Tag Archives: editing
I write primarily for kids between 9 and 12, and my books are mysteries and adventure stories. I never read or write Sci Fi. But I’m reading a friend’s first novel to look for things that don’t work.
Why am I doing this? I’m helping out a friend and fellow-writer, someone who has done the same for me, in fact. I’m doing it out of friendship and gratitude.
What are my qualifications? I write. I can spot grammar and spelling mistakes. I can tell when the flow in the novel is bumpy. I can sense when a character does or says something that is “out of character.” And I know when there is too much telling and not enough showing, which brings me to my next question.
How am I unqualified? I don’t know how much explaining of technology is acceptable in a Sci Fi novel. I don’t know how much explanation of the fictional society’s peculiarities is enough. I don’t know if I can skip over the technical details that I can’t understand.
Please give me feedback if you’re a Sci Fi writer or reader, or if you’ve ever been a Beta Reader for someone’s Sci Fi book, on any other genre of novel, with which you’re unfamiliar.
I look forward to your comments.
Today I finished the 4th draft of my fourth Magda book. Feels wonderful. I’ve added 4,00 words since the 3rd draft. The plot pieces have moved around and the logic is falling into place.
Is it still a mystery? I don’t know. Is it a love story? Not really, though love is there throughout the story. Is it a book for kids 9 to 12? Maybe. It’s about kids, but perhaps the subject makes the book too painful for kids to want to read.
It’s the book I wanted to write, is all I know.
When I write the next draft, number 5, I’ll concentrate on imagery, mood, suspense, the language that makes up the story’s tone. This is the part that I love the most.
After the next draft, I hope to be ready to show it to a good editor. I know that I’ll be doing more rewriting after that. And so it goes.
Debra Purdy Kong writes “As technology has changed, I’ve found that taking part in social media a few minutes before writing, is now part of my ritual. And, of course, there’s that necessary cup of coffee!”
Like Debra, I’ve used many writing techniques that others have found helpful, like taking breaks and writing at a consistent time. I find that a cup of coffee in the morning, while perusing my social media contacts, gets me ready to write, as well. Starting to write before breakfast and continuing after is part of my routine, too. (It helps that my dear husband likes to make breakfast!) I find the morning the best time to do original writing, while the afternoon is a good time to read over my work and edit it.
You can read Debra’s complete blog entry at
Kristen Lamb asks, “Does the person give back? Critique partners should be partners. I’ve had writers who took and took for months. They wanted me to plot, then re-plot, then they had a new and BETTER idea they needed “help” plotting. Never once did it occur to them, that we hadn’t talked about my book in months.”
Oh, yes, I have had this experience. How much time did we all spend on that person’s writing, while my poor little story was left without any comments or helpful suggestions. Let’s all give as much as we get in our critique groups. Nobody wants to be a vampire, do they?
Thanks for your enlightened blog, Kristen Lamb.