My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Archive for the tag “Advice”

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 

 

“It’s Not You, It’s Me.” When You and Your Manuscript Need to Have a Talk

This is such a refreshingly honest piece. Sometimes our skills are simply not up to par with the story we’ve envisioned.  There is no shame in admitting that.

Don’t get discouraged.

Work on other things. Read. Learn. Write. Grow. One day your ability will exceed your vision and that perfect piece will flow uninhibited.

Don’t give up.

“It’s Not You, It’s Me.” When You and Your Manuscript Need to Have a Talk.

Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft

If you want to write a novel or other fiction, learn the craft. Don’t fake it. You can learn how to write, learn the rules and the elements of fiction.

via Don’t Fake It—Learn the Craft.

Great advice from Terrible Minds

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/03/19/in-writing-there-are-rules-and-then-there-are-rules/

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5 Tips To Help Writers Embrace Change

Writers In The Storm Blog

by Kathryn Craft
Turning Whine into Gold

Everything’s changing.

Yep—that’s a whine all right, and a truth, and the summary of this entire post. Change is as constant in publishing as any other industry impacted by computerization in the past twenty years.

But change can be especially hard to grapple with for writers. Here’s why, and some tips for turning whine into gold.

Nature of the beast

Whine: Storytellers are constantly adrift in imaginary worlds, conjuring unexpected pressures that, in the end, will force some sort of inexorable change. Yet day after day writers depend on their coffee, their chocolate, their word count, their wine, their cat, and their Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure (oh—is that just me?). Constants serve as touchstones for an inner life in a constant state of upheaval.

Gold: Storytellers are change specialists. Yes, we usually control that change. But actual, real-world challenges, although rarely welcomed…

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Rise and shine!

image

Good morning, friend,

Are you writing today? You are. Well, here are a couple of articles which you may find useful.

Avoid Passive Voice

Pacing

Happy writing!!

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Dialogue tips from NaNoWriMo

http://blog.nanowrimo.org/post/76231341729/five-mistakes-to-look-for-in-your-dialogue

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The Implied Author: What it is, and why it matters

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

1219898_old_books____2Today, I’d love to start a discussion about a topic I only learned about/ really considered when I started grad school: the “implied author.”

The term was coined by Wayne Booth in his book “The Rhetoric of Fiction.”

Even though I only heard the phrase after undergrad, the concept isn’t difficult to understand.

  • Every piece of fiction that we read–whether written in first or third person–gives us a certain impression or image of the person who wrote it.
  • This impression is called “the implied author” and may coincide more or less loosely with the personality or views of the actual person who wrote the text.
  • Ideally, the author is in control of this “implied author,” because he crafts the image/persona of the implied author by his textual choices: what he says, how he says it, and what he chooses to leave out. To some degree, then, the implied author is…

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Confessions of a Logophile

In between my search for my next favorite novel, I’ve caught up on some fan fiction. There are many gifted yarn spinners out there in the Fandom, yet I’ve struggled with just about every fic I’ve read lately.

Why? Grammar — primarily the misuse of words.

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/category/misused-words/

I’ve always been a bit of a word nerd, and nothing cools my jets faster than someone throwing words around all willy-nilly. Just because two words look and sound similar does not make them interchangeable.

[*raises hand*I’m Daph, and I can’t make my fingers put a Y in flier when I know I’m supposed to.

*Side-eyes self* A pamphlet and an aviator are very different things.

*hangs head in shame* I know.]

I can overlook some errors in favor of the story, but it has to be one helluva story. When I read and come across a misused word, I feel like the writer is saying, “You know what I meant.”  No, boo-boo, we ain’t playing Guesstures. 

I’ll be the first to admit: I’m a major fic snob, and I’m unapologetic about it. If a writer expects readers to spend their valuable time with their creations, then they should give us readers their best words. Right? However, as with the prevalent misuse of “literally” has shown, we have no idea what some of those words mean. 

Mandy Patinkin & Wallace Shawn — The Princess Bride

I suppose my issue isn’t so much with the writer, it’s the dissolution of rules…and dare I say: standards. I read an article the other day which said, “…dictionaries do not show how words should be used, but how they are commonly used… .”

http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/UsageGlossary.htm

This is unsettling to me, like an “everybody’s doing it” mentality. Language has gotten so lazy — I blame Instant Messaging and texting.  I’m no fool. I know language changes over time, but it’s important for writers to stay true to themselves. Write well. Write simply. Write your truth.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/adamellis/17-misused-and-made-up-words-that-make-you-rage

I think Stephen King said it best in his memoir On Writing, “One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you may be a little ashamed of your shorter ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.”

To paraphrase: Trying to sound smart makes you look stupid. 

Your stone throwing may commence. *puts up telekinetic shield*

Happy writing!!

 

What Makes a Romance? Seven tips.

This post plainly explains a genre that I never quite understood. Now I know the markers to look for to keep my writing on track for the most accurate classification.

Writers In The Storm Blog

Just a quick announcement – the winner of the drawing for the online course at Lawson Writer’s Academy is . . . Jamie Beck!

Writers in the Storm welcomes Shannon Donnelly to clarify what a book needs to land on the romance shelf. If your WIP a genre “fence-sitter” or if your romance could be shelved in another area, Shannon has answers and help.

by Shannon Donnelly

This recently came up on a message thread. A writer had her manuscript kicked back for not being a romance. I also just read a book recently that billed itself as paranormal romance, and while it was paranormal, it wasn’t a romance. Just what makes novel a romance?

The confusion comes in that you can have sex in your story, you can have a relationship in your story, but you still might not really have a romance novel. Why is this?

1-The most important…

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