Monday, March 30, 2015

March:2015 - Be Fearless: Ask For Help

           After drafting multiple books and outlining countless ideas, I concluded I needed to get serious about publishing. My regular "Critique" group produced a list of revision suggestions. I didn't want to start this process before checking if someone else stepped out a revision process.Deep in my soul I realized someone created a It was then I took the bold move and asked for help.
        I belong to several writers group on FACEBOOK. I reached out to members on Writer Unboxed (This group is by invitation.) My plead was simple:
"Help! I am in Revision Hell! 
Any tips on how to focus and get the work done?

       The response was fantastic. Encouragement, food ideas, time management suggestions, and this wonderful site Fiction Universityenter "Revision Plan" in the search box on the left hand side of the page. You ascend to another place where there are choices and plans to help you create your process of revising. 
       The responses from these writers also inspired me to look at Scrivener with a critical eye. I recently purchased a bundle of resources from The Write Life. The package contained the "Learn Scrivener Fast" program. I committed two days focusing on the program. I imported my novel from WORD to Scrivener. This tool reads the text back to the writer, (available only on MACs). This feature is an enormous help to me. 
        Thanks to my writing colleagues I am moving forward on the road to revision with a plan and powerful tools. Information infuses one with power and confidence. I learned a big lesson. Be fearless: 'Ask for Help,' especially when you are feeling overwhelmed.

“Writing is a delicious agony.”
—Gwendolyn Brooks


Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 2015- Be Fearless: REVISE

Revision: the act of reconsidering, altering, changing
     Look at each word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter. Seek to set the scene for the action and the characters. Action moves the plot.  It is a systemic process designed by the writer.       
   Tools exist to support authors during the revision process. Some of the available products are as follows: 
  • AutoCrit assists writers with pacing, dialogue, momentum, wording, passive voice, and repetition issues.
  • GrammarlySpell Check, the Dictionary, and Theasarus provides authors with verb agreement, correct spelling, and vocabulary choices.
  • Scrivener offers writers the choice to select the option of check spelling and grammar as they type.
Tools are helpful, but reading your document aloud in a room by yourself, the cat, or dog helps find the small often overlooked issues.
        Every writer needs to create a proof reading checklist. Align your list with the publisher's "style guidelines" (generally found in the submission requirements). Look for them and become acquainted with the various types of style guides. Many publishers and contests require the formal guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers. This is one of the industry's standards. If you know the publisher's or contest's preference, it can save you time and perhaps the "slush pile."
Editing: correction
      Spelling verification is imperative. Spell Check, the Dictionary and Theasarus are aids, but names of people, place, and specific objects need authentication. Use Google, Bing, or your research (if it is accurate) to validate proper noun spelling.
      Additionally, editing need the following it steps: 
Eradicate as much of your passive voice as possible. 
  • Check for adverbs. Replace with a descriptive adjective when possible. 
  • Check the number of times a paragraph started with a noun or a pronoun. 
  • Check for run on sentences. 
  • Look for semicolons. A single sentence using a semicolon should probably be two sentences.
  • Check for missing quotation marks, question marks, and commas.
       An editing list continues based on the style guide's rubrics. Revision is a long process, an activity trying the best of authors.  Revisions challenge every writer regardless of experience level.  A "Critique Group" assists the writer with suggestions and editorial comments, but the work of the transforming a draft to a completed document remains in your hands with the aid of your creativity.  During the demand of this change protocol, a writer must let go of his or her ownership of the document. Your creativity must conquer your ego.

 “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
—Elmore Leonard