Letting the Serpent Out of the Box

As an editor I’ve tried to be a good friend to other writers, to learn from them, and to encourage their work wherever and whenever I can.

Not only do I work professionally in “manuscript development” — I sometimes help other people develop their own manuscripts, as a sort of “writing coach.”

Some of my coaching ideas are absurdly simple, such as printing out everything you want to put in your book and placing the pages in a box, and keeping the box on display so that you can see an idea gradually taking physical form. Or writing fast for only 20 minutes rather than slowly and painfully for 2 hours (this one works beautifully). Or doing 5 minutes of rapid automatic writing to warm up and generate raw material before starting on a structured piece. I’ve got tons more.

Anyway, since this page exists to promote my “writing industry,” here is a testimonial from my friend Vinny, whose first published novel had a long, painful and bloody birth. I met Vinny in Belize at the 3rd Annual Zoetrope Short Story Writer’s Workshop in 1999 (this at a time when neither he nor I had yet gotten anything of ours published) and was so taken by his raw energy and brilliance that I vowed to do whatever might be in my power to make sure he finished his book:

“I wish to give special recognition to a writer who has been my catalyst, my editor, and my mentor. Andrew L. Wilson believed in me, encouraged me, advised me, and guided me like no other human being. Without him, this novel would simply not exist. Every writer deserves such a friend.” -Vincent L. Carrella, in the Acknowledgments for SERPENT BOX