Of Editing and Being Poor

I read this article when seeking advice about what to do should hiring a copy-editor not be financially viable, and disagreed heavily with the very forward assertion that if you can’t afford an editor, you shouldn’t be publishing. Following this, after several sites, I uncovered an article regarding agents remarking on whether to get an Editor Prior to Querying Agents.  anime-typing-gif-2.gif

This topic has bothered me for years, and although I am querying agents with my manuscript hoping to get it published, I often find many advocating getting an editor in either case of trade publishing or self-publishing. Moreover, despite how I agree that one ought to have their work as glossy as possible prior to publishing; one should be intelligent about it and treat this hiring as ideal, not necessarily ‘either hire an editor or abdicate’

The Grand Order, my manuscript, is at 120,000 words (apx). On average, for a copy editor, many charge around $0.02 per word[1]. That would cost me roughly $2,400, which is considerably out of my price range. While it is assumable that this might fluctuate, it is still far too expensive for me to afford.

The agents within the top link mostly do not advocate hiring an editor if seeking traditional publishing, unless one can afford it. And by afford it, I believe they mean without costing you your home, food, healthcare, etc.

 

現金あらない

However, if self-publishing, an editor becomes an assumably major necessity. Many writers just aren’t flowing with cash and opt to instead self-edit. By using a program such as ProWritingAid, and even paying the comparatively inexpensive license fee, one can use it to tidy up their book. (I advocate such programs if one writes often anyway) Three or so passes through, and editing things like grammar, dialog, plot, characters, perspective, etc; one might present a well-pruned work.

While not a seemingly popular opinion to opt out of copy-editing, (or any form of editing, like line-editing and content-editing), if one is poor and wishes to show their work to the world, they shouldn’t be shackled by their financial deficiency, nor mocked by others for not having the sufficing budgetary dais. Ideal is it to have a professional editor inspect your work so you might improve it; better to have at least edited yourself using an affordable method, opposed to leaving it as is, or abandoning your endeavors.

 

Source:

[1] What Does Editing Cost

 

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Of Editing and Being Poor

Tallying My Rejections

Perhaps it is too premature to record my failures at publishing my first novel (though I’ve begun it a while ago). Perhaps it is best to wait till hindsight to put forth, the seeming cul-de-sac, that is amassing rejection letters. Perhaps, I’m not so intelligent and thus do it now.

I have two major types of rejections.

Six I assumed rejection due to no response despite my fluttering eyelashes.

Seven, actual rejection letters. These vary from totally informal/near-automated response to ‘personal’ or at least, more personal than impersonal letters. Complete with one apologizing for the impersonalness of the what I assumed ‘personal rejection letter’ would be like (I’m deprived).

I recently sent out two new queries.

I think it’s prudent to understand that I’ve established ’rounds’. That is to say, I only send out a few queries per ’round’. Between each, I refine/edit the query, go back over ‘how to query’ guides, and so forth.

I have noticed, after my third official iteration of my query letter, I’ve gotten nearly always a rejection letter. (I used ProWritingAid. I purchased the lifetime license and so far worth it. Just be mindful when using it, not everything it suggests you should change you should change.) But, so far, only rejection letters. I suppose that’s obvious from everything aforementioned but.

Although I have yet to have anything published, and thus probably a terrible candidate to mention anything about perseverance, but, I do believe a relentlessness is necessary. But, not a blind perseverance. If you notice your query needs revamping, or even your manuscript, do not be afraid to (within reason) edit.

If there is anything I can mention so far, that might improve your outlook should you be (or will be) querying as well, that don’t fear reworking what you have. Editing and changing can lead to better reception, and a better overall work. I’ve redone the ending of my book, added entire near-chapter’s worth of content, and scrapped chapter’s worth of content. I don’t advice editing beyond what sanity would recommend, but it has helped me improve upon my work, and it may for you too. Since several edits of both my manuscript as well as my query, I’m actually getting responses now.

Hopefully, eventually, the Grand Order will be published lest this post be a mark of my silliness.

 

 

Tallying My Rejections

Of Changing POV -Jami Gold

Head-hopping is something I do constantly–granted when I do it, it’s done though a scene change–however, I forget to mark it in some way.

For those who do head-hopping and want some advice on changing POV here’s helpful bit:

Article [Preview, click ‘read more’ for full]

Today’s a holiday in the U.S., so I’m dusting off and updating a post from the archives. While you’re here, don’t forget to comment on my Blogiversary post for a chance to win “me.” Want me to beta read for you or pick my brain about a writing or story problem? Now’s your chance! *grin*

The old version of this post recently came up in one of my writing loops because many beginning writers want to share everything they know about their characters and their story. We see this issue in information dumps of backstory or story research. And we also see this issue in the desire to share everything that every character is thinking and feeling.

However, once we gain experience, we realize it’s good for readers to have questions and to figure things out from the subtext. The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi is excellent at giving suggestion on how to show emotion, both from the point-of-view (POV) character as well as from a non-POV character. Simply wanting the reader to know the emotions of another character is not a reason to switch POV. *smile*

Once we’ve determined a POV change is really needed—think emotional arcs, plot turning points, or who has the most at risk—we need to know how to do changes in close third person POV properly. I hope you enjoy!

Read More…

Link

Thoughts On ‘Claiming Concepts’

I adore film, video-games, and really any form of media able to tell a good story. Irrespective of it’s originality. In that, most things aren’t original anymore by perhaps the concept. However, the artistic fingerprint, content, perspective and a slew of other things make it unique and special. But I find a worrisome thing. It seems as though to me that there are many video games and films which  take an excellent premise and do a piss poor job at executing it. Resulting in a failure of a piece of art. Devolving into, gimmickry, and anyone who creates a latter work that contains such a premise runs into problems.

Take for instance R.I.P.D., the concept was amazing and if executed well, would be exciting, thrilling, and perhaps even philosophical. However, it comes off as a fraction of what it could have been. Too big as well, instead of focusing on a smaller scale conflict and exploring the idea, they went to apocalyptic levels. This leads them to have no where to go afterward. The possibilities of future endeavors is dried up. But the problem I find is, there may be phenomenal stories surrounding this idea. However if other writers were to create works on such an idea (ignorant or not of the existing property)  many people will liken it to R.I.P.D. Either the new work (thought out or not) will be treated as being a rip off, gimmicky, or ‘we already saw that’. Eliminating potential good work. All because someone thought, ‘hey cool idea, rush it through, hollywoodify it’ and well, that idea is now ‘taken’ and will require x-amount of years before it’s gone from the collective movie-lover consciousness.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with making films on ideas like this. Obviously. That’d be counterproductive, uncreative and arrogant. But I worry that when these concepts are placed out there like such that consumers of any medium (film, book, game) will look at it like ‘yep, saw that, it was *insert intellectual property* and your just ripping them off. Wizards? Harry Potter. Zombies? Walking Dead. It’s not always the case. Certainly not. There are loads of zombies as a central point of stories. Though the undead concept I continue to notice among readers is ‘getting old’. Perhaps it is from a writer’s perspective that works I create might have broad similarities to works not yet produced, resulting in potentially unmarketable books because someone else thought ‘Hey quick let’s make something about mythical monsters! Toss in cardboard characters, weak plot line, explosions, one-liners, and cliche story archs. Now anyone who makes a work on Greek gods will be copying us.’ For a few years.

This really comes off as me being an ass, but I mean, it’s become a running joke now that vampire are sparkly teen romance generators. The trend has continued and made similar stories. Fine if you like them. Every, and I mean every story, has it’s audience and power. But, if I created a vampire book, made similar to the spirit of Interview with the Vampire, it’d be taken as being ‘another vampire book’ currently.

Again, I know I sound like a broken record, but, I know this is coming off as being : ‘don’t create what you want/your work sucks’ and I don’t mean it. 90% of writers can prolly write better than me. the other 10% are the ones who write gibberish on a keyboard and then set it on fire. I’m essentially part of that 10%. Or at least that’s how I see myself from time to time. Still, my works are certainly not necessarily good, but I feel I put time and energy into them, and with BETA readers and editors, my works may become consumable pieces of literature. However, if gimmicky works are are continued to be produced as cash-grabs, which service no honor toward film or literature, I fear eventually a broad idea of my work might get made, resulting in comparison and loss of potential readers. Not a loss of profit, but a loss of people who’d actually enjoy it. Perhaps even attracting those who’d read it for supernatural romance rather than a supernatural thriller, with fantasy and psychological implications.

This isn’t an entry on intent to convince others that there needs to be an end to this. This entry is more so a musing, thoughts about it. It comes off as being cynical, aggressive and childish, but it is a viable frettery in part of my mind. However there is a good chance it’s not that problematic. Thinking of Dr. Indiana Jones, you have both Lara Croft and Nathan Drake. Two iconic video-game explorers who hold their own and don’t feel close to Dr. Jones. There is a good chance no matter the pop-cultural awareness/recent takes on paranormal adventures, perhaps I will be alright not having such concepts as specters, out of body experiences and the like made so my work isn’t a mere comparative piece. Kudos to those who make comments that they’ll make a work on such and ensure to give it no personality or their artistic fingerprint in order to sound clever.

Anyway, this was more of a rant or sorts. Aimless, to get thoughts out, and perhaps to those who are interested, to get conversations to go. Again, there is no real point to this. Nothing should be done. Nothing could be done without becoming artistic dictators and completely annihilating the artistic endeavor. Of which, I’d be utterly ashamed.

Perhaps the point of this isn’t that if someone made a game about someone with two souls inside of them, then your work with a character who has two souls is now unusable because you’re ripping off another property. (Again, irrespective of your knowledge of the other property, or what have you.) But rather, your work stands out as being it’s own based on it’s quality. Or the other concepts and story archs that makes it a good story. So on and so forth.

It amazes me how divided I am on this issue. As I write this, I go back and forth.

Anyway, if interested what are your thoughts? Do you think it to be something not bothersome? Or does it annoy you? There is a good portion of me that thinks I overthink things too much. Probably right. Might not be in this instance. Maybe. Don’t know.

Thoughts On ‘Claiming Concepts’

The balancing act between the fantastical and mundane

Dragona

There is a danger with writing too much fantasy. Fantasy is my most treasured genera. During a time when I had been writing, I discovered a flaw in my stories. It wasn’t the plots or characters that grabbed my attention, rather it was the lack of ‘realness’ to the work. A lack of human interest, or relatability, which turned my fantasy works into such an alienated state that very few readers would be interested.
It wasn’t that it was completely devoid of these characteristics, but there was such a lacking that I needed to do a major overhaul on my writing.
For instance, in most of my stories, there was an unnecessary amount of destruction. Along with that, there too was little to no repercussions for the characters’ actions. Let’s say an overlord destroys a planet. And we never hear of the planet again, nor are there any consequences for his actions. Characters should be shaped by what he did. Maybe the sight mentally scars one of them. Perhaps there is a survivor who seeks revenge. Perhaps an armada from a neighboring star system goes after the overlord? Sure, he’s the big bad guy, but, there has to be some retaliation, some repercussions.
What if your protagonist battles someone throughout a city. They destroy buildings, and causes an earthquake? Might have killed a person or two. So, instead of having everyone have a good laugh in the end amongst the wreckage and dead babies, make some consequences. Perhaps it depresses them? Maybe the military goes after them because they think the hero was too violent. Or maybe they think she was the villain? You can even go the route of the hero being unaffected and that bothers other people leading to an eventual betrayal.
Beyond consequence there are also subplots! They are key to strengthening your world’s history, and lore as well as making the story more realistic, upping the chance of the reader identifying with characters, and fleshing out an environment which affects all of the people within your story. Subplots can be connected to a larger plot as well, and can give snippets of vital information which might move the plot forward, while also fleshing out your characters more. On the note of characters affecting one another, there may be a character who might be disconnected from the rest of the world. Perhaps even though she is the main protagonist, and is incredibly useful to others, she feels socially alienated.
Moreover there is romance. While romance is not everything, and I have grown to detest it due to the saturation it has in most media I know. Beyond personal opinion, it is incredibly useful, so long as you don’t drench your work to the point of sopping mush. Unless that’s your style, or interest, then, by all means, please do that. Art isn’t able to be confined to ridged boundaries. Sometimes even, breaking the norms of storytelling is the proper thing to do. Love is an incredible tool to give characters social, emotional and psychological dynamics. It can even move the entire plot forward. Love is a powerful tool, and the lack of it can be just as influential. The character might want love and cannot find it, or she has people falling in love with her, but she doesn’t care for love whatsoever.
Real-world is also important for a fantasy writer. The mundane when put next to the supernatural gives the fantasy edge of your world some flare and weight. Real-world doesn’t always work well in fantasy. Sometimes, high fantasy with no mundane aspects is what the writer is going for. Sometimes, jobs, affairs, political, and social aspects are incredibly important to highlight the supernatural. Sometimes, using our commonsense as the groundwork for the predominant population’s mentality is key to introducing magic.
It can cause conflict. Make populations panic, start wars, murders, end relationships, end worlds. There can be mental adjustment conflicts. Perhaps a scientist discovers magic, and loses his friends and job because of it. Becomes recognized as an idiot and causes him to plunge into the magical aspect deeper and deeper. Sometimes though, the world is aware of the fantasy aspect, sometimes that aspect is just part of their world. In such a case, a weaving of the magical and the mundane can be done. Really though, there’s no set rules. These are just my observations; opinions.
I’m sure I’ve missed many areas. There is an incredible amount of stuff to talk about. So much could be expanded upon. Still I hope you find what I mentioned useful.

Anyhow, I hope you have a splendid day!
Bye, bye!

The balancing act between the fantastical and mundane