Laura Anne Gilman was the writer-in-residence at Odyssey 2010. During her week at Odyssey, Laura Anne lectured on a variety of topics, participated in critique sessions, and worked individually with writers. In this podcast, Laura Anne discusses how to approach revisions. Before one can revise, one first needs to get a draft of the story written. Often, writers can get hung up on creating the perfect sentence and lose focus on the story. In a first draft, each sentence doesn’t need to be perfect; it’s more important to get the heart of the story on the page. Of course, that doesn’t give one the right be a sloppy writer. Improving the sentences will come in revision, along with other improvements. Laura Anne discusses common problems writers need to address in revision, drawing on her experiences as both editor and writer. She also provides tips on how a writer can tell when something isn’t good enough. And she explains how revising a work can help you with future works.
Laura Anne Gilman was an editorial assistant at the Berkley Publishing Group in 1994 when she took the first plunge into murky writing waters and submitted her first story to a professional market. An almost immediate sale to Amazing Stories followed. She didn’t make another fiction sale for more than a year, which taught her humility and patience. And the fine art of perseverance.
Over the next few years, in addition to a number of short stories published in magazines and anthologies (many garnering “Year’s Best” honorable mentions), she wrote or co-wrote four media tie-in novels (Quantum Leap: Double or Nothing; Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Visitors and Deep Water; and Poltergeist: The Legacy: The Shadows Between). In the meanwhile, she moved up the corporate ladder to be Executive Editor at NAL/Penguin USA.
In 2003, after a great deal of planning and soul-searching–and with a three book contract in-hand—she left editorial to become a full-time writer. In 2004, her first original novel, the urban fantasy Staying Dead was published at a time when everyone insisted urban fantasy was dead. So much for what “Everyone” knows. Staying Dead was followed by Curse the Dark, Bring It On, Burning Bridges, Free Fall, and Blood From Stone. The first in a spinoff series, Hard Magic, was published in 2010, with the second book, Pack of Lies, scheduled for February 2011.
Her epic fantasy trilogy, The Vineart War, began in 2009 with the Nebula-nominated Flesh and Fire and Weight of Stone (2010), and will conclude with Shattered Vine in October 2011.
To-date, she has sold over thirty works of short fiction, ranging from mainstream to science fiction to horror. She is also the author of the Grail Quest YA trilogy for HarperCollins (2006), and a number of nonfiction books for teenagers. Writing as “Anna Leonard,” she has also written four paranormal romances (The Night Serpent, Dreamcatcher, The Hunted, and Mustang).
Laura Anne also co-edited the anthologies OtherWere: Stories of Transformation (Ace), Treachery & Treason (Roc) and The Shadow Conspiracy (Book View Press). As part of the Book View Café (www.bookviewcafe.com), she is involved in expanding the definition of publishing beyond the traditional models, experimenting with the writer-to-reader connection.
More details about her work can be found at http://lauraannegilman.net.