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Asta’s Annotations: Epithets (Editing Tip for Authors)

Today I am wearing my editor hat and talking to the QSF authors out there (although readers may also find the discussion of interest). The topic I would like to discuss is the issue of epithets. This is something I see from authors across genres; however, it tends to be prevalent in LGBT fiction, no doubt because authors are trying to accommodate for the fact that they often have two leads of the same gender, between whom they need to differentiate.

Perhaps some of you are thinking, “What’s an epithet?”

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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

Angel’s Bits – Tense Situations

Verb tenses can get complicated depending on the language. So in the interest of not going down that road, we’re not even going to invite things like past perfect, subjunctive, pluperfect and such to the party. Generally speaking, fiction writers choose either past or present tense for their narratives. We could try writing in future tense – and I think I recall a couple of experimental short stories someone wrote that way – but this stretches reader expectations to the breaking point and puts more emphasis on the verb tense than a writer usually wants. In other words, it’s distracting … Read more

Submissions Week: Writing Style and Grammar

Submissions Week

Hey all, Welcome to our first submissions week – were we’ll talk about all things submissions. This is a great opportunity for our newer authors to learn things from our veterans – how to prepare your story (whether it’s a short story, a novella, a novel, poem etc) for submission to a publisher. Yesterday we tackled manuscript formatting – today we’ll tackle what’s actually in the thing. When you submit a story, you want it to be as good as it can possibly be. If you submit a perfectly formatted manuscript that is full or grammatical errors or style issues, … Read more