Are You In Editing Mode?

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At it stands, now, I have gone through the editing process with six books. I learn more each time I get to this step in the publishing process. So, for what it’s worth, I recommend you use these people, in this order:

Do an ongoing edit of your manuscript, as you share your submissions with your critique group, chapter by chapter, from Prologue thru Epilogue.

When your book is finished, edit your manuscript yourself (at least a couple of times—more, if you are a perfectionist, like me).

Send it to your Beta Readers. They will catch a few things, too.

Send it to your Editor and make the suggested corrections.

Finally, let your Critique Group Read it in its entirety. Note: This is a new step. Here’s why I am suggesting taking the time to do this: my group accepts submissions from each other twice per month.

Often the chapters are out of order. And, because this process can take upward of one year, it is not like reading a book, chapter by chapter. They miss the flow and this especially affects the understanding of the timeline. (It isn’t their fault. These two factors make it almost impossible for them to give good feedback in this area).

If your critique group agrees to read each other’s work–all the way through, one last time–they will be able to experience your story from beginning to end and catch any glitches.

Yes, it is a bigger commitment and not for the faint of heart, but if you are truly committed to help each other be the best you can be, then the results can be of great value.

In talking with my group, they were positive about trying this approach—at least once.

I suspect it will be time well spent.

I’m Thankful For YOU

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How can I turn a writing blog into an occasion for Thanksgiving?

The most obvious way is to write something about giving Thanks—related to writing.

I have several things/people to be thankful for this year:

  1. I am thankful for authors/writers who share what they know. I learn either from individuals, speakers, books, podcasts, blogs–any way I can.
  1. I am thankful for my readers, and my critique group whose kind comments encourage me to keep writing.
  1. I am thankful for those who pray for my writing.
  1. Foremost, I thank God for increasing my desire to write, my talent, and His leading as I write. Every day, I am aware of His awesomeness in allowing me to pour out His love and provision to others through the written word.

Thank YOU for reading week after week, sending in your comments, and following this blog. I want to write about what you’d like to know, so please send me requests at any time. I can almost guarantee you that I will need to do a little research to provide what you need—but I love it–because I enjoy learning “write” along with you!

As Promised

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Second half of critique group questions from last week’s post:

6)  CONFLICT:

* Are character motivations powerful enough to create sufficient conflict?

* Is a potential for conflict established that is strong enough to move the story forward?

* Are the motives understandable?

7)  DIALOGUE:

* Is the dialogue between characters natural, purposeful, interesting, engaging?

* Does the dialogue contain emotion in a way that narrative cannot?

* Are the character’s voices distinct? Does each one have a different way of expressing themselves? Are their voices appropriate for the setting, genre, and time period?

* Is the dialogue believable?

8)  NARRATIVE AND POINT OF VIEW:

* Is the narrative well-placed with the dialogue, not overwhelming the reader?

* Is background information presented at appropriate times and in the correct POV?

* Is POV clear and consistent?  Are changes smooth and logical?

*Should I use a different POV?

9)  PACING:

* Has the author dropped the reader into the action?

* Does the story flow smoothly, freely, and logically?

* Does every scene move the story forward?

10)  STORY:

* Are the story ad plot elements compatible with the genre?

* Can you picture each scene in your head?

* Is the purpose of each scene clear?

* Does each scene move the story forward?

* Does the story hold your interest?

* Does everything in the story build logically, plausibly, and believable toward the end/climax?

* Where do you feel the story is heading?

* Do inspirational elements grow organically out of character or plot?

Use a Checklist

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You may want to consider utilizing a checklist to guide your comments to others in your critique group. Below is one we developed. I am sharing the first five this time and will post the rest next week. 

 

 

1) HOOKS:  

* Does the opening line or paragraph immediately hook the reader?

* Did you want to keep reading?

2)  STYLE:

* Is the writer’s voice distinct and unique?

* Does the author utilize showing and telling skillfully?

* Indicate passages needing more “show”.

3)  PROFESSIONAL IMPACT:

* Does the author have a grasp of the elements of grammar, spelling, and punctuation?

* Is the writing fresh and original, avoiding cliches?

* Is the writer overusing/overdoing actions? Themes? Words? Character traits?

* Is the manuscript appropriate for the general market?

4)  SETTING:

* Was the place, time of day, season, time period set?

* Does the setting support the story?

* Do sensory details (sight, sound, touch, smell) enhance each scene?

5)  CHARACTERS:

* Is the main character identifiable? Unique?

* Do you get a sense of the character’s journey and what the story is about?

* Do secondary characters contribute to the story? Are they defined and likable?

* Do characters’ emotions seem believable and/or provide understandable motives?