Posts Tagged ‘editing’

Posted in 2011, the entirety of this essay collection is available online but requires a paid Lit Reactor account for a tiny fee of $9 per month.

Essay #24 (Stocking Stuffers) was already summarized here: Once I read these 13 writing tips, I wanted to find out more as I’m sure you will too.

If you’re brand new to writing and do not have the finances to pursue a degree in creative/professional writing, I encourage you to use these essays to guide your writing process. If you’re busy with several part-time jobs to support your finances like me, #15 (When You Can’t Find a Writing Workshop) will be a great help to you if you want to pay the $9 fee. However, most of these tips–or similar ones–can be found around the interwebs.

If a tight budget doesn’t permit spending $9, save your money blog readers, and sign up for Lit Reactor by linking your Facebook account to the site. There are plenty of other how-to essays available for free on Lit Reactor.

Or you can read more of Palahniuk’s advice. Right now. Without signing up or even leaving this blog.

I’ve accessed one of Palahniuk’s 36 essays (#13 Nuts and Bolts — Punctuating with Gesture and Attribution) and summarized it here for your learning purposes. Happy reading!

Palahniuk forbids you to use thought verbs. What are thought verbs? Empty/weak/deadwood verbs. You know the ones.
  • Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Imagines, Desires
  • Loves, Hates, Forgets, Remembers

Original: Brenda knew she’d never make the deadline.

Revised: Brenda would never make the deadline.

“Thinking is abstract. Knowing and Believing are intangible,” Palahniuk writes. Allow the reader to feel smart by showing physical actions and placing details into context. Above all else, show instead of tell, which means you can’t use is or has either. Sorry, but Palahniuk forbids. You’ve got to find some other way to introduce smell, taste, sound, and feeling.
To do this, you’ve got to unpack the meaning behind these thought verbs. Write so the reader grasps the entirety of of the character’s actions, inner thoughts, behaviors. Stop taking stifling shortcuts, and instead use specifics that arouse the senses. Like a lawyer, you must use details to present your scene as you would a case.
Identify Thought Verbs: Thought verbs can often be found at the beginning of paragraphs. Find examples of thought verbs in published works and in your own writing. Figure out ways to revise them.





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Bo’s Cafe Life

Posted: January 15, 2014 in Writing Humor
Tags: , , , ,






Find more funny, self-deprecating writing comics at

This is my job searching life.


This is my revision life.




This is my writing life.


Original Text at

Revised Text

Ethical Breeding Steps for Fun and Success

Cat breeding is an expensive, time-consuming hobby.
Here is an easy five-step formula for becoming an ethical and respected breeder in the Fancy without facing heartaches and making mistakes.

Step 1—Gaining Knowledge

A good breeder needs a firm goal that is specific towards the betterment of the bread in some way. To create a measurable goal, you need a strong education in breed standards, health, look and temperament, and genetics. Get ready to do some research in these areas.

Gain knowledge about the breed standard

  • Find a breed standard on a major cat registry website or correspond with a current cat breeder
  • Attend a show hall to see winning cats in action and find a breed that suits your taste
  • Do not attempt to change the breed standard as it is a long and difficult process for an experienced breeder.

Gain knowledge about the breed’s health

  • Be ethical. Know how to keep your cats healthy throughout their lifespan.
  • Other breeders can be a great resource to ask how to avoid health issues and eliminate them from your breeding lines.
  • Consult books or the internet about the breed’s health.

Gain knowledge about the breed’s look

  • Decide on a color division. Not all breed’s color mixes are allow for showing.
  • Learn about the breed’s aesthetic faults and disqualifications.
  • Determine a winning look for the breed you wish to show. Have an objective for the qualities you wish to emphasize on the show floor.

Gain knowledge in genetics and feline husbandry

  • Genetics can help you predict if the cats you breed together will produce the dream kittens you wish to produce.
  • Genetics can help you avoid inbreeding and free your line from health problems.
  • Feline husbandry can help keep your cats healthy and happy.

Step 2—Build a breeding program

  • Think of the number of cats you want and can have in your program
  • Consider how the cats you choose will be bread in the most effective way to reach your goal.
  • Write down the colors of your cats, their type, aspired lines, and pedigree for future reference.

Step 3—Prepare your home/cattery

  • Purchase pet supplies.
  • Create a comfortable space for your cats to sleep, play, and eat before purchasing.

Step 4—Purchase your cats

  • Do not compromise. Get the best cats to reach your goal. If needed, wait to buy the right pair of cats.

Step 5—Spay/Neuter

  • Showing a neutered cat
    • Looking at cats without buying one during the research process can be frustrating, and one must be extremely disciplined.
    • A neutered show cat might be a temporary and less costly alternative. Having a neutered show cat will enable you to visit many shows, develop a reputation, and get a head start on show grooming.
    • For such a cheap option, you will get to know many cats and people who will be sources for knowledge.
  • Spay/neuter cats that deteriorate the breed
    • Ethical policy that ensures the health and welfare of cats
    • Selling a neutered cat may motivate others to show a breed
    • Inspires respect from other breeders

Revision Rationale

Publishing for the web means taking an essay or article and making it appeal to the visual senses. This document was long, confusing, and disjointed. Instead of being informative, the writing style gave off an opinionated tone. My revisions focused on the visual elements of the writing by using bullet points and bolding the steps. I reduced the number of steps because I wanted the article to focus around a central bottom-line message: ethical breeding steps for fun and success. The author seemed overly focused on creating a 10-step plan, which over-complicates the process; thus, the reader becomes overwhelmed and is unwilling to take on a breeding program.

The revisions emphasize the research that goes into a breeding program by dividing categories of the process into sub-sections. The bullet points for Step 1 clearly identify the objectives a future cat breeder should keep in mind when exploring his or her options. The remainder of the article did not receive subsections because the points made were mainly more generalized reminders versus detailed how-to steps.

Original Text from Stansberry Research

Revised Text


Deal with Disaster. Cope with Crisis. Come out a Success.

Crisis is inevitable. We clean up hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes because we cannot stop them. Terrorist attacks, government shutdowns, public shootings, and health epidemics are all beyond our control.

These disasters are bound to happen, do happen, and will continue to happen. But don’t just throw your hands up in the air in apathy and dejection. Instead, consider Benjamin Franklin’s advice.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

As Americans, we’ve faced extreme disasters over the last 15 years.

Hurricane Katrina               Boston Marathon bombings         Hurricane Sandy
Aurora shooting                  Newton shooting                 Columbine shooting
The 9/11 attacks       2008 Great Recession                    2013 Government Shutdown      

We’ve endured great stress and strain on our emotions, finances, and well-being. This pressure causes “negative panic.” We lose the ability to make rational decisions. We are unable to leave a detrimental situation because we don’t know how to cope. We are stuck in panic mode and cannot escape.

To overcome our fears, we must, as Dr. David Eifrig, Jr. advises in The Doctor’s Protocol Field Manual, “Plan the Trade; then Trade the Plan.”

Dr. David Eifrig, Jr., retired doctor and former Wall Street banker, offers a reassuring outlook that sees past America’s problems. The Doctor’s Protocol Field Manual examines natural disasters, national events, financial decisions, and medical emergencies to create a sure-fire, clear-cut way to resolve any crisis. Convoluted misinformation will not be found in this book…only memorable categories.

Design, Provision, Shield, and Prosper.

These provisions in The Doctor’s Protocol Field Manual–not anyone or anything else–will come to your aid when disaster strikes.

Ready yourself for when the worse happens.

Plummeting stocks             Unexpected decline in savings                  Unforeseen bills
Expensive healthcare costs                                    The common cold & the flu          
Identity Theft                                   Property damage                             Robbery & burglary

The Doctor’s Protocol Field Manual guides you through these major and minor life events by:

  • Preparing you to be proactive to ensure their safety and security.
  • Preparing you for major and minor disruptions.
  • Preparing you to aid yourself in a disaster.
  • Returns your life to a state of normalcy.
  • Restores order with a simple, scientific method

The Doctor’s Protocol Field Manual contains more than 100 pages of crucial life-saving information. For $25 off the regular price with free shipping included, this book only costs $4.95. Buy it now to find out important ideas, techniques, strategies, and secrets that can make you safer, happier, healthier, and more secure.