Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Debut Writer's Journey - In Search of An Editor

In 2020, I set myself three goals: 1) to finish my debut urban fantasy, 2) to prepare for the eventual publication of that manuscript, and 3) to blog about the journey. Needless to say, very little of that happened. I didn’t reach out to other authors in my genre, I didn’t choose a cover designer, I didn't find an editor, or build a separate author website, or work on my email list. And aside from my monthly IWSG posts, I didn’t post much at all. There were many reasons for this lack of productivity, but it all boils down to the first goal. I was so focused on actually finishing my story that I couldn’t focus on anything else. Every time I tried working on goals 2 and 3, I’d feel guilty. To be honest, my biggest non-writing accomplishment in 2020 was buying the domain name for my website.


2020 is over! Yay!


Well, it’s now 2021 and I’m happy to report that I’m only one short chapter away from finishing my manuscript. It’s been a long time coming (over five years by my count) and it’s a relief to finally be at this point. This means I can now focus on all the other author-related tasks I’ve been neglecting. And my first step is to find an editor. Fortunately, I already had a list of possible editors in my back pocket, so last week I sent the first ten pages of my manuscript to one of those editors for a sample edit. 

This can be a daunting time for a new writer. You hand over your baby to a stranger and ask them to judge it. It’s not that I have a thin skin about my writing—I know there are lots of writers out there who are far better than me, and I’m fine with that—but I don’t want to hear that my words are completely hopeless either. My biggest fear is that the editor will come back and tell me that something needs to be fixed, but I’ll have no idea how to fix it.

So what was it like for you when you sent out your very first manuscript?

ChemistKen

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Insecure Writer and Moving Out of the Writing Stage

 


Today is January's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

What makes me an insecure writer this month?

Knowing that I’m almost done with the initial writing phase of my debut book, which means I’ll soon be moving into the editing, cover design, formatting, uploading, and marketing phases of being an author. All unknown territory for a first-time writer. 


It certainly is gratifying that I’m close to writing “The End” on my story after all these years, but it will still be an uphill battle before it's available for others to read. I've been studying these other phases for a few years now and learned a lot, but there's a big difference between "reading about something" and "doing it." So yeah, I'm insecure. 

As far as my 2020 writing goals were concerned, I pretty much sucked at meeting them. I didn’t finish my story (although I came close), my attempt at outreach with other authors in my genre didn’t go anywhere (mostly because I felt the need to keep working on my story), and the website I planned to build only got as far as me buying the domain name. Thank goodness my family isn’t depending on my author skills to set food on the table.


January's question: Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books? 

Lack of interest.  I don’t mind grammatical errors or flat characters all that much, but as soon as the story stops going somewhere interesting, I’m out. The last book I stopped reading was by a well-known Urban Fantasy author. Her writing is excellent, way beyond my skill set, but the mystery the MC set out to solve kind of got lost as in the weeds as the story turned into encounter after encounter with the heads of the various clans (shifters, vampires, etc.), all of whom wanted to bed her.

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Sorry for the lateness of this post. Despite having all sorts of Google calendar reminders about today’s post, I somehow convinced myself that Wednesday wasn’t until tomorrow. Great way to start off the year.



Take care everyone, and stay safe! 

ChemistKen