At the Editor. Now what?

I handed over my manuscript to an editor a little while ago, thinking I’d have oodles of free time to do other stuff. But what have I been doing? Let’s see…

  • I read nine books, which is quite an improvement
  • Successfully avoided blogging 😉
  • Realized I spent too much time on social media and cut back a little
  • Did market research and decided self-publishing was a better bet for what I have to sell
  • My house is still dirty
  • I had a language learning crisis in which I had to switch curriculum and it killed my momentum, but I’m getting there
  • Beta read a little faster
  • Started a book cover and gave it to a designer to make pretty. I figure if editors use editors, I can use a designer, right?
  • Tried to make a synopsis five times, gave up and tried back cover copy five times. Gave up and wrote this blog

I feel like I should have an outline for another book by now, or finish my marketing plan, but I have to decide which to do first. Maybe I’ll write book reviews for a while and procrastinate some more!

How do you procrastinate from even your favorite activities? Why?

After NaNoWriMo: Self-Editing

Buzz shows Woody that there are adverbs everywhere. Disappointed.

The 50k word challenge is done! Now is the time to self-edit. Why am I tired of it already?

I have been self-editing book one and two of my historical fiction thriller, Fodder for Pigs, the entire month of November and then some. Editing is hard work and I appreciate people who do it as a job.

Even though there are professionals out there to help us, it is still essential that we writers learn to self-edit. A polished manuscript gets more constructive attention from alpha readers, beta readers, editors, agents, and publishers. They have to be able to see the story without getting distracted by mistakes we can fix ourselves. Once they see the story, they can focus on the nitty gritty details, if that’s what they are ultimately there to do.

I’ve noticed several things about writing during this process and will list them here in order of completion:

The first draft is crap

No matter how much I thought I polished it (7 times!), the first draft was just a draft and never progressed to second draft status. I got great feedback but more disappointing feedback. This is why one should do developmental edits before reaching out to readers. Continue reading

Writing Terms and Definitions

notebookThere are writing terms out there I never thought existed, and ones I thought I knew but didn’t. When I got into writing, none of these things mattered, but now I need a place that is not the corners of my brain to store this information.

I’ll update this list as I go, but here are a few writing terms to get started:
Agent

A paid middle-person who can represent a novel to a publisher and negotiate contracts.

ALPHA reader

A reader who sees the manuscript first, in its infancy. They are used to first and second drafts and can sort through the clutter, but it’s still best to clean up a little so the mistakes are not distracting.

ARC

Advanced Reader Copy. These are book copies for people to read right before the author or publisher releases said book. In this stage, the author encourages reviews for launch day.

BETA reader

A person who reads a manuscript in its final stages before the author approaches publishers or self-publishes. Unlike ARC readers, these ones offer feedback that will be highly considered in the next edit. Many people confuse them with Alpha readers, and it honestly doesn’t matter that much as long as people are up-front about their expectations. See my handy list on how to get and maintain relationships with these readers.

Critique partner

A person to bounce ideas off of and who trades portions or entire manuscripts with the author. This person usually is a writer and will give and take advice.

Continue reading