No one can accuse Alexa Donne of the lack of flare. No wonder she calls it "Harsh Truth."
Hearing it gives me a new appreciation for my daughter. She spent hours helping me with tech stuff, reading through my drafts with a critical eye of an editor and a reader, asking questions, and making suggestions. Darling, you are amazing; thank you.
I also want to thank my family and friends - the other Beta readers, for being so diligent and ready to help when I asked.
Thank you all, you are the best! I'm thrilled to know and have you in my life.
I thought it'd be prudent to include Alexa's disclaimer.
DISCLAIMER: this is just a bit of fun! While the core advice is 100% true, I'm dressing it up with a bit of exaggerated affect. I'm nice and I believe in you!
Great tips for authors wondering if they should use their real, birth-given name or a pseudonym.
Check out this video by Alexa Donne to help you make or confirm your decision.
I've tested this method on many occasions on social media. Random accounts. Writers would vent in a post about a tough day receiving two or even three rejections. I always reply with what I learned from this video. Lo and behold, the feedback is fantastic. It's a "pick me up" when people need it the most. And the benefits are countless. The simplicity of all is mind-blowing.
It seems many writers struggle with synopsis, and rightfully so. It's a drag. Nonetheless, if you are planning to query an agent or a small publishing company, it is necessary to write one.
After thousands of hours of writing and editing your manuscript, finally making it look presentable, you have to tell your story again, this time on one page!
Ridiculous as it sounds, it's true.
I thought a video might be a way to go.
After reviewing about a dozen videos, which took hours, I chose one below. Malissa may not have been the most experienced option, but I like her style and delivery. She doesn't waste time and is spot on. On top of that, she is only offering what recently worked for her. According to her, there are several easy steps on how to successfully write a synopsis.
I know I'll be changing mine.
Following are Amy Harrop's fantastic tips for self-editing. I did it, and, guess what? It works!Try it yourself. That stuff is gold. Stephen King said that once he's done writing the manuscript, he puts it aside for six weeks and forgets about it. That way, when he comes back to edit, he is looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Kudos to Stephen, it's not me. I'm too impatient for that. Apparently, we don't need that long. A week or so is manageable.
Check it out.
11 Ways to Simplify Your Book Editing by Amy Harrop
Exhausted, drained and ready to move on.
Do these sentiments describe how you feel after you write a new book? I can relate.
You've spent countless hours researching and writing your latest offering and can't wait to get it into the hands of your readers. But your excitement fades when you realize the awful truth - you still have to edit your manuscript!
Even after you've come up with a topic, brainstormed interesting angles and arguments and done all the writing, your book still isn't finished until you complete this all-important step.
But here's where the problem lies...
For a lot of writers, the editing process can be an absolute nightmare. In fact, many would say that editing is much more gruelling than actually writing the book.
The truth is, it doesn't have to be.
I'm not going to tell you that editing a full-length book is going to be fast and easy - because it's not. However, it can be a much more streamlined and straightforward process if you utilize the following tips to make editing your book a lot simpler
Have you ever gotten so close to your writing that you've practically memorized every word on each page? It happens to the best of us.
The problem with this is that it makes the editing process that much more difficult.
Put some well-needed distance between you and your work before you start editing.
It may seem counterproductive to stop working on your manuscript in order to become more productive, but that's exactly what this simplification strategy calls for.
Editing after you let your writing "rest" allows you to view your work through new eyes. You instantly pick up simple mistakes and find opportunities to make your writing better that you would have glossed over or ignored completely if you didn't.
If you can afford to ignore your content for a day or two, you'll reap the benefit of using this tip. However, even if you don't have that kind of time to spare, just a few hours away from your work will do wonders for enhancing your editing efficiency when you actually get started.
Use editing software.
One of the simplest ways to give your book review a boost is to use software specific for content editing. While nothing compares to the editing power of the human brain, some of the apps and software available for this task come pretty darn close.
At the very least, editing apps like Grammarly help make the process a bit more simple. The software scans your writing and looks for common issues within your grammar and spelling. It then brings the errors to your attention so that you can make the edits.
Along with checking for spelling errors, Grammarly picks up the following grammatical mistakes:
Talk about a time saver!
Editing software works at a much higher level than anything your regular word processing program could do, so it's well worth the time spent using it.
However, there's one important caveat. Whenever you use any spell checking software, always be on the lookout for pesky homophones. Homophones are words that sound exactly alike but are spelled differently and mean completely different things (ex. coarse and course, or their and there). Spell checker software often doesn't do a thorough job of picking up on every single one.
Plan your content carefully.
While it may require more time upfront, if you take the pains to create a detailed outline for your book it makes editing much simpler when the time comes.
Whenever you sit down to write a lengthy piece of content it is always best to create a "map" of sorts before you begin the actual writing process.
Doing this offers several valuable benefits. However the most important one, as far as editing is concerned, is that you stay on track.
Staying on topic based on your original content plan lowers the chance of you having to edit heavily because of a lot of irrelevant or erroneous content sneaking into your first draft.
It's incredibly easy to go off on a tangent and end up having to cut a large portion of your book because certain things shouldn't have been there in the first place.
Reduce or eliminate this problem by making your outline as detailed as possible and referring to it often as you write your book. You're guaranteed to have significantly less editing to do than you would otherwise.
Focus on one aspect of editing at a time.
Are you one of those people who are proud of their multitasking abilities? Can you usually do several things at once and stay highly effective?
The truth is that 9 times out of 10 multitasking makes you much less effective than you would be if you focused all your efforts on performing one task at a time.
This is especially true when editing a book.
Instead of trying to fix spelling mistakes, tweak formatting and rearrange sentences for better flow in one fell swoop, focus instead on editing one aspect of your book at a time and stick with it until that phase of editing is complete.
If you try to tackle everything at once you run the risk of feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. If that happens, your editing and final results suffer.
A simple way to approach editing in phases, is to start with a broad edit and work your way down to editing specific aspects of your book. Doing this lets you laser focus on what needs to be done to improve the book without wasting any time and also improves your editing efficiency.
Edit your book in print. Have you ever read a document in hard copy and noticed things that your eyes never did when it was on screen? It's a common problem with a simple solution.
Print your book and use a red ink pen to make edits to the physical document. It's an easy way to make the editing process more simple and effective. Seeing your words in a different format is often all it takes to make mistakes glaringly obvious when your eyes would have only glossed over them in digital form.
Printing an entire manuscript and then sitting down to edit with a pen may seem like more work, but the effectiveness of the method actually supercharges your editing productivity and you finish faster with less hassle.
"Find" simple mistakes. Have you ever misspelled the same word or name over and over again as you've written a book?
A simple way to find continuously misspelled words throughout your copy is by using the "find" feature that comes with most word processing software.
Instead of scanning through the entire document manually, simply bring up your "find" feature, type in the misspelled word and use the "replace" feature to correct every instance of that mistake throughout your document.
A quick warning however. When you use this feature, make sure that you are only correcting whole words and not accidentally changing parts of words. That would create an editing nightmare of its own.
That or which, your or you're, whether or weather? Another great application for the find feature is to look for commonly misused words so you can get them out of your copy and put the correct word in its place.
Read your manuscript aloud. Have you ever written something and thought it looked just fine on paper only to read it out loud later on and wonder what on earth you were thinking when you wrote it?
It happens because when you read silently, your brain tries to make the process easier by predicting what it thinks is written on the page instead of what is actually there.
Reading your work out loud is one of the simplest methods for quickly and easily spotting mistakes in your writing.
When you use this technique, make sure to read through your manuscript slowly and deliberately, pronouncing each word as clearly as possible.
Have someone else read it for you. One of the most effective ways to get your editing done while simplifying the process is by enlisting the help of someone else, specifically a beta-reader.
Beta-readers read through your manuscript and offer priceless feedback that helps you supercharge your book editing.
This person doesn't need to be a professional editor or have high-level writing skills. But if they have an above average grasp of the way the English language works as well as a genuine interest in the topic of your book, a beta-reader can be an invaluable addition to your editing process.
Not only will they point out where you've made grammatical and spelling errors, but they can also provide insight on the actual content of your book. Use this information to do your changes and improvements and make the book even better for your final readers.
This benefit alone is one of the reasons why using beta-readers is a great move for self-publishers.
If at all possible, try to get your book into the hands of at least 3 different beta-readers. That way you'll have more than enough feedback to ensure that your final draft sparkles and is highly relevant for its intended audience.
Write first, edit second. One of the worst mistakes you can make as a writer is trying to edit your work as you write. Not only does this make the editing process much less efficient and productive, but it also brings your writing creativity to a screeching halt!
It is always best to keep the writing and editing processes completely separate.
When you sit down to write your book, do exactly that. Just write.
Forget about spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, proper formatting and all that jazz. Just get your thoughts out of your head and onto the page. Don't worry about fixing mistakes as you create. You'll take forever to finish your first draft and waste a ton of time in the process.
Once you've finished writing, now is the time to sit down and get busy with editing the piece.
Keeping the two activities separate saves you time and effort and typically results in a faster and simpler editing process.
Edit in short blocks of time Another simple way to enhance your book editing process is to condense the time you allot for editing into short blocks.
Doing this forces your mind to focus on the task at hand, which improves your concentration abilities and makes you more effective at spotting and correcting mistakes in your writing.
I use and recommend the Pomodoro technique to enhance and simplify my book editing.
The technique itself is simple and involves planning your work schedule around short blocks of time of intense focus that you alternate with regular breaks.
So when you sit down to edit Pomodoro style, your schedule should look something like this:
Using short and intense focused blocks of time boosts your productivity and helps you get your editing done much faster than you would otherwise.
Hire a professional. When all else fails and you really want to get your editing done quickly with as little stress as possible, simply outsource it.
These days there are multiple sources where you can find well-qualified editors who will go through the painstaking process of making sure your book is reader ready without you having to lift a finger.
Of course, going this route requires that you shell out a few dollars, but sometimes having an expertly edited book without having to do it yourself is totally worth it.
So if you're feeling tired and burnt out but you've just gotten to point where it's time to polish your manuscript, try some of these tips to simplify your editing process and get your latest book out there now!
Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Amy_Harrop/695929
Amy Harrop has a B.A. in Film Production from San Francisco State University and years of training, content creation, and publishing experience. She is committed to helping people achieve their dreams through profitable content. Amy works with publishers, bloggers, authors, trainers, coaches, affiliate marketers and service providers to unlock the secrets of creating profitable income streams with content.
Check out her blog for more publishing tips.
Phew! What a relief, I'm not the only one.
Plot development and three-dimensional characters, show--don't tell, hide in plain sight, and much more. Like myself, you must've heard it all.
The truth is, everyone has a story to tell, and it's probably a fascinating, engaging and entertaining one. The bottom line is, can we make a living from it?
Like most people, I need an income to do my part for the family.
We wonder what to do to attract an agent who would pitch our written word to the publisher who'd eventually write us a big-fat cheque?
The real question is how to increase our chances of getting an agent who would believe in our book as much as we do.
Diane Callahan, in this video, covers ten of the most common stumbling blocks writers encounter at the beginning of their careers. I have found myself in all of them!
I am happy to introduce you to another excellent writing tip by Diane Callaghan.
As a debut writer, I couldn't understand why,
"Anger reign inside of him beyond his control."
"Fear was visible in her eyes."
"Joyous feeling overpowered her; she was happy he was alive and well,"
was considered "wrong," or "not good writing."
"Show me, don't tell how the character feels," my lovely editor Laura would say.
In other words, let me feel their emotions, see through their eyes. Hear what they hear.
Easier said than done, right?
Well, I'm happy to announce that after many hours of searching, I found this fantastic video that helped me distinguish the difference between "Show and Tell," in the Written World.
P.S. That doesn't mean I won't make the same mistakes. After all, I'm still a debut author. However, I'll know what my editor is talking about, and how to correct it.