters real and your plot interesting and complex, and what difference does the setting make anyway?

Mystery & Suspense
Mysteries: Rules of the Genre By Kay House
Dorothy L. Sayers and the Detection Club wrote the rules that now define mystery and detective fiction.  Other authors, among them S. S. Van Dine, proposed their own sets of rules, but the Detection Club rules were unusually good. 

Anglo-Saxon Alliterative Epics? Ouch! By Sally Catlin
If you grew up speaking English, you probably remember suffering through Beowulf in school. Being a writer, you may have even enjoyed it, or vaguely recall something about kennings or caesuras.  

Characters Romance Readers Love #1: We Need A Hero! By Gena Hale
Everyone wants to know the secret to writing a great romance.  Well, here's one of them – romance readers love heroes. 

Science Fiction: 
The Edge of Thought By Bob Billing  

Do you really need all that worldbuilding?
I have an opinion, based on nearly forty years spent reading science fiction: to write good SF or fantasy you must build your imagined world in eye-straining detail. Then you must ignore it completely and get on with telling the story.  

YA & Children: 
Writing Tight Justin Stanchfield
"Send us a piece that is written with a crisp, punchy style, use short, straight-forward sentences that adhere to the highest standards of journalism."

Young Writers' Scene: 
Using School to Enhance Your Writing Career By Julia Pass
You're trying to write, but there's an annoying little voice that just won't leave you alone. It could be your conscience, telling you that you should do your homework. Or maybe you're trying to write in class and that annoying little voice is your teacher.

Forward Motion Articles

Meet the Moderators: 
Carol Stephenson, Romance Moderator

A workers' compensation insurance defense attorney by day, new Romance Moderator Carol Stephenson burns the midnight oil as she writes romance novels. Surviving the daily legal gridiron doesn't compare, though, to Carol's accomplishment of selling her first book to Harlequin Enterprises in May 2001.  

Forward Motion:
 So Much More Than Free Classes By Bethany Davis

I came to Forward Motion for the free writing classes. In the August 24, 2001 edition of Writing World, Moira Allen included a blurb about the free writing classes at www.hollylisle.com.  In that blurb, Moira listed some of the scheduled classes, including "Writing for Children and Young Adults," "Plotting," and "Writing Love Scenes in All Genres." I thought it sounded too good to be true.


Also: workshop,  reviews, news from the 
Forward Motion Community, 
guidelines, and more!