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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2010
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    A little bit of advice.................

    A little bit of advice from one who is also still learning…….

    From one newish writer (of novels) to all those like her.

    I started my 1st MS in October 2009, while in Paris.
    I woke up with the entire novel ready, in my head. All I had to do was type.
    After 10 days of straight typing and checking facts (Historical-Fantasy) I had almost completed the entire first draft. After 3 weeks the first draft was done.

    I didn’t know what to do next.
    I had written and had published several poems, but this was a very different animal. Luckily for me I found WN. The people on here guided, critiqued and set me straight.

    After ‘rushing’ to get my MS out (before it was ready – although I didn’t know it was not), and getting countless rejections, again I turned to my WN friends.

    This was the general advice:

    • Read other novels
    • Re-read your own MS
    • Set it aside and start project 2 - give the MS time to develop before you kick it again!
    • Edit
    • Re-edit
    • Re-write
    • And again………….


    Almost 15 months later I have a MS I am proud of. It has been plucked, teased, tweeked, cut, feed and re-written at least 20 times. I was finally happy with the end product.

    But I remembered what my WN friends said so I send out 3 complete copies for various friends/family to read, word for word. I was looking to ‘pick-up’ grammar, spelling and tense errors, but to be honest, I thought I would not have so many.

    Thus far, one friend has read 70 pages, one has read 30 and my dad 20 pages. And guess what? On almost every page at least one error. But better still, each of them has found different errors.

    So now its time for me to ‘finally fix’ everything.

    If it had not been for my WN friends teaching me and my actual friends being honest with me, I would NEVER have seen the errors.
    One example:
    I typed conservation, but should have typed conversation.
    I read and re-read this a dozen times but as I knew what I was writing, I missed it every time. One of my friends did not. Now its fixed.
    Another example:
    Typed property - but should have typed propriety. (so easy to do)

    My point?
    LISTEN! Don’t be so arrogant as to not LISTEN!
    RE-WRITE! Don’t be so vain as to think your 1st, 2nd, 3rd draft it the FINAL PRODUCT.

    This has been my experience and I am sure that of pretty much every writer. My message is simple, when you think you are done, ask someone else to confirm it for you. Better still, ask 2-3 someone elses!

    Sometimes you get only 1 or 2 opportunities to get your work to a good lit agent; don't waste it.
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Re: A little bit of advice.................

    Raven,

    I don't know if you would like using it, but using Natural Reader one time through my whole MS helped me find the stupid errors. The kind that your mind skips over, or adds in missing words, or doesn't see that it should be "did" instead of "doing" or vice-versa, because you know what you mean to say, so that is what registers when you read it. But when it's read back to you in another voice, then it registers. It's not something I would ever use to actually write, but for me, it was great for this purpose.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2010
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    263

    Re: A little bit of advice.................

    Another benefit of Natural Reader is that it make Microsoft Narrator easier to use. Microsoft Sam still sounds like Stephen Hawking, but with NR, one no longer has to copy/paste chunks of text from Word into Wordpad.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2010
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    Australia - for now ;)
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    Re: A little bit of advice.................

    I must look into Natural Reader - thanks guys
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2011
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    136

    Re: A little bit of advice.................

    Hi Raven,

    It is very good advice that you give but alas not one that will work when you are trying to keep a low profile. "Professional" appraisals cost at least half a grand in my local currency, probably a lot more if I tried to use a US service. I can't show it to close friends and families because they think that I am wasting my time, and they are certainly not going to waste their own time looking through the product of my time wasting.

    Letting the manuscript sit over time is a great idea but alas I am only one person. I have tried to do my own editing but I will always invariably miss something.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Re: A little bit of advice.................

    goodmorning, you've taken an important first step towards establishing a network of peers, among whom you may find a compatible reading/sharing buddy or two. Or three. And certainly there are other writing-related sites if that type of relationship doesn't seem to be happening for you here.

    Hang around. Get feedback on your work from those good folks who share their time and expertise in those forums. Offer your own on others' work. Over time, folks get to know each other. As my dear old Dad used to say (and it's a piece of philosophy applicable at any time, to any situation -- feel free to borrow): "You never know."

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ohio
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    3,866

    Re: A little bit of advice.................

    Good Morning, I found a critique group by chances simply by hanging around writers forums and chat rooms. These people didn't know me from Eve, so they were able to stay strictly objective when reading my material. There is no reason to pay for a professional critique at this point. As Frank said, hang around. Make friends. Get involved in online workshops. Try to attend conferences. MEET other writers IRL which can sometimes be difficult, but not impossible.

  8. #8
    You're exactly right. You can often find critique groups through your genre's organization (SFWA.org for science fiction, RWA for romance, etc.) or a local writing organization. Also, check out WritersDigest.com. Just remember that some of the advice you hear will be pure genius, while some will be atrocious nonsense. All of it is worth hearing, because nothing you write is perfect on the first draft. Or the second or the third. The trick is to keep improving!

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