Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#IWSG


Join Alex J. Cavanaugh and a multitude of writer's in this monthly hop to help support one another!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

This month I find the words are getting stuck. My brain doesn't know how to outline, I'm a true pantser, and it takes me a while to get into the rhythm after going over what I wrote previously and what my characters are expecting next of me. I find my writing time dwindling with everyday life, and I get frustrated. 

I do have some good news, I received a full request from an agent for my newly completed manuscript. The bad news is, after I hit send, I discovered multiple errors. That's what I get for rushing things. I haven't yet had it professionally edited and I thought I'd send out a couple of queries to test the waters.

Do you get your manuscripts professionally edited before sending it to a publisher or an agent? I recently read on the Twitter platform #askagent that he doesn't advise getting your ms edited. He said, why waste your money, that if he loved the story it would be their job to edit.

What say you?

February 7 question - What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Since I write mainly Young Adult that sometimes tends to crossover into the Adult category, I love the confusion, angst, and young love aspect that teenagers are battling. I remember those days of being dazed and confused and wondering where life is taking me. Whether in a contemporary genre or paranormal/fantasy, young adults see and do things differently than adults, and not always in a mature, best of ways. 

55 comments:

  1. Hi, Cathrina! I've missed you. Sorry that you've been stuck in a bit of a rut. I've been in that rut for what seems like an eternity. I'm a pantster myself. I don't know if that's good or bad for me. Good luck with your submission! Eva

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  2. I know what you mean. I felt the same way for most of last year. The words wouldn't come, and when they did, I always had a million life dramas to deal with.

    As for professionally editing a book I want to query... probably not, but I'd go over it with about 20 CPs instead, so I guess it depends on your preferred poison.

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  3. I haven't paid for an editor yet. I have a good critique group. Congrats on the request for a full submission. Maybe write the agent and tell him that you want to re-send your full submission after you make a full revisions so he reads the best that you have. Good luck!

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    1. Good advice, Natalie. I did contact her, thank you.

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  4. Ooh! Ooh! How exciting, about getting the full MS request - very best of luck.

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  5. I have a fabulous critique group who catches most everything. Rather than pay for editing, I run my work by them, and that's good enough. I agree though--it's not about the small mistakes. If an agent is interested in your work, they'll judge it on the whole. Here's wishing you epic success.

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  6. If it's a good story, I'm sure the agent will overlook the mistakes.
    I do let several critique partners go over my work before I send it.

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  7. I do not send my manuscript to a professional editor, but I don't think it's a terrible idea, especially if you mean copy editor. If your story is strong, a few typos shouldn't sink it. Then again, I've yet to land an agent so I could be off base.

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  8. If I were seeking a publisher/agent, I would have a critique partner or two look over the manuscript, but I wouldn't have it professionally edited. That's just wasting time and money when you might have to go a completely different way with the novel if it gets picked up later by a publisher.

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  9. I don't get a professional edit before sending things to my publisher. She pays an editor to do that.

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  10. As an indie author, I review my work in different formats (on the Kindle and a paper proof copy from CreateSpace) to help me read my story with fresh eyes.

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  11. If you had been entering a contest, yes, you would've been demoted for any errors. (After all, there can be only one winner, and everything counts.) But I think it's true that if there's only a dozen or so errors in a full ms, it's not a big deal. Now, a dozen on the first two pages would be. Ultimately, it's about the concept and the strength of the storytelling.

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  12. Whoo-hoo on getting a request for a full! And unless the errors are huge and glaring, I wouldn't worry too much about it right now. First and foremost, the agent was drawn to the STORY.

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  13. That's so exciting you got a full request! Good luck. I agree with the majority that paying a professional editor would be a waste when the publisher will do it for you.

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  14. I think you have some great advice here from the publisher/agent and from the comments here. I guess it depends on the resources you have. If you have a critique group, try that route. Or if you can afford to have a copy-editor you trust then go ahead. I think it depends on where your heads at.

    I read this quote on twitter that I thought was interesting on editing: "When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly...how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." —Neil Gaiman

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  15. I never trust my own edits. I have to have other eyes on my work before I send it out. I'm so messy with punctuation and spelling, even with spell-check support.

    I have my fingers crossed for you and hope the agent loves your work.

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  16. Try to outline a little bit at the end of each writing session so you know what you need to write next.

    I edit my own before I submit them. For my mom, I edit for her before submitting, Really, it depends on the writer, their skill, and comfort level.

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  17. I hope things turn out well, despite discovering the errors!

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  18. That's always the way. I've been there and it sucks.

    As far as hiring an editor, no I don't. I read somewhere that the agent/editor interested in an unknown-to-them professionally edited submission believes the wrote it without help. And becomes very disappointment when they see the writer's true effort.

    Since then I've done my best to improve so that what I polish is pretty darn good IMO. It's not perfect but it will be polished professionally once acquired anyway.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  19. That's a good question. I self-publish these days, but if I were sending a manuscript to a publisher or agent, I would ask my critique partner or beta readers to review it first since it's so hard to edit our work. I wouldn't pay to have it professionally edited, though--that's one of the biggest benefits of having a publisher, in my opinion. Congratulations!

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  20. This is my first time visiting your blog, Cathrina. It's beautiful. I've connected with you online.

    It's always good to keep learning new techniques of story writing and self-editing. But as writers, we need to have fresh eyes look at our works in progress before sending them out to be sure that what’s in our head about our story is actually on the page of the manuscript. All the luck with your manuscript.

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  21. Good luck with your submission. To get the ms edited prior to submission or not? An agent (or editor) should recognize a good story despite errors. But... what if they feel it's too much word editing it? Or they think you don't care enough to send the best you have? While I probably wouldn't pay for a professional edit, I'd ask a friend or critique partner to read it through, looking for errors. Whatever, always send in your best work.

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    1. Everyone seems to be on the same page. Thank you Diane.

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  22. Congrats on the request.

    A lot of agents say that, but it needs to at least have some level of editing done. As a publisher, I prefer the writer uses critique partners at the very least, copy editor even better. Because I can tell when they don't.

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  23. Congrats on the agent request! I've used a critique group and a lot of self-editing to get an ms in shape.

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  24. I've only just started querying a novel, but no, I don't have any desire to pay to have it edited first. I like that agent's advice. ;)

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  25. congrats for the full! and no worries on the mistakes, you can't catch them all, even with a fine-toothed comb. and my crit partners are editors enough for a start - the pros are for publishing =) can't wait to hear an update!

    happy february!

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  26. I know this feeling too, Cathrina. The year has started sluggishly for my writing and I am trying to get into a routine. I have used a professional editor a couple of times and I found it a valuable experience because I learnt a lot from it. I'm not sure I could afford to have it done all the time though. Hope you hear something positive from your full request.

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  27. I have had mine edited this time, because I'm currently unsure what I want to do with it. Congrats on the request, not bad for a 'testing the waters' submission :-)

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  28. Congrats on the full request from an agent. That's so encouraging. Best of luck!
    Your writing journey always sounds so exciting, Cathrina!

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  29. Hi Cathrina,
    I can put something on my blog for you and do a review, but I can't do the review right away. Please message me if it's okay.

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