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Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog) RSS feed

Editing checklist

by Pat McNees
What to do at various stages of editing a manuscript: the PRE-EDIT (as you interview, edit, and write), the SUBSTANTIVE EDIT (for content, organization, and approach), the LINE EDIT (for effective line-by-line writing), the COPY EDIT (for grammar and style), the PHOTO (AND CAPTION) EDIT, the PERMISSIONS EDIT (for copyright issues), PROOFREADING (for errors and formatting in final copy) , PRODUCTION EDITING (double-checking all formatting issues), and INDEX EDITING.  Read More 
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Storytelling, Part 1

At the Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD, I recently participated in a panel on oral storytelling of true stories as a way to work out a story before writing it. Panel co-organizer Ellouise Schoettler, a nationally known storyteller, has a sign hanging in her office: "Tell your story before someone else does it and gets it wrong." Read More 
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Addictive and wonderful TV and cable shows

(Updated 7-9-2020)  I assembled this alphabetized list of "best TV and cable shows of all time") for friends but got so many requests for it that I posted it here and update it periodically. Not all of the shows are current. I've added stars to shows that in my view are "must try" and I've provided links for many shows, but venues change. You can always google the name of a show and scroll down past the Google ads to see if and where the shows are streaming now. If you haven't seen it, start with Friday Night Lights (2006-2011, watch streaming on Hulu).

 

The rest, in alphabetical order:
Absolutely Fabulous (Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video with BritBox) Fashion-obsessed, drug-addled best friends, total narcissists, and career women fumble their way through middle age.
Accused (BBC streaming, aired for two seasons, 2010-2012). This award-winning drama anthology follows people accused of crimes as they await the verdict of their trial. (Watch on Acorn or Amazon Prime.)
American Crime (ABC) Good actors take on different roles in compelling, sometimes depressing stories in anthology crime drama TV series.
American Odyssey (NBC, Netflix) An elite soldier, a corporate lawyer and a political activist uncover a deadly conspiracy linking terrorists to a powerful American corporation.
• • • • The Americans (FX). Read Joshua Rothman's New Yorker piece, The Cruel Irony of "The Americans. As the NY Times writes, the week of its finale, "It’s a fabulous spy thriller and an even better domestic drama — a strange, awful love story set amid tremendous violence but also staggering idealism. This finale manages the nearly impossible: a meaningful and satisfying but still surprising conclusion to a sprawling, difficult story." I have loved it all though it did bog down  Read More 

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Do blurbs help sell books?

by Pat McNees
My first experience asking experts to read and maybe praise a book was with DYING, A BOOK OF COMFORT, an anthology I put together after my father's death. It was designed to sooth the frightened and bereaved. The Literary Guild asked me for a list of people who might comment, which I provided,  Read More 
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Who owns an interview? Who controls the right to use it?

by Pat McNees
Who owns (or is assumed to own) the copyright in an interview seems to vary among professions (say, journalists and oral historians) and sometimes those doing the interviewing seem to be taking too much advantage of the people they are interviewing.  Read More 

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The Hubbub About Sci-Hub: Who's the real pirate?

Updated 7-11-17, 4-13-17. Welcome to Sci-Hub, the Pirate Bay of science. "A researcher in Russia [ Alexandra Elbakyan} made more than 48 million journal articles -- almost every single peer-reviewed paper ever published -- freely available online. And she refused to shut the site down, despite a court injunction and a lawsuit from Elsevier, one of the world's biggest  Read More 
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The Panama Papers: Exposing the rogue offshore money maze

filed by Pat McNees

The Panama Papers: Politicians, Criminals, and the Rogue Industry That Hides Their Cash


Panama Papers: Exposing the Rogue Offshore Finance Industry (International Consortium of Investigative Journalism) Giant leak of offshore financial records exposes global array of crime and corruption. Millions of documents show heads of state, criminals and celebrities using secret hideaways in tax havens. Brilliant coverage by the  Read More 
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Voice in memoirs

People who talk about "voice in memoir" aren't always talking about the same thing.
Sue William Silverman writes "In short, the Voice of Innocence conveys what happened: 'I press the scarf to my face, inhaling autumn dusk.' It leads the reader through the actual surface event. The Voice of Experience, on the other hand, examines what the author, sitting at her desk, writing, understands about events now Read More 
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Ever wondered about those TED talks and conferences?

Watching a TED talk online, I noticed that most of the audience appeared to be well-groomed men, so I looked for explanations of who gets invited and how and why TED gatherings work. Liked what Jacob Ward of Popular Science had to say: I Didn't Like TED. Then I Got It (3-1-16) "It launched in 1984 as a conference around Technology, Entertainment and Design, and has grown to include not just its two annual events  Read More 
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Bill Wurtz's fabulous speedy history of Japan

The entire history of Japan (40,000 years) told quickly, visually, fabulously, and in a way you want to see again. Bill Wurtz, you are a genius.






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