The Word Doctor: December 2011
When Joyce F. asked if I would consider contributing a regular column on writing to Dispatches, I had no idea I'd also end up working on a new online magazine website for the Military Writers Society of America. Yet, here I am — writing a column and working on the website. I'm honored to be working with the men and women of MWSA and hope to contribute something valuable to the organization.
Allow me this opportunity to introduce both my column and the website.
The Word Doctor
My name is Christopher Scott ("C. S.") Wyatt and I'm an assistant professor at Robert Morris University, PA. My specialty is helping writers shape their works, hence the nickname "Word Doctor." I enjoy working with writers as their works evolve from random notes into finished publications or productions. This space will feature some of the lessons I've learned working with writers.
I'm going to come back and revise this first column over the next few weeks. That's something that excites me about the new website: you can update and expand content in minutes, without delay. As an author and editor, I find there are always little things I wish I could "fix" after a column is published.
The fact is that every work you create will be imperfect. That is one of the toughest things to accept as an artist. Yes, you should try to refine a work as much as humanly possible, but in the end the "humanly" wins and flaws get past the author. Every author needs editors and reviewers, even those of us who work as editors. Some great editors I know are also the authors most in need of editing assistance. We tend to miss our own mistakes because we know what we meant to type. Our brains "auto-correct" while we read our own works.
In this space, I hope to help writers and editors learn how to "doctor" a manuscript before having to call a "script doctor" for emergency treatment.
The MWSA Dispatches Website
The new MWSA Dispatches webiste should be an exciting change for the organization. The site will include new information weekly, from the latest book reviews to articles written by members. Only paid active members will have access to some features. For example, only members will be able to participate in the online discussion forums or comment on articles.
Currently, the site is in testing mode. Please come back to see what happens over the next four to six weeks!