EDITORS – WHERE DO THEY LIVE? (THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN SELF-PUBLISHING)

edit on the go

edit on the go (Photo credit: fensterbme)

The Editor.

Do any of you lovely people know where one may find one?

Writing the first draft is the easy bit you see. No, don’t believe me? Just ask someone who is in print with a professional publisher. Then ask yourself how many dedication pages in published works contain that bit about how wonderful their editor is… Whilst some of these may have been achieved by the said editor putting a gun to the writers head. I think the majority are probably genuine. Got you thinking now haven’t I?

The first draft is like rainbows and sunny days compared to the horror of the next step… The 59 re-writes and re-drafts.

But how do you source a good one? Beta readers are fine, but I need professional help (hey, stop sniggering at the back) to get my writing to the next level. The only way it will be all it can be, is if someone who has no vested interest except professional pride (and my cold hard cash) helps me get it there.

Every successful author self-published or not, usually has an editor. That’s the person who gives it to them straight; who points out the saggy middle and the over descriptive prose in chapter 12.

I’ve seen a lot of information on how to format my manuscript, how to upload it to Amazon/B&N/Smashwords (pick your pdf’er), how to get my tax in order, how to market it and how to create a website and even how to work out if I’m a pantser or a plotser (I’m a plotser by the way, Scrivener is like crack to me).

“Have your work edited.” those that say these things say, “You must have it professionally edited”. – It’s all very well lecturing me on this, however, do you think it would be too much to ask, if you actually for once blogged about how to find one? Rather than about procrastination, because I don’t need to learn how to procrastinate – I’ve got that one down. Give that girl an A+.

So I’m looking for an editor and I am awfully suspicious of these writing services you see advertised on the inter-web. You type in Google “find an editor” and you are likely to come up with one of the new breed of rip off merchants contract publishers.

As a contract publisher, a wonderful cross between traditional royalty publishing and self-publishing, we take all the guesswork out of writing and publishing your own book. In our model, the author pays the costs of publication, and keeps all of the books and all of the profits from their sales.”

HMMMM, I’m not convinced either.

Now at this point in my post you are wondering if the manuscript is only half-finished, why are you looking for an editor? Well, I’ve come up with a bit of a model for my work, which means that in the lead up to publishing it. I will be publishing six short stories which are a semi-prequel to the book itself. Think of it like a literary teaser.

Personally, I never read prequels that are issued after I’ve read the original book. You know those books that come out about the popular character and what they were doing before the book happened. My short stories are almost the anti-version of this. I’m hoping to build a bit of buzz for the main event.

I’d like my editor there from the beginning to edit the original stories so that they get the “characters” too. That way I hope the writing will be more cohesive.So, if you see an editor, snag-em for me. Or alternatively you could give me some bloody good advice on how I go about finding a reputable one in the comments section below…. Worth a shot? I think so.

FINALLY A WRITING POST!! – GENRE TART

Yesterday, as well as sharing the here and now with my husband, I did a bit of work on the book. My book. I haven’t really posted all that much recently about my work. I feel a sense of dread when I write about it. Especially when it seems, that every other person on the blog is a wannabe author out to get self published. Do we notice other writers more when we take those first tentative steps out of procrastination and into the writing light? I must do, either that or the rest of the world really IS writing their first novel too.

It doesn’t help I guess that the genre I am writing in gets a bit of a bad rap. You see it’s a fantasy novel and even worse it has no vampires, werewolves or paranormal beings. It’s also designed for adult readers, so that’s the YA audience out then. The protagonists, because there are multiple, are from the late twenties up. One of my favourites is in her fifties.

I am writing the book that I would want to read. I miss the old-fashioned fantasy with interesting characters. I miss feel good. I miss drama minus the dwarves and elves. There will be magic, however, based on some of the science around the Higgs Bosun particle… Whilst I love Dragons – there are not any in this book.

R.I.P. David Eddings
R.I.P. David Eddings (Photo credit: Xanetia)

If you think David Eddings or Patrick Rothfuss, you are in the right sort of area for my first novel. There will be a bit of George R. R. Martin too, his dialogue is exceptional and thats the standard I’m aiming for – I’ll try not to kill anyone off that you really like, but unfortunately characters have a life and death of their own.

This is not a series of books. It isn’t part one of ten. It will be a standalone, about a world that has been in my head for over twenty years. There will be six short stories that go with the book. One for the history of the “Disciples” who are a band of six. They represent: the mother, priest, joker, assassin, healer and thief.

I will after completing this; move on to a contemporary fiction novel, could be described I suppose, if you had to, as hen-lit but there are no relationship dramas. My character hasn’t got divorced, she’s not going to find love in a bookshop. It’s about how the mother and daughter relationship is difficult even when you are all grown up and have a family yourself and how some wounds from childhood stay with us even when we really should have discarded them years ago. The central theme is about finding peace and redemption.

For my third novel, I haven’t got that far ahead… The third book I write will probably be in a completely different genre altogether, I may even try my hand at romance. I think there is room for a Romance with real people. For a truly inspiring female lead that you root for and more importantly a truly heroic male who complements not controls the protagonist.

We have a small reading problem
We have a small reading problem (Photo credit: ktgeek)

I’m not a genre writer you see, I want to write about the things that I am interested in. I read everything from thrillers to fantasy, so why wouldn’t I write about them too? I think if anything really good has come out of the Self-Pub revolution it is that we get to experiment with our stories; no longer are we confined to only writing the same stories over and over because that’s all the publisher wants.

So are you a genre reader or writer and do you think that authors should stick to one thing?

Comments as always welcome.

MUSICAL MAYHEM – PROUD TO BE BRITISH

Axonometric view of the Olympic Stadium, showi...

Axonometric view of the Olympic Stadium, showing the various layers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a Brit, and an Englishwoman, it’s not often I feel very patriotic. In fact even the word patriotism is not used culturally over here when we talk about ourselves. We don’t do a lot in England for celebrations. Yes, I know we had the Jubilee this year but I suspect a good 50% of the people lining the mall were tourists and not Brits. Where I live in the Midlands whilst we were all grateful for the Bank Holiday, I don’t know that many people who had a street party – Mind you the weather was awful.

That’s not to say I am not proud of the Monarchy, the Queen works bloody hard and the entire royal family costs us twenty-two pence per annum (that even includes the relatively unknown royals – like Prince Michael of Kent). I think we get our moneys worth.

We tend not to take ourselves too seriously you see. We find public displays of anything faintly embarrassing and we’d rather you didn’t get too emotional on us. We are not quite sure how to comfort you.

However, the Olympics last night made me proud that I am British and English simultaneously. I have to  admit that I might even have shed a tear or two for the 7,500 volunteers who made it all possible. I think it says something about us that they also got the largest, loudest most emphatic cheer in the closing speeches given by Mr Rog.

Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There were also  the usual Twitter conspiracies about how Danny Boyle had included themes that were a direct attack on the Conservative Government by celebrating our National Health Service and the Steel Workers, Miners etc. – with the Olympic Rings being forged by manufacturing. By and large I ignored these.

My personal Twitter Feed was full of thoughts of pride and passion.

I thought it was a wonderful celebration of unity, harmony and humour. We showed the world that even the Queen was prepared to get involved, with the “James Bond” sequence. The young men and women who lit the Olympic Cauldron were an inspired touch (demonstrating inspiration for the next generation) and even the cauldron itself designed by Thomas Heatherwick shows just how talented and creative we are.

Oh and I better not forget the music. All I can say is WoW. I want the Ipod playlist.

We even rolled out Paul McCartney at the end, who’s becoming what Noddy Holder is to Christmas at these events.

Thanks Danny, you made me really proud.

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT – GREEN EYED MONSTER

A post ago, I believed that someone whose blog I visited regularly had gone and I quite liked their unusual voice and friendly way. However, I soon learnt that they hadn’t gone anywhere; they had just been “upgrading” and had been “Freshly Pressed” no less!

Now, hooray, you are thinking, how wonderful!

By and large, I felt the same – There was just a teensy-weensy part of me that wasn’t on that page of overflowing happiness and rainbows. This segment of me, was hulk green and snotty about the FP my friend had just received.  I think I may have actually muttered to myself.

You see, I want to get FP’ed. I know I shouldn’t, I know it’s wrong and it shouldn’t matter to me. BUT IT DOES.

I am extremely competitive. I know it is not a very attractive quality. I have spent most of my life fighting or striving and whilst the direction may differ (I’ve aimed both for the gutter and the stars and my downwards aim is much better), it’s part of what makes me, well me.

How does FP work? Are there like, people who read Blogs and then report back to a shadowy figure in a high back chair with a white cat. Or do you nominate? Is it how many times someone presses the “press this” button. Is it based on views or stats. Horror, are we being monitored. A team of people looking at monitors saying things like “She’s hit the magical 150 mark, send out the raven.”

If this is the case I am going to wait an extremely long time….

Chap in shadow stares at the monitors,  “Only, 10 views again today”, or on some days – A big fat (nobody cares) zero.

So – Me being Me. After disillusionment comes research and goal setting. WordPress does tell you how you can become Freshly Pressed see proper link here.

Five ways to get freshly pressed

WordPress

WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

It’s a bit pot luck, I think. You have to have a great headline, interesting content and use linkage to photos and articles. Hopefully, after all that, whoever it is, that looks at these things, will feature you. So that’s that then.

Y’know what, I don’t mind not having been freshly pressed just yet, not really. No, honestly, I don’t.

Yet, it would be nice, wouldn’t it? All those lovely views on your stats bar. Oh well, back to the net book and my next posts draft. Maybe that one will be the one..

AN AWARD – FOR ME? WELL OKAY.

The lovely Howard,  sent this to me. Because his blog is so wonderful, I felt that I would be doing him an injustice if I didn’t at least say thank you and answer the questions.

Hey, I’m also super-competitive (not my finest character trait) so getting an award is awesome!

So, as stated by the rules. I am supposed to post seven interesting things about myself. Then award other bloggers who I feel deserve this honor.

So, here are some factoids about me…

1) I have been homeless and lived in a shelter for three months.

2) I have been just about everywhere except Australasia

3) I once got the Australian cricket team so drunk on a night out in Johannesburg that they lost to South Africa the next day

4) I can surf, scuba dive and sail…

4) I love to sing but sound like next doors cat – NO SERIOUSLY…

5) I didn’t believe in love at first sight or marriage until I met my husband…

6) My favourite place in the world is the Maldives…

7) My favourite saying is:- “If you can’t be good be careful, if you can’t be careful don’t get caught and if you get caught – Don’t blame me!”

So last but not least, some nice nominations. Now I don’t follow that many Blogs, although I read a lot regularly – maybe fifteen tops? So, nominating is hard yet easy at the same time. I believe in quality not quantity.

So I am only nominating two for this award:-

http://fabricatedfables.wordpress.com/ – In Pickles own words below – Plus she’s got talent!

My name is Miss Pickles (I’m 12 years old) and this blog is for publishing my stories to the General World. I love writing and have aspirations to become an author, so I’d love some advice from any actual writers to improve my writing.I’ve known for about five years that I want to be a writer of some sort, though at one point I wanted to be an archaeologist,  and I’ve written lots of assorted bits and bobs.

My next one doesn’t need a nomination – She’s just been Freshly Pressed. However, I was so glad to see that she was still around I simply have to nominate her!

Daniela of the Lantern Press.

THE LOST BLOG – A NEWBIE SAYS GOODBYE

It’s been six and a half weeks since I started this little sojourn into blogging and I have met some great characters along the way. Diversity on WP is everywhere. The first time someone decides to Follow You. You want to explode into song. Me, you want to hear more of what little ol’ me has to say. Are you sure? Really? No, I’m not complaining but okay. You think it’s a fluke, an act of madness perhaps; they’ll un-follow you anyways shortly. You then get your second and your third and it’s like all your Christmases have come at once!

Then people start commenting. Not just “nice post check out my blog” – They say stuff that tells you that they have actually read what you’ve said, they’ve connected. They “GET” you!

Some people who comment, you get what they say too… You go and look at their blogs often, you spend time there. You build a little branch of understanding and friendship.

Then disaster!

You see today I went to check out someone’s Blog, they started a few months before me and we were newbies together.

They’re not there anymore. Disappeared, high tailed, vamoosed – GONE.

WP tells me that the Blog was deleted by the author. What? They left, without goodbye, without so much as a “Ta Ta for now” or a “So long and thanks for all the fish?”. They were one of the top commenters on my blog and whilst we didn’t agree on everything, there was a synergy there; a companionship and sense of community. The fact that they were new too and got what it’s like when you’ve started – that thrill you get with every little bloggy milestone passed….

Daniela of the Lantern Press. I don’t know where you have gone or what made you leave but I wish you the best. I hope you come back one day even if it’s just to tell me you’ve set up on Blogger.

SUMMER HAS FINALLY ARRIVED – MY ADVICE TO AN OLYMPIC TOURIST

Dear Olympic Tourist,

Firstly, Thank you for visiting England and London for the Olympics, frankly, our economy can use all the help that it can get. I wanted to take this opportunity to apologise in advance for some interesting quirks that the onset of what will be a brief period of sunshine does to the English, Irish, Welsh and Scots. Yes, there is more than one country that makes up the British Isles.

You may, as we are experiencing the first patch of sunlight in some time, see some or all of the following during your stay:

  1. Men not wearing shirts with a blue skin tone.
  2. Men wearing sandals and socks
  3. Drunk people because the sun is out
  4. Drunk people because of the Olympics
  5. Drunk people who got drunk because they don’t like the Olympics
  6. Horrendous customer service
  7. Over-priced souvenirs in the shape of London Buses, Telephone Boxes etc… P.S These only exist in London.
  8. If venturing outside the capital in England to exotic places such as Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield etc. You may notice that the women have a wee bit less on than they potentially should have or think that a pink tutu and eighties fluorescents are back in – They aren’t these are an ironic tempt at humour by women who are betrothed.
  9. These cities are also not hosting super-heroes conventions  –  this is the male alternative.

Forgive us; we are not usually like this. Try and remember that we have thousands of years of history and take our unusual quirks in your stride. You may also want to learn how to queue before attempting entry into our country as things can get ugly if you push in. We also apologise a lot for things that are not our fault.

Just remember that London isn’t Great Britain and all should be well. I thoroughly recommend getting out of London if possible

Though not to Essex, the orange aliens will scare you.

So, sorry, and welcome, we look forward to your visit.

Best regards,

An Embarrassed Brit.