17 November, 2020 § Leave a comment
When you write those two most satisfying words “The End”, it is a bittersweet moment. Getting to that point could represent a couple of days if you’re Stephen King or over a year’s worth of sweating out characters and plots to finish your novel. But the savvy writer knows that moment of celebration is the forerunner to lots more hard work: the revising and editing process where you put your words through a fine sieve to reveal the gems and wash out the mud. It’s a tough task if you’re in love with your word magic. No one wants to sacrifice their babies, but the reader wants you to do that so you create not just a well-written book but a well-read one.
A very useful presentation on what to keep in mind when revising and editing your own novel or non-fiction piece is on video with a series of authors and editors offering expert tips and ideas and how to make the process easier and more productive for you.
Key points …
- be willing to cut anything to strengthen the story
- read your dialogue out loud
- use action verbs to drive the story
- avoid passive writing
- watch “I felt like” and convert it into descriptive (show v tell)
- ensure all paragraphs and scenes are in sequence
- make sure characters are consistent throughout
- once you finish your first draft, put it aside for a while
- read other people’s books and flag ideas/phrases/descriptions that impact you and learn how the writer raised your emotion
- go back to your book and flag what’s worked well in your story
- look for content issues first
- review style, voice and scene issues and note what to improve/cut
- revisit the third time and go over punctuation, structure, complicated sentences etc
- now go back and revise using your flags and notes
- consider copy-editing as you go eg read what wrote day before and notice simple errors
- wait until the end for structural editing – much easier to edit something that’s finished
- tools for editing depends on the type of edit
- spell check
- grammar check – automated and manual – look for obvious issues like that/which
- recognise the limitations of any tool you use
- beware of overusing adverbs (eg very, really etc)
- make sure the character’s voices are distinctive
- get someone else to help critique to pick up any misses from reading and reviewing your own work
Those are just my summary notes – watch the video for more detail, especially the first 2-3 sessions.
Write – revise – edit – rewrite – revise – edit – rewrite – revise edit … until you’ve polished the best book you can produce. Of course, if you snag a traditional publishing contract then some of the work will be done for you, the than the writing. If you self publish, the more you revise and edit, the better your readers experience will be. A professional editor is valuable if you can spring the money for it: if not, do the work.
26 January, 2020 § Leave a comment
A friend of mine was chuffed to get a guernsey in a UK writing mag. He had an article published about playing to your strengths.
Now, Greg provides great advice from his own experience and you can definitely benefit from that.
But think about the achievement of having an article you wrote being published on a broader stage and subtly promoting your writing and books.
Clever man, our Greg.
Always have a purpose in what you do, while writing for your audience.
Go read his article.
Work out what you can take away from it.
Note the strategy and emulate it when the time is right.
25 July, 2019 § Leave a comment
The literary world is complex. There are broad genres then sub-genres and even deeper categorisation beyond that.
Within the Crime genre, Domestic Noir occupies a peculiarly feminine place. It comprises crime that usually takes place within familiar places such as the home or workplace. It often concerns itself with the woman’s perspective. At it’s core, the topic of domestic noir centres around the concept that such domestic situations are inherently challenging and even dangerous, especially for women.
48% of crimes are domestic-related and women represent 70% of domestic murder victims.
Such statistics are perhaps sufficient to argue that a domestic noir sub-genre is redundant and may serve to minimise the contributions of many female authors.
By way of example, Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn and other female authors are considered writers of domestic noir. Male authors eg Harlen Corben, Lee Child, who write in a similar vein are not normally described as writing domestic noir books.
The domestic noir sub-genre was coined by Julia Crouch in 2013 so is relatively new in literary terms. It is perhaps too early to tell if it will become a category of fiction which will serve a long-term purpose.
10 January, 2014 § Leave a comment
Highly recommend this practical program by an ex-teacher of Creative Writing, published author, NaNoWriMo winner who believes in publishing effectively and selling your written product.
If you want some ideas on how to be a better writer, lifehack has some clues … check them out.
7 January, 2014 § Leave a comment
But not their words which is one of their legacies. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons we write, to leave a little of us in the world after we move on.
This is a fitting tribute to just some of the more well known writers who passed away in 2013. We wrote about Doris Lessing’s passing but didn’t realise we’d lost some of these people.
Make your words count. They are left behind.
10 December, 2013 § 4 Comments
Hard to believe, I know, but not everyone feels compelled to write.
Yeah. I don’t get that either. Still, each to their own.
For those who do have an insatiable and unstoppable urge to write, the question becomes … why?
I was fortunate enough to hear a few authors talking about their journey to being published and was fascinated to find that most differed in what caused them to become published.
One such person was Steve Bisley. Steve is a knockabout Aussie actor who was raised in a typical ordinary Australian family. As an actor he has enjoyed a modestly successful but consistent career in television and on stage. He admitted that as an actor, one is always interpreting the words and works of others. It got to the stage where he decided to have a bash and write his own story.
As often happens, his first novel was autobiographical in nature in the sense that it was a rollicking recollection of stories from his childhood. He admits to never having a diary or anything but his own memory as a keen observer of life. He recalled an image and wrote it out. Steve took time out from acting to write and set a discipline of writing in longhand daily from 8.30 am and then typing it into Word. If he didn’t follow that discipline he feared the book would ‘go on’ and never be finished.
He did indeed finish, was published, and is now writing his next book. Interestingly he thought writing was tough doing his first book. Now he realises that was easy because he just had to resell his life’s stories. In his new venture, he is finding it much harder as it’s not autobiographical at all.
Steve wrote to express himself in a new creative way rather than being a vehicle for others voices. He is learning a whole new way of being in his mature years and is stimulated as well as humbled by the whole process.
Here’s a quote I grabbed from his talk that I believe is so true.
3 December, 2013 § Leave a comment
Sometimes people need to embed the belief. Write it out 100 times … a day.
1 December, 2013 § Leave a comment
You can be – joining this comprehensive course will increase your chances exponentially.
Just a quick note to let you know that the super super Sale Price on The Write Plan Writer 12 month Course ends Monday.
I’ve joined this new group and it’s shaping up to be the key to me achieving my writing goals next year. Best part is, it’s just starting, so, by getting in on the ground floor you get to ride the lift all the way 🙂 Here’s what’s included…
- a year-long, comprehensive, self-paced training course covering the elements one needs to learn to become a successful, money-making writer.
- designed to help every writer accomplish his or her writing, publishing, and sales goals.
- whether you’re new to writing or you’ve been at it for awhile, you’ll gain access to customizable exercises, planning guides, and information, so you can start new projects, finish up those that need to be completed, and branch out into other areas to position yourself to earn more with your writing.
- suited to writers of fiction or nonfiction or for people like me who do plenty of both!
- eBooks, articles, short fiction, PLR, reports, print books, microfiction, information products: this group helps you lay the proper foundation for success no matter your goal.
- the pace at which you work, and the writing stretches you choose to take are up to you, but the aim is going to be to push yourself to become a better writer who’s more proficient at getting the writing, marketing, and selling done.
In addition to the course you get to play, be stimulated by, and inspire people just like you – a really helpful support forum comes with the course – and we’re all about friendly collaboration.
This IS a paid group and it’s definitely worth grabbing the special entry fee while the sale is on – the sale ends Monday.
I’m in! I so need the guidance, support and accountability as well as the tools from this group to make my dreams come true. Join me?
(by the way, if you do join from my referral links above I may receive a few bucks to fund my writing)
19 November, 2013 § Leave a comment
Nearly all wannabe writers think that writing is all about sitting at a keyboard and tapping out The Great Novel.
They tend to think the page will be filled from their creative imagination.
But how do you fuel that imagination?
How well do you observe and engage in what is going on about you?
According to Hemingway, it’s not simply about the practise of writing that makes a writer great. It is the art of observation. Being able to infuse emotion and description into the everyday.
Filling the well, as Cameron would say.
Maria Popova explains it nicely…
Click here to view the article…
Do that, and you will avoid a key mistake most writers make.