- Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, on writing magic. (via theticklishpear)
So important for writers of fantasy.
Anonymous asked: Can you explain some general writing terms please? I get confused a lot when people talk about editors and published because I don't really know what's being said half of the time.
POV - Point of view.
MS - Manuscript.
Manuscript - The author’s copy of their written work.
ARC - Advanced reader copy.
Blurb - The description of the book that is placed either on the back or on the inside flap.
Query letter - A letter that you sent to an agent to pitch your project in an attempt to get represented.
Literary agent - A person who looks through query letters, requests manuscripts from the ones they like, and represents those manuscripts if they like them enough. They will then try to hook you up with a publisher.
Synopsis - A complete summary of your novel.
Big 6 - This refers to the six major publishing houses in the world.
Beta reader - A person who reads your manuscript to give feedback.
Canon - A part of a work that was written or confirmed by the original author.
Traditional publishing - When you go through a publishers to publish your work.
Self-publishing - When you publish your work through your own means.
This story reminds me, too, of something I always talk about which was that I never met an author until I was like 25. Until then, I didn’t think I could be one because I thought being an author was for special rich people who lived far away, probably in New York, and had some secret access to that whole world. (This was before the internet.) So I can totally imagine how a non-white kid who only ever met white authors would think the way the girl in this story does.
Adults are models of possibility. We need to model all sorts of possibility for all sorts of kids, and can’t ever assume that they just “know” about things existing that they don’t get to see and experience for themselves.
Especially when you’re a poor kid or otherwise not privileged in some way or come from an addicted family, you tend to have people around you that have those same limited and limiting beliefs. I never had goals or ambitions modeled for me by the adults in my immediate family. No one ever said I could and should try things that I wanted to do and have dreams and take risks. I learned survival and getting by, and making do with what you have and staying safe. I was a poor kid, and got that. When I multiply my own experience by a factor of also not-white, I can start to catch a tiny glimpse of what the girl in Ellen’s story and kids like her are up against.
I can stand in front of kids and talk about my background of poverty, and the dysfunction I grew up in, and I do do that, to share my own struggle to achieve a goal. But when I’m talking to a roomful of not-white kids (and I’ve been to plenty of schools like that) I know it’s not the same as if they could see someone who looks like them telling that story. Thanks, Ellen, for sharing this.
Thank you to Sara for really understanding the importance of this issue and for caring enough to share it.