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Showing posts with the label beta readers

Step Two of Writing a Book

  In the last post, I gave hints on writing your book. Now it's time to make sure your work appears in its best form, whether you plan to self-publish or submit to an agent. However you recorded your story, at this point it has to become a computer file. There are two reasons for that: first, modern publishing requires it, and second, it makes editing a whole lot easier. You'll need to get to know your computer's editing aids, which can be frustrating but will pay off in the end. Things like FIND/REPLACE can save you hours of searching when you realize you changed the spelling of main character's name halfway through the story. When you get stuck, ask the internet. There's always a tutorial or a site where someone asked the same question you need answered. There are different ways of going about the editing process , and individuals arrange them to their liking. I do several self-edits before anyone else sees the book. Sometimes I combine a few of the edits listed

In Praise of Editors

 Yes, I taught English for....many years. Yes, I'm good at commas and quotation marks and all their little friends. I know about story arcs and character development and figurative language. That does NOT mean I don't need a bunch of helpful friends and professionals to check my work. I start with a first reader . This person reads the manuscript in really rough form and gives me feedback on what she sees as its strengths and weaknesses. With her "outside" view (meaning outside my head), I begin to see where I spent too much time with unnecessary explanation or where I didn't "take the reader with me" on a plot point. I kind of feel sorry for my first reader, because she often has to piece things together and wade through a lot of junk that won't make the final cut. When I've reworked the story to my satisfaction, I hire a content editor. This is a professional who will comment on the story's development, strengths and weaknesses. I've h