My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Archive for the category “Blog”

How to Reduce Editing Costs

Recently, I was approached by an emerging writer who opened her correspondence with something to the effect of: I don’t have money but I need a comprehensive editing package. My last editor was more interested in taking my money than fixing my book. 

I can empathize with this writer: she’s hungry to get her product into the marketplace and believes her work experience qualifies her to be a NYT Bestseller. But, as most of us who have tried our hat at creative writing after careers in journalism, academia, technology, etc. have learned, writing fiction requires a different skillset.

Writers are fortunate to have resources available to help save costs while honing their craft. Through the Internet, we can take master-level courses in creative writing and storytelling, grammar, and all points in between at little to no cost. I have personally completed the Creative Writing Specialization through Coursera.org and found it to be one of the best learning experiences I’ve had to date. There are also local workshops hosted by writing groups and universities such as this one in my corner of the world: The Apprentices: Free Creative Writing Workshops at Northwestern University. On social media and apps like Meetup or Scribophile you can join face-to-face or virtual writing groups.

Also, there are literally oodles of books about writing available for free through your favorite eReader bookshop, and don’t get me started on the tens of thousands of titles on Kindle Unlimited alone! And, don’t forget about your library where you can rent ebooks and audiobooks as well.

All of these resources can help writers — newbies and veterans — gain a better command of their craft. This legwork is done so you can save time and money when you reach the editing stage of the publishing process.

As an editor, I hope you’ve used your time wisely and sought advice from early readers and writing partners. I don’t like to have been the only other voice at this stage of the process.

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” Stephen King On Writing

What King means is, tell yourself the story in the first draft. Let it rest. Then collaborate to make your story more real through the help of trusted crit partners. Give your manuscript another thorough self-edit or two before handing it over to editors.

Also, check out this post about how to determine what kind of editor you need and how to combine services to save money without negatively affecting your manuscript. In the linked article are alternatives to costly editing tasks. Picking Editors: Can We Combine Steps…? Jamie Gold has a terrific site chock-full of detailed guides and worksheets to help you tell your best story.

After you’ve done all that, give me a holler to discuss your publishing goals. daphne@mypassionspen.com 

 

“The Most Important Lesson George Lucas Taught His Student Are These 3 Words”

“The Most Important Lesson George Lucas Taught His Student Are These 3 Words” @BenjaminPHardy https://medium.com/the-mission/the-most-important-lesson-george-lucas-taught-his-student-5b3f21bd46bf

5 qualities of a brilliant story

Nail Your Novel

3389004318_2e8d3200fb_zI write a lot of posts about problems with book drafts. But isn’t it just as important to look at the positive? If we listed the qualities of a brilliant read, what would they be? (Plus, I think we need a feelgood post.)

So, as I sit here on Sunday morning in London with an hour to get this post out of my head and into the grey matter of the blogosphere, this is the list I’ve come up with. I hope you’ll storm your brains and join in at the end.

Here goes.

Deft use of details

A writer needs to give a lot of details to evoke the setting, time period (if it’s not contemporary), distinguishing features of the characters, points about the weather. A skilful storyteller will smuggle a lot of these in as part of the action. A historical period might be evoked by showing a character…

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“The 9 Mistakes Every Beginner Writer Makes”

“The 9 Mistakes Every Beginner Writer Makes” https://medium.com/@elizabethandreauthor/the-8-mistakes-every-beginner-writer-makes-bd259a6d1ca2

Writer’s Block and How to Shoot Your Way out of It

Jane Ozkowski

One minute you’re typing away on your vintage Underwood, smoking your Belmonts and blowing holes right through the elbow patches of your cardigan, and the next minute you’re banging your face against your typewriter so vigorously that you’ve got the letter J stuck in your eye socket and you don’t remember where you left your feet.6455128663_a6e60bd1eb_o

Writer’s block happens to all of us. It doesn’t mean that your story is bad or boring or headed in the wrong direction. It just means that you’re trying to write a book which is hard work and sometimes an extremely unpleasant thing to do.

When you’re writing a two-hundred or three-hundred or six-hundred page novel and trying to keep in mind where your characters came from, where you want them to be at the end of the book and how you’re going to get them there, a paralysis can take over making everything seem…

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Nonfiction Essay Contest

This an interesting competition for you essayist and journalist, or those of you desiring to step out of your writing comfort zone.

Dangerous Creations: Real-life Frankenstein Stories – http://wp.me/pTsU-2wo

Image from: mylespower.co.uk

Try it as a writing exercise–a way to think differently about the everyday world and grow your creative muscles. Ray Bradbury wrote a short story every week, and his observations of his world have become some of the most cherished stories in history. 

Take a good look at your world. Go ahead and tilt your head, squint your eyes. What do you see? Write it out.

Happy writing!

5 Things You Learn from Writing “Bad” Books

A Writer's Path

Bad

by Kelsie Engen

Every author has a “bad” book to their name.

Come on, admit it. It’s that book you wrote back in your early writing days, the one where you thought it was magical. Then, for one reason or another, you set it aside, and when you dusted it off a year later, you cannot read a word of it without wincing.

Yeah. It’s that one.

I’ve got one (or several) too, books that I’d like to forget I ever wrote.

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Is Perfectionism Killing Your Success?

I checked my email just before heading into a writing session, and boy is this message right on time!

Put the donkey down! I need to be good, not perfect.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 7.23.57 AM

Last time I wrote about stress and how it can kill creativity. Many “normal” people (code for “non writers”) see our job as play, as fun. They really don’t grasp what goes into creating the stories they all enjoy and that it is a lot of work. Also, because our field is so subjective, writers must endure an onslaught of “enemies” no one else can see because often they are in our head. Sometimes, in our effort to produce the best work we can, we invite in a very dangerous enemy.

Meet….Perfect.

All of us want to do a good job. We want to put our best foot forward. We all say that we want feedback and critique, but deep down, if we are real honest, we want people to love everything we say and do. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality. We can’t please everyone, and it is easy…

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Call for Beta Readers

How to begin your novel: Start with the action!

Pema Donyo

Writing Tip - Start with the Action

How should you begin your novel? The best way is to start with the action!

This is a concept that’s taken me many stories to understand. When writing my first draft of One Last Letter, I included a flashback scene that showed Jesse and Evelyn as young teenagers. They were making a promise to one another to stay together forever. It was a great scene and I loved it and then when I was editing with Crimson Romance’s brilliant editor Julie Sturgeon, she said: “This has gotta go.”

To be honest, the action of the story didn’t start with that promise. The action started a few years later, when Evelyn returns from school and she no longer believes she can be with Jesse. That’s where my story needed to begin. The same issue happened with Revolutionary HeartsI’d drafted a scene right before the hero and heroine meet…

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