Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Advice From a New Author

I am hard at work, blogging for Long Overdue and I realized something… I don’t know much about anything.  I see these wonderful posts about settings, characters, and dialog – all this advice offered by authors and I’m just like, “Hey, I’m new.”  LOL.  So that’s about the only thing I can offer, tips on how to be a newbie author.

Here are the top three:

1)   Understand the editing process.  How many rounds to expect?  Will it be reviewed by more than one editor?  Understand the galley review process (cause guess what – confession time – I thought I knew what galleys were, I was wrong).  When is the very last chance to make content change?

I would imagine new authors will probably have more edits than an established author.  At least I hope that wasn’t just me – LOL.  But I’ve learned from my first experience and try not to repeat the same mistakes.  I feel pretty lucky that my editor gave me mine in three stages – instead of throwing them all at me at once.  But I didn’t realize until the 3rd round that I could – oh, my God – actually talk to her about some of the suggested changes.

Don’t be so quick to accept a change if you’re not convinced, or feel the way you’ve written it is true to your distinct voice.  Offer another suggestion, write a comment back to explain what you’re going for, or ask for help.  Main point – communicate.  Don’t pretend you know more than you do – ask questions.

2)   Every change can potentially cause another issue.  For instance, you’ve used the word “kiss” too many times in one scene – you replace it with something to do with “lips” or “mouth”.  Well, guess what – did you happen to notice how many times you’ve used those words?  True story.  The change could have a bigger effect than that as well; I just used this as an example.  But it leads me to my third tip…

3)   No matter how many times you’ve read your work – don’t skimp!  Read it beginning to end with all the changes before you send it in.  Do. Not. Skip. This. Part.  Make sure everything works.  Look for new repetition, make sure it flows and the transitions work.  And guess what, you can make changes on your own (just make sure you follow the instructions – ie: My editor instructed me to keep Track Changes on). 

There you have it.  My top three pieces of advice – things I wish I knew. 

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