You have nicely covered this from the editor's point of view, and I've rated you accordingly, but what about the writer that is looking for an editor?
I have just spent several hours this morning reviewing the editor list and to be honest, I would like more information than most editors supply.
So many seem to think that: "I made A's in high school english and I like to read." makes them well qualified to be an editor. Fine, how about listing some of the stories you have edited so I can judge if you are the right one for me?
Why not write a couple of short stories yourself so I can judge your knowledge and skills?
There are even a few that look more like a single's or a swinger's ad.
Yes, we writers could and should do a better job of reviewing our work before we send it to an editor.
Editers could give more details about what they can or will do for the writer.
I'll get off my soap-box now. Thank you for a good article and thank you for listening to my rant.
To Anonymous in the USA: What about what the writer is looking for in an editor??? Isn't the "contact me" function at the end of every editor's profile exactly for that; contacting them and giving them details of what you need and asking what they can do for you??
Editor/Writer relationship is give and take you know, if you don't tell the editor what you need and don't ask him/her what he/she can or cannot do for you how can you know?
As for listing some of the stories we as editor have done, in my opinion, it would be self-promoting and not really fair for the new editors who haven't done anything yet.
"Why not write a couple of short stories yourself so I can judge your knowledge and skills?" Easy enough to answer: who said that an editor was a good writer?? I know that I have absolutely NO idea whatsoever how to write a story but I'm nonetheless a damn good editor!! (So much so that I've freelanced.) Editing and writing are two completely different things and don't involve the same thought process you know.
I think you're far from being on a soap-box, as we haven't entered into a shouting match :) You've made your opinion known and I respect that.
Bit of self-promotion now: If you're really serious about looking for an editor, take a look at my editor profile, what's written there couldn't be more detailed.
Be aware though, lately I'm known as "The Bitch" who gives praise when it's deserved :)
There are so many double negatives in your piece it really is hard to follow your point - why not do a list of "do's" and a list of "don'ts"? Also, you really do need someone to edit out all the repetition!
Esteban03 in Spain: What a dingbat you are!!! Double negative in my "how to"?? Unless Spain and PROPER English speaking countries don't have the same definition of double negative.
If you had read it CAREFULLY, you DO know what carefully means don't you, you'd have seen that it IS a list of Do's and Don't.
Must be too hard to understand for a simple minded person such as you uh :\
I'm glad to say I only piss off an editor once in a while.
This submission should be taken in the spirit in which it was clearly intended.
I thought there was a lot of positive learning points there for those who write. I also see a bit of an "editor's rant" in there as well. And, of course, there's the retaliation thing in the comments...
Please see the last bullet point in your article which reads:
• Make derogatory comments about the editor in retaliation to the aforementioned editor’s comments/criticisms about your story;
(Funny how some writers regress to childhood when they don’t like what you have to say!)
and compare to your reply to Estaban03 which reads:
Must be too hard to understand for a simple minded person such as you uh :\
I guess my point here is that if the editor is not to your liking, then find another one and take their point(s) with a grain of salt.
Anonymous in USA: Your point would be valid if the criticism had been justified and asked for (which is what writers do when they send me their work to review)...BUT...I won't let somebody say something bad about my work when their criticism is not true (Read carefully what Esteban03 said "Double negative"..well find one and I'll eat my words).
I don't mind people telling me that I'm wrong, and when I am, I'm the first one to agree with them....BUT...I certainly WON'T lie down and let them step all over me just because they feel like doing it.
No hard feelings :)
I think this would have been more valuable if you could have given both sides of the coin, and list some things editors do that drive their writer "customers" crazy. No one is perfect, and we are all growing constantly, both as writers and editors. The ideal writer-editor relationship is one of mutual respect; any problems should be discussed by both parties reasonably, without the need for name calling and insults. You seem to have given the extreme case to make for a compelling "how-to", but in "real life" I bet most writers are basically easy to get along with. Perhaps you have a chip on your shoulder that needs a little chiseling...hmmmmm
And I thought my comments were mild!
The point I'm making is that it is not easy to follow your meaning when it's written in that style. Maybe, for your own credibility, it would be better to follow your own advice and examine the suggestion before lashing out with personal abuse. My bigger point was that you repeat yourself an awful lot. Maybe that's not the best example in a "How to ..." article.
Also, using supercharged language, double and treble exclamation marks, capitals, and name calling, is a poor substitute for rational, reasoned debate.
You have explained how you feel people should react to criticism, but you so easilly break your own rules.
Esteban03: I'm so glad to see you acknowledging that you were wrong in saying that my "how to" was full of double negatives...and because you've done your part I'll do mine.
Yeah I acknowledge that I have some double or even triple exclamation marks...BUT... does it really make it such a bad submission ??? Sorry but I don't think so! Then again, I don't see YOU writing a story do I????????????????????????? Or have you got one that you'd like me to edit? *wink*
As for repeating myself...what can I say, I'm getting old and have a tendency to forget what I've just said *wink*.
Please can you be so nice and explain to me what you mean by "supercharged language" 'coz I asked countless people and not one was able to see where my language could be seen as "supercharged".
Name calling??? Show me one place where I did some name calling in my "how to" and I'll be the first to bend over and accept due punishment ;)))
Last but not least...where was it said that what I have written were RULES to be obeyed?? I'm sorry but I don't remember writing that anywhere..unless I'm going soft upstairs and also forgot that :\
I was about to say No hard feelings but even if you had some...sorry to say but I don't give a damn :)
From your essay I may conclude that you have learned that valuable human lesson: No good deed goes unpunished. Enjoy the good ones when you get them.
Not an editor for this site, but the fact remains that I agree with the sentiment of everything you wrote.
If only you hadn't presented your points mostly as diatribes against authors who have offended you in the past.
While I am not on the list here at lit, I've helped a few people editing their stories and helping them with some poems. I had one where I worked for over two hours trying to help someone work a poem into shape. The poet then ridiculed my recommendations and work in the poetry forum. What he didn't do was show the before and after...
Excellent article... oops, did catch a "your" "you're" thing up there. Us editors do make those boo-boos too.
jim : )
Where to start? Oh, nevermind. I'll keep this simple. Writers often overlook their target audience. (To write for oneself, while perfectly acceptable, negates the need to post/publish.) Therefore, editors are enlisted, whether they be professional or volunteer, to polish the piece without completely changing the plot in its entirety. It is the editors job to catch erroneous transitions, grammitical fuckups, and encourage continuity.
Unfortunately, in the case of this submission, I'd guess this writer did not have an editor of their own. Otherwise, the numerous grammitical errors wouldn't have been so visible.
As a former copyeditor, I'd like to suggest one of my favorite rules: NEVER PROOF YOUR OWN WORK.
Seems like starting a fight with someone rather than just erasing their comments is a great way to get the comments needed to make it on the hotlist. clever but so boring. i hope you enjoy editing but from this litany of madcap complaints-- i doubt it
I thought the list, as far as items that related to storytelling, was benign. I'm surprised to see any visceral reaction. Have none of you read a story trying to figure out who the new character is only to discover after half a page that the author forgot the character's name and didn't bother to read his/her own story? When the character has a different personality in two paragraphs, doesn't it make you crazy?
As far as the editor-specific bullets, they mostly described a relationship of mutual respect. I don't get why this caused anyu contraversy at all.
I have contacted LadyCibelle separately and asked her (informally at this point) to edit some of my work. To LadyCibelle: I hope I was polite to you. A good many of the comments on this page seemed rather rude, and most of your responses seemed extremely touchy.
Some of the commentators shot themselves in the collective feet. One writer who criticized your own self-editing managed to spell "grammatical" as "grammitical." Others criticized double negatives -- I didn't see any in the story, so maybe I do need an editor or new eyeglasses or preferably an upgraded brain.
To Lady Cibelle: Your bio indicates you are French Canadian. I don't know if English is your first language (it is excellent), but there may be some Americanisms in spelling and grammatical-mark usage which aren't familiar to you. I hope you will permit those.
Hope I didn't find a new way to piss off an editor ...
To easy way to get hotlisted: Why in the World would I want to erase somebody's comment??? If I remember correctly we're still living in a free speech country and everybody is entitled to their own opinions. I've never started a fight just for the sake of fighthing but as I said earlier I certainly won't lie down and let people kick me when I don't deserve it. Make justified comments about my piece and you won't even hear a single word from me but say things that aren't true and/or justified and you'll see me on the path of war for sure.
I now understand what a writer means when he says that "his story is his baby and he's protective of it". Boy do I understand now!!! THIS is MY baby and just like I wouldn't let anyone hurt my children for no reason, I won't let anyone be nasty to my submission without justification. End of story here!!!
AnonymousCritic: I thank you from the bottom of my heart for understanding that I didn't mean to offend anyone by writing this. Quite the contrary, in fact, I thought it would make editors and writers laugh about things that happens often in that kind of relationship.
I probably missed my mark or writers are even more touchier than I thought and don't like to be told what they do wrong.
Anyway let me repeat that I'm really thankful for this nice comment.
Captain: Yes we did talk separately and I guess you now know that I'm not entirely "THE BITCH" I appear to be here. Of course you were polite to me and in no way did you piss me off :) Yes I am French-Canadian by birth but I've spent my life, for as long as I can remember, speaking mostly English (by choice)so Americanism and grammtical usage are not foreign to me.
To everybody else who would like to comment: Please keep in mind that I am a human being and just like anybody else I can make mistakes. I have no problems admitting them when they're pointed out in a respectful manner but I take offense when critics and/or comments are uncalled for or unjustified.
Last but not least...I might not have said it earlier so allow me to say it now. I appreciate all your comments, even the nasty ones. I might not agree with the nasty ones but that doesn't mean that I'd want to erase them.
And I laughed- check your use of your and you're.
Even word can't get everything. How to piss off an editor: grammer mistakes in the post.
Your story is not you (the collective you). Your story (or article) is a story that you (any author) tried to do to the best of your ability. Even in the final version, there may be weaknesses or inconsistencies. In earlier versions, there almomst certainly will be. If you really want to be a writer, you have to be willing to accept (not endure) criticism. Often it will be off the mark and will reflect prejudices of the critic. Sometimes it won't and, as a writer, you have to be able to evaluate it unemotionally so that you can benefit from the criticism that reveals problems with the story to you in order to become a better writer. An ice skater who became angry every time his/her coach pointed out something that could be done better, would never reach the top levels of skating.
When you write a story, you are burdened by knowing what you meant. Even if you did not get it across, you see it when you read it. That's why there is a need for independent review, or editing. You know the background of the characters better than the reader, or you should. But maybe you're relying on something in the story that depends on things only you know. It's hard for you to pick up.
When you see your story as your baby, you have a tendency to get emotional. That prevents you from analyzing the criticism for validity. It's why writers make angry, defensive responses to their editors. It's why they don't improve. It's just a story. If it can be made better, do it.
This is not a response to your article, Lady C, it's a response to the concept that a written piece is your baby.
You state, "Your point would be valid if the criticism had been justified and asked for (which is what writers do when they send me their work to review)..."
True. You didn't solicit his editorial skills. But don't we all do that to the "ultimate editors" when we publish a piece? I guess that means that the reader is not bound by your rules?
You go on to say, "BUT...I won't let somebody say something bad about my work when their criticism is not true (Read carefully what Esteban03 said "Double negative"..well find one and I'll eat my words)."
True again. I find no "double negatives" in the piece. However, I think that Estaban03's last reponse indicates he was really referring to your rule which states, " Complain when the editor tells you what is wrong with your story or what its lacking;(Even the contest winners are not right every time)." I, too, had a difficult time sorting the positive/negative thing out in the article. I think you would have been better suited doing the piece as a complete satire or leaving the negative out altogether. Then again, that's my unsolicited opinion as the reader.
Finally you state, "I don't mind people telling me that I'm wrong, and when I am, I'm the first one to agree with them....BUT...I certainly WON'T lie down and let them step all over me just because they feel like doing it."
I agree totally. There's nothing wrong with that -- at least nothing a good screwing won't cure! :) Now that I think about it, I need to get laid too...:)
Now, before you go loading the shotgun, just realize I'm ever-so-gently pulling your chain in my own sleazy, sarcastic way. No insult or hard feelings are intended, nor should they be taken. I've given your work a 100% on each of my comments, so that should account for something shouldn't it?
Has anyone told you that you're kinda cute when you get your dander up? :D
...as a Brit I must point out that 'pants' are what we wear under them! Having ones 'tousers' removed by a strict aunt or school teacher will bring a rush of blood to some Englishmnen of a certain age and orientation ! :)
Im not an editor, but grade assignments for a living and have complete empathy with most of the points you raise.
Even though I've never had anyone complain.
I always send them back two copies of their stories, one with all changes highlighted, another ready to submit. And, always with a foot-note stating my changes are merely suggestions, and the highlighted version is for them to change anything I have corrected if they don't agree. It is after all 'their' story.
I may be lucky and have only dealt with fantastically wonderful people who's praise makes my effort worth it.
It's always good to see, also, a writer get rave reviews after you have helped point out where they are making mistakes with their writing and see the improvement in following stories.
I only read this How To after noticing the endless comments in the feedback portal. Glad I did, it pointed out to me how lucky I am to have dealt with the people I have so far.
I hope you get a few more like those I've helped.
Best luck to you, and merry christmas. ;-)
Mr so nice anonymouscritic: I couldn't agree with you more...this piece ISN'T my baby, it's only something that I wrote. Nonetheless your comment is ABSOLUTELY valid and I shouldn't let "bad" critics put me down as that's always what I tell my writers :) Funny how it's easier to give advice than follow them uh ;)
Tanker6: If you were trying to make me laugh and stop taking myself so seriously you totally succeeded!!! :))) I smiled and laughed reading your last bit of comment; never heard someone said I was "cute when I get my dander up," not that I have any idea what a dander is..lolll
Don't worry dear I know when someone is pulling my chain in a nice way and you couldn't have done a better job :))
I'm not always on the path of war you know and when people know me they even think I'm nice :)
Mr Quillman: I did say that I apologized to my Brit readers, I know the correct use of "trousers" being married to a Brit :)))), But for most people when they read "trousers" they don't associate it with anything sexy.
Nothing wrong with having your trousers pulled down by a strict aunt or schoolteacher and I'm sure it can even give you a thrill :)))
Are you the nice gentleman who sent me anonymous feedback on my email? If you are I'd like to thank you, that was very nice to read. If you're not, well let me take this opportunity to thank the person who did. In any case it was appreciated.
Honestly I never thought that getting comments on anything I wrote could be so enlightening. I've learned a lot about myself in these past two days and even more about what makes people react.
Just for that I should triple thank everyone who made me overreact. :))
I agree that it is rude to claim you are only trying to "make the hotlist" by not erasing rude comments. I also agree that you shouldn't erase them, but I must admit that it seems as though it would be easier to ignore them. You yourself admonished people about being defensive. Yes, many of their comments are truly off base, but really, who cares. [yes...i know, over-use of commas] Then again, I'm very touch and go about taking this site seriosly at all. I wrote my first post in about an hour, directly into the submissions window. [yes it shows: total crap] I never really cared, but now I have to see the sorry thing every time I submitt a poem or something... I hate it. And so now, while I still tell myself I only write erotic stories to practice a given aspect of writting [different aspect each time, but whatever] I find myself unable to finnish my 2nd story... due both to repeated computer crashes, and a perverse desire to actually "get this one half right" even while insisting I dont care. so maybe I'm just talking out my ass.
You're absolutely right about people taking what you consider constructive criticism the wrong way. There are a couple of writers whose work I've edited, who shortly after wrote back a depressed email saying how they've come to realize they aren't really writers, and that they don't think they're going to do it any more. Now, why ask for help in the first place?
One of the biggest problems I have with reading some writers' stories comes from what I believe are called Homophones. This would be words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have entirely different meanings. Some of my favories to hate are: peaked/piqued/peeked, heels/heals, they're/their/there, and several others that presently don't come to mind. This kind of thing comes from the writers who trust Word's spellcheck maybe a little *too* blindly. As you pointed out, Word can't usually check for proper usage, and if the word is actually valid, but doesn't fit where it's placed, Word won't say, "Hey, this doesn't make any sense!" Word grammar check, as far as I'm concerned, is a total waste of time. My experience with it seems only to extend to writing cover letters for resumes and the like. It doesn't seem much use for "creative writing" but maybe I just don't understand it.
Of course, another thing that pisses me off, not only as an editor, but simply as a reader, are the idiots who write their stories, don't do *any* kind of self-editing or look for it outside, and have balls enough to write a disclaimer at the end of the story saying how they're not professional writers, and that they want no negative feedback on how their work needed editing. They don't want to hear it, and if people have a problem with their stories, they just don't have to read them. Usually, I avoid these pricks like the plague, and I've managed to run across a few. I sometimes wish there was some kind of a blacklist for those types of "writers".
And yes, I too sometimes have a personal difficulty finding some Britishisms overly erotic. But, as with a lot of us Americans, it's a cultural thing. So, knickers, suspenders, etc. don't usually do much for me, but if I come across them in a story I'm editing, I reluctantly hold back from "correcting" them, knowing that they're perfectly valid in the context in which they appear.
I know this essay's points have been discussed at length in the editors' and authors' sections in the bulletin board portion of Lit, but it's good that it's been brought out into the public eye. Maybe a couple of fledgling writers will take some of these points to heart and make things easier on all of us.
I starting reading this with a smile on my lips, really wishing it to be as good as what the theme deserved, but, well, you managed to mildly piss off this editor (and writer)...
Of course that I agree with the spirit behind this "How To", but you, as an editor, know that a good idea is far from being all you need to have a good story (or opinion article, as the case may be), but how does one take seriously an article written by an editor, when that articles is filled with :), :O, !!!!!!, ?????? and other such noise, not to mention some clamorous errors? Unless you're trying to be sarcastic, which I unfortunately doubt, given the nature of the much-in-need-of-editing comments in parenthesis.
That's all secondary, though.
The real points of discord, for me, were:
• Ask for advice but don’t take any;
• Don’t do the correction(s) suggested by the editor;
• Fail to recognize that some words just aren’t sexy;
These, as a writer and fundamentally as an editor, make me wonder if you understand what it means to be either. All an editor can do is make suggestions on how to make a story better, but the author is the ultimate responsible for it, for accepting or rejecting any or all suggestions given. That's his or her prerogative, and an unquestionable one. For an editor to be pissed-off or in any way upset because the author didn't take a suggestion is madness.
About the picture you posted at the botton of your biography. Is that really you?
'Wow!' You are one sexy lady!
About all the comments, good and bad. Just behave like a duck.
Calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath.
Best wishes to you and yours.
As an experienced writer and editor, you have surprised me. You have every right to be disappointed with the item, but in stating a good idea is far from being a good article, you make it sound like it wasn’t good. That’s an opinion. Currently, the item is the most commented on in the last week and the last 24 hours. This in itself does not make it ‘good’…but ignoring the comments made by the author, 16 out of 22 have awarded a 100% rating. That looks pretty good to me.
How does one take it seriously? Didn’t the opening part say the writer hoped to raise a laugh? And what’s wrong with a couple of ‘smileys’ or multiple ???????? (I’ll ignore the ‘clamorous errors’ comment as, apart from a your/you’re, nobody has found any.) This was not supposed to be a serious work of fiction or a dissertation…just a fun item, hoping to get some points over to prospective writers.
You say your real problem is you think it’s no business of an editor to be upset if suggestions are not acted upon by the author. Of course it’s the author’s right to do this. But what happens when an editor makes suggestions, points out spelling and grammatical errors and then finds the writer posts with minimal or no changes? What was the point?? And what if the writer ‘thanks’ the editor within the submission? It doesn’t put the editor in a very good light does it?
I wouldn't DARE presume how you do your editing but when I do, I invest a lot of myself in it. Not only does it take me time but it also takes energies to do it and make it its absolute best. So when I see a writer coming to me for advice/suggestion, comments/criticism and/or plain editing and then see that not only didn't he/she take any of my advice but also didn't make any of the corrections that I did....well yeah I get pissed off and with reason if you want my advice!!!!!
Don't tell me you wouldn't be upset if somebody asked you to edit his story and then find the story posted with all the mistakes and errors you so carefully corrected and pointed out? What's the point of asking for an editor if you don't want to hear what he has to say???
I don't know for you but ME I hate to work for nothing and not taking into account what I've said or done, well it IS working for nothing in my book!!! Yeah sure you could retort that if it upsets me so much why keep editing...well let me tell you why. Because every time I get a "bad" writer I have 5 great ones to counterbalance it...that's why!!
That you didn't laugh or like my story is beside the point. Sure I'd much prefer if you said that you did laugh but hey...such is life and just like you and me it isn't perfect :)
...and with apology to LadyCibelle for this post; I have no wish to proceed with a conversation on someone else's story's public comments.
No, I don't think 16 out of 22 100% comments are any indication of a piece's quality. That doesn't necessarily reflect the commenter's votes; the commenter's votes don't necessarily reflect the overall rating; the overall rating doesn't necessarily reflect the average opinion of all readers, and more importantly, as any experienced writer and editor here should know, neither of those things reflect the quality of a piece in the least bit.
As for your other comments, they are the exact justification any of the writers that LadyCibelle had in mind could come up with: What is wrong with a few grammar and style mistakes, and so what if the story doesn't make sense? It's just your opinion and this wasn't supposed to be serious work of fiction or a dissertation, just a fun item posted at a porn site.
And so the myth lives on...
There are many different situations where an editor might suggest a change and how you react depends on the nature of the change. Homonyms, homophones, your versus you're and the most abused word of all on Literotica: loose instead of lose, are flat out mistakes and there is no excuse for an author rejecting the edit unless the piece is a satire on the writing on Literotica.
Grammar is more personal and, some authors, myself included, use commas where they appear not to be strictly correct to cause the reader to pause. Most often it is in dialog and the intention is to show choppy speach without elipsis and hyphens. That is a matter of style and if the meaning is imparted, well, that's the point of grammar. Nonetheless, I'm sure that most of the corrections are on technical points of grammar and not intentional choices like I just pointed out. There is no good reason for not implementing those corrections.
Some editors weigh in on the story. I ask my editors to do so. If they have a problem, my story probably has a problem. On a recent story, the editor had a problem. I thought it worked as it was. I sent the story to 3 others and none of them had the problem of the 1st. I decided to keep it as it was, explaining in an email to the editor. It's a relationship where someone is doing you a service for no compensation other than the satisfaction of helping someone else. You ought to be sufficiently appreciative to treat them with respect and listen to what they have to say unless you have some good reason not to.
One area where grammar is problematical is dialog. You must often be ungrammatical to capture the flavor of a character. You can tell me that "whom" is correct but if the character doesn't even know the word exists, I'm sticking with "who".
So what I'm saying in the discussion brought up by Lady C in the piece and Lauren, is that there may be good reasons for rejecting edits. The writer should tell the editor why the change is being rejected. If it's a matter of spelling or technical grammar and the writer doesn't bother to make the changes, edit for someone else. You're not going to be getting the satisfaction you deserve from continuing to edit such a writer. If something meaningful is being rejected without explanation, ask; you may be able to work with the writer if (s)he understands the need for feedback to the editor in this relationship.
If the writer does not respond to critical edits, like an abrupt change of personality without a severe head trauma, ask the writer not to publicly acknowledge you - you don't want to get that kind of reputation.
You're both right. Some changes absolutely must be made and some are discretionary. I'm assuming Lady C was saying she expects the writer to change errors and Lauren was saying the writer doesn't have to make changes based upon the editor's understanding of the story.
BTW, you won't find stories under this pseudonym. I found that sometimes when I posted comments, other commenters got angry and went through my stories giving them 1s and making nasty comments so I hide my pseudonym behing a pseudonym.
LadyCibelle's short list deserves 100, if only for the lively debate it has created. I suspect however that the longer term response might give her pause for thought. Lady C is obviously a pretty feisty lady and a decent human being. However Lady C, don't be entirely surprised if the meek and the macho tend to avoid your editorial pen in future. Perhaps you will end up editing only the argumentitive souls - still that would be more fun perhaps.
I can understand a writer not taking an editor's style suggestion. Taste and style will vary. But for the life of me, I can't figure out why a writer would ignore mistakes that an editor has pointed out.
I have two favorite editor stories. Just before Gone With The Wind went to press, an editor is supposed to have convinced Mitchell to change to name of her protag from the more authentic Pansy, to the unlikely, Scarlett O'Hara.
And then there was the editor who worked over an oft-published author's manuscript for a swashbuckler romance. The editor carefully deleted every reference to a ship as "she" because it was sexiest. Ture story.
Thanks for the thought-provoking article and list. IMHO, they should be mandatory reading for any writer thinking about using an editor.
I will write you a private E-mail. (I know, the "E" is usually not capitalized and sometimes the hyphen is left out, but I like to dress it up.) I will say, for the record, that you appear to be an extremely NICE woman who prefers to deal specifically with intelligent people. It sounds like you yourself are highly intelligent, and you fit my preference for dealing with highly intelligent people.
Okay, enough sap for one day. I will talk to you in greater detail in the message, but I will be very interested in getting your feedback on whether my stories and characters are intelligible to you. I am "native Texan" (I have lived my entire life in the Lone Star State), so I base my characters on Texans I know, especially a specific region. I hope they have traits which any reader, from Georgia or California, Quebec or British Columbia, or Australia or the British Isles (to name just a few) can relate to.
I would probably use the word "trousers" in a formal sense if a male character is dressed up nicely (he may well be). I may have my characters use some regional words and phrases if they fit within my standards of spelling and grammar.
As to your question about the phrase "get your dander up," I've heard that often down in Texas. Here is an educated guess as to what it means. I know "pet dander" is a major allergen. Cats and dogs, particularly cats, shed their fur frequently and the humans sneeze and cough. So I presume "dander" is a generic term for fur and the dust contained wherein. Cats also allow their fur to stand on end whenever they are enraged or intensely afraid. I believe that when a human has his or her "dander up," the person is reacting the way a cat would whenever challenged. (I'm a cat lover and have seen many cats fuzz up their tails, and sometimes bristle the rest of their fur as well.)
Best wishes and I thank you sincerely for being who you are.
The phrase has origins in Dutch, where op donderen means to burst into a sudden rage. This, in turn, comes from donder, 'thunder.'
As this story heads toward its 7-day limit, the comments are starting to wind down ... but LadyCibelle and I have exchanged messages and I think I may have made a friend. Thanks to AnonymousCritic for straightening me on the origin of the word "dander"; I hope LadyCibelle thanks you too. I love to learn new things.
Thanks to all the nice people who either sent me private and or public comments on this piece. Even those who had justifiable critics to say but where nice enough to say it in a nice way were really appreciated.
I've learned that there are two types of people roaming LitE these days....the ones who have something to say and are not afraid to leave an address or something for me to contact so I can thank them or ask for more explanations and the cowards who hide behind "anonymous" to send downright nasty comments.
Lucky for me I got more nice people than cowards...must be my "sweet charm" at work :)))
No offense, but in your second point, "you're" should be "your." AnonymousCritic, you are absolutely correct. I'm tired of reading about how someone "looses their virginity." I'd recommend the following website to any writers: http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html
I couldn't help but laugh when you lamented the use of the term 'poop chute', I have never found that erotic and always cringe when I read it in a story.
Why, oh why do they use it???
I have done many of the things you used for examples. Listening to my editor has, IMHO, made me a better writer. I still sometimes have problems dropping my 'r's off of "Your". And sometimes I get the names confused.
Mr Anonymous just sent me this little note and since I can't reply to him/her as he/she didn't leave me an email address to reply I'll have to do it here: "I wonder why, because you are obviously so bitter about it, you continue to edit authors' work. Advice is purely that, advice, and not something to be followed regardless. As for your bemoaning "unsexy" words, then that is entirely a personal thing, isn't it. To single out English words is very petty. We could say that "ass" is an unsexy word, because an ass is a beast of burden, an "arse" is the buttocks. Let's not forget whose language you are speaking and have corrupted because of poor education. Writing an How To like this is all well and good, and should be encouraged, but only if it is done impassionately and from a genuine desire to improve things, not just vent your spleen and abuse. I had a very high opinion of you until I read this, and feel you let yourself, and me, down badly with such a rant. Some of your points were worthy but more were just petty. I feel sorry for people seeking guidance from someone so childish."
I continue editing because first and foremost I love it. I'm good at it and contrary to what you or other people could believe I am not bitter about editing. Just ask the hundreds of writers I have on my roster and ask them if I'm just a bitch and I'm pretty sure they'll all say that, quite the contrary, I am very nice and easy to work with when some modicum of self-editing has already been applied to a story.
My bemoaning of "unsexy" words (namely trousers in a story)...excuse me while I laugh but you obviously don't know or haven't read the part in my profile where I said that my husband is a Brit. Neither have you read one of the preceding comments I left where I said that my comment about trouser simply pertained to the fact that Lit is an American website and trousers is just not sexy at all for most Americans. (Husband adds....nor sexy for Brits either...conjures up images of Brian Rix!!) Furthermore I didn't single out English words as I also complained about writers using "poop chute" when referring to an arse...is there something grosser than that!!!!!
Last but not least, you said you had a high opinion of me and my work...well obviously you must not have a high opinion of your comment as you didn't even leave a name. For you to have such a high opinion of me or my work you have to have read plenty that I've either written or edited and in such case you'd know that I respect people's opinion...BUT... I have no respect for cowardice and not leaving your name on a comment isn't an example of intestinal fortitute!!!
No hard feelings!
Sure I'm biased because LadyCibelle is a personal friend as well as an editor, but if she quoted the anonymous poster correctly, he made a grammatical whopper in his second sentence "writing an How To".
I know that sometimes people drop the "H" at the start of a word and start with the vowel (although I complain when they drop the "H" in "historic" to create the phrase "an historic event"), but this is not one of those times.
Anyway, enough fun for one evening. I've actually written LadyCibelle to ask her to be TOUGHER on my stories, since I tend to ramble and give uninteresting information. I've also worked for her as an assistant editor for a few stories, and those things are DIFFICULT to edit! Some of the stories I've edited have never been submitted, which makes me very sad because I'm afraid I'm being too hard on the authors. It's not intentional; I'm just a perfectionist. And I make mistakes too; in one sex scene a man unhooks his wife's bra twice during foreplay (ouch!).
Editors are regular people with special gifts. LadyCibelle has never written an erotic story of her own. That's fine by me. She knows good erotica when she sees it, and could write some fascinating characters, but chooses not to. I choose to do so, and I was specifically drawn to her by this essay because I knew I was going to get a high standard from her. I got all that and more.
In case I don't log in properly, this is from Captain Midnight in USA.
I enjoyed this even though I am only a reader/commenter. I understand that people with the ability to be involved in creating these works on "Lit" or anywhere else for that matter are highly emotional and take comments or critisism personelly. Don't do that! I use this site for various reasons, one of which is to vent my frustration and internal rage. I usually mean what I say about a particular story and the writer of that story FOR ONLY THAT STORY.
I also have been given,by the site owners, the choice of "signing" the comment or just sending it out anoymously. Many time when when I think the story sucks so bad I will submit a comment saying the story sucks and I think the author is a no go @#$%^&*()_+}]"':;!! I usually send these out anonymous. I always get a kick out of the authors or even other commenters that call anonymous ngegative commenters cowards ect. What good whould it be to have my fictisious sit name on a comment. What are you going to do, hunt me down and beat me or something.
Anyway, as far as this article is concerned, I enjoyed it and alkso the comments, ALL THE COMMENTS.
I will enter this comment with my screen name so that anyone that does't like it or me or my brand of whiskey ...... can kiss(whoops) kick my ass(whoops) arse!
A lot of the stuff you listed seems like people could use some common sense!! I agree with a lot of what you wrote, although I've yet to edit any works on LitE. I've read a lot of stories on here and I've seen what you've described.
What made your essay interesting was the humor you put into it. Anyway... I liked it, just to let you know! I'll be sure not to get on your bad side.
How to piss off one of LadyCibelle's friends ... by Captain Midnight in USA
It's two days from the one-year anniversary of this story being posted and instantly becoming one of my favorites. I haven't gone back to it in a while, and I was shocked by the September poster stomping on it.
I'm not the easiest author in the world to work with, for a lot of reasons I won't go into here. But I don't think for one minute that LadyCibelle is "egotistical" or whatever word that poster used. Just because she reads badly-written stories doesn't mean that she's stuck up. It means that I, as an author, set my standards very high for her. Maybe not high enough for everybody, but I have to learn somewhere.
I'm putting my name in the header in case I can't log on properly.
Why on earth would someone want an editor who doesn't know the difference between 'you're' and 'your', or 'its' and 'it's?
From your 'How to' piece:
'• Think that YOU'RE story is so good that you’re doing a favour to the editor in sending it to them;'
Well, One out of two isn't bad. I guess.
'• Complain when the editor tells you what is wrong with your story or what its lacking;'
it's: contraction of 'it is'; its: the possessive form of 'it'.
From one of your responses to posts:
'Even those who had justifiable critics to say but where nice enough to say it in a nice way were really appreciated.'
How can someone have a justifiable critic? I'm guessing you meant 'criticism'. And I'll assume you know the difference between 'where' and 'were' but just did a lousy job of proofreading. Perhaps if you use an editor...
Perhaps the most amusing part of this 'humorous' piece was your very first bullet point: '• Have an inability to accept criticism and comments;'
'Hello, Kettle? It's Pot. You're black.'
By the way, if you have been on Literotica for more than, like, a DAY, you know that Literotica allows non-members to post comments. Being NON-MEMBERS, the only way they can post is as 'Anonymous'. You and all the other thin-skinned authors need to understand that an anonymous post doesn't mean the person is a coward; it means they are too lazy or too uninterested to take the time to join Literotica. Don't like the rules? Yell at Literotica, not the posters.
Have you stuck your head over the parapet again?
Why don’t you spend some time finishing the story YOU started a couple of years back, instead of trying to find fault in others all the time!
But then it’s easier to do that than finish what you started. Isn’t it!
I plan on sending this to my own editor. He's yelled at me numerous times for so many of those little hints in there he'll probably write you and thank you himself...lol. Great job. I enjoyed it.
Wow, it's been a year since I wrote this and it's still making waves!!!!!! :O
Dear anonymous, in wherever you are, posters, if you only knew how happy you make me when you say things like that and point out my errors (it shows I did a good job *smile*). I know that I stepped on some of your toes, didn't spoonfeed you answers and thought you were all adults when I edited your stories but when you asked for my help, you should have read the last part of my editor's profile where I state that I have no use for crybabies.
Nigel, have you taken your pills today? You know the ones that keep you from being a paranoid arsehole? ME? Continuously feel the need to attack anonymous posters for being cowards??? Are you sure you're not delusionnal too? Maybe it's time you called your shrink and told him you need another stay in the loony bin my dear. ;)
DC, DK and all the others I forgot, at one time or another to thank, thank you for understanding that my little essay was facetious and wasn't really meant to be taken literally.
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