Tag Archives: BETA

Some of the Things I Learned from Editing / Beta Reading Other People’s Books @KathleenLBosman

I’ve talked several times about beta readers. They are PRICELESS! But what’s even more fun sometimes, is when I get the opportunity to return the favor. There is so much to learn from reading SOMEONE ELSE’S work.

Seriously


 Yes, Seriously!

It’s a lot easier to see errors in other people’s work, and this helps you to find the errors in your own manuscript.

Here’s author Kathleen Bosman to chat up a few things she’s learned from reading other people’s work. Take it away, Kathleen!

Thanks, Jennifer! Here are four things I learned from reading other people’s books:
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1. The writing rules are there for a reason. Only break them if your story is so compelling that someone cannot help but read it. And how will you know that until it’s out there anyway?
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Unless you’re a bestselling author already, stick to the rules. And use good grammar! Don’t head hop – please stay in one point of view per scene, don’t overuse adjectives, and keep to active, not passive writing. If you don’t know the basic rules of writing a novel, do some research. There are literally hundreds of blogs or websites out there giving the basic rules.

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Sometimes a story is gripping and enjoyable but because the author hops from one POV to the next, I cannot continue. I’ve even discarded one of my favourite author’s popular series because she had too many POV’s in her book. Either stick to one or two POV’s.
PKO_0005301If you can’t follow basic grammar rules, then do a grammar course. There is nothing worse than a book that is shoddily written. An editor doesn’t mind the odd problem here and there – it’s their job to fix them. The worst is when an author can’t even keep their tenses consistent or writes many sentences that don’t even make sense. Write like English is your first language!
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2. Too many “said’s” make the writing clumsy.
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You don’t need to say, “he said” or “she said” after every speech. Use an action next to the speech instead which doesn’t jar the reader out of the conversation.
So_Who're_we_talking_to
That said, please make sure the reader knows who is talking when. If you are going to use dialogue tags, and I know you do need them sometimes, “said” is actually the best because it doesn’t take the reader out the story. If you have too many “exclaimed, mumbled, hissed, barked, groused,” you’ll get them thinking more about these words than the actual story.
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3. Make your characters real and consistent.
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Huh womanIf your characters are stupid or unrealistic or change like a chameleon, you’ve lost your readers from the beginning. If need be, get a fellow writer friend to read your book before you send it off to check that they can sympathise with the characters. I read a book recently about a woman who’d just been diagnosed with breast cancer and found out her husband was having an affair. She basically breezed through the whole situation with a smile on her face, quite keen to get the double mastectomy over with. Totally unrealistic!
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4. Don’t introduce too many characters into the story in the first scene.
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If you have ten people all talking to each other in a scene or seven characters each going through something different in the first chapter, your reader is going to get exhausted from the mental gymnastics. It’s nice to write a book about friends having fun together but keep it to no more than four. swish swivel squiggle
The Album Series
Each book is a fantasy romance about a magic album that matches up couples. Think of “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” meets Hollywood Romantic Comedies.
Looking for Love
Blurb:
When Ella Haviland inherits a magic antique photo album that reveals the future of potential couples, she starts a part-time matchmaking business with the help of her three best friends. It’s always been her dream to help people find love. But finding true love herself isn’t in her plans — even when her best guy friend Ross confesses he’s fallen for her. Friendship and love equals recipe for disaster in her mind.
Ross Mitchell is devastated that Ella doesn’t want more from their relationship. He withdraws … but maybe he should play along when Ella tries to matchmake him with a friend, just to make her jealous. He will do anything to make her notice him.
Through a series of adventures and happenings, Ella discovers that maybe The Album brings more than love and magic into the lives of the people it touches; it sprinkles its magic on hers. But can she find true love herself, or is there too much holding her back?

Get Album #1 free here:


 
Author Bio:

Kathy lives in South Africa, where the summers are hot, the winters cool and bugs thrive. She writes romance in many forms, most of the time with women who feel deeply, men who care strongly and characters who learn lessons along the way. Every so often, she sprinkles a little magic in her stories. When she’s not writing, she makes sure her kids work hard as they do school at home, tries not to get too distracted by dust bunnies and cooks up a storm to keep the tummies full. When she’s not hectically busy, she loves reading romance and fantasy novels, watching movies, and dabbling in different crafty things, depending on her mood.

Website and blog: http://www.kathybosman.com/

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Write a Story with Me Part 22 — Taking a closer look with Elin Gregory

Some great setting scoped out here by Elin Gregory.  Ooooooo I feel a battle brewing!

22-Elin Gregory

“Protector Sumner?” there was a tone in the watchman’s voice that suggested that he had spoken more than once.

Yoran didn’t take his eyes off the viewing panel. In this place he could not afford to do so for an instant. The combinations of wind, updrafts from the tide and topography that made the approach so difficult demanded his full attention. He altered their course by half a point, less, adjusted the power to the starboard thrusters and waited for the ship to settle, bucking on a new gust of wind. The troops below would be having a rough time. He didn’t envy the men he would assign to cleaning out the jump bays.

“What is it Philpott?” he asked.

The young officer gestured to his own view panel. “I’m picking up an anomaly, sir. A couple of points to starboard there’s a patch – a – I don’t know what to call it sir. It looks like all the rest of the rock face but this new gadget, sir, the heat sensor – it says that it’s warmer. Look, see the yellow?”

Yoran bit back a sharp reply. “I don’t doubt your word, Philpott, but I cannot leave my station. Two points, you say? I think we must take a closer look.”

Philpott sighed and returned his attention to his controls. The Protector was old school with little time for modern gadgets. Philpott decided that news of the other two anomalies that appeared to be accompanying them towards the precipice could wait.

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Part One – Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Two – J. Keller Ford

Part Three – Susan Roebuck

Part Four – Elin Gregory

Part Five – Eileen Snyder

Part Six – Mikaela Wire

Part Seven — Vanessa Chapman

Part Eight — Ravena Guron

Part Nine – Vikki Thompson

Part Ten — Susan Rocan mywithershins

Part Eleven — Kate Johnston  AKA 4AMWriter

Part Twelve — Julie Catherine

Part Thirteen — Kai Damian

Part Fourteen — Richard Leonard

Part Fifteen — Sharon Manship

Part Sixteen – Shannon Blue Christensen

Part Seventeen — Bryn Jones

Part Eighteen — Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Nineteen — Shannon Burton

Part Twenty — J.Keller Ford

Part Twenty-One — Susan Roebuck

Part Twenty-Two — Elin Gregory

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

 Aparnauteur —- TAG!  You are “It”

Row80 — I Finished My Novel!!!!!!

Well, the Header post says it all.

I am all grins and giggles galore.

Can you guys see me smiling all the way in Argentina?  Canada?  UK?  Well, if you were wondering what that bright light was here in the USA its ME!

Here are the final stats for all you who’ve been traveling this journey with me.

109,812 words, 411 pages

I was trying to edit down to 100,000, but that was just so I could submit to a single publisher who maxes out at 100,000.  I started this mad edit at about 120,000 words, and when I got it to where it is now, I decided to heck with it.  This is my novel, and it is perfect.  Taking anything else out at this point would make the story suffer.  I will always take creative critisizm, and am ready for it, but this is where I am staying for now.

Edit stats:

65,724 words cut from the first draft.  That’s 233 pages.  Funny, I think the first draft was only a little over 350 pages.  It shows you what kind of roller coaster ride you can take on the way to perfection.

My Row 80 goal for the end of the year was to finish HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT, and here I am.  Wow.  What an amazing feeling.

I’m going to submit my one and only recent Short Story to a magazine shortly.  I have a few comments from Betas to look over, and am waiting for my “subject matter expert” to get back to me to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes.

I need to pick some new beta readers and “just plain readers” to do one last read of HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT now that it is complete.  Some of it has been changed so drastically that no one but me has read many of the chapters, and I need to take my own advice and NEVER query anything that hasn’t been fully and completely Beta-Read.

Anyone interested?

If you are, send me an email.  (there’s a “contact” button in my header bar.)  I better note that I can’t do a mutual beta exchange with EVERYONE who follows this blog.  I’m not Wonder Woman (although my kids think I am) but I can take on 5 Beta partners if you think your manuscrupt is ready.

Thanks everyone for your support.  I hope your week has been as exciting!