Sharing is Caring Thursdays #3 Editing, querying, writing myths, and growing your blog

I’m delighted to be included in this wonderful list of articles on writing. Some new sites to explore 🙂

Richie Billing

It’s Thursday. Nearly there now. That weekend is in grasp. If you’re stuck in work, I hope the rest of your day goes swifter than the hand of a pickpocket, and a good one at that.

It’s that time of the week to give you a round-up of some of the best articles I’ve come across in the past seven days. Self-editing, querying, writing myths, and growing your blog. I found these immensely useful. You’re bound to find something of use yourself.

Thank you, bloggers, for your excellent content. Keep up the fantastic work!


Writing Tips – How to self-edit a book by G.L. Cromarty

https://thewritingchimp.com/2018/01/15/writing-tips-how-to-self-edit-a-book-amwriting-editing-books-writingtips/

Editing is a tricky and tedious exercise. It’s so easy to miss even the simplest typo. I do it all the time. G.L. Cromarty feels our pain too and in her insightful article, shares some of the tools she uses to help catch…

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BookReview ~ The Introvert by Michael Paul Michaud #books #bookreview

A vacuum salesman by day, the introvert lives a quiet life alone with his dog until a work relationship and a dark secret from his past team up to create an uncomfortable imbalance in his otherwise ordered life, one that soon finds him squarely at the center of a murder investigation. With his thoughts continually urging him to make people “red and open” and to “achieve it” with his girlfriend Donna, what follows is a sometimes brutal, oftentimes hilarious, and absurdist account of the life of one very anti-social and unexpected anti-hero.

Guest Review ~ by Lee 

I wasn’t clear how to even categorise this book. It’s a fairly quick read and at the outset I had a pretty low opinion of it. The title is misleading and that I think threw me. My view was that this is a book written by an extravert trying to portray what it’s like to be an introvert. I still feel that to a degree. The writing is a bit clumsy in places.

However, the main character isn’t an introvert really or maybe I’m just offended. He’s more high functioning aspergers.

I’ve read comparisons to ‘The Curious Incident of the dog in the nighttime’, but it has little in common with that and more in common with ‘American Psycho’.

If you find it slow, stick with it. It improves.

My rating: Three Stars!

 

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Writing Tips – How to self-edit a book #amwriting #editing #books #writingtips

While nothing can replace an editor, there is certainly a lot you can do yourself before it reaches a professional’s hands to get your work into shape.

And your beta readers will thank you!

I’m definitely not claiming that this is the perfect way to self-edit, nor the only way! But this is what works for me.

What’s wrong with just reading it?

I am brilliant at spotting typos and editing errors in other people’s work.

I am utterly useless at spotting them in my own!

I do know a number of ‘lucky’ individuals who can spot what’s wrong in their own work…but this is not me. Once I have submerged myself in my story, I am pretty much blinded to a myriad of problems from that awkward sentence to that typo to using the wrong word!

So, I have an editing routine, and that forces me to explore my work in a way that brings the issues to the surface.

What tools do I use?

Word: I use Scrivener for writing, but I still copy and paste the manuscript into word between each round of editing.

Why do I like Word? Because Word still picks up a good number of simple defects, and if you are anything like me, you only need to look at a sentence to introduce a typo.

And it takes no more than 15-30 mins to check the whole manuscript!

Hemingway: Simple to use and cheap! I bought the desktop version, but you can use it on-line for free.

Why do I like Hemingway? It’s great for picking up passive voice, adverbs, and unnecessary words. A quick pass through Hemingway a chapter at a time clears out a lot of garbage from my work.

Grammarly: Simple to use, but with costs (monthly / quarterly / yearly subscription).

Why do I like Grammarly? It picks up an interesting set of errors that complements the Hemingway findings. For example word choice / better word pair / wrong word. I have also found it to be reasonable  on grammar. I will do a more in-depth review of Grammarly in another blog post. It’s excellent for that first draft!

The sequence of editing.

The high-level activities

  • Read the whole manuscript looking for plot holes (optional)
  • Word
  • The spreadsheet – list of words and phrases that are my personal weak spots
  • Hemingway
  • Grammarly
  • Read and correct a chapter at a time
  • Listen
  • Read the whole manuscript

Let’s get into the details…

I have managed to stop myself editing-as-I-go, which means the chapters can be in a pretty grim state when I start editing.

There is a temptation to jump into reading at this point. But again, I have found it more effective to get on with my editing routine. Things that are missing in the overall plot do still become apparent even without doing a whole read, BUT, I’m going to put it as an optional here as long as the first read doesn’t turn into a random editing session.

1. (Optional) Read the whole book looking for plot holes. No editing yet!

2. Search for the words and phrases on my spreadsheet. So what is my mysterious spreadsheet you might be wondering. Well, it’s a list of words and phrases I have noted to search for in my work.

For example crutch words like ‘just’.

There are over 200 different words and phrases I look for!

It’s not always a seek and destroy, some of the words or phrases just lend themselves to a poorly written sentence. Whenever I find them I can reassess that sentence and tighten it up. I’ll give you a couple more of my examples, however, I would suggest that any such ‘seek’ list is a personal list a writer builds up over time in relation to their own writing style and their own weak spots when drafting

  • Nodding, shaking head and other visuals. We all have our favourites, and most real people nod far less than you realize. Do a bit of people watching, you will be surprised!
  • Feel, feeling, felt – what is it they are feeling and is there a stronger word choice that will cover this (he felt sorry for them = he pitied them). Some of these may also indicate telling, such as ‘he looked angry’. I also search for ‘look, looked, looking’!

3. Put the whole manuscript through Word. By the time I have finish hacking the sentences about it’s usually in a bit of a state and a quick 30 mins to run it through word again will help.

4. Hemingway: Chapter at a time. Looking for passive voice, unnecessary words, adverbs.

5. Grammarly: Chapter at a time. Looking for passive voice, grammar, better words, wrong words etc.

6. Word again! Because I have an amazing ability to reintroduce spaces or typos!

7. Listen using text to speech: OMG this is the absolute best for spotting those sneaky missing words or even wrong words where autocorrect has jumped in.

8. Read a chapter at a time. REPEATEDLY. And keep adjusting those awkward sentences. Until I am 90% happy. (I say 90% because otherwise I would never finish!)

  • I also check for unnecessary backstory at this point…if in doubt hack it out!

9. Word again!

10. Text to speech again!

Done!

Now I can read the whole book from start to finish: By this point most (but certainly not all) errors will have gone such that I can at least read it with a level of flow. If you are anything like me there are many more iterations of reading.

And then you send it out to Beta readers.

And then you change it!

And then you edit all over again!

I do hope you found some of this useful! Happy editing 🙂

If you want to try Hemingway or Grammarly, here are the links:

BookReview ~ Room 119 by TF Lince #books #goodreads #bookreview @Room119TFLince

Room 119 High-flying trader Dean Harrison has it all – the London penthouse apartment; the fast car; the beautiful wife. But when the threads of Dean’s life start to unravel, they do so with alarming speed.

Following the advice of a frail stranger, Dean sets off for Welnetham Hall Hotel and is plunged into the mysterious world of Room 119 – a world where nothing makes sense. How does everyone in the hotel know his name? Why does he travel there on a train line that shut down over fifty years ago? And who is the sinister man in black who pursues him wherever he goes?

As he gradually pieces together the puzzle of Welnetham Hall, Dean is forced to re-evaluate his life and realises that nothing is more important to him than his wife and daughter. Desperate to get back to them, he vows he would lay down his life for the people he loves.

It’s a promise he may have to keep.

Guest Review ~ by Lee 

What a ride! I nearly put this book down as my first genuine DNF. I just thought the initial part of the story was too ‘unreal’ and it irritated me. Yes, fiction, unreal, blah blah. But it was worth persisting. The story is like a blend of Ghost of Christmas Past, Life on Mars (TV) and Wall Street!

It’s a great story with some great feel-good moments. It put me through all of my emotions and at one point I was ‘Oh no, you’re kidding’.

The characters are engaging, the writing is ‘easy reading’, but maybe lacks some sophistication. However, it is the author’s first book and from his ‘foreword’ he only started writing in 2017.

I formed an early opinion as I often do and considered this a 3/5, then as I progressed I gave it 4/5, then ultimately because I enjoyed the tale so much a lenient 5/5.

Good stuff!

My rating: Five Stars!

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Author Interview – Cassandra Parker ‪@Marburg759

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author Cassandra Parker, who will be sharing her thoughts on reading and writing, and details of her new book Harley’s Redemption.

 c_usersburgettdocumentscreative-workspublishedcassandra-parkerharley-memariCassandra On Writing

I have always been an avid reader. I am here to write, to learn, to be creative, and to have fun. I write because that is who I am. I see inspiration in everything such as the falling of a leaf, a child’s laughter, etc. I write because I can remember and to keep those memories alive. I remember my mother’s voice calling to me to come in for lunch on a hot summer day. I remember the smell of fresh mowed grass in the early morning. I remember how cool the lawn felt with dew drops glistening from each green blade. I write for pleasure. I write because I must.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

To read, read, read. Study the genres you love to read. Write what you love to read. Never give up. Even if everyone tells you being a writer is hard and you will not make it, look these naysayers in the eye and tell them, “I am a writer. No one can take that away from me. I will always write no matter what.”
Practice the craft. Study it, look at how a story is “shown” and not “told.” Find time to write 1 page a day, everyday. At the end of a year you will have finished a book. Never believe what you have written is too good for editing. Edit brutally, but also learn, and know when to stop. Edit to tighten the story but do not edit so much you lose the heart of it.

What is your favourite genre(s)?

I love romance in all its multitude of forms. Romance is wistful, poignant, and classic. It makes the heart beat faster; it brings a twinkle to the eyes, a tear drop, and a smile. Romance is love, joy, pain, and loss. It is endearing and lasts throughout time for all eternity.

I love SF because it takes place in worlds different than our own.

I love dystopian novels because it explores our humanity and our struggle to remain human.

Have you ever skipped something important to stay at home and read a book? 

Yes, I have. I was so engrossed in the story The Haunting by Shirley Jackson I completely forgot I was scheduled to work.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) What book would it be?

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. It was one of the books that drew me into a whole different world and created a love for books and ultimately for writing.

Are you a one book at a time reader, or do you jump between many?

I read one book at a time so I can savor the story. I become so completely immersed in the tale I lose track of time, location, etc.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far?

I’m currently reading Girl on a Train. It is a hard read for me because it is not in one of my favorite genres.

Harley’s Redemption by Cassandra Parker

Harley is a rebel soul, lashing out at his family because all they care about is their social standing.  They are destroying him piece by piece. He is a biker on a downward spiral with his world falling apart. Together with his man servant, Garrett,  he sets out to discover himself and look for the angel in his visions. This is his story about failure, redemption and his search for Mari.
Mari thinks Harley is drop dead gorgeous. He is the guy in most girls dreams. When he smiles she sees the innocent angel and the rascally devil in him. Harley loves her with reckless abandon. To Mari, Harley is her joy, her present, and her future. She loves how he encourages her to seek adventure, and to follow her dreams.
Harley’s Redemption is a romance filled with comedic and tragic moments. It tells the story of two college students as they discover the love of a lifetime. This is the journey of two people who discover true love is endless, endures through all the heartbreak and laughter, and transcends time.
Come Ride With Harley.

You can also follow Cassandra on her blog! CassandraParker.wordress.com.

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com

What it feels like to write a book #writing #writerslife #amwriting

How I feel when I start

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How I feel when I finish my first draft

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How I feel when I read my first draft

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How I feel when I start editing

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How I feel when I finish editing

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How I feel when I ask someone to read it

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Goodreads giveaway for Divided Serenity! #scifi #goodreadsgiveaway

If you would like a chance to win a paperback copy of Divided Serenity, you can join the Goodreads giveaway below! (UK and US only)

Divided Serenity ~ Revenge is only the beginning. 

About Divided Serenity: John Tanis dreams of killing the man responsible for his exile.
Once loyal to the civilized Aterra, Tanis now fights for Shadowland. But the mysterious arrival of technology outside the wall heralds change.
With the dividing wall failing his new loyalties will be tested, and he must choose between revenge and saving the people he once loved.

 

 

 

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Divided Serenity by G.L. Cromarty

Divided Serenity

by G.L. Cromarty

Giveaway ends February 11, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Why I love books #writing #reading #books

For some of us,

books are as important as

almost anything else on earth.

What a miracle it is that

out of these small, flat, rigid

squares of paper unfolds

world after world after world,

worlds that sing to you,

comfort and quiet or excite you.

~Anne Lamott