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Author Topic: I'm new - Hello
Lisa B
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Just wanted to introduce myself to everyone since I just found this place today and thought it might help me with my writing journey. I'm a graphic designer with the day job (for 28 years) and I've been writing at night. My Genre is Inspirational Romance. I have completed book one rough draft approximately 90k words and then decided to do a short novella of before book one of 34k words as a way to do a give away to get people interested in my writing and it's also at finished rough draft stage. (Completed book one last month and novella I completed last week.)

Being a new writer for a novel I think I have some anxiety and fear about this next step of editing. I write two columns for a magazine each month and I have my own weekly blog so I am writing regularly. Those edits are different from a novel to me. I also want to self publish instead of attempting a traditional publisher at this stage of the game.

I have read enough writing books to make me freaked out with this next process and what to expect with it. Trying to incorporate the lessons from various books on my novel rough draft has made me want to go back to before I touched it and attempted editing. Every book seems to have what they think is the most important thing you should do in your book to make it good and they are all different on top of that.

I've no experience with picking out an editor, let alone what all these 'types' of editors really mean and how it will help me become a better writer in the long run. Everything is varied costs based on what you think you need and I honestly have no idea. I've read about Beta-Readers helping you but at what stage do you incorporate them? Are they paid also? I've read about getting a proofreader after you go to the editor. All of these things seem to cost additional funds. How do I get through this process without a ton of money spent as a new writer and still produce a good book?

I know I've read over and over that you get better as you write more, that you should expect your first book to be at the low end of your talents since you are just starting out. I understand that depending on the editor be prepared to have your entire novel turned inside out and every wrong thing you have done pointed out to you. Then you have to get over that and edit the book to make it better. If that is what is needed I'm okay with that as I want to learn and improve for book two and so on.

With that all said, I would appreciate some advice and anything positive that will help me move my journey along and make this process understandable and a little less nerve wracking.

Thank you for listening.
Lisa

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Meredith
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Welcome to the treehouse.

I'll address just one of your questions for now. (Some of them really ought to be separate topics in open discussions. [Smile] )

As for me, I go through one or two revision passes, catching the things I know need to be fixed before handing off to beta readers. Finding good beta readers is a matter of trial and error. You can ask for readers here, but might do better on a site like CPSeek

Beta reading is usually an exchange--you read their story / they read yours.

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extrinsic
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From an editor --

The central questions of substance:
  • What to take away from writing how-tos. Nothing much, they are generally as much shots in the dark as the hard-sought-after advices that reader-writers earnestly crave, that how-tos predatorily market to. Theory, poetics, and a rare "recipe" and bill of ingredients type of how-to here and there are far more useful writing guidance.
  • What are the core features of narrative prose and editing thereof, different from journalism. Prose uses a poetic grammar such that the language is expansively meaningful and deeply layered and nuanced, fewer words do more work: they show. Journalism is mostly pat and on the nose summary and explanation lecture: tell; and more or less of a one-to-one correspondence word count to topic content, in other words on the surface. New Journalism's creative nonfiction notwithstood. Prose expresses a moral human condition truth, either discovered or asserted. Journalism shares information.
  • How to make sense of the miasma of editorial service offerings. Ignore them; a majority know not what they do, except pose as professionals with little or no incentive to learn, except they professionally bill, and don't have the skills for the work in the first place. Better to go the journey alone and actually use a grammar handbook for its intended purposes, not as a door stop.
  • Self-publication is fraught with perils and pratfalls, those of vanity publication since long ago, though that route is far less demanding of grammar and prose skills as well as less generally gainful. Such is the writing life, and the editing life.
The Poet's Journey is a sequence of marathons, not a sprint.

[ August 14, 2015, 01:33 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Disgruntled Peony
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Hello, and welcome! [Smile]
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Grumpy old guy
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Welcome, Lisa. Jump write in, the water's fine and there be no sharks [Smile] about today.

I am surprised to say that I have edited two Inspirational Romance short stories, The first time I did it I had no idea that the genre existed; but it does. I find it an interesting genre, not because of its belief based plot and character development, but for the inherent possibilities of evocation of emotion by use of motif, metaphor, and allusion. A rich field awaiting the sown seeds of poetic prose.

Phil.

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Lisa B
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Thank you for the comments.

Meredith - I was following the guide and said hello, read later all the things mentioned needed to be new topics. The info about Beta Readers is nice to hear.

Extrinsic - You have a unique style just in posting an answer to a problem. Thank you I needed to smile today. I'll take this editor/editing aspect to heart in a new light.

Disgruntled - Thank you for the welcome.

Grumpy - Glad there are no sharks today in the waters. Life in general have enough of them on a daily basis to avoid. Inspirational Romance was a genre that was placed upon my heart to do. I'm seeing where this journey takes me in this regard.

All of you have made me feel welcomed. Thank you once again.

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Disgruntled Peony
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You're welcome! Feel free to call me Peony. [Smile]

I think the best advice I can give, just generally speaking, is to take things one step at a time. Don't worry about all of the collective steps or you'll get overwhelmed (I know that's what happens to me, at least). If you focus on the step you're currently working on it helps make things simpler because then you're only worrying about one thing instead of, say, five things. For the record, I have problems with this too. I'm getting better at it, though.

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extrinsic
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By all means pose questions and respond to posts in the writing discussion forum, and post and respond to fragments in the feedback forums. A general benefit of workshops is commenters receive back more than they give; that is, they learn more about writing, especially revision, more from commenting then from submitting work for comment.

I am familiar with inspirational romance and am curious to see your work, eager, too, to comment. Successful inspirational romance, to me, dares go into spiritual-moral-secular personal crises of individuals in places: antagonal events, settings, and characters, and moral truth discovery outcomes at personal cost.

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