2019 Is Your Year

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Editing is the polishing before your book is published. It is at this point that you place your manuscript in the hands of your editor.

So, what are you looking to get for your dollars spent?

Well, it depends on how much you have done on your own prior to this point. Some writers will need proofreading for typos and grammar, others will want a more in-depth analysis of their story to make sure that it rings “true” with the time period in which it takes place. The editor will make sure that clothing, automobiles, literature, expressions of speech, political references, inventions, references to movies, and so on accurately reflect the calendar year (or decade) as precisely and truthfully as possible.

In one book, I researched “rabbit ears” for television reception. In another, the year of the first Cadillac Coupe de Ville was the issue, and so on.

Some editors will also see that your book is correctly formatted. Others will leave that entirely up to the publisher.

Each kind of editing has a fee attached to it. You can contract the editor to do as much—or as little—editing of your manuscript as you deem helpful.

It is at this point, while I am waiting to get my story back from the editor, that I spend time on my cover image and copy. I usually select three covers I like and then run a Facebook contest to chose the winner. This process stirs up some publicity about my upcoming book, which is a bonus.

At whatever point in the writing process you are now working— prewriting, drafting, revising, or editing—I encourage you to keep on keeping on. 

2019 will be your year, if you don’t let anything distract you and you keep moving ahead toward your goal.

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Balancing Act

If you’re anything like me, you have a stack of books somewhere in your house that keeps getting taller. It seems like every book you read is replaced by one or two more!

The fact is, writers like to read. Need to read.

I’m not just talking about pleasure reading, which is a “given”. Every writer I have ever met has told me that it was the love of reading that sparked within them the desire to write.

No, I’m talking about reading about writing. The craft. Punctuation and grammar to be sure, but also reading about genres, point-of-view, voice, character development, plot and hundreds of more things we need to consider—need to master—in pursuit of excellence.

Once I started writing, I quickly realized the necessity of erecting two stacks of books. One I dubbed “Pleasure”; the other, simply “About Writing”. I have a rule concerning these books: Read from both stacks, simultaneously, so that I fulfill my need for learning AND for enjoyment.

So, what’s next on my stacks? James Scott Bell’s How to Write Dazzling Dialogue and Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro are on top of the “About Writing” stack. And for pleasure, next up is Chapel Springs Revival by Ane Mulligan.

So, whether you keep an actual physical stack of books, like I do, or simply a list of “Must Reads”, my suggestion is that you try to balance your reading. After all, didn’t you hear this expression as a child? “All work, and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.”

 

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