Formatting: Quite possibly worse than editing.

English: Example of screenplay formatting. Wri...

English: Example of screenplay formatting. Writing is own work. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Were it not for the fact that I now feel like there is a light at the end of the long long tunnel that is revision, editing and rewriting, I think I would be banging my head against the wall right now.

Having spent more hours than I care to mention transferring my completed manuscript into a template for publication through createspace, I now tip my hat to individuals who do such activities on a daily basis.

It is a truth that writers do what writers do best and that is WRITE. With self publication now a popular option, more of us are being forced to delve into activities that require tedious organisation and meticulous detail. At the very least once I have my published book in my hands I will be able to look back and say. It was all worth it!

Now onto finishing my cover! (Shakes head)

My eyeballs are melting!

Quote

“Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.”
― Flannery O’Connor

 

I feel like I am so close. Only 2 chapters to go and my novel is read for publishing. A cover and some formatting to go and I will be launching my first book! I do look back and realise the ridiculous amount of effort that has gone into this. When I hear others say to me, ‘oh have you written the next one yet’, I feel like slapping them in the face. People who don’t write will never fully understand how emotionally and physically draining it can be!

A week of resources and inspiration for the Writer – Day 5

Books to be returned...

Books to be returned… (Photo credit: Hash Milhan)

For the final post in my week of resources I am going to cover off on the editing process. This is something I am elbows deep in at the moment and an activity that can prove more tiresome and taxing than anything else you will do on your journey to publication.

As I have mentioned before everybody works differently, but quite often I come across a handy tip that I haven’t tried out or considered. Here are the 3 things I have found most useful in editing and proofreading.

1) For your final edit, DON’T edit front to back. Start from a random chapter and keep doing another random chapter until you have finished. Alternatively start at the end and go backwards. When you edit from page one to the last, you will become engrossed in the story, regardless of how hard you try, and will miss things that you will pick up taking a random chapter in hand. Try it, It really works!!

2) Don’t trust your spell check. Regardless of what program you use to write, never think that the spell check function is a substitute for actually reading over every single word you have written. There will be more actual errors than you care to think of regardless of how sophisticated the spell checker is. Errors only a human eye will pick up.

3) Use your beta readers properly. Firstly, try and find those friends or family members that you believe will give you the most honest feedback. If you can find a stranger, that would be even better, but that could be difficult. Once you have managed to convince a few people to proofread your book, don’t allow them to fully dictate the feedback. When asked for feedback, people are inherently lazy and will also forget a lot of things that they have read. To fix this make sure you go into your meeting/discussion with the right questions in hand. Get it all on paper. Then, (and this part is important!) ask every beta reader the exact same questions and compare their answers.

I have a rule. If more than half of the people who have read your book find an issue, change it. If half or less don’t like it, you the author has creative authority and makes the final decision. The questions you ask will determine how useful the feedback you get is. I suggest specific questions such as;

– If you had to change one thing in the book what would it be?

– In which points did you feel a character acted out of character?

– Which names do you not like?

– I need to cut out a scene, which one would you cut?

You need to make sure you are getting good feedback and sometimes you need to prompt for negative feedback. If you leave it up to the beta readers, you will likely get some good stuff, but not all of the feedback that they have stored in their heads.

That wraps up my week of tools and resources. I hope that you were able to find something new, or something that you had forgotten about. Best of luck with all your writing!