How To Edit A Book And Do It Right – Written By Derek Haines

Derek Haines gives us advice on how to edit a book. Thank you so much for helping us with your information and experience, Derek!.


on Just Publishing Advice:

When you sit down to edit a book, you want to improve your story and your writing.

It’s a good idea to do a thorough grammar and spell check before you start. You have a choice of plenty of premium and free grammar checkers to help you.

But a grammar check is not editing. The editing process starts when you carefully read your manuscript, line by line.

If you don’t have a professional editor, you can learn how to self-edit your book by following my checklist of 20 common faults.

Continue reading HERE

Troublesome Changes In The Book During The Writing Process


In the past few years, I often described my common writing process here on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.’ I will do that once again today.

  1. Thinking of an idea
  2. Drafting the story by hand first
  3. Typing the draft into the computer
  4. Self-editing
  5. Sending to editor
  6. … and so on…

Now, this time, with book number 7 in the series, I am facing a few difficulties I never had before.

After finishing drafting the story by hand, I decided to change the POV from first to third-person omniscient.

That means to me, I need to concentrate awfully hard switching the passages I had drafted in the first person POV.

You might ask now: How come you needed to change the POV? And I have to answer: because there is so much happening in that book, it wouldn’t do the story justice to only delineate it from one person’s view. Also, I’m not the biggest fan of switching between two or even more POV’s during the book. I don’t like that when I’m reading a book, and I sure won’t do that when I write mine. I think it’s irritating and annoying.

But the difficulties to ‘re-think’ during typing the story I know so well is exhausting and, at times, debilitating. I’m used to typing quite fast when I move from the hand-draft to the computer, and I only stop occasionally to correct typos and ‘stuff.’

What I have to do now is different, and it takes its toll on me.

Is there anyone who can advise me on that? Do you have experience with this kind of re-writing, and how did you handle it?

Thank you for your help!

10 Editing Tips for Writers – Written By Melissa Donovan

Melissa Donovan provides us, writers, with great advice on editing. Thank you very much for your efforts, Melissa.


 

If you’re the token writer at your office, among your friends, or in your family, then you’re probably asked on a regular basis to edit, review, or proofread written documents.

Academic essays, business letters, and resumes will land on your desk with the word “HELP!” scrawled across the top.

Or maybe you’re ready to get serious about your writing, and you want to learn best practices for editing so you can clean up your work before sending it to beta readers, submitting to agents, or publishing.

The editing tips below will help you brush up on your editing skills, whether you’re polishing your own writing or cleaning up someone else’s.

Continue reading HERE

How To Love Editing – Written By K. M. Allan

 

K. M. Allan writes about a challenge we writers face daily, hourly and even every minute… a challenge we fear, a mountain of a problem we hate. Let’s see how K. M. Allan tells us we will one-day love editing. Thanks so much for this great post, K. M. Allan!


The real truth of writing is that you will spend a lot of time editing. A. Lot. Of. Time. Hours, weeks, months, sometimes even years (or at least, what feels like years).

When the rush of new ideas is gone. When the thrill of filling in plot holes and working out twists is over. When the story’s set in stone but you still need to shape that stone into a majestic statue, that’s editing. And it’s something, as a writer, you need to love doing.

Accept It

The first step of learning to love editing is accepting you must do it. The sooner you do, the easier it is to work through drafts that feel endless.

Continue Reading Here

A Beta Reader Is Not An Editor

It seems there is the one or other author around who either don’t know what the job of a beta reader is. Also, some authors don’t want to pay for an editor and therefore try to ‘use’ the beta reader to get the editor’s job done.

From what I learned in my ‘long’ career of two published books (and a few lined up)… my order of ‘writing and publishing’ is the following:

  1.  Drafting
  2.  Copying out
  3.  personal editing #1
  4.  personal editing #2
  5.  professional editing (proofreading)
  6.  filing for copyright
  7.  sending the manuscript out to the beta readers
  8.  having the book cover done
  9.  possible corrections when getting the manuscript back from beta readers
  10.  publishing

At times the corrections, added paragraphs or even pages, demand a second round of proofreading or editing.

Now, what does the beta reader do?

Beta readers are helpful people around you – can be friends, co-workers, family members. They are asked to read the book pre-release. Often they are asked to review the book online, just after release. Most beta readers are very happy to do so in exchange for the book.

Every beta reader works differently. Some return a paper manuscript with scribbles all over the place…, some send an email with a few ideas, suggestions or remarks, some send texts whenever they discover something. When I beta read, I write a list and later send that list by email. So far, I never discovered a huge plot hole, but I found the one or other ‘thing’ that bugged me and that I had to let the author know about. Many other beta readers do the same thing.

There is one thing beta readers don’t do: they don’t correct typos and grammar. That’s what’s the editor is for. I’m not saying they always are perfect, and should I catch a forgotten typo, of course, I will tell the author about it. But I’m not actively looking for them.

I am lucky enough to have a beta reader who is sweet enough to actively look for typos and grammar problems that escaped my editor’s attention. The one or other author might be just as lucky. But generally, beta readers are not here for editing!

They should return your manuscript with a bit more than ‘I liked it.’ You want to get their notes. You want to hear about their feelings… when did they laugh? When did they cry? What scared them or amused them? Did they enjoy the read, and would they recommend the book? According to them, what age range is the book for (if you’re writing Young Adult), and what did they not like so much?

Did they discover something about the plot they didn’t like? Do they have questions about the story, the plot, or the characters? Is there anything they discovered that isn’t right?

Let me give you a couple examples. One of my last beta readers told me that she loves my book, and she finds ‘Sundance’ as a character very interesting. However, she misses Katie, the ‘Soul Taker’ and wishes her back. She is an exceptional beta reader and informed me about several other things that I later corrected. (I did not write more ‘Katie’ into the second book since that is ‘Sundance’s’ story).

When I was beta reading for a male author, I discovered a wardrobe flaw with one of the female character’s ‘undergarments.’ I told my fellow author about it, and he corrected that.

We all were grateful to have our beta readers. It is important to us having people with open minds paying attention to our stories. And we always hope we don’t ask too much.

Thank you, beta readers, for helping us with your time, your efforts, and your honesty. We need you!

 

 

 

Editing for Authors: 7 Ways to Tighten the Story and Cut Costs – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb, experienced author and blogger, informs us about 7 different ways to cut costs. Thank you very much for another round of excellent advice, Kristen!


Editing has always been a critical factor regarding any book’s success. This has NOT changed. If anything, proper editing is a complete game-changer now more than ever in the history of publishing.

Why?

Because too many writers fail to appreciate just how vital proper editing is. They skimp on the editing for the sassy cover and the cool promotion material.

Problem is, no one can get through Chapter One without risking a brain bleed.
Who cares how amazing the story is if we (the reader) keep getting jerked out of the fictive dream?

More importantly, in a world drowning in bad books, those rare jewels—books well-written and properly edited—shine like polished jewels scattered on chunks of asphalt.

Readers glom onto authors they know they can TRUST for great stories, professionals who went the extra mile to make their product the best it could be.

Alas, there is a common fallacy among many emerging writers. They believe (very mistakenly) that authors only write the books. Then, once finished, agents will fall in LOVE and someone else will do ALL the editing.

*clutches sides laughing.*

To continue reading this blog post go to:

Editing for Authors: 7 Ways to Tighten the Story and Cut Costs

 

Seven Proven Strategies for Editing and Proofreading Your Own Writing – Written By Michael LaRocca

On The Story Reading Ape’s blog I found the link to above mentioned interesting blog post on “The Blood Red Pencil” blog, written by Michael LaRocca. Thank you very much for the information, Michael.


1) After you finish writing it, put your document away for a while. Hours, days, weeks or even months. You want to look at it with “fresh eyes.” Instead of seeing what you meant to write, you want to see what you actually did write.

2) Use the spelling and grammar features in your word processor. They aren’t perfect – ask anybody – but if you know the rules, you can decide which suggestions to accept and which to ignore.

To read the entire blog post go to:

https://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2019/01/seven-proven-strategies-for-editing-and.html

The Best 12 Free Grammar Check And Grammar Corrector Apps – Written By Derek Haines

Derek Haines provides us with the 12 best free Grammar Check and Grammar Correction Apps. Thanks so much, Derek. We really appreciate your work!


Here are 12 of the best free grammar check and grammar corrector tools for you to try

We are all writing so much now and for so many different reasons.

Bu no matter what level your writing skills are, an online grammar check is the easiest way to correct your grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Word processors such as Microsoft Word do a very poor job. They can only perform a simplistic spell check and rarely find anything more than the most basic grammatical errors.

There are many online grammar checking tools that do a much better job of offering you suggested corrections. Some even give you an explanation or examples of grammatical rules.

To read the entire blog post, click here:

https://justpublishingadvice.com/the-best-12-free-grammar-check-and-grammar-corrector-apps/

How To Use ProWritingAid As Your Coach And Writing Editor – by Derek Haines

Derek Haines informs us about a writing and editing tool each writer should use: ProWritingAid, a program that’s installed on my own computer for quite a while. Thank you for your excellent expertise and post, Derek!


Every writer would like to have an editor

In a perfect world, having an editor to rely on would be your preference. But in reality, we know that the cost of hiring a professional is beyond the reach of the majority of writers.

There are many self-help, short story and fiction writers using self-publishing today. But it is unrealistic to think that all of them can afford to pay for someone to help in the writing and editing process.

But there is an expectation from readers that when they buy a book or even read a blog post or online news article, that the texts will be perfect.

If you read some of the major newspapers online, you will know that even with professional copy and line editors, mistakes still occur.

To continue reading go to:

https://justpublishingadvice.com/how-to-use-prowritingaid-as-your-coach-and-writing-editor/

DSM Publications – With Don Massenzio


Welcome back, Don Massenzio! It’s good to have you here again. Let’s talk about your new business and how it is part of the writing world.

 

 

 

 


1. With your blog you are helping so many aspiring authors. What made you decide to do more than that?

There were a few factors. I wanted to be sure that I enjoyed editing and formatting the work of author authors. I’ve worked with a few authors and find that I still enjoy helping them bring their work to life. Another factor was the stigma (perceived or actual) that independently published authors face. Traditional publishing purists will tell you that our work is substandard due to the lack of professionalism and quality. I wanted to help the independent author community, as a whole, improve the quality of their work with professional editing and formatting at a price that won’t break the bank. If we can bring each other up, it will improve the entire community. Finally, I have always thought about launching this type of business as a retirement thing, but I lost my day job a few months ago and I accelerated the launch as a way to bring in some income.

2. Did you always plan on offering author services or did this idea just occur?

My author blog started about three years ago. I was very prolific with posts designed to help indie authors improve their quality. After a year or so of doing this, I collected them all into a book. (You can now get that book for free if you sign up for my newsletter). These author services are a way to help authors with the things they typically shouldn’t do for themselves.

3. Does your service include more than just editing?

Beyond proofreading and line editing, I offer developmental editing which encompasses looking for things like redundancies, continuity errors and other elements of writing that are apart from just making sure spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct. Additionally, I offer supplemental and complete ghost writing for writers that have an idea or an outline that they just can’t complete as a finished work. I’ve done some ghost writing in the past and it is gratifying to help someone realize their vision. I also offer formatting services for both print and eBook. The two formats are very different and it’s important to devote some time to formatting so that a book can look as professional and polished as possible.

4. How do you work cooperatively with authors?

Once I begin the editing process, I like to work closely with the author. I will edit their manuscript using Microsoft Word in twenty-page increments. This way, I can give and get feedback during the process and not wait until an entire book has been edited to uncover a problem. For instance, one book that I’ve edited recently involved characters that were from another time. It took a bit of back and forth with the author to land on exactly how old-fashioned spelling and phrases would be handled in a way that wouldn’t confuse or put off readers. Once we established the ground rules, it went very smoothly.

5. How does your editing process work exactly?

As I mentioned, I start by editing the manuscript in 20-page increments. Within the manuscript I use the ‘track changes’ feature in word and suggest edits, word substitutions and other modifications based on the level of editing desired. I then supply a ‘marked up’ copy showing every change and comment and a ‘clean’ copy with all the edits applied. The author can then make the choice of assessing each edit suggestion individually, but they can also read the manuscript from the clean copy with all the edits applied.
Once the manuscript is completely edited and the changes have been approved by the author, I will format the manuscript for print and/or eBook if that is desired. I provide discounts to authors that wish to have both editing and formatting services.

6. Who can contact you for your services?

While I am targeting my services for independent authors, any author that needs these services is welcome to reach out to me.

7. Do you have a website for your services?

I do. You can find it at https://dsm-publications.com/

 

8. Is there anything else you want to tell us about your work?

The indie author community is full of wonderful writers with great stories to tell. My goal is to help those storytellers produce work with the best possible quality so that they can have their work stand toe-to-toe with traditionally published authors.

Thank you so much for this interview! Please come back any time!