I am currently working on an article about various small press editors for the next edition of the CWIM (Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market) guide for Writer’s Digest. It’s suppossed to be 1500 words. I have 117. I’ve had between 90 and 120 words for some time now, all in the first paragraph, all rewritten multiple times. The usual tricks for writer’s block don’t seem to be working. Things like:

  1. Never removing your fingers from the keyboard, just keep typing until your character starts doing something interesting or back in line with the plot.
    (Not real applicable for nonfiction, and I don’t think my editors would appreciate it if I started inventing plot lines for them.)
  2. Writing down everything that comes into your mind regardless of it’s relevance.
    (Although I’m sure my rather random passing thought about going back into time and trying to explain blood types to Sherlock Holmes & Watson and the relevance for forensic investigation is fascinating, it seems kind of inappropriate for my article.)
  3. Not rereading what you wrote but continuing writing.
    (I tried this for the second go at my intro paragraph. For some reason every sentence except the first started with “After all,”.)

So, I have instead opted for asking for help. I’m trying to describe what people who have never met them think of editors. Now, I realize that for many of you this might take you back a bit, but I would like everyone to pretend that you are once again an unpublished, unseasoned author at your very first writer’s conference who has discovered that for some reason you’ve been seated next to an editor at the conference lunch. In a phrase or three separate words, describe how you feel. Then, describe again in a phrase or three separate words how the generic editor appears to you. (I don’t mean physically, rather things like intimidating or approachable or evil incarnate or divine luck, that sort of thing.)

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