Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How being an intern helps your writing

I did a piece on YAtopia about How to become an Intern and I'm inspired to share with you why I believe being an intern improves your writing.

I've been interning for a publisher, which means I provide them with reader reports on submissions they give me. While I can't talk about the submissions, I can talk about my personal process for this.

Basically I jot down notes chapter by chapter looking for the naughty no-nos, like:

  • Telling
  • Info dumping
  • Poor punctuation and grammar
  • Plot issues
  • Wayward characterization.
Then I do a little summary about my overall thoughts.

I'm not a good editor of my own work naturally, but I love editing other people's work. But I don't get to do it as often as I'd like. However with my internship there has been a steady flow of work for me to read and I've found my mind stays in reader report mode now.

I was looking for five pages of sample writing to send off to someone and was horrified as I looked through a draft manuscript that I thought was some of my best work. Yikes! I found so much telling and info dumps where the MC is continuing explaining the world building. Yes it's a very complicated world building I've created, but I was about as subtle as a sledge hammer.

But it doesn't upset me as I know that when I get back into that manuscript I will weed out all the naughties with my new found report report mode.

So, for those of you who are interns - what are some of the things you love about it? (I love the fact I get to read amazing books before they're published and FOR FREE!)

And those of you thinking about interning, what would you like to get out of it?

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1 comment:

  1. I just started interning too (with a literary agency), and I love love LOVE it. It's great to see how the industry works behind-the-scenes, and now that I can see firsthand what works and what doesn't, my writing has definitely improved.