Thursday, August 30, 2012

Is a Copy Editor Necessary?

As many of you know, my first novel, The Consequential Element, will be released within the next three - four weeks. It is currently being reviewed by a hired copy editor. She's not a friend, associate, or anyone I ever knew before I started writing. She's a complete stranger. I hired her because I want a completely unbiased opinion of my work. If it sucks, I want her to tell me so. (Fortunately for me, she's up to chapter 23, and so far has not said it sucks! In fact, she's mentioned on several occasions how much she is enjoying the story. Whew!)

This leads me to want to share with you the importance of having a copy editor review your work. Finding a qualified copy editor, at an affordable price, can be tricky, but it is doable... and necessary. If you take even the slightest pride in your work, you will do this - for yourself, and for your readers.

Now, I was going to list all the reasons why a copy editor will become your best friend in the writing world, then I discovered this article by Nina Munteanu. She's said it perfectly. If you are contemplating whether or not to get a copy editor, please read this article before you decide.

As always, I wish you luck and good fortune in your writing. :)

Dee Ann

Friday, August 24, 2012

Has doubt crept under your skin? Have you lost your inspiration? 

Lately, I've found myself reading articles from successful authors trying to absorb advice on becoming a great writer. Through their words, I've found freedom in their profound truths, and the much needed inspiration to believe that I too, can become a writer. Greatness is yet to be determined. :) But, a writer... yes, that I will become.

Below are a few quotes from famous authors that I've found useful. I hope you will be as inspired as I have.

Writing Tips From the Masters:

** Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain

Mark Twain, one of my very favorite authors, was a wise man. What he is saying is, eliminate the unnecessary.

** I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

What Elmore Leonard is saying here is, cut out anything that's boring.

** If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I love this. It's always frightened me when people say, 'Write what you know'. I've felt somehow limited by this. But once I read these words from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, I realized his meaning to be: write what you know... or what you want to know. Talk about encouraging. So many more doors have opened up for me, for there is so very much I want to know.

** Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

Quite simple, don't you think? Show, don't tell. A beautiful example by Anton Chekhov.

** I don't know much about creative writing programs. But they're not telling the truth if they don't teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer. ~ Doris Lessing

This is so true. I'm sure all of us can relate to this at even the smallest level. I had no idea how much writing would consume of my time. Not that I regret it. I only wish I'd been better able to warn people.

** Just Write. ~ EB White

I find this to be the most useful of all. :)

** A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. ~ Maya Angelou

Beautifully said. Follow your instincts, and do what you feel you must.

Again, I hope you've taken some inspiration from these quotes. Why not leave a comment and share your favorites. It might be just what a reader needs to hear. :)

Until next time, stay safe, be well, and be happy.

Dee Ann

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Makes Me Think I Can Write?

I'm in the final version of my soon to be indie-published novel, The Consequential Element when I suddenly realize a heart-stopping, earth-shattering, thunder-banging mantra has crept into my brain -- subtle, yet profound -- What Ever Made Me Think I Could Write?

It's all been fun -- until now. It's all been 'make-believe' -- until now. Now, I'm preparing to launch my book out into the cold, dark world of judgment, and I don't know where it's going to land. Will it be received with warmth and love, or will it find cruelty and scorn? Can I handle rejection? I mean, really... can I handle it? I close my eyes, fight back the tears of fear, and listen quietly to the whispers of my mantra -- What Ever Made Me Think I Could Write?

And then, without warning, without any indication whatsoever, the guiding spirits in my world have pushed me to stumble upon a wonderful writer with extraordinary words of writer wisdom. Please... if you've ever been in doubt about whether or not you should be a writer, take a moment and read Elizabeth Gilbert's thoughts on writing. Her words have become inspirational to me. Thank you Elizabeth.