It’s that time of year again. My five-year blogiversary is coming up on July 12th. And I’m once again amazed by the fact that I’ve been writing this blog for five years. How can something feel like yesterday and forever at the same time?
Everything we write should be intentional—the words we use, the events we emphasize, the emotions we evoke, the themes we build, etc. But when our writing doesn’t match our intentions, we might need trusted feedback that forces us to justify our choices.
No matter how good we are self-editing, we can’t catch every unclear meaning or typo in our own work. But there are different kinds of editors, and if we have a limited budget, we might not know what type of editors are most important for our success. Let’s take a closer look at the types of editing and when we might (or might not) need that type of editing.
Probably no one can claim to be an expert at making sure the cool character in our head makes it onto the page. We can only guess at how readers will interpret what we tell them. Advice can help us share our brain with our readers as much as possible, but the process will never—ever—be completely clean.
When we first start learning about writing, we’re often faced with a whole new language. Words like “beats,” “tension,” and “conflict” take on new meaning within the writing world. Such it is with the words “needs” and “goals.” Once we enter the writing world, those words become infused with extra meanings related to plots and character arcs.
At some point, we’re likely to run into negativity in our writing-lives. Feedback might be filled with cruel “give up” put-downs. We might be attacked by internet trolls. Reviews might rip apart us, personally, instead of focusing on our book. So the question then becomes, what are we willing to do to avoid it?
Writers pursuing traditional publishing are often told not to pay for editing before submitting to agents or publishers. But the landscape has changed and we’ve had to change our opinion and attitude about many old-school advice “rules.” Should this advice should be next on the chopping block?
After we complete a first draft, we might want to dig into revising right away because we’re still excited and passionate about the premise. But many writers say it’s better to do something to gain “distance” from our story first. Distance helps us see our story objectively so we can revise ruthlessly, not clinging to our intentions but seeing our story’s potential.
If we’ve ever let beta readers or critique groups give feedback on our stories, we’ve probably run into the issue of receiving conflicting advice. In fact, if we’ve ever let more than one person read our work, we’ve probably received conflicting advice. *smile* One reader may love a character someone else hates. One person may think a subplot […]