Good Writers

Maybe the book didn’t come out the way you envisioned it would or maybe you’ve got a one-star review. Maybe your editor marked all up and down your manuscript or someone critiqued the confidence right out of you. Maybe you failed, miserably. And maybe you want to crawl underneath the covers and will yourself away. If only you could shrink so that even your body disappears. Maybe, just maybe you are becoming a good writer.

Good writers get negative feedback at some point, period. Good writers get it wrong A LOT. Good writers fail, miserably. Good writers have confidence that appears low because good writers are humble. Good writers are scared to death of publishing the next book because good writers are real. They mess up. They get mixed reviews and feedback.

The difference between their failures and those who quit is that good writers have failed so many times that they are equipped to handle disappointment. And therefore, have the resilience and maturity to get back up and try again.

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The next time you receive feedback that makes you want to cringe you gotta remember that you are in good company. Every good writer was a failure first and every master was first a student.

Don’t misunderstand me, everyday ain’t beautiful. I don’t want my optimism on this blog to be too sweet for you. Cheerfulness ain’t a pill you can take that will make it all go away. I don’t want you to think that the struggle isn’t real, but if you never mess up, if you have never doubted, if you have never failed, never been knocked down, and if you give up too easily then maybe you can never really become a good writer.

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Editing Re-Blogs

 

sharing-is-caring

A re-blogged post is when you share someone’s content to your own blog. People have many different reasons for doing this. Primarily, re-blogged content is to share valuable information. I re-blog often on this blog and have found it to be a great way to network with other bloggers. As a result, I’d like to share some specific things I do with my re-blogs to get the most out of them. As you can tell from the commentary, this is a revision of an older post I published last year (2015) so you may already be familiar with these as many bloggers have mentioned them over time. But don’t worry, repetition is a good thing.

Edit Your Re-Blogs

  1. Add Tags, Category

I usually re-blog from my mobile. This is because I’m usually scrolling through my phone when I come across a good article I think should be shared and I like to share it right then and there so I won’t forget about it. It’s also easy for me to edit my re-blogs when I’m on my phone. When I re-blog a post, I immediately go into my dashboard and I add tags. Unlike original posts you draft yourself, a re-blogged post will not have tags.

As a shared post, the tags of the original owner are not included. To get the most out of the re-blogged post you must edit the post and add your own tags the same as you would any other post. I usually ensure the word “Reblog” is part of my tag to show I am not the original owner (and so that the post shows up for those searching the keyword “reblog”). This will help more people to see it, drive attention to the post and ultimately lead to more views for the original blogger. This is perhaps the most effective way to enhance visibility of a re-blog. Tag Tag Tag.

I also place the article in its appropriate category. Otherwise, the re-blog will fall under “Uncategorized”. To avoid this, you can choose a default category if you are usually at work or somewhere that prohibits you from being able to edit your re-blog. This means this is the category that all posts will automatically fall into. My default category is General Topics.

How to Change It

In your admin area, navigate to Settings > Writing > and then look for the drop down menu beside Default Post Category and set it to the category you want to be your default.

  1. Add Commentary

I always include commentary in my post if I can help it. In my opinion this boosts the value of the post, helping readers to see that not only have I read the original but that I got something out of it. Keeping it brief, I usually include what I enjoyed most about the article and of late I’ve also been adding a post quote or a direct quote from the original post that I found the most helpful or that gives an introduction into what the post is about.

You don’t always have to, but it helps to write a brief description of the post to get people excited about it. If your re-blog is about Self-Publishing tips for instance, maybe you can say: “Great Tips for Self-Publishers!” This will help grab someone’s attention to possibly check out the post.

  1. Disable Comments

Re-blogged posts do not belong to me. I did not write them and I am not interested in taking the credit. I’ve recently started disabling comments on my re-blogs because I want readers to comment on the original post. Since I didn’t write the post, it would just be weird asking me a question about it. Not only am I prompting readers to visit the other blog, but to also share the post from the original blog. Since re-blogged posts are just shared content from another person’s blog, it won’t have the entire post displayed, just a summary. It only makes sense then to share the post from the original blog. Otherwise, people must click on my blog just to click again to go to the original blog. Too many clicks mean “I don’t feel like doing all of this and I’ll come back to this post later (or not)“.

How to Disable It

Edit the post using the Improved Editor > More Options > Uncheck Allow Comments.

If you don’t want any ping-backs and trackbacks, uncheck that box as well. Readers will then be forced to interact with the original post.

4. Featured Image

Some re-blogs will include a featured image. If you don’t want this image prominently displayed on your blog, or you feel that it takes away from the post, you can go into your dashboard > Featured Image and disable it. I do this often when the image from the other blog makes the post look sloppy on my blog (keep in mind your space as well as images from re-blogged posts will now be a apart of your image archives).

What I Don’t Edit

Title – I do not see a reason to edit the title of someone else post. This takes away from the originality of the original blogger and teeters on a compromise of integrity. There are instances where this is acceptable but they are very limited. You may want to turn “dogs with personalities” to “Dogs with Personalities” to help the post to stand out more for the original blogger if you know capitalizing certain letters is important. In this instance you’re helping the original blogger by making sure it gets the visibility that it deserves. But for the sake of being accused of plagiarism, I would just leave the original title the way that it was when you found it.

How To: Edit Your Editors Edits.

Practical advice on editing your manuscript when it comes back from the editor. Post Quote: “I’m going to break it down into easy steps so that it doesn’t seem quite as frightening and explain what I did.”

*Comments disabled here.*

 

Hello everyone and welcome to How To Wednesday-Saturday.

This post is later than usual due to my book Ethereal Lives being released last Wednesday. I’m afraid everything has been pushed to the back burner in the excitement, but I’m back now with a How To on editing. How to edit your editor’s edits.

2016-11-19-3 Manuscript with lots of edits.

So, you send your book to your editor and after a great deal of waiting and thumb twiddling, it is finally returned to you, usually, looking something like this:

And, most often accompanied by this:

2016-11-19-4 Editor’s Letter.

Here you have a manuscript with endless comments and corrections and a letter from your editor, usually broken down into segments, listing everything that is wrong with your work. It can be very daunting and leave you wanting to cry as you try to figure out how to fix everything. I know when I…

View original post 551 more words

Self-Publishing – Laying Bricks Ep 3: Cutting The Excess

Laying Bricks(1)

When applying Mortar, sometimes it’s just too much and you need to cut the excess. When you get your script back, you’ll need to decide what to keep and what to ignore.

Cutting The Bricks

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“A good book needs a good edit: nothing screams ‘amateur’ louder than a glaring spelling mistake or improper punctuation. One criticism leveled at self-published literature is that the quality isn’t up to the standard set by the traditional trade, where editorial services are of precious significance. The constructive input of a skilled editor is certainly valuable; a structural overhaul – or even just a light copy edit – can radically transform a novel, elevating it from the ordinary to the extraordinary. In fact, in a recent poll of publishers and their authors, authors said that the number one thing they wanted their publisher to contribute was ‘discoverability’ i.e.: marketing. The publishers however, all thought that their most important contribution was editorial input.”

Editing, like feedback from critiques and beta reads, is part of the revision process and encourages more rewrites. After the feedback from your readers you’ll need to revise. Then, you’ll need to get your manuscript edited. Finally, you’ll want to take it through another revision, adding the changes suggested by your editor (or some of them).

  • First Draft
  • Beta Readers / Critique
  • Revision Stage One
  • Revision Stage Two
  • Edit
  • Revision Stage Three
  • Proofread

You can really have as many revisions as your heart desires. Not all bricks will suffice at their original size. Most walls require smaller bricks at their ends. Before cutting a script, it helps to place it in the hands of someone with the credentials to absorb the shock of the blow. There are many forms of the edit but don’t worry, you may not need them all. Choose the brick chisel you need to cut your brick:

  • Line Editor
  • Copy Editor
  • Developmental Editor
  • Proofreader

Let’s get help from The Helpful Writer to define these:

Copy

The copy editor specializes in grammar, punctualization, fact-checking, spelling, and formatting. The Copy Editor is used most often in journalism publications, but utilized by some smaller publishers.

Line

Also known as a Copy/Content Editor, often employed by the small – medium publishers, and self-published authors. They do it all – grammar, fact-checking, spelling, formatting, plot, sentences, characterization, setting, punctualization, and voice. They go through every inch of an MS, word by word, line by line.

(EC: Go into the edit with the mind that you’ll have to utterly destroy your favorite parts. Truth is, your favorite part isn’t necessarily the reader’s favorite and we’ve already established the fact that giving readers what they want is important).

Developmental

Used by big publishing houses, and often ghost writers. You can find a few freelancing DEs. They are best with non-fiction writing, but can be hired by fiction writers. Their primary function is to ensure a book moves in a forward motion, watching plot and characterization. Think writing coach.

Proofreader

Many get a proofreader and an editor confused. A proofreader is the one who goes over your MS after an editor. They look for the glaring mistakes missed, generally in punctuation, spelling, and formatting. They look for the glaring mistakes that may have been missed during edits.

What if I want to Keep Parts?

That’s OK, as long as you keep in mind that you’re writing for more than just yourself and what you find profound may not resonate with your readers if it’s not presented well. For instance, I’m a big advocate for writing with purpose. I believe everyone has a mission, a purpose, a calling if you will and that everyone, as a consequence, has a responsibility to live up to this purpose. That said, when deciding what changes to make for me personally, it’s important that the vision is not lost in the revision. There are some parts of a story I will not sacrifice.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t heed the call of feedback that makes sense. It doesn’t have to come wrapped in fancy wrapping paper with a bow, some advice just makes sense. Its logical. The wisdom in what to change in your script is to heed logical advice while learning how to incorporate your passion into a story people will enjoy. As stated in Episode One, at the end of the day good stories sell. Period. Market and promote all you want. If its not a good story, it won’t sell. So while living up to your purpose, keep in mind that no one likes to be preached to. By preach I mean anything that may come across as preachy whether it’s of a religious nature or not. Always remember that there’s a way to embed messages into stories. In short, think like a wise man, but communicate in the language of the people.

The final stage of the revision process is the proofread. Once you got your bricks in place, you’ll want to give it a once over. Are the bricks straight or crooked? Is mortar oozing from all sides? Do you need to cut out portions of the brick itself?

Proofreading is done to look for those final errors that slipped through the cracks. Proofreaders examine your script carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling missed during the edit. Proofreading should be done after the edit and is the final stage of the revision process. In this way, you can ensure a polished manuscript before moving onto other fun stuff.

All excess mortar is squeezed out, and the joint is removed by scraping it off with the proofread and we’re ready to move on.

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Next– Brick Pathway

Next, we’ll talk about moving on from revisions with a manuscript that is ready to be seriously read. Now that you’ve scraped off excess mortar, what’s next in our brick laying process? Create a welcoming entrance to your book by laying a brick pathway. We’ll discover what that is next week. Stay tuned.

Be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter for more tips, updates on my upcoming projects, free excerpt chapters and articles not yet published to this blog, book promotions, and more.

Disclaimer. Everything I share on Self-Publishing is always based on my own experience and research because I believe you can’t advise people on stuff you haven’t really tried. It’s just best if you’ve walked those shoes. So, that said I do not profess to be an expert. There are too many of them out there for you to glean from. Now, should you find information on this blog useful? Whoo hoo! Go for it.

Missed the first two episodes?

Laying Bricks Ep 1: Guide The Bricks

(About Focusing on the Story)

Laying Bricks Ep 2: Mortar

(About the Revision)

Hot PBS Self-Publishing Topics to Date:


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of The Stella Trilogy. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman writer who dreams of taking part in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parents struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release spring, 2017. For updates on this project, sneak peek of chapters and the pending book cover release for this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.