Editing

What to do with your first developmental edit from a real editor

Brendan Raven Hill Dustbin - Black
If you’re like most writers, your first draft likely belongs in a trash bin. But don’t despair. A professional editor can help you turn your garbage into a work of art. | Brendan Raven Hill Dustbin – Black (Photo credits: West Elm)

Picture this. You’ve just completed your first novel and are ready to hire an editor to give it a swift once-over before you publish it. You call an editor who comes highly recommended, and she asks you what kind of edit you are looking for. Do you want a developmental edit? A copy edit? Something in between?

You’re not quite sure, so she asks you if this will be your first edit. You inform her that you have edited it at least five times yourself. Plus, a couple of your friends read it and thought it was pretty cool. Your mom, especially, loved it. Based on this info, your new editor recommends that you put your novel through a developmental edit first. The following is a list of 27 long and crazy steps that many first-timers go through when their first novel manuscript reaches this phase in the writing process: Continue reading “What to do with your first developmental edit from a real editor”

Memoir, NaNoWriMo, Write Your Novel This Season

Did you write a novel this season?

Cover Image - NaNoWriMo Gone Wild - The Quest for 50000 Words
This is a current draft of the cover for my NaNoWriMo project.

Earlier this year, I started my Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge, which then morphed into Write Your Novel this Season. While I did manage to complete a full draft over the summer, I am still working on my fall novel. Considering I am only three chapters in, I am kind of doubting I will finish it by the first day of Winter (December 21st.) However, I have managed to get into a regular writing routine, so there are no worries here. Looking back, I see that I have made great progress over this past year.

I spent the early part of 2013 writing a 90+ page creative thesis that would net me an A for the final semester of my Master’s level professional writing program. I graduated in May, found and lost a job (that, looking back, I am happy didn’t work out). I was unemployed for the summer but spent a lot of that season traveling and spending time with family members I hardly ever get to see.

As I mentioned above, I wrote a full first draft novel that I am currently revising. I also wrote a full memoir/writing manifesto-type manuscript for NaNoWriMo, just to prove to myself that I could write 50,000 words in one month. I am even considering publishing it and offering it up for free downloads. Continue reading “Did you write a novel this season?”

Book Reviews

As if Hugh Howey needs more publicity

Hugh Howey's Wool, in the wilds of a brick and...
“Dust” provides a fascinating conclusion to Hugh Howey’s Wool trilogy. | Hugh Howey’s Wool, in the wilds of a brick and mortar store (Photo credit: martin_kalfatovic)

I finally got my hands on a copy of Hugh Howey’s Dust at my local library last week. I didn’t have time to start reading it until Saturday. But once I opened that book and started reading, it didn’t matter what I had time for. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. At the end of the day, I kept trying to put it down so I could go to sleep. I didn’t manage to close the book for the night until after I had read the last page. It was that good.

One of my favorite things about Hugh Howey is the way in which he shot to fame. He basically self-published a short story, then went on about his business and forgot about it. Then one day, he realized that short story was a bestseller. He rushed to write a few more stories to capitalize on that interest. Those first stories later became the Wool omnibus that is now being published around the world. Continue reading “As if Hugh Howey needs more publicity”

Editing, Publishing

If my cat had thumbs

picture of sleeping cats
These lazy bums think they’re ready to write a novel. Is it wrong that I was tempted to draw chalk outlines around them as they slept?

Have you ever wondered how difficult it might be to self-publish your novel? Let me tell you, it’s pretty easy. If my cat had thumbs, she could throw a sheath of paper on the floor, slather the pages with her paws prints, and call it a first draft. She could scan those sheets of paper into a digital file and organize them into the order of her preference, thus completing draft number two.

Do you hear something? I do believe that is the sound of cat lovers everywhere breathing a collective sigh of excitement over the announcement of Zelda Cat’s latest novel. Wait. Zelda would never truck with such nonsense. We’ll get Lulu to do it.

If my cat had thumbs, she might then upload her masterpiece to a website like Create Space, list it on Amazon, and call it published. Luckily, my cat doesn’t need thumbs to curl up on the windowsill and wait for her money to start pouring it in. Continue reading “If my cat had thumbs”

Editing, Publishing

What do you mean, you’re looking for an editor?

handwritten manuscript
It’s going to take a lot of effort to turn this handwritten manuscript into a published novel.

Do you need to hire an editor to clean up your manuscript before self-publishing or querying agents? You may be tempted to skip this step to save a few bucks on publishing costs. However, forgoing the editorial process may cost you dedicated readers in the end. Poorly edited books garner terrible reviews, which then decrease the likelihood that anyone will want to purchase your books in the future.

When determining whether you need an editor, it is essential to understand exactly what an editor does. While attending a recent self-publishing seminar, I overheard a fellow writer discussing his need to hire someone to edit his manuscript. At first, I was tempted to offer my services. However, after listening to him talk for a while, I began to get the idea that what he was looking for was a proofreader, not an editor. The more he talked, the less I wanted to work for him. Continue reading “What do you mean, you’re looking for an editor?”

Blogging, eBooks

Would you buy that book?

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...
Will you buy my eBook if I write one? | English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook Беларуская: Фотаздымак электроннай кнігі Русский: Фотография электронной книги (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m thinking about compiling some of my blog posts on novel writing and putting them together in an eBook. I don’t think I quite have enough blog posts yet, but it’s something I think I could manage over the next year or two.

I’ve been blogging about the first draft novel I just knocked out in 16 days, and I think this could be a strong string to tie my eBook together. I’ll keep blogging as I work my way through the process of revising and self-publishing this novel. Then in a year or two, I’ll put all of the blog posts together into one document and revise those into a cohesive whole. So, it will be a book on how to efficiently write, self-publish, and market a novel.  Continue reading “Would you buy that book?”

Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge

Summer writing challenge check in: Week 2

overcoming writer's block - crumpled paper on ...
This wad of paper pretty much sums up all aspects of my life at the moment. | overcoming writer’s block – crumpled paper on wooden floor – crushed paper (Photo credit: photosteve101)

I am setting a horrible example for my summer writing challenge participants. I just can’t seem to get anything written. At least not on my novel. I’ve been dealing with some personal issues (on top of the whole job fiasco, as if I didn’t have enough to feel depressed about,) and it seems like every time I put a pen to paper, that’s all I can write about. This doesn’t bode well for me finishing my novel by the end of the summer.

So, my accomplishments this week: there was one. I wrote a tragedy arc for one of my characters to try to stoke the writing fires. That didn’t get me far. I’m thinking of writing a tragedy arc for myself next. It might be fun to plot my own demise. Continue reading “Summer writing challenge check in: Week 2”

Writers on Writing

Wannabe Writer Wednesday: An interview with Mark L. Anderson

Mark L. Anderson writer
Mark L. Anderson’s first novel, BLACK WOLF LODGE, was published in 2010. He is currently on schedule to publish his second novel, The Bet, by the end of this summer.

Welcome to Wannabe Writer Wednesday! This week’s interview is with author Mark L. Anderson.

Mark’s Bio

I grew up in Indiana, attended high school and college in Ohio, and have lived the last 40 years in Illinois. Since retiring from teaching in 2007, I’ve found time to get serious about that writing dream. My first novel BLACK WOLF LODGE was published in 2010, and I currently have two short stories, “Hobo Willie” and “Pinewood Farm” available as Kindle editions. Most weekday mornings, after that first cup of coffee, I am usually at work on my MacBook, realizing that chasing that writing dream is an ongoing thing–one that seems to become more exciting with each passing day!

Mark’s Interview

1. Tell us a little about your current work in process. Continue reading “Wannabe Writer Wednesday: An interview with Mark L. Anderson”

Book Reviews, Publishing

You must read Hugh Howey’s novel, Wool

Hugh Howey Wool
Hugh Howey’s novel Wool is now a New York Times Bestseller.

A long time ago, I thought about writing book reviews for every book I read. What an easy way to come up with content for my blog, right? But for some reason, the books I had read just kept piling up around my desk without me ever getting around to writing those reviews. Until now. Now I have finally read something so good, I feel compelled to blog about it.

I just finished reading Hugh Howey’s novel Wool, and I must say, it is the best book I have read in a long, long time. Wool is a futuristic dystopian novel that follows the story of a people who have been living in underground silos since the destruction of the outside world several years in the past. Continue reading “You must read Hugh Howey’s novel, Wool”

Writers on Writing

Wannabe Writer Wednesday: An interview with Amy Burney

This is the first Wannabe Writer interview in what I hope will be a regular feature here at Write on the World.

Amy Burney
A lifelong avid reader of fantastical fiction, Amy Burney has a Bachelor of Integrative Studies. In college, Amy took language arts courses to understand what makes a good young adult novel, and reviewed many literary works for their merit in classrooms. Amy is writing a young adult fantasy novel to contribute to the field of young adult fantasy, and to share her main character’s story with the world. She grew up in the Harry Potter generation.

Q: Tell us a little about your current work in process.

A: Right now I’m working on a young adult fantasy novel involving a little of “real life” and some of a fantasy realm.  The main character is a high school girl who’s curious about mysterious occurrences happening in her everyday life.  That leads her to discovering a new world, including new creatures and characters.  She goes on some big adventures, and learns about herself.

Q: What’s your day job?

A: I’m a freelance writer for some online companies.

Q: When do you find time to write?

A: That can be hard sometimes.  I try to commit to writing 2000 words a day.  I normally just sit myself in a chair and say that I won’t do anything else until I write.

Q: When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? How does that figure into what you are doing now? Continue reading “Wannabe Writer Wednesday: An interview with Amy Burney”