Tag Archives: writing advice

Come and See Me at RadCon!

by Lillian Csernica on February 9. 2015

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I’m happy to announce that I will be making my first guest appearance of 2015 at RadCon this coming weekend, Feb. 13th through the 15th.  Yes, that’s right, you can come on over and hang out with the writers, artists, media pros, gamers, cosplayers, fans, and all the other cool people who will be gathering at the Red Lion Inn in Pasco, Washington.


As part of the RadCon Guild’s ongoing support of local schools, I will be participating in presentations for Language Arts classes.

7 p.m.  Opening Ceremonies


3 p.m.   Reading — “A Demon in the Noonday Sun,” soon to appear in Twelve Hours Later, the convention anthology from Clockwork Alchemy 2015.

6 p.m.   Panel — Heroes with Handicaps

How to write believable heroes who have to overcome physical or mental challenges, and may even turn their handicap into another tool at their disposal.


10 a.m.  Panel — The Magical Atheist

How is is possible to believe in magic, but not in a theistic religion? Come find out in this panel which seeks to examine a magical world view that is consistent with both science and the idea of god(s).


RadCon does a lot to bring the wonders of science fiction and fantasy to the younger generation of readers, writers, and dreamers.  I’m proud and honored to be part of these efforts.



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Buried in Paperwork

by Lillian Csernica on June 6, 2014


Now and then I get lucky and my state of mind aligns with my current work needs in a way that helps both.  Right now I really want to get rid of everything unnecessary in my life.  All the clutter, all the clothes, all the accessories, all the STUFF that owns me more than I own it.  That’s a helpful mindset when I look at a manuscript and see everything that does not need to be there.  At the moment, I have a 575 page novel on my desk, along with a 45 page/12,200 word novella.  Both must be edited for length then polished for quality.  I am indeed buried in paperwork.

Editing is a lot like sculpting.  The more you take away, the more the shape emerges from the granite, clay, metal, etc.  The more words you take away, as long as they’re the right words, the better the story emerges.  The stronger the story, the clearer the theme, and the more vibrant the characters.

Opinion varies on how much editing is enough editing.  When do you know?  How can you tell you’re done?  “Good enough” isn’t good enough, right?  So how do you really know when the article or story or novel is ready for the marketplace?

Here’s one opinion:  How to Edit Your Book in Four Steps

I think that system makes a lot of sense.  Step #4 is going to take a big chunk of time, but there’s no other way to be really sure the writing flows smoothly.

This is a more detailed approach:  Line Editing in 10 Easy Steps

Very useful.  I think I’ll be printing out a copy of this and keeping it by my desk.  This is serious nuts and bolts HELP.

What to do when your manuscript is way too long?

Some days I get so caught up in the microwriting I can’t step back and see the big picture.  Given that I have to cut at least 100 pages from my novel, I need to know a reliable method for chopping out great big chunks of the book without damaging the story.  Follow that link to some great advice by thriller author Jodie Renner.

Once I have the manuscript trimmed to the proper word limit, it’s time to do the polishing.  How do you make sure every chapter, scene, paragraph, and sentence is worth keeping?

Candy-Bar Scenes


I will say it is possible to get carried away with the editing process.  Every writer is different.  Every set of work habits is custom-tailored to the mind, style, and real life of each writer.  With respect to the author of this piece, I believe his methods are way too complicated.

How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps From First Draft to Publication


Time to go apply some of what these links have taught me.  Wish me luck!



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