Editor’s Blog

Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Give yourself permission to not write occasionally.

There are days when we fell so run down that we can hardly focus. There are days when our minds keep drifting to the latest episode of our favorite TV show. Sometimes we want to curl up in a nice, warm blanket and just read. That’s okay. Just because you didn’t write doesn’t mean that you weren’t working on your stories. Sometimes, you need to do something else while your brain mulls around with the pieces, trying to make up the puzzle. Give yourself permission to not write occasionally. Remember that just because you’re not typing new words into that computer file doesn’t mean that you’re not writing. Inspiration can strike in odd ways.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: First step of editing is to walk away from your manuscript.

The first step of editing a new manuscript is to walk away from your manuscript. Seriously. If you have just finished writing that manuscript, you need to give yourself some distance so you can look at it objectively. The more time you have up your sleeve to put that manuscript in that metaphorical drawer the better. Distance is the key to good editing.

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Words Can Cut Like Knives

As writers, we carefully craft our sentences to use the perfect word to say what is it that we want to say, creating the exact image in a reader’s mind. There are times when writers have been known to spend days to find those perfect words. Yet, there is one aspect of our writing lives where many writers don’t take the same care with words as they do their stories.

I’m talking about the posts that writers put on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. The rush to get the post out there can sometimes land us in situations where the words cut like knifes.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Know the legal requirements for email lists

Many writers are now using email lists. It’s a great way to spread the word about your work, simply because you get into the inbox of your fans. However, there are legal requirements involved with using an email list. In the US, you have CAN-SPAM. In Canada, you have CASL. In Australia, you have the Spam Act of 2003. You are subject to the laws in your home country, hence, you need to ensure that you know exactly what your legal requirements are.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Join a critiquing site.

Not everyone can find local writers who are willing to critique their work for a variety of different reasons. Some struggle to get critiques back within a timely fashion. One possible solution is to join a critiquing site such as Scribophile or Critique Circle. Both sites have literally thousands of writers on the sites, all willing to look at different manuscripts at the various stages of development. Critiques will range from extremely helpful to the vague, depending on the skill of the critiquer, but when you are in desperate need of feedback of that scene not working, this is just one option.

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Working with IngramSpark

Many self-published and indie-published writers are connected with Amazon’s CreateSpace and KDP. They aren’t bad options, but they aren’t the only options either. When I started down the road of setting up my own publishing house, I seriously looked into what CreateSpace and KDP had to offer. It was then that I quickly realised that CreateSpace and KDP had some major drawbacks for myself living all the way on the other side of the world.

Enter IngramSpark.

Before I delve in the specific reasons of why I chose to print my books, and distribute the printed and eBook versions through IngramSpark, I better explain what makes IngramSpark different to CreateSpace and KDP.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: If you don’t want a blog, then don’t have one.

There are many out there who believe that they should have a blog because they are a writer seeking to be published. When used correctly, blogging can be a wonderful marketing tool; however, readers don’t want to read something on a blog that you halfheartedly put together. You should never blog just because others told you that you should. The only thing that will achieve is a sense of resentment and failure when you don’t meet your blogging objective. If you are blogging because you feel you need to as a writer, then you should really do some homework. There are plenty of successful writers out there who don’t have blogs, and there are plenty of nameless writers who have been blogging for years and still haven’t gotten anywhere.

Don’t blog because you think you have to; blog because you want to.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Other eyes are necessary when editing, but not family.

There is only so much editing that a writer can do without seeking the opinions of others. Eventually, you will need to share your writing, but not with your family. Let’s face it, your family wants to support you, but unless they’re writers themselves, they’ll never understand. Instead, they’ll lie, tell you that your manuscript is perfect. They won’t be able to give you the help you really need. Critique partners NEED to be other writers, people not afraid to tell you that your writing is not working and potentially help you edit that rough draft into a masterpiece.

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How important really is grammar?

When I tell people that I’m a freelance editor (including other writers), they instantly assume that I’m a copyeditor, with a keen interest in working on the grammar and punctuation of my clients. I’m not surprised that writers often jump to that conclusion. Majority of editors that I encounter actually ARE copyeditors. However, what is the point behind looking at the appropriateness of a given word in a sentence when on page 152 the bad guys are setting up the bomb that will level the city, but the good guys find the bomb and disarm it by the end of page 154.

This may sound incredibly odd coming from a professional editor, but in all honesty, grammar takes a backseat to story and character.

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