Thursday, August 28, 2014

1001 Ways to Wreck a Story - Part One

In the course of our editorial adventures, we at Third Person Press have often discussed the mind-bogglingly numerous ways in which a story can, well, go off the rails. It's something we had never really thought about in our pre-editorial days, but we are constantly amazed by it.

So, while these posts are not actually going to enumerate all 1001 potential pitfalls, we thought we might cover a few, so that you can be on the lookout for them in your own work. Sherry provides the first one.

The "Didn't-Even-Make-It-Out-Of-The-Gate" Story

The Problem
I'm happy to say we don't see a lot of these at Third Person Press. This story is so crippled from the outset that it doesn't have a chance. Spelling and grammar mistakes are rife, sentences are poorly constructed or just plain wrong, tense and viewpoint are not consistent…you get the idea. No-one but the author has ever read this story. And it's likely no-one will.

The Fix
There's a two-part fix for this story problem. One, writing is a craft which can be learned. The author needs to spend time learning the basic techniques of spelling, grammar, and good, competent writing. You may have the greatest plot ever conceived, the most compelling characters to ever grace a page, but if the writing is poor, the reader can't discover all those wonderful things. It's like erecting a beautiful house and then surrounding it with a ten-foot-high hedge of thorns. Poor writing will keep readers out.

Two, editors and beta readers are your helpers. Get eyes on your story to help you find the problems and fix them before you show the story to someone you hope might buy it. Pay, barter, or beg for help with the writing even while you work to improve on your own—and accept the fact that you need it. The need for editing will never go away, even for the most skilled writer, but the work you set your editor will lessen over time as you become more competent.

Eventually, you'll have stories that make it out of the gate every time. Then you can worry about the other 1000 pitfalls lying in wait. We'll have another one next time!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Typography Fun

If you're following us on Twitter (@3rdPersonPress), you might have seen some of our fun typography projects lately. They're available here for you to download if you'd like to use them on your desktop. Have fun!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thanks to all our Grey Area Contributors!

Third Person Press would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the following donors for their support and generosity during our Grey Area Indiegogo campaign.  Thanks, one and all, including our anonymous donors who do not appear below. You all helped make Grey Area a success!

Gary David Henderson
Dennis Nicholson
Katrina Nicholson
Mark A. Rayner
Krista Miller
Anita MacKeigan
Cheryl MacKeigan
Lillian MacKeigan
Terry Ramsey
Jane Peterson Burfield
Lisa Auerbach
Joanne Menchefski
Karen Waldman
Gerry Evans
Denise Howatson
Mark Ramsey
Herb Rosenberg
Kathryn M. Beaton
Ethel L. Clark
Shawn Sullivan
Bradley Miller
Karen Buffett
MA Churchill
C. Remillard
Joanne Ryan
Beverly Phillips
Scott Gillard
Jo-Anne Citrigno
Chris Thomson
Voula Kappas-Dunn & David Dunn
Maurice Musial
James FW Thompson
Bill Conall
Lynne O’ Neill
Genevieve MacIntyre
Mona Anderson
Sue MacKay Miller
Walter Carey
Paula Bartlett
Boularderie Island Press
Larry Gibbons
Louise Rahey
Julie Curwin
Donna D’Amour
Barb Donovan
Anastasia Daniels
Virginia MacIsaac
Jill Campbell-Miller
Shelley Porter
Eternal Elf Creations
Michael & Tracy Hall
Peter Andrew Smith
Pat Ritter Richie
Meg Horne
Caro Soles
Sandra Dunn
Victor Sakalauskas
Kevin S. Moul
Christina Dufrene
Sandy Lacey
Kerry Anne Fudge
Robbie Shepard
Michael MacDonald

Monday, October 7, 2013

Grey Area Launches October 24th!

Our newest anthology, Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories launches on October 24th, and we're getting excited! The launch takes place at the McConnell Memorial Library, 50 Falmouth Street in Sydney, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There'll be readings, refreshments, and of course the opportunity to buy the book! If you're a supporter of the Indiegogo campaign, you'll be able to pick up your perks at the launch.

Grey Area includes stories from thirteen Cape Breton writers: Hugh R. MacDonald, Meggan Howatson, Leah Noble, D.C. Troicuk, Nancy S.M. Waldman, Charlotte Musial, Voula Kappas-Dunn, Julie A. Serroul, Nancy MacLean, Diane J. Sober, Katrina Nicholson, Theresa Dugas, and Sherry D. Ramsey.

The book will be for sale through the Third Person Press website and at online retailers in both print and ebook formats following the launch.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Story Teasers III

We know you've been waiting! Here are the teasers for the rest of the ghostly stories...

"Grey Area" by Katrina Nicholson - Can a person make better choices after death than they did in life?

"Stillborn" by Hugh R. MacDonald - The warning was clear: don't go in there. But sometimes you don't have a choice...

"Mildred Mudd's Epiphany" by Charlotte Musial - Mildred has always prided herself on her unwavering good sense and can't explain the reasons for her sudden unravelling to her best friend. She can't even explain it to herself.

"Teetering on the Edge" by Voula Kappas-Dunn - The edge of a cliff is as sharp as the line between sanity and insanity, past and present, life and death...

"Not on This Earth" by Theresa Dugas - A little girl, far from being spooked by the shadowy woman in her room at night, is comforted by her "Mother Goose," who returns to help out at just the right moment.

The Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories release is scheduled for October 24th. Stayed tuned for details!

Help Us Reach Our Day's Goal!

Please donate today!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Story Teasers II

Hungry yet? Here are four more Grey Area story bites for you!

Tuck in:

"ePrayer" by Sherry D. Ramsey - A call center employee takes a call that will change his life...and his understanding of death.

"Revenant" by Nancy MacLean - Cassie knows her obsession with finding a man who haunts her dreams is unreasonable, illogical...and all-consuming.

"Night Swimmer" by Leah Noble - A young woman wakes up in a pastoral cemetery to find that her dream has just begun.

"My Mews" by Nancy S.M. Waldman - The four walls of a beloved apartment entomb a young widow in her grief until she discovers that she shares the space with another soul, far more lost than she.

Take a moment to support this anthology by clicking over to the Grey Area Indiegogo campaign. Join us in supporting excellent writers!