psyduuuck asked: "Where does one begin to look for beta readers? Obviously it's necessary to have someone impartial read over your entire thing and give you an honest critique of good points and bad, but where do you FIND the people who are willing, and also qualified, to do that for you? Is there some kind of site that hooks people up with this?"

fixyourwritinghabits:

Where to Find Beta Readers

Looking for good beta readers takes time and effort. There is no beta reader directory or one site that lists out every beta reader and their preferences and not every beta reader you find will be willing to critique your work.

Below is a list of sites you could use to begin your search:

Now, before you rush off looking for beta readers, here’s a few tips:

Offer to beta. Critiquing other people’s work makes you a better editor. If you can find someone to exchange writing with, it’s a win-win situation. 

Build connections. Connect with fellow aspiring writers on social media, in forums, through writers conferences, local writing clubs etc. These are people that you can exchange work with. 

Don’t get too caught up with qualifications, especially when you’re asking someone to use their time to critique your work for free. If you’re looking for someone with professional qualifications and editing experience, you should be willing to pay for it. 

Don’t take it personally if a beta reader you send your work to never replies. People get busy, people forget, people won’t click with your writing. Remember that (unless you’ve agreed to beta read for them in return or paid them) they have no obligation to beta read for you if they no longer want to. 

I wish you the best of luck finding a beta reader!


Source: fixyourwritinghabits

bookgeekconfessions:

image

Whatever sort of writing you do, it’s important to revise and edit your work – especially if you write academic essays, or articles or short stories that you’ll be submitting to editors. However much time you took over the piece on the first draft, you’ll always find a few mistakes to correct.

This is the method that I’ve used for years when writing essays or short stories, to ensure they’re as good as possible before a lecturer or editor gets to see them!

Do nothing (for a day or two)

Set your work aside for a period of time – don’t hit ‘Save’ on the first draft then start again straight away on the second pass. You’ll come to the work afresh if you leave it alone for a while.

As Michael said in Write First, Edit Later:

Let your writing sit for a while. It may make more sense if you sleep on it. Or, it may make less sense after you have slept on it. At least you’ll know which.

For essays, try to allow at least a day. Short stories can sometimes need longer – your mind will carry on mulling over the ideas whilst you’re doing other things. And many novelists advise putting your novel aside for at least a month before starting the revision process.

Revision

Read over your whole piece quite quickly. Circle any typos and mistakes that you spot, but concentrate on overall flow. If it’s an essay, check for any gaps in logic or any sides of the argument you might have missed. If it’s a short story, do any passages drag – or go too fast?

Print out the first draft, and read through the whole thing, concentrating on the overall flow of the piece. Circle any typos or mistakes that you notice, but focus on the big picture.

  • If it’s an essay, are there any logical missteps, points you’ve not backed up, or angles to the argument that you’ve missed?
  • If it’s fiction, do any scenes drag or go too fast, and are there any plot holes or inconsistencies of characterisation?

This is the stage to sort out any big problems. I often rewrite the whole thing (especially when working on fiction), starting afresh with a blank document on the computer. If you’re better than me at getting it right first time, you may not need to do that – but you could find yourself cutting out whole paragraphs, adding in new material, and changing the direction of the piece.

After you’ve done this, you might want to ask a friend, classmate or colleague to read the piece. Tell them not to look for tiny errors like typos or clumsy sentences at this stage: ask whether they think it’s broadly OK, or if they have any reservations about the overall direction of the article or story.

Editing and proofreading

Once you’ve sorted out the big picture, you can start fixing any individual sentences and words. Again, it’s a good idea to print out the document and do this on paper: I find I miss errors on screen (especially typos which are valid words, such as “they’re” for “their”).

Look out for:

  • Typos and misspellings (a good tip here is to read backwards! You’ll go much more slowly, focussing on every individual word).
  • Clumsy sentences and confusing or misleading phrasing (try reading your work aloud).
  • Unnecessary words (check for the ones in Five Words You Can Cut).
  • Commonly misused or confused words (there’s a whole list of these in the Misused Words category).

If you’re not 100% sure about a spelling, double-check with a dictionary: try Merriam-Webster for clear, succinct definitions. When you can’t quite find the right word, using a thesaurus can help (again, Merriam-Webster is good).

Do you have a great tip for revising and editing your work? Or do you have a horror story about an occasion when you handed in a first draft with a glaring error..? Share your experiences in the comments below!


Source: dailywritingtips.com

lettersandlight:

image

Are you tackling a writing project that isn’t a brand-spanking new novel during Camp NaNoWriMo? Good news! We’re compiling lists of everything we know about nonfiction, editing, and scripts. We revisit editing while it’s fresh in our minds from the “Now What?” Months below:

You get to the part of the novel where you think to yourself, “what now? How can I make it even better?” Well, that’s a sign for the best part to happen—the editing and revision process! Here are resources that can help you edit those inconsistent story lines and cut out those awkward scenes.

The Joys of Editing

The Steps to Editing and Revision

Keep These In Mind When You Edit

As long as you have these resources, you’re well on your way to building an awesome book.

— Wendy


Source: lettersandlight

chasingriversong:

Chuck Wendig on editing. A good read. NSFW for language, if you care.


Source: chasingriversong

metteivieharrison:

I know that women in particular are told to be “nice,” to figure out nice things to say to people in every situation. Even if you don’t like them. Even if you really hate what they’re saying. Even if you think they are heading down the wrong road. Just nod your head, say something affirmative, and that’s the best course because you make friends that way, and no one wants to make enemies, right? It could come back to bite you.

Here’s the thing. I don’t think being falsely positive is beneficial to anyone. I don’t think making friends with people you didn’t really want to be friends with is a good idea. And even if you will generally attract more flies with honey than with vinegar, who wants to attract flies? Not me. In fact, most of the time, I’d be very happy if I attracted fewer flies. So I don’t tend to smear myself with honey.

I’m not saying that you should be mean to people for no reason. I’m just saying that there are ways to be polite without being effusive. And if someone asks you directly for your opinion, I recommend you give it as kindly as you can, but not to necessarily sugar coat it beyond recognition.

In the writing world, it’s no real help if as a critiquer, you tell someone a manuscript is great and then they send it off and no agent or editor is interested.

If you don’t have an agent and editor who tell you the absolute truth (again, kindly, with optimism if it is warranted), then how are you going to sell books to readers? Readers are not kind. Go to goodreads if you have any doubts there.

If you have friends who don’t tell you the truth about mistakes you are making in your life, you are going to just keep making those mistakes. Wouldn’t you rather live through a momentary sting and figure out how to do what you need to do? Isn’t that what a real friend does?

Love, encouragement, and hope can all coexist with honesty. I think they coexist best with honesty, in fact. So go be honest. Kindly honest, but honest nonetheless.


Source: metteivieharrison

bookgeekconfessions:

image

Whatever sort of writing you do, it’s important to revise and edit your work – especially if you write academic essays, or articles or short stories that you’ll be submitting to editors. However much time you took over the piece on the first draft, you’ll always find a few mistakes to correct.

This is the method that I’ve used for years when writing essays or short stories, to ensure they’re as good as possible before a lecturer or editor gets to see them!

Do nothing (for a day or two)

Set your work aside for a period of time – don’t hit ‘Save’ on the first draft then start again straight away on the second pass. You’ll come to the work afresh if you leave it alone for a while.

As Michael said in Write First, Edit Later:

Let your writing sit for a while. It may make more sense if you sleep on it. Or, it may make less sense after you have slept on it. At least you’ll know which.

For essays, try to allow at least a day. Short stories can sometimes need longer – your mind will carry on mulling over the ideas whilst you’re doing other things. And many novelists advise putting your novel aside for at least a month before starting the revision process.

Revision

Read over your whole piece quite quickly. Circle any typos and mistakes that you spot, but concentrate on overall flow. If it’s an essay, check for any gaps in logic or any sides of the argument you might have missed. If it’s a short story, do any passages drag – or go too fast?

Print out the first draft, and read through the whole thing, concentrating on the overall flow of the piece. Circle any typos or mistakes that you notice, but focus on the big picture.

  • If it’s an essay, are there any logical missteps, points you’ve not backed up, or angles to the argument that you’ve missed?
  • If it’s fiction, do any scenes drag or go too fast, and are there any plot holes or inconsistencies of characterisation?

This is the stage to sort out any big problems. I often rewrite the whole thing (especially when working on fiction), starting afresh with a blank document on the computer. If you’re better than me at getting it right first time, you may not need to do that – but you could find yourself cutting out whole paragraphs, adding in new material, and changing the direction of the piece.

After you’ve done this, you might want to ask a friend, classmate or colleague to read the piece. Tell them not to look for tiny errors like typos or clumsy sentences at this stage: ask whether they think it’s broadly OK, or if they have any reservations about the overall direction of the article or story.

Editing and proofreading

Once you’ve sorted out the big picture, you can start fixing any individual sentences and words. Again, it’s a good idea to print out the document and do this on paper: I find I miss errors on screen (especially typos which are valid words, such as “they’re” for “their”).

Look out for:

  • Typos and misspellings (a good tip here is to read backwards! You’ll go much more slowly, focussing on every individual word).
  • Clumsy sentences and confusing or misleading phrasing (try reading your work aloud).
  • Unnecessary words (check for the ones in Five Words You Can Cut).
  • Commonly misused or confused words (there’s a whole list of these in the Misused Words category).

If you’re not 100% sure about a spelling, double-check with a dictionary: try Merriam-Webster for clear, succinct definitions. When you can’t quite find the right word, using a thesaurus can help (again, Merriam-Webster is good).

Do you have a great tip for revising and editing your work? Or do you have a horror story about an occasion when you handed in a first draft with a glaring error..? Share your experiences in the comments below!


writing-questions-answered:

sloth-ful asked: Is there any place I can send a chapter of my writing to be critiqued?

There are a lot of different options available, many of which can be found on Google, but here are some possibilities that I know of:

If you want a professional critique and have a lot of money to spend, Writer’s Digest offers some expensive but worthwhile options. Critique Circle is a web site that allows you to upload a story (or part of a story) to be critiqued by other members in exchange for points that you receive for critiquing the work of others. Scribophile is another site that works the same way. You can also get critiques and find critique partners at Absolute Write’s Water Cooler (forum).

I’m also happy to do chapter critiques when I can. I’m not a professional editor, though—just a writer like all of you. :) If you want my two cents on your writing, please use fan-mail to send me a link to where it can be read on-line, or to send the chapter itself. 


amandaonwriting:

Editing and Proofreading Tips

amandaonwriting:

Editing and Proofreading Tips


Source: amandaonwriting

curiosityquills:

Check out Caroline McMillan’s Life Hacker article on editing your own writing, it contains some great tips.


Source: curiosityquills

This is a question of word choice, which falls under the jurisdiction of style. While I am hesitant to influence your writing style, I will show you a few examples of how I might reword the phrases you provided.

'he got back up'

'it got darker'

Sometimes all it takes is a slight shift of focus. I observe that it got darker, for example, but that wasn’t all that happened. A character’s eyes need to adjust, maybe, so I could slant my description to include that. I could talk about night spreading or falling or blooming or twilight fading or ebbing or melting. 

I just figure out what I want to say very generally then rework that phrasing until it suits my style, the mood of my scene, my character’s voice, etc. Easy peasy. All it takes is practice and lots of it. 

And these sorts of things are relatively easy to change during the editing process. While I’m writing along, if I notice that I’m not particularly happy with my wording (like “it got darker”), I make a note to change it later and keep going. First drafts don’t have to be perfect. That’s sort of the point!

Thanks for your question, and I hope this helps!

-C

EDIT: Obviously, you don’t need to embroider every phrase. Not everything needs editing. This post was intended to help rework phrases you may be unhappy with, not to encourage you to make a mountain out of every molehill, so to speak.

O also weighed in on this:

  1. Rearrange your sentence. Let’s use “it got darker” as our example here. Let’s put it in some sort of context:

    Clarissa, having given up hope and assuming that the dog needed feeding, walked away. It got darker. Manny was still on his hands and knees, uprooting begonias, searching for his missing contact lens. 

    You could join it with another sentence, such as:

    Clarissa, having given up hope and assuming that the dog needed feeding, walked away. The sky darkened as Manny dug up his begonias, looking for his missing contact lens.

    You could have just changed “it got darker” to “it darkened” or “the sky darkened” right away, of course. Personally, though, I prefer the cadence of the sentence when coupled with the begonias and the search for the contact lens. 
    Similarly, you could replace something like “we got sick after eating at that Tex-Mex place,” try “that Tex-Mex place made us sick.” (Of course, you’ve now shifted more of the blame onto the Tex-Mex place. It hasn’t been proved that the Tex-Mex was the sickening agent, but it’s possible. Changing “got” in this way can often rearrange responsibility in your sentence; be careful of this.) 
  2. Change your verb. How about “he stood back up”? Sometimes, that doesn’t work, and you want the near-heroic quality that getting back up involves. But instead of “he got tired by the end of the day,” maybe you want “he was worn out by the end of the day,” or think about substituting “I got angry after Willy, my pet zebra, knocked over my vase” with “I screamed at Willy, my pet zebra, when he knocked my vase.” The screaming shows us that the speaker was angry, so we don’t need to explicitly state it. Look for strong verbs that make your point clearly. 

So basically, read what you wrote, and see if you can do it in a different way. Sometimes you won’t be able to. But thinking about the verb you’re using coupled with some sentence rearranging will help you escape from most of these holes. (Please note that we could have said “will “get” you out of these holes.)

One more thing, related to the word “got.” (This is a pet peeve of O’s and is only peripherally related to the conversation.) Saying “I’ve got two jars of sauce” is not correct. What you are saying there is “I have got two jars of sauce.” Just say “I have two jars of sauce.” 

We hope this post GOT you out of a hole.

- O