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Asta’s Annotations: The Path to LGBT Fiction

Today I thought it might be interesting to discuss how we all came to LGBT fiction, whether as readers or writers.   For me, it all started with the film Van Helsing in 2004. Meeting fellow fans through the LiveJournal account I had at the time led me to discover fan fiction, and slash in particular. One of my earliest serious attempts at writing was a fan fiction with a Dracula/Van Helsing back story. I’ve written the occasional piece since—Rimmer/Lister (Red Dwarf), Hannibal/Will (Hannibal), Ragnar/Athelstan (Vikings), Sherlock/John (Sherlock), Steve/Loki (Avengers) etc.—and I still read a story or two when a … Read more

Asta’s Annotations: Editing Tips for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writers

Today I thought I would cover three of the common editing queries I see from science fiction and fantasy writers. 1) World and Race Names The common issue here appears to be whether or not to capitalise. My advice is to follow standard English conventions, unless you have a strong reason not to do so. In either case, the real key is consistency. Don’t swap and change from chapter to chapter; make a decision on your preference and stick to it. Here is an example based on common English usage, followed by a fantasy rendering. In Denmark, many Danes enjoy … Read more

Asta’s Annotations: The Death of Punctuation, or the Decline of the Reader?

Anyone who knows me well will know semicolons are punctuation marks about which my views are passionate. Unfortunately, many digital/small publishing houses do not appear to agree. Notes from editors frequently come through to me with requests to remove all (or at least some) of my semicolons since they are ‘specialised punctuation’. My response to this (in my head) is to ask: Since when? Now, this column is by no means intended as a rant against any publishers or fellow editors; I merely use it to illustrate a point. I fully accept that each publishing house has its own preferences, … Read more

Asta’s Annotations: How to Make Your Editor (and Yourself) Happy

Asta's AnnotationsGreetings! My name is Asta, and welcome to my new column Asta’s Annotations.

Since this is my first time posting, allow me to introduce my column and myself. I am a published author of both mainstream (Nicki J. Markus) and LGBT (Asta Idonea) fiction. I am also a qualified freelance editor, working mainly on LGBT manuscripts. I’ll be posting a monthly column at Queer Sci-Fi in which I’ll cover a range of topics. However, my primary focus will be on tips and tricks for writers and style discussions. Wearing my editor hat, I’ll also offer some advice on preparing your manuscript/submission, and that’s where I thought I’d start today. All my posts will draw on my personal experience. It may be that my tips won’t suit everyone, but even if they aren’t for you, I hope they’ll offer a springboard to help you find your personal style and preference. So, without further ado….

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