Subscribe: Betsy Lerner
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Language: English
don  editor  give  hate  peeve  pencil pencil  pencil  pet peeve  pet  spoiler alert  structure structure  structure  work  write  writer 
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Preview: Betsy Lerner

Betsy Lerner

Last Build Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 00:57:55 +0000


There’s Something Happening Herebetsylerner

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 03:01:47 +0000

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Structure, structure, structure. What is structure? How does it work? Do you figure it out before you write, or does it emerge as the storytelling takes shape. As an editor, I always felt that the structure suggested itself after 75 pages or so. By then all the major […]

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Girl You Know I Want Your Lovebetsylerner1200px-moon-pie-single

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 19:50:46 +0000

Sometimes when you’re talking with a writer and you give feedback that a particular scene doesn’t work, the writer will say, in his or her defense, but that’s how it happened! To me, that’s like when you make a joke and nobody laughs, and you say: you had to be there!  We weren’t there. It’s […]

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Hey There You with the Stars in Your Eyesbetsylernersue-lyons-as-lolita

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 02:07:06 +0000

  This is going to be pet peeve week (and just fyi, the term “pet peeve” is a pet peeve). What drives me nuts is when fiction writers use eye signaling to stand in for story or emotion. She looked at him, she glared, she glanced, she stared, she lowered her eyes, she batted her […]

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Everybody Sees You’re Blown Apartbetsylernernc7859n-lg

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 05:50:47 +0000

How do you write about pain? Hurt, loss, betrayal? How do you write about those experiences that gut you without going all cliche on your ass? How to retain control  of tone when everything is out of control? How do you bring to life a slight, a thousand tiny cuts, a snub? You must write, […]

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The Words She Knows the Tune She HumsbetsylernerHi-res Safety Pin , isolated with clipping path

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 03:04:30 +0000

  I know people write diaries for themselves, but I still feel there is something vaguely performative about it. For instance, you don’t just write without any attention to style, word choice, tone, narrative. Sometimes I even use asides and dialogue. I don’t want anyone to read my diary, but I still give it some […]

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It Wouldn’t Be Make-Believe if You Believed in Mebetsylernermarigold-frances-choice_lrg

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 03:24:41 +0000

  Writer is not even on the list. If you ask me what I do, I say literary agent. I say I work in publishing. I say I put out fires, I dash hopes and dreams, I makes wishes come true. I’m an editor. I’ll always be an editor. I do dishes, I iron, I […]

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Get Out While We’re Youngbetsylerner194327-004-60511886

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 03:14:28 +0000

  When I was young, I only wrote when I was sad. I wrote a lot. Now, I mostly like to write out of anger and revenge and competition. Some people don’t think that’s healthy. I have no use for them. Writing is not: therapeutic, healing, consoling or cathartic. Writing is not a hobby. I […]

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I Felt All Flushed With FeverbetsylernerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 03:00:41 +0000

  This is about being in the homestretch, seeing the end, the pieces falling into place, the yolk hitting the pan, the sizzle, your eyes ringed and dry, your fingernails bloody, your legs alligator handbags, pencil, pencil, pencil. You used to have eyebrows, you used to have friends, you used to answer your phone, you […]

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Good Times Never Seem So Goodbetsylernerb6804a3179ba40a1bd11b50bbf688193-white-baby-shoes-baby-pictures

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 03:40:19 +0000

Spoiler alert: I continue to hate, including to hate the term, “spoiler alert.” I hate the barista at Starbucks near my office (and I hate the word barista). Every morning when I ask for decaf, she says, it will have to be a pour over the way the salesman at the shoe store used to […]

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Don’t Give Yourself Awaybetsylerner8bdfa164b2571afc5b90cd74627efa73-pegasus-unicorn

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:11:34 +0000

Dearest Long Losts, I hope everyone is in one piece, the holidays in the rear view. I’ve missed you!  I made one resolution even though it’s probably too difficult to accomplish, especially for me. I decided to stop hating with the caveat that I could still hate in my mind, I just won’t give voice […]

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