Friday, December 19, 2014

3 Reasons Why Editors Are Necessary for Serious Writers by Fiona Tarr



3 Reasons Why Editors Are Necessary for Serious Writers by Fiona Tarr



I recently published my debut historical fiction novel and the most important lesson I learned along the way was that as writers, we simply shouldn’t skimp on the editing. Well I shouldn’t in any case.

So here are my 3 reasons why editors are necessary:

1.     Editors help avoid embarrassment.
2.     Editors ensure you present the best work you possibly can.
3.     Editors read the story with a critical eye no one else can provide.

How did I learn my lesson?

I discovered this vital information after I sent my book out to a number of reviewers and received some awesome feedback. One reviewer, Mishka, gave me 4 stars out of 5, but...you know there is always a but. She said she would have given me 5 stars with a more thorough edit.

Another reviewer said he could see the story would be a good read, but he found the editing distracted him from the story. He now has the new fully edited version and has rescheduled the review.

This experience was a little embarrassing and a lesson that I had to learn the hard way. I really thought I had covered all bases. I had asked writers, readers and friends to read the book and help with the edit. I even had my librarian, grammar crazy mum edit the book, but even she missed some major errors. I realized that most people who proofread unfinished work for author friends don’t really read with a critical eye. Additionally, the average reader doesn’t necessarily know the intricate details of editing; only that something doesn’t seem to sound quite right, but not the reasons why. I have come to realize that editors are professionals, who have been trained to read our work and find the errors without getting too lost in the story. I was a little afraid of spending money on editing and to be honest, I still can’t be sure I will ever make my investment back, but at the end of the day, there is no point publishing semi-finished work. Be the very best you can be; consider getting your manuscript edited.

I would love to hear your stories on editing.


I agree.  Editing is very important! 

As Fiona said, comment on the thread below. We want to hear about your experiences in editing, and what valuable lessons you've learned on your writing journey.  :)

Guest Blogger Bio  

I am a multiple small business owner, married for 26 years and have two boys, 14 and 22. I grew up in regional South Australia and still enjoy my space. I now live in Queensland where I kite-surf and Stand up Paddle surf for fun; Australia has some awesome beaches. I love writing so much that I have a number of blogs and along with writing fiction, I also run a small business consulting blog where I share loads of free tips for small business owners. One day I will write that self-help book, but it will be about small business development, not how to raise your kids or anything like that. 

I have studied community development, theology and I am still trying to finish a communications degree in my spare time. It always amazes me how fate offers us all the tools we need to do what we were always meant to do.  

Author Links:    



Fiona's Book:

http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Kings-Covenant-Grace-Book-ebook/dp/B00KNQ6EYC/ref=la_B00KOL7XI2_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418977880&sr=1-1
 
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Interview with Author Barb Jones

My guest today is Barb Jones.  Hello, Barb!  Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you again.
 
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?


www.amazon.com/Queens-Destiny-Blood-Prophecy-One-ebook/dp/B00NCN1CJU/The book is about a group of supernaturals - vampires, werewolves and witches who come together to battle against an ancient enemy.  The enemy is the King of the Vampires who believed that the werewolves were destined to be slaves, but a Queen, is born and reborn to unite all the races.  This book is the beginning of the prophecy that will unite the races and bring forth a sense of peace and unification in the end.  Queen's Destiny came out on October 1, 2014 and is available in print and on Amazon.

Is there anything that prompted your latest book?  Something that inspired you?


Honestly, I got tired of reading the recent stories where vampires aren't exactly true to their nature.  First of all, they don't walk in sunlight - no ring or special power will ever allow that to happen.  I wanted a book set in my hometown of Seattle on top of that.  So, what better way than to combine the two into one new series?

Great! So, when did you know you wanted to write?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours?


I've always written, ever since I could remember.  I loved having pen pals when I was younger, that I'd write stories and exchange them with my pals.  I wrote poetry since I was in the fourth grade.  On top of that, I was one of those nerdy kids who loved writing essays, thesis papers and more.  My imagination can go wild and crazy and I love that I can include that in my writing.

Do you have any favorite authors?



I read so much and I will read anything that my favorite authors all vary.  I love Chris Kuzneski, Lee Child, Steve Berry, Marcus J. Burg and many more. 

Do you write in a specific place? Time of day?


I'll write anywhere and at any time.  To give an example about my quirkiness, I write anytime I have a thought.  In fact, I was on a dinner date once and I had a thought based on my stumbling block, I apologized and had to interrupt dinner to write.  He understood but as you can tell, I will write anywhere.  I've even woken up in the middle of the night to write. I just need my laptop, phone or paper!

I hear you on that. The muse doesn't have a sense of time.

So, are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers?  Any advice?   


I would say never give up and write what your heart tells you.  I have so many stories, poems, novels on so many different topics.  I write what my heart tells me to.  The other thing I would tell fellow authors is to get help when and where you can. 
 
That's great advice! Thank you for stopping by, Barb!  :)



Readers, here is the blurb for Queen's Destiny, Blood Prophecy Book One.

Amber Stone, once a child prodigy, has just become curator of a special collection of Macedonian artifacts for the Seattle Museum of Natural History. Chloe, a prodigy of a different sort, holds a position at the museum focusing on tribal art. The two become fast friends, united by Amber's unsettling dreams and Chloe's unorthodox ways of dealing with them. Two strangers arrive in town, bringing with them a prophecy recorded more than three-thousand years ago, a prophecy that places Amber directly in the midst of a battle that has spanned a millennia.

Here is an excerpt.


Chloe, Yakima, 1993


Chloe held tightly to her mother’s hand and they walked through the pines. She stepped around the occasional drifts of snow that stubbornly refused to melt even now at the end of March.  Six others walked with them, heading deeper into the woods.  Chloe looked at their feet, trying to match the sound of the needles and brush crackling under their boots to each particular step.  She concentrated on the sounds.  When she was satisfied she could identify each of the walkers by the noise of their footsteps, she turned her attention to their breathing.  Her mother was easy, and she recognized the pattern without having to think much about it.
The others took a little work.  The man ahead and to the right breathed shallowly and regularly, while the one behind them wheezed a little.  The woman next to her mother breathed purposefully, as though every exhalation resulted from conscious intention.  The others—
“Mommy, stop.”  Her mother looked down at her and Chloe began to tug at her arm, pulling her south.  “Come on.”  Her mother looked at the wheezing man and he nodded, so she allowed Chloe to guide her and the others followed.  In a few minutes, the bubbling of the Yakima River reached Chloe’s ears.  In four or five more, the others heard it as well.  She pulled her mother through a last copse of trees and stood at the bank, staring at the water.
“What is it, honey?” Chloe’s mother knelt beside her and studied her face.
“The whitefish is about to die.”  Chloe pointed at the water.
“What whitefish, sweetie?”
“The one right there.”  She was still pointing at the water.  Her mother followed her finger to the water and squinted, but couldn’t make out anything below the ripples of the river.
“How is the whitefish going to die, Chloe?”  It was the wheezer. He’d walked up to where the girl and her mother stood on the bank.  He pointed at the water.  “Will another fish come and get it?” 
Chloe reached out and took the man’s hand, still pointing, and lifted it up, pushing it as far as her reach allowed.  “The sky will kill it.”
The man looked up and studied the sky for a while, then turned his attention on Chloe’s mother.  “Marlene, I’m just not sure.  She feels intently, I know that.  Still, it’s not just…what?  What is it?”
Marlene’s eyes had grown wide and she stared at the sky.  “Look, Tom.”
He looked up.  It was an eagle, and it circled above the river.  Suddenly, it dove, and Tom gasped at the speed of the thing.  In only a second or so, it was flying back upward, a whitefish in its talons.
He looked at Chloe.  “You were right, she has the Sight.”
  
Author Bio

Having been born and raised in Hawaii, I loved telling stories ever since I was a child about vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and witches.  I was a little girl who loved scary stories, much to my mother's dismay.  The scarier - the better.  Hawaii was a perfect place for stories until I moved to Seattle.  I decided to turn a love for the supernatural into writing stories to see if others would love them as much as I do.  Currently, I live in Florida but since I'm a Seattle girl at heart, my stories take place in the Northwest.  I continue to write supernatural stories of vampires, werewolves, witches, and more while enjoying the beaches and sunshine.  I also love to help others and give back to my community.     
Author Links: