1. Rayne
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    Rayne New Member

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    Where to next?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Rayne, May 19, 2012.

    Hi, I've just finished the first draft of my novel. I'm going to print it out and do the second draft but in that do you check for inconsistensies, grammar, plot etc? And after what draft would you suggest sending it to an editor to go over it?

    Thanks
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It is a good idea to set specific goals for each revision. I'd choose the focus on what you feel is your worst problem after reading through it. If the spelling and grammar are the weakest point, do a pass for that first. If the pace is uneven, you can focus on adjusting that first. If the dialogue is dull, do a dialogue pass.

    You'll always end with a pass to catch any spelling, punctuation, and grammar issues that may have slipped through, or first appeared in, earlier passes.

    Don't bother with an editor. Total waste of money. You MUST become a good editor yourself if you are to be a writer.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There isn't a correct answer for 'which draft' for just about anything. Different writers attack getting a novel in the best shape they can in different ways.

    It's a good idea to set it aside for a short bit before revisiting. While catching grammar gaffs and typos is always important, getting plot holes filled and things like that should come first, I believe. Getting the novel consistent, working on pacing, dialogue and such generally follow. It's going to take multiple passes, and even work after a reader or two goes over it.

    For me, my novels required 7 or 8 edits/revisions/passes. And that was before sending it to my editor/publisher. After that, I had another two passes ahead of me, plus the galley proof.

    For some authors--maybe more. For some, maybe less. Just focus on what works most effectively for you and your work.
     
  4. C.B Harrington
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    C.B Harrington Member

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    If you aren't going or can't afford to pay for an editor, I would suggest tucking that first draft in your desk for a week and work on something else. Let your mind relax for a little while and just bask in the accomplishment of finishing a first draft! Then after a week - heck even two - you can come back to it and start your revisions with fresh eyes.
     
  5. indy5live
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    indy5live Active Member

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    It's a lot of work but, what you can also do is, take every piece of dialog each character has (for me it was seven characters) and pasted them into different documents (once again seven for me). I then went through and gave them personality. The cop I gave cop lingo too, the doctor I made more professional. I made the boy's vocabulary simpler. The nurturing mother I made more caring through her words and the tuff father I made more firm in his statements. The news reported needed to sound like a news anchor. etc.
     
  6. Rayne
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    Rayne New Member

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    Wow thanks for all the help. Info has been great.
    I will put it aside because right now i need a break from my characters, i feel like I really am stuck in their world, being a teenager again (its a YA) novel.

    @ indy5alive I'll try that with the characters dialogue and make sure their speak is consistent with their personality.

    I attend a writers group where we critique each other work and their help with my inconsistensies (sorry i suck at that word) has been invaluable. I'm too close to "my baby" and they give an outside perspective.
     
  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would not send it anywhere until I am as happy as I can possibly be with it. That takes loads more than just a couple of drafts (for me, at least).
     
  8. Rayne
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    Rayne New Member

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    Thanks. Just wanted some advice. A friend of mine who got her book published suggested i could pay an editor if i wanted after my second draft who would go over it and look for not only grammar, punctuation but plot holes and if it's working. Then with their corrections or suggestions do more and more drafts. I wasn't sure if can be done that way... Very confused.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course it can be, but why spend good money you'll have little to no chance of ever recouping?... and writers need to be able to edit their own work, anyway...

    i say this even though i actually do editing for clients... but i never take on an editing job for beginning writers without making it clear to them that it's most likely money down the drain, other than being a valuable lesson in how to write better and what to look for when self-editing...
     
  10. J♥Star
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    J♥Star Member

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    If you have the money then i don't see how sending it to a professional editor could be a bad thing. However, i do think that you should try to have things as good as you can make them before you send it out. Editing services can cost a lot, when i finish my novel i'm pretty sure i actually will send it to get edited, because i think it will maximize my chances of getting published. I think of it as an investment in my work/self. I think that i will also pay to get my query letter edited when thats all done also. With that being said, i'm only going to get it edited if i think that its worth editing. If i feel like my novel is actually good, then i will use the money i have saved to make it better than i can make it. Think of it as a paper that you have written for school. You write your paper, and read it over tons of times trying to find the imperfections, and finally you turn it in when you think its perfect. A few weeks later you get your paper back, and it has the markings of your professor on it, telling you how and where you can improve your paper. This is how much you can expect to pay http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php
     
  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm against hiring an editor. The average novelist doesn't make much money in the first place, so spending anything on an editor means a loss for the writer. Besides, hiring an editor doesn't guarantee an automatic publishing contract, so it's a huge risk for the writer.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hiring an editor is a waste of money. If you don't put in the sweat and suffering of finding and correcting your own mistakes, you won't really learn to master writing. There are no shortcuts.

    No editor will make you a better writer. That is true no matter which way you parse that sentence. Only you can insert the nuances of expression that reveal more than the simple expression of facts in grammatically correct sentences. Only you can give your writing your own unique voice, which makes writing come to life. The absence of an editor to fall back on forces you to work on your own expressive style.

    And you will learn from rejections as well. When you get back a form rejection, you know you are far off target. That makes you take a good hard look at every aspect of your writing, including the process by which you select which publisher or agent to submit to. Detailed rejection letters help you tighten your focus to areas of your writing that are weak.

    With an editor, you tend to take a "keyhole" view of the changes. Oh, yes, I spelled essence with an 's' instead of a 'c'. Next time I won't do that. No consideration of whether essence was even the best choice for that particular context, because you are only looking at the red mark for the spelling correction. You're looking at corrections through a keyhole, instead of opening the door and looking at the entire room.

    No editor will make you a better writer.
    No editor will make you a better writer.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sad, but totally true!

    and yes, it's money you will almost certainly never make back, since so few of the many well-written/edited books submitted every year ever get published and of those that do, few make their authors enough to have paid back editing fees...
     

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