Tag Archives: Editing

Getting Edited! | The Writer’s Block | Avalon Expo

Now that your manuscript is done, get advice on the often overlooked stage of the writing process: editing! Led by three of the genre communities most prominent editors, Erin Vance, AJ Ryan, and Heather Reilly, this panel will take you through how to get an editor, the types of editing, and how to manage the feedback you get from your editor.

Join us Sunday, August 27 from 11am-12:15pm at the Avalon expo Writer’s Block to learn more about this important part of the publishing process! 🙂


Continue reading Getting Edited! | The Writer’s Block | Avalon Expo

Erin Vance at the #LOLANL Writer’s Circle!

009In just 10 days at the Arts and Culture Center, local St. John’s author and editor of of Fantasy from the Rock Erin Vance will be co-hosting the first Engen Writer’s Circle of 2017!

Hosted as a part of the ‘Love Our Local Authors’ month going on all through February at the AC Hunter Public Library, the Writer’s Circle is a round table discussion with four of the indie writing community’s top talents: the people in charge of taking your submissions (Ellen Curtis), the author of Call of the Sea (Amanda Labonté ), the author of more than 15 novels (Matthew LeDrew) and of course Erin Vance, the author of Song of the Mockingjay and the revolutionary editor behind Sci-Fi from the Rock and Fantasy from the Rock!The #LOLAnl event has already featuring amazing local Newfoundland talent, such as Glenn Deir, Victoria Barbour, Heather Reilly, and Kevin Major! The Writer’s Circle aims to answer any question you might have about the writing and publishing process, not matter what stage of the process you’re at, from professionals with a combined 25 years experience in the competitive small-press market.

Come and get answers to your questions, meet the authors of some of the province’s most thrilling genre fiction, gets books signed and learn the different avenues to success with writing! Admittance is free, although Arts & Culture encourages calling ahead to reserve seats at: 709-737-3950. The event will be 6:30pm-8pm on Feb 22 2017 at the Arts and Culture Center, 95 Allandale Rd, St. John’s, NL A1B 3A3. To join the Facebook event and get more information, click here.


Erin Vance is an editor and a graduate of the Memorial University of Newfoundland English Honors Program.

Erin wrote her Honors thesis paper, Song of the Mockingjay on exploring the nature of Katniss Everdeen’s agency in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series. She is creative, spiritual, and loves reading, writing, and anything to do with words.

Erin is the co-editor of the From the Rock anthology series, which highlights Newfoundland talent in genre writing.

Erin is an editor for Engen Books on a work-for-hire basis and is currently accepting proposals from more editing work in both copy and content from authors of all backgrounds and skill sets, subject to right-to-refusal and prices to be negotiated based on the amount of time each project is estimated to take. Potential authors wishing to work with Erin should write erinvance@engenbooks.com and allow up to four weeks for a response.

One Draft, Two Draft, Red Draft, Blue Draft

Sometimes you’re going to write something and right from the start it’s going to be amazing!  Other times you’re going to write something which will require a surprising amount of time and effort in order to make it readable.

Life is about balance, I guess.

My first draft for The Six Elemental clocked in at 118,000 words.  For someone who used to have trouble writing anything longer than 5,000 words, that’s a BIG accomplishment and well worth a pat on the back. Unfortunately, it still needed work.

The second draft was about the same length.  I added a few things, but I also got rid of these made-up quotes I’d put before each chapter.  The quote idea fizzled out two-thirds of the way through the novel anyway, and since I couldn’t keep it going I figured that I might as well get rid of it.

The third draft was when I decided to create a major secret, which would only be revealed when it was most shocking!

The fourth draft was where I got rid of the major secret idea, because it wasn’t working out AT ALL*.

Advice from a beta-reader led to the fifth draft, which is when things really started working out.  The story got more focused and the pacing picked up.  I also cut a lot of stuff.  Two main characters got cut entirely, and at least two minor characters.  Another minor character turned into to a one-line mention.  I lost some stuff that I liked, but as William Faulkner said, “In writing, you must kill your darlings.”

I must have taken that advice to heart, because The Six Elemental currently clocks in at approximately 78,000 words – 40,000 words fewer than the first draft.

Sometimes, though, when you’re making a lot of cuts, it can be hard to know when to stop.  At one point I was ready to cut an entire page worth of stuff, but when I ran the idea past my editor she told me that I should leave it in, and gave me a bunch of reasons why it worked (thanks again, Erin!).

Never underestimate the value of an opinion from someone who doesn’t reside inside your brain.

Another difficult part of editing is accepting the changes to your story.  In the original there was a character who died half-way through the novel, but during the re-writes that character ended up living. I literally spent a week trying to figure out if there was some new way to kill them so that I could bring balance between the two drafts. However, I didn’t want to go all Joss Whedon on the character, so when I couldn’t make the death work I had to accept that the world had changed and abandon the idea.

But just you wait until next time, character.

Just you wait…

___

*Sometimes you’ve got to write a lot of wrong to figure out what’s right.

Can Something Be Both an Introduction and a Warning?

Erin Vance, Editor
Erin Vance, Editor

I suppose I should start out with a greeting of some sort, because I feel as though most of you don’t know who I am; which is fine! I don’t know who you guys are either. The beauty of the internet, I guess. Those of you who do know me are probably here because you found a link on my Facebook (in which case: Hey. How you doing?).

My name is Erin Vance. I am a student in suspension (because I don’t know my next step), I am an editor at Engen Books, and I am a Sobeys’ clerk (you may have seen me there once or twice). I am often called any variation of weird, odd, strange, or crazy, and am owned by 3 Newfoundland dogs. I have a trampoline named Frank and a Grand Caravan named BeueI. I have 3 younger siblings, and a new cell phone that I am not yet comfortable with. I am also about to embark on a grand adventure: I am going to drive from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia with my younger brother, Michael.

You may wonder why I’m telling you this, and the reason is: Because people want me to write a travel blog. And because I am curious about this idea, and on occasion like to make people happy, I have agreed to their request. Which is what this post is all about: My upcoming trip.

I’m not an author like Matt and Ellen – not yet, anyways – and so I don’t have any thoughts or words of wisdom on how to write. All I have is my own random thoughts concerning a trip that’s going to span, according to Google, over 7500 km, or 78 hours of driving. And that’s if we go straight across, which we’re not. Not really. We have too many things to see and do on our way.

(I’m kinda excited; can you tell?)

Continue reading Can Something Be Both an Introduction and a Warning?

Get to Know Erin Vance, Editor

Erin Vance, Editor
Erin Vance, Editor

You may have noticed a new face at the Engen Books booth at Avalon Expo this year and in the photos that found their way online after it. You may have also noticed that Cinders, the latest Engen title and first title in the Xander Drew series, was by far one of the best quality-wise that Engen Books has produced, on par with Infinity even. All these things have one thing in common: Erin Vance, Editor.

Erin Vance is a graduate of the Memorial University of Newfoundland English Honors Program who has, recently, accepted the position of the main editor for all Engen titles: both new titles coming through the Engen machine, and new editions of existing titles.

Erin wrote her Honors thesis paper, The Song of the Mockingjay, explored the nature of Katniss Everdeen’s agency in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series. She is creative, spiritual, and loves reading, writing, and anything to do with words.

“Erin is one of the most fiercely intelligent people working in literature today,” said Engen founder Matthew LeDrew. “She takes the time to understand each character in a novel and understand their voice. She’s not just checking for errors: when you hire Erin, you’re hiring one of the best writing partners you could ever have. She’ll remove your flaws and make all your good parts better. I like to think I have a sixth sense for creatively brilliant people. I scooped her up immediately.”

But who is Erin Vance? Get to know her better with her first Engen Interview!

  1. What is your favorite word?

Erin:  “Befuddle – because I like it at this moment. Ask me again tomorrow – I’ll have a different one.”

Continue reading Get to Know Erin Vance, Editor