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  1. #11
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    I'm with Lea Zalas, in that I use a program to re-read my work aloud for me (in my case I just use the Mac built-in speech reader, but chose the most fluid voice). This method is great for catching missing articles, wrong tenses, etc.

    Another way I give distance to my MS is my day job. The architectural field is quite overwhelming, and a great way to help me get into that 'first-look' mindset after several days or weeks away from my MS.

    Also, watching engrossing films and reading books of the same genre gives you a lot of tips and (the inspiration) actually helps with your pacing.

    Of course, nothing beats peer-review as long as they're not biased



  2. #12
    Senior Member Herman Munster's Avatar
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    Gidday Lyle and Paul

    My crits now are intentionally brutal. That should scare most and I try not to get bogged down on minor issues, but if there is a lot, you are usually lazy or premature in presentation. But trust me, if I can find one error, then a pro will find a dozen.

    I don't mind one read thru. Sometimes two are OK. Catching ordinary spelling errors is good and should save a real editor bulk time and ultimately, my cash.
    My talent, if I actually have one, is being creatively writing. Telling yarns in my words. Editing is a completely different skill, as is publishing etc. I am, well, actually, leaving that to the professionals.

    One concept I learned here and now actively rehect is self editing. No matter how many times I go thru a completed work, I find more to answer, and so many times i have written a 40k insert to an 80k work. Go figure. So, now I only edit when I dio the odd read thru, it is never the project in itself.
    My #1 book is in publication process now and altho i am hopeful it will be ePub and Trad within a week now, I will not believe it until I see it.

    During this process, I found that after a dozen self edits, for which I have zero skills for, I was sure I had polished it.
    Polish, polish, polish, polish, polish, polish, polish, polish, polish!
    That was what I was taught here and eventually I could see value in it.
    Then with the process of pub this first worked, polished to perfection, at my level anyway, had the reedit from the first editorial come with 175 errors in 80k words. Something like that. So no matter what I do, I missed all the important bits. I am now CONVINCED that if the pro is going to do it anyway, why not leave most that in there and have the pro just whiz thru it, they have those skills. Every one I find is like pulling teth and I have even found errors I fixed and then the ed reversed them, I believe I am hopeless. Leave me in the creative phase.
    An EDITOR I am not.

    Natural Reader, still free at the basic level, i have found invaluable as a self editing tool.
    Stan Miller turned me onto it and it is prolly the single best tool I have ever had for writing.

    If I put it down for days, weeks, months, I have to read it from scratch to pick up all trains of thort. I do write myself plot notes at the very bottom of the page to remember to speak to all of them, again b4 we get to the end.
    Funny thing is, I think they are all perfectly written, just how I like to read. And I always seem to be getting a fresh view everytime I reread.

    My bias is never against you, it is always against the work. If it doesn't look right to me then I will hammer it until it is right, for you, me and the work. I used to say, 'Attack the work, never the author'. That still holds true.

    PAUL I wanted to suggest to you, or ask, where is book two? Will it be a series like mine? Is it a one off but you have another idea for a one off or series?

    IF SO, why not start, and/or complete book 2 in the series or 2 as a stand alone? I write series, so invariably I have a whole heap of things from 'b4' that need to be handled and expanded on. That is something I have found that helps to just make the series run and CERTAINLY gets me into the next and next, ad infinitum.

    Paul, how long did it take you to write the book? How long have you been editing? Are you bored with editing or is it getting on top of you? I am looking for the truth to see if I should try and shove you into the next book. I know everything . . . hahaha. Boy, do I suck! <GRIN>

  3. #13
    Senior Member Susan B's Avatar
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    I downloaded the free version of Natural Reader. I'm not sure if my computer is at fault or the software, but it didn't seem to work properly. It sounded like Stephen Hawking reading REALLY slowly, one sentence at a time. It took about ten seconds to load the next sentence before reading it, and the pronunciation was very odd.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Herman Munster's Avatar
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    I got a 5 yo desktop and it works mega faster than that.

    I find the particular American access used by the default is hard to hear, scratchy, indistinct. What I am saying is that yours sounds to be faulty! Maybe you are overloaded with other stuff running.
    Are you familiar with Taskmanager? Can you open that and knock of some TSRs? Terminate Stay Ready progs. MS has a bad habit at reserving resources. Maybe application or performance will show if/what is hogging resources. Ordinary people often have too many 'things' running, just in the background, they do hog resources.
    Anyway, my copy is free and runs mega faster than that but I find mine hard to listen to!
    Good Luck!

  5. #15
    Senior Member Susan B's Avatar
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    Thanks, Herm. I can just about get the task manager up, if I need to terminate a non-responding application, but as for the rest...well, I'm afraid to try and 'knock off a TSR' in case I kill my laptop completely. I'll try it again and see what happens.

    BTW, when you say 'ordinary people', do you mean computer twats like me?

  6. #16
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    @Lyle:

    Thanks! I totally agree on the "movies and books" thing - I think we absorb the fundamentals of story structure, tropes, pacing, etc.
    subconsciously that way.
    I realized this when I first started reading about three-act structure and plot points, after completing my first draft, and found that I had
    had followed that structure to a "T" (cliche') without even knowing it existed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Herman Munster View Post

    PAUL I wanted to suggest to you, or ask, where is book two? Will it be a series like mine? Is it a one off but you have another idea for a one off or series?

    IF SO, why not start, and/or complete book 2 in the series or 2 as a stand alone? I write series, so invariably I have a whole heap of things from 'b4' that need to be handled and expanded on. That is something I have found that helps to just make the series run and CERTAINLY gets me into the next and next, ad infinitum.

    Paul, how long did it take you to write the book? How long have you been editing? Are you bored with editing or is it getting on top of you? I am looking for the truth to see if I should try and shove you into the next book. I know everything . . . hahaha. Boy, do I suck!
    @ Herman:

    Great questions. My answers follow:

    Book one is a standalone. Continuing characters _might_ be a bit of a problem,
    if I were to attempt a sequel, because the plot of book one is an updated version
    of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None"

    I have some other ideas bubbling, but I am so focused on book one right now that
    these are on the back burner.

    I am not ready to tackle a series yet: still finding my way as a writer.
    But I love reading series, and will definitely write them in the future.

    Book one first draft, at 135,000 words, took 4 months. I am 50,000 words
    into the second draft, which is a total rewrite, after two more months.
    Draft one was my first writing ever, and even I can see how bad it was now
    I've been editing earlier chapters of the second draft, as I continue to write
    (re-write) new chapters. Editing is neither boring me, nor getting on top of me.
    At this stage, I am learning just as much from editing my older chapters as
    from writing new chapters.

    You have made me think harder, though, about getting book 2 underway ASAP.
    But I want to complete the second draft, which technically is my first decent draft,
    first.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments -
    Last edited by paul.abbassi; 04-13-2012 at 11:57 AM.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Herman Munster's Avatar
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    Susan, yes, you dear!
    Ordinary computer folk! <GRIN>
    Task manager wouldn't be so accessible if MS allowed too much power and devastation to happen as a result of ordinary folk cna access it so easy. Within reason . . . but . . . task manager won't allow you to terminate critical or system processes. If all else fails [blokes read the instructions] woman folk usually trurn it off at the wall and re boot it.
    If there is a computer nerd around, associated with your kids or the neightbors kids, have one of them teach you something for the price of an icecream.

    Alternately, go to the local school or high school. Talk to the principal, probably and explain your exact issues. Some idiot from the other side of the world has suggested you delete everything running in the task manager that MS allows you to delete. They may well endorse this as a reasonable process. Trust me, it is not that tuff. On my task manager, if the page is full of tasks running, then a bunch get deleted.
    Look for Xupdate.exe or .com

    They are almost always there and literally just taking up space. They check home hourly or at least daily to see if the company put out a new version.
    I am a little bit advanced with computers but I run a firewal and if the broswer wants to run home to momma to aks if a new version is out and about, I only permit it to do that when it suits me, not them. Usually about once a month is all they truly need. Sitting in TM they are simply hogging a little bit of your power and speed.

    I really suspect that you have a dozen of these cluttering up TM and they need to get turned off. But some expert supervision is a good idea and 'better to be safe than sorry' springs to mind.

    This example may help. The Registry is hwere a lot of computing power is lost. It is invariably a mess since many programmers don't know how to use it properly and even when you do uninstall stuff, they usually never remove all the carp they put in the registry. MS makes it very hard for you to get in there since you cna do a lot of harm if you are not well educated in computers. The regclean tools that are out there are not for the likes of you and me. You can really screw things up there with a coupla simple errors.
    TM is totally different. You go in there and try to delete a system file, usually, and MS says it is a critical systems file without which the machine will crash. TM has safeguards. So playing in the traffic on the freeway is dammned dangerous. Playing in the dead in street where you and the neighbours liv is often perfectly safe if you want to kick a ball about. Do you see the difference I am trying to give you some confidnce to go into TM and LOOK at the least. Anything with update in it, toast it, delete it and that will free up resources.

    Go on Susand, you know you want to! <GRIN>

    Paul . . .
    Here it is . . .
    "but I am so focused on book one right now that these are on the back burner."

    That is where I gt the feeling that some of the editing is becoming boring.
    If so, step back from it formally, one full week. maybe in that time you will do something on book 2 or 3.
    Who knows?
    NEVER get stale. If you feel it is a little stale, it is. Get outa there b4 you get a writers block!

    This publishing process I am in is very tuff.
    MS polished. Do you have ideas on cover art;;. SURE - here are some.... they send me what the designer thort.
    I HATE IT!!!
    That was all they got as a reply. I have zero graphic skills but I thort my idea was quite magic. I polished it a little and resent it. The designer polished it proprly and they got a ONE WORD REPLY!

    MAGIC!

    So being part of the process that is formalising your work does have its moment, good and bad.
    Currently I have stopped writing. I am obliged to do so much writing, editing, rewriting, editing professional copy writers work for factual errors and the way they are putting the concept across. After all, I wrote every word in the book, I know what it says, what it means, and even if the wrong words are used, I know what they were supposed to imply.,

    The designer is probably wonderful at their job, but the carp they presented after I sent in my ideas and IF they had read the book, which I serious doubt, they would never have sent me what they did.
    They may be a pro, but they were WRONG and I was right. Somehow I will get the files online, my #1, their response. My updated tinker and the PERFECT interpretation they gave me back that is NOW the cover after they took my suggestions and did pro stuff to it.

    When I have a hassle, i go write something. Perhaps disappear into my fantasy world I have created and own everything in it. THEN I get creative and they often seem magic sessions to me. It certainly refreshes me, my work and my approach.

    Paul, don't get stale, don't get bogged down! If you need to, step away from the work, give a new one a go! <GRIN>
    Now where cna i file share?

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