Author Topic: Do we have any published authors on this forum?  (Read 10324 times)

Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #120 on: October 09, 2018, 09:11:31 AM »
On Writing doesn't teach any of the technical aspects of writing and editing, does it? That's not what the book is for. In fact, King basically says in it that all of that structural stuff in those books is bullshit, which is deeply unhelpful.

I think you're right that learning how to edit your own work is crucial, but so is working with an editor on a structural basis. I think the level of intervention varies from writer to writer, but most would probably agree that some form of intervention is crucial.

If you think that structural editing is 'expensive turd polishing' then I might suggest that you don't really know what it is. I'd agree that if a book is 'bad' then nothing can probably save it, but sometimes a work can be fundamentally improved by having someone say: 'this would work better if ....', and so on.
On Writing is full of advice about the technicalities of writing and editing. That's pretty much the entire second half of the book. It even includes a facsimile of a marked-up manuscript. King's mainly concerned with the nuts and bolts of prose rather than story structure. But the advice is invaluable.
Is some form of intervention crucial for every writer? Probably. But why pay for it? Publishers suggest structural edits all the time. And they pay you.
Let's look at a few scenarios:
Writer writes bookFinds agent who likes itAgent offers constructive advice on manuscriptWriter rewrites bookAgent gets writer dealPublisher offers advice on structural, line and copy editsResult: book is distributed, marketed and writer gets $$$$$$$
That's the ideal, isn't it? At no point does the writer have to shell out money to be published. What are the alternatives?
Writer writes bookPays company to produce ebooks or shitty self-pub paper editions that always look more like pamphlets on sale at the local library than actual books. No marketing or shop distribution.Result: -$$$$$$$ But hey, you can call yourself a writer, right?Another scenario:
Writer writes bookSends to publisherGets deal but also gets stiffed because, without an agent, they don't know how to negotiate it (Is it better to have a low advance if it means you'll get royalties quicker? Is it normal for the publisher to get film rights?)
Result: $$
Your scenario would seem to be:
Writer writes bookWriter pays freelance editor to edit itWriter finds agentAgent gets writer dealResult: book is distributed, marketed and writer gets $$$$Fine if you want to add an expensive and completely unnecessary step in the process. I don't doubt the advice freelance editors charge for is good, but it's exactly what you'd get from an agent worth their salt or from a publisher who likes your stuff anyway. It's like paying to shag a prostitute on your wedding day.
Edit: this forum has mysteriously removed loads of line spaces from my post. Maybe I need to pay an editor to fix it?


Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #121 on: October 09, 2018, 10:29:28 AM »
On Writing is full of advice about the technicalities of writing and editing. That's pretty much the entire second half of the book. It even includes a facsimile of a marked-up manuscript. King's mainly concerned with the nuts and bolts of prose rather than story structure. But the advice is invaluable.

Precisely - it's basically a good guide to line editing, to thinking about voice and style. But not structural stuff, big-picture story stuff. I'm not saying I don't like his book, I think it's great, but it also encourages the magical thinking that 'you can either write or you can't', which is simply not true. Here's what he says in the 'second foreword':

'This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers don't understand very much about what they do - not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad.'

This is deeply unhelpful and very old-fashioned. It's a lie, perpetuated to gild the image of the writer as some kind of mystical muse channeller, operating on a superior psychic level to the rest of us. You can absolutely learn how to write, like everything, and figure out why it works and doesn't - this will be all your concerns of structural, developmental editing. It's just that most people can't be bothered. Stephen King is a successful author because he put in the time to learn his craft, and presumably has a very patient and capable editor behind the scenes.

A lot of writers are good at writing, but not many writers are good at everything, every aspect of story structure, which is where an independent voice on the story-telling elements can be enormously helpful, especially if that writer is yet to be published, and looking for an agent and a publisher - a bit of mentoring and advice can be crucial to getting the writer noticed in the first place.



the midnight watch baboon

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Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #122 on: October 11, 2018, 09:55:28 PM »

Don't pay people to edit or evaluate your writing. When the book's finished to your own satisfaction, send the first three chapters, a synopsis and cover letter out simultaneously to as many agents as you can find in the latest Writers & Artists Yearbook who are dealing with similar work in your genre. A good agent will give you editorial advice and help you whip the thing into publishable shape, should they like it.

Thanks, am following this path now. Once I've wrapped up my manuscript I'm going to get the early chapters sent out to a few agents who have clients and openness amenable to my stuff. Excitingly frisky writey!

I am so tired and unwell I cannot really write now but there's at least one synapse that's fizzing with gleeful anticipation ahead of the likely crashing disappointment.

Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #123 on: October 20, 2018, 11:43:40 AM »
In case it's relevant to anyone here, Ebury Press are trialing an open submissions window: https://www.penguin.co.uk/company/publishers/ebury/ebury-open-fiction-submissions.html

I don't envy the intern who'll have to wade through the inevitable deluge though.

Thomas

  • well they do all sixteen dances.
Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #124 on: October 20, 2018, 08:19:34 PM »
I am so tired and unwell I cannot really write now but there's at least one synapse that's fizzing with gleeful anticipation ahead of the likely crashing disappointment.

As a wannabe writer (and a failed writer is still a writer - it's in the name), I love nothing more than opening my Submittable account and finding that the months-long In-Progress status on a submitted short story has quietly changed to Declined. All good writers need to be able to say 'well, did you know, my stories were declined one million times?'

There should be an option for magazines and journals to publish submissions posthumously. I'd like to wake up to that. 'Dear Thomas, we've decided to publish your story on the occasion of your death.' Something to look forwards to.

Bhazor

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Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #125 on: October 21, 2018, 09:30:01 PM »
You'd hope they'd at least have the decency to come round your house in person and spit in your face. I'd submit way more stories if that was a possibility.

Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #126 on: December 08, 2018, 08:17:21 PM »
My only sad claim to book fame is my great uncle had this published. The characters were based on his own pets.

The Ghost of U-Turn Quarry: A Famous Paw Adventure

Good job he never became JK Rowling famous because I lost my copy of the book years ago.

Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #127 on: December 09, 2018, 04:37:56 PM »
I've recently edited my book and resubmitted it to KDP.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sink-Swim-Alan-Strickland-ebook/dp/B07CBHP1N4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544373234&sr=8-1&keywords=sink+or+swim+alan+strickland

By no stretch of the imagination is it a great book, it is a first time novel and full of flaws, however, I did feel a sense of elation actually completing it, for I know for certain now that I can write and complete a full-length novel.

Phoenix Lazarus

  • Why bother writing stuff below your avatar?
Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #128 on: December 09, 2018, 04:59:39 PM »
I've recently edited my book and resubmitted it to KDP.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sink-Swim-Alan-Strickland-ebook/dp/B07CBHP1N4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544373234&sr=8-1&keywords=sink+or+swim+alan+strickland

By no stretch of the imagination is it a great book, it is a first time novel and full of flaws, however, I did feel a sense of elation actually completing it, for I know for certain now that I can write and complete a full-length novel.

Just seen your photo on Amazon.  You're Garry Bushell under a pseudonym!

Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #129 on: December 09, 2018, 07:24:45 PM »
Just seen your photo on Amazon.  You're Garry Bushell under a pseudonym!

I blame my parents.

Bennett Brauer

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Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #130 on: December 10, 2018, 02:10:40 AM »
I've recently edited my book and resubmitted it to KDP.

Haven't read all of the preview, but do you need to fix the duplication of "Chapter Two"? (If it's a deliberate SF trick, ignore me.)

Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #131 on: December 10, 2018, 10:44:09 AM »
Haven't read all of the preview, but do you need to fix the duplication of "Chapter Two"? (If it's a deliberate SF trick, ignore me.)

I fixed that in the new versions, will have to check tonight.

Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #132 on: December 10, 2018, 05:56:10 PM »
I had a different version of the book in E-Book format, which had the mistake still in. Corrected now.

Phoenix Lazarus

  • Why bother writing stuff below your avatar?
Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #133 on: June 16, 2019, 07:48:46 AM »
Emailed a cover letter, synopsis, and sample of my novel to about thirty agents, last week.   Fingers crossed.

lebowskibukowski

  • Probably On A Register
Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #134 on: June 17, 2019, 04:52:17 PM »
I've recently edited my book and resubmitted it to KDP.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sink-Swim-Alan-Strickland-ebook/dp/B07CBHP1N4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544373234&sr=8-1&keywords=sink+or+swim+alan+strickland

By no stretch of the imagination is it a great book, it is a first time novel and full of flaws, however, I did feel a sense of elation actually completing it, for I know for certain now that I can write and complete a full-length novel.

Top stuff!

How are you promoting it? Any ideas? Mine has been on KDP for a few months now but, apart from the occasional Twitter bump, I haven't got the first idea how to get people interested.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #135 on: June 17, 2019, 10:19:57 PM »
Emailed a cover letter, synopsis, and sample of my novel to about thirty agents, last week.   Fingers crossed.

Good luck good sir, hope it works out for you.

Howj Begg

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Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #136 on: June 17, 2019, 10:39:23 PM »
My mate's book of poems is slated to come out next year, on Peepal Tree Press. I edited some of the poems. Excited!

Blue Jam

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Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #137 on: June 18, 2019, 05:55:34 PM »
Apart from my thesis and some scientific papers, I have had some photos published in a book, got photo credits and everything. Just pictures, no werds though.

lebowskibukowski

  • Probably On A Register
Re: Do we have any published authors on this forum?
« Reply #138 on: June 19, 2019, 10:59:49 AM »
Just a timely reminder of this excellent *cough* collection of short stories.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/HELP-BEFORE-KILL-AGAIN-Collection-ebook/dp/B075T7DVJY

Probably haven't linked it right anyway, because luddite