A few minutes ago the plug was pulled on the Community side of BeWrite.net. I was a moderator of the lively forum of writers, and a voluntary editor of the short story submissions that we showcased on the site. Looking through my hard disc I’ve worked on 400 stories by other writers. Not all were posted on the site. Some were unsuitable and sadly rejected but many remain waiting for their original composers to respond after I sent them editing suggestions. I used to receive many congratulations and warm gratitude for my editing – I seem to have a knack of turning 2D characters into 3D, converting tell to show, spotting inconsistencies – and have been called a wizard! (thanks Robert Blevin!) Why is it sooooo hard to turn those editing skills onto my own work? I am blind to my own faults – grrrr.
For example in my Left Luggage I noticed, while scrutinising it for pronouns with ambiguous antecedent nouns, that I sometimes wrote a dialogue tag as “Blah,” said Jill. And on other occasions as “Blah,” Jill said. Spot the difference. The latter tag is the more favoured these days so I’ve been wearing out my delete finger – again. Don’t worry if you’ve written yours the other way round – I’m not how important it is really. It’s one of those things that editors notice rather than pleasure readers.
So share a tear for the goodbye to BeWrite. It has freed me and the professionals at BeWrite Books to focus on being more productive and that’s what is important now. Maybe wipe that tear and raise a glass for a job well done over the years.