Sometimes somebody else says it better.
My continuing series on Fridays where I share excerpts of writing that I’ve done in the past through writing prompts, random stream of consciousness, parts of larger works, or as part of my 100-200 daily word exercises.
The point being to attempt to examine what I’ve done for clarity sake and whether or not I can make sense of it…not only to those who read it but to myself as well. Or I highlight something else that I’m interested in that week and want to speak at length about. Vomiting out words if you will.
Another Friday in the books ladies and gentlemen; and this week in regards to the blog, my mind has been firmly honed in on one thing.
On Wednesday, I posted a graphic showcasing the steps that led to physical publishing of a novel, according to Floris Books. It had me thinking not only just about the prospect of one day seeing my book on shelves…….but telling myself not to get too far ahead and remember that I’d first have to edit the dang manuscript.
A proposition that fills me with dread. I gave myself more than enough metaphorical ‘breathing room’ to not feel the burnout from writing it. But the very nature of returning to rip it to shreds, fills me with dread (ha. rhymes). But I found a good read that breaks down why it’s important to do so…..along with a few other good tips.
That article takes you to a page where author Emlyn Chand speaks on 6 different tips to make the most of your manuscript. Here’s an excerpt:
2. Learn to pinpoint your most common mistakes. I have a tendency to slip into passive voice, and apparently I have a strong preference for adjectives and adverbs beginning with a vowel. Each writer has little quirks like this, writing habits that can hang together to form an irritating pattern if not addressed in editing. Maybe your mistakes are more general — you might struggle with differentiating dialogue, or you might consistently forget to describe your setting. Your mistakes might be more specific — perhaps you have a strong tendency to describe your characters’ eyes over and over (I do this), or you might have a penchant for the words “certainly” or “surely” (I do this too).
In a file separate from your general editing notes, keep track of these issues as you notice them. You can hunt down and correct these problems later in the editing process; you can also ask your beta readers to keep an eye out for them.
3. Your beta reader is your new best friend. The beta reader for my first novel actually did become my best friend and still is. It’s important to employ the talents of someone both knowledgeable of basic writing conventions and willing to be direct and honest with you. For each of my novels, I have at least three beta readers — my go-to all-rounder beta, a member of my target audience, and a non-reader.
I’ve found my husband’s feedback invaluable; since he is a non-reader, he’s very ready to point out the places in the story that lag. For my second novel, which is of the Young Adult genre, I’ve enlisted the help of my 14-year-old friend, Connor.
Definitely need to also look into having ‘Beta’ readers following my first few edits. People who can read it and point me in the right direction. Something to consider going forward. Crazy that this keeps me up at night, thinking about it way more than work does.
Until next time.