17 June 2019

Summer 2019 Intern: Sam Pratt

I am thrilled to announce that my intern this summer is Sam Pratt, who will be a senior this fall at my undergrad alma mater, Lewis & Clark College. Sam and I bonded immediately over our mutual love of speculative fiction and passion for diversity in literature - not to mention the fact that she describes freelance editing as her "dream job" - and I couldn't be happier to have her on board for the next couple of months to assist me with some important projects I wouldn't be able to tackle without her help. Welcome, Sam!

Sam Pratt is a student finishing up her degree in Rhetoric and Media Studies and Lewis & Clark College. She's written for various publications, including Lewis & Clark's Chronicle Magazine, and has the honor of serving as a peer tutor in her college's Writing Center during the school year. She's edited literary magazines and founded various peer critique groups. She's passionate about storytelling - through writing, painting, and other media - and helping others to develop their storytelling abilities. She's also particularly passionate about issues of diversity, especially in the media.

Interested in interning with Sione Aeschliman, LLC in the 2019-2020 school year for college credit? Email me at sioneaeschliman (at) gmail (dot)com with your name, school affiliation, major, proposed internship dates, and a sentence or two about what you'd like to get out of an internship.

11 October 2018

Your novel's primary conflict

When I sit down to write an edit letter for a client, the first thing I ask myself is: What is this book's primary conflict?

Simply put, a book's primary conflict (also sometimes called the central conflict) is the problem or question that's raised toward the beginning of the book and resolved at the Resolution.

Incognolio by Michael Sussman. Problem: The nonsense word incognolio is stuck in the Author's head and won't leave. Question: Will the Author discover what incognolio is and finish his book?
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. Problem: Olamina's community is in constant danger. Question: Will Olamina survive and find or create a safer, more stable community?
Labyrinth (1986 film) by Jim Henson. Problem: The Goblin King has stolen Sarah's baby brother, Toby. Question: Will Sarah solve the Labyrinth in time and get Toby back, or will Toby be turned into a goblin?

My understanding of a book's primary conflict affects the way I construct a reading of the manuscript as a whole and often provides information crucial to a) understanding why certain elements aren't yet gelling, b) proposing solutions, and c) recognizing opportunities to make the book even more impactful. How does it do this, and what kind of information do I glean from it?

01 June 2018

Interview with author Sarah Whelan

It is my great pleasure to host an interview on the blog today with author Sarah Whelan, with whom I had the privilege of working on her debut novel, The Struggle Within, an adult contemporary novel about a prison counselor who finds herself the unwitting instigator of a prison riot. Her book is currently available in paperback and ebook formats on Lulu and Amazon.

Congratulations on publishing your first book, Sarah! Thank you for making time in your busy schedule to do this interview. First things first: what was your inspiration for The Struggle Within?
Thank you, Sione. I appreciate the opportunity to introduce your readers to my debut novel. The concept for this book came from my love of stories with strong female characters and my lifelong ambition to understand and relate to people with diverse backgrounds. Since my work and interests revolve around the criminal justice system, the experiences of prisoners and the counselors who support them are particularly captivating.

I envisioned a situation where a well-meaning but idealistic advocate might inadvertently inspire a powerful, strong-minded prisoner to use violence to force the system change. This is exactly what happens to my protagonist Beth Sharpe and the formidable José Ayala.

04 April 2018

Are you prepared for RevPit 2018?

Whether you're just hearing about the Revise & Resub (#RevPit) Contest for the first time in 2018 or joined us last year, this post is meant to help you decide whether you'll be ready to submit on April 21st and, if so, what you should do to prepare.

But before I launch into it, it's worth mentioning this: You don't need to be a contestant in order to benefit from the amazingly supportive and enthusiastic RevPit community. Even if you decide not to submit this April, you can still join the party: ask questions, favorite, retweet, shake your pom-poms for your friends, find a critique partner, and learn from the editors' #AskEditor and #tenqueries tweets by following @ReviseResub and tuning in to the #RevPit hashtag on Twitter.

03 April 2018

Interview on Write Through the Roof

Last week I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Madeleine D'Este on her podcast, Write Through the Roof, wherein we talked about writing, editing, and RevPit (among other things). To find out about "the beverage triangle," my advice for processing both praise and criticism of one's writing, and a strategy for reading for craft, head on over to Madeleine's site and give this episode a listen!