We are very pleased to announce that Indies Unlimited has added the multi-talented Laurie Boris to the staff. She is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and former graphic designer with a long history of ignoring housework and pots on the stove to sneak in “just a few more pages” of her novels. She has had her short fiction published in small magazines and on the Web. Her first novel, The Joke’s on Me, was published through small press 4RV Publishing, LLC in 2011. Her second, Drawing Breath, will be self-published soon. A genre-bender and a lover of the character-driven story, Laurie plans to continue writing more tragicomic sagas, some darker than others. I expect she’ll draw plenty of inspiration from her experience here.
When not playing with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she enjoys baseball, cooking, reading, and helping aspiring novelists. She lives in New York’s lovely Hudson Valley with her very patient husband, Paul Blumstein, a commercial illustrator.
Where there is smoke, there is fire. That usually portends disaster—but not today. Your character is heartened by the sight of the smoke he sees through the mountain gap. Who is he, what is he doing and why should the sight of the fire be good news?
As well as reviewing books, I have taken on a role as an editor/proofreader. It’s something I really enjoy doing and a task from which I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction. It’s like renovating an old relic. I get quite a frisson from unearthing a pristine and shiny new treasure.
When an author and I discuss how best to approach the task with regard to the proofing options, I am often greeted with, “Oh, I’m not a techie, I can just about manage to switch the computer on!”
I have gone on quite a number of Microsoft courses in my working life and I had to prepare and edit countless geological reports for a slightly dyslexic geologist. I therefore know my way around Word (along with Powerpoint (many, many presentations) and Excel) quite well, so I just wondered if I might point the ‘L’ (learner) plate authors to a nifty little site that explains those rather handy shortcuts that will make your word-processing life a little easier. When I say ‘learner’ authors, I do mean in a word-processing capacity. (Phew! That was close).
So, after flirting with anarchy in my last blog post, I’m now going to continue to obsess about rules, just like that lady who didth protest too much.
In my defence, rules are kind of fascinating, even when we disagree with them. I mean, how was it decided, for example, that in the English city of Chester, you can only shoot a Welsh person with a bow and arrow inside the city walls after midnight? Not even sure which part of that rule I disagree with most, especially since it’s apparently okay to shoot a Scotsman with a bow and arrow in York at any time of day or night. Except Sundays. (Oh, that’s alright, then. And no, I promise I’m not making any of this up, you can check.)
But, back on track. My purposes here are to highlight a really cool link, in which the Guardian newspaper, following an excellent response by crime writer Elmore Leonard to a similar request, asked a bunch of accomplished writers to list up to ten “rules of writing” of their own. It really is an impressive list. Now, I could simply point you there and hope you go read them, but not only would this be a very short blog post, but the piece itself is very long, is in two parts, and honestly, even I am not that naive. So instead, I’ll grab a fairly random handful of these rules, and hold them up for inspection. As well as mockery. Okay, not mockery; some sporadic light teasing, perhaps. All done in a spirit of affection, of course. Continue reading “The Three Rs – Rules of Riting Revisited”