Whether you've completed your first novel-length draft or your twentieth, penning those final words is a rush. You've dedicated an incredible amount of time and energy to your manuscript, and finally reaching the end of the story can be emotional and amazing. But it can leave you asking a simple question:
Let's review a few simple steps every writer should take after completing a draft.
If you're writing fiction, and you're not Cormac McCarthy, chances are you're using quotation marks. But are you using them correctly?
Let's go over the recommendations of the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, the accepted style guide for American fiction.
He or she. He/she. S/he. There have been many attempts at gender-neutral pronouns, but as it so often does, language evolved naturally. And dictionaries and style guides have recently accepted that evolution.
Most of us use singular "they" frequently in informal conversation to refer to an individual whose gender we don't know. But is it okay to use singular "they" in fiction?
I love editing professionally because I get to help stories reach their full potential. But I also love it because I get to help writers learn and grow in their craft. Receiving a new manuscript from a previous client is an amazing feeling because that manuscript is nearly always stronger than the last.
But in-depth professional editing is not a financially viable option for everyone, and it doesn't always give me the opportunity to interact one-on-one as much as I'd like.
So I'm introducing editing webinars.
These live online sessions will provide a platform for me to teach and engage with writers, and I could not be more excited. The first scheduled webinar is a three-part course that will cover fundamental editing concepts. The second is a two-hour line editing workshop.
Choosing an editor is a big deal. Whether you're hiring an editor for a developmental pass or simple proofreading, you need someone who is professional, qualified, and a good fit for you and your manuscript.
Finding the perfect editor can be a daunting task. With the technology available today, distance is not a concern, so the pool of prospective editors is massive. You can hire any editor in the world, and a quick search will bring up an insane number of professionals. How do you choose?
Here are a few methods you can use to narrow down your options and make sure that each editor you consider is qualified and is a good fit for your work.
Writers—especially those working on their first books—tend to obsess over word count. Maybe that's because a manuscript's word count is one of its only truly objective elements. Character, plot, style, and voice are all difficult to define, and books change with each reader's response. But a manuscript that is 82,749 words is exactly that. So it makes sense that writers want to control this aspect that we can control, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Word count is important, especially for writers planning to pursue traditional publication, and understanding word count goals can make the drafting and editing processes more efficient. But sometimes focusing on word count can be a detriment. Let's discuss why word count is important, how to use your current and projected word count to your advantage, and when word count should be the last thing on your mind.
A large number of writers who approach me about professional editing don't know what type of editing they need. There's nothing wrong with that, and I am always happy to discuss options and help clients understand which editing service will benefit their manuscript the most.
That said, having an idea of where to begin makes the process simpler when you do contact an editor. If you're considering professional editing, go through the choices below to find out whether you're ready to get the most out of the editing process and what type of editing will be best for your manuscript.
Before we get started, here are a few basic terms.
High-Level Editing. This type of editing address elements including plot, structure, character development, setting, etc. During high-level editing, we deal with pages and paragraphs and address the manuscript from a broad perspective.
Low-Level Editing. This type of editing deals with style, readability, grammar, punctuation, etc. This is editing of the prose—words and sentences.
Beta Reader. This is someone who reads the manuscript after self-editing but before professional editing. The ideal beta reads often in the genre and is able to offer constructive feedback.
Ready? Answer the questions below to determine which editing service is the best fit for you!
If you have a writer friend in your life, you've bought them so many books, pens, and notebooks that the Barnes & Noble employees know to watch for you around the holidays. Maybe you've even braved Black Friday crowds to find your writerly loved one the perfect gift. (If so, hats off to you.)
This year, let's make things easier. As much as writers love the perfect pen/paper combination, there's one thing they want way more: to be published. This year, help your writer friend take an important step toward publication with professional editing.
I've put together a few editing gift packages. Simply prepay for the editing, and your friend will be ready to take their writing to the next level. When you purchase a package, I'll send you a customized PDF gift card. You can email the PDF to your writerly loved one, or you can print it out and wrap it up nice and pretty. (If you want to be that person, nest it inside three—or twelve—wrapped boxes.)
These prepaid gifts have no expiration date. Your friend can redeem them anytime! And if you know your writer would want something different than the packages listed below, shoot me an email and we'll create a customized package just for them.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to claim your gift package!
Last month, Jade asked a fantastic question:
I thought this question deserved more than a 140-character answer, so here we are. Let's toss betas and critiques into an arena, let 'em fight it out, and see who wins.
First of all, what are these things?