My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Archive for the tag “editing”

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 

 

Commas with Subordinate Clauses—A Reader’s Question

What are the rules for dependent clauses and commas when the dependent clause comes before, in the middle of, or after the independent clause.

via Commas with Subordinate Clauses—A Reader’s Question.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues

I had started writing a ranty-ragey post about my frustration with prologues in the romance books I’ve recently read; however, in my search for supporting evidence for why prologues are bad, I came across this post. Kristen, as per usual, explains this topic with tact and clarity.

Bookmark this. Print it. Post it wherever you write. This is valuable information.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

To prologue or not to prologue? That is the question. The problem with the prologue is it has kind of gotten a bad rap over the years, especially with agents. They generally hate them. Why? In my opinion, it is because far too many writers don’t use prologues properly and that, in itself, has created its own problem. Because of the steady misuse of prologues, most readers skip them. Thus, the question of whether or not the prologue is even considered the beginning of your novel can become a gray area if the reader just thumbs pages until she sees Chapter One.

So without further ado…

The 7 Deadly Sins of Prologues

Sin #1 If your prologue is really just a vehicle for massive information dump…

In my critique group, one of the first tasks each member must do is they must write detailed backgrounds of all characters. I make…

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What Killed it For Me #5: Weak Writing

This entire series on Writers Helping Writers about what killed a book for Becca  is a rich education for writers (and critiquers). Writers can’t please every reader, and shouldn’t necessarily try, but we should always aim to provide the best, most memorable work we can. There will be plenty of readers out there who dig your style.

Speaking of style. This goes back to the basics: know the rules in order to break them. This post about weak writing first suggests that it’s subjective… Maybe, maybe not (goes back to learning the rules before breaking them). What I wholeheartedly agree with is that correcting weak writing is NOT an easy fix.

Weak and passive writing goes beyond the green squiggle in your doc that suggests you remove “was, am, being,” etc. In my experience, correcting weak writing requires rewrites. Whole sentences and paragraphs, even scenes need to be remastered to eliminate the offense. Sometimes it’s the author’s excessive use of their “go-to” words or phrases. Other times, overusing adverbs and adjectives, which makes for flowery prose that really does nothing to move the story forward are to blame. Or, the author is simply too verbose, using 17 words to convey something that could be said in six.

The linked article shares a handful of easy to remember tips that will help you to eventually banish these weak writing habits that weigh your stories down. When you get some time, check out Becca’s entire series.

What Killed it For Me #5: Weak Writing.

What Killed it For Me #5: Weak Writing

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