Author's Addressed Letter
STORY EDITING, MENTOR LETTER
Do you want to be a published author?
Then take your ego and lock it into a cupboard and leave it there until you are rich and famous.
If you can do this then read further.
What is ego? Ego prevents a person from self criticizing one’s own work, resents others offering advice and giving constructive editing suggestions. Being an author, publisher and editor, I still have an editor, editing my work. I still need to listen and rewrite. I am still learning the trade.
A person with ego says, ‘my work is perfect, does not need a review, does not need editing, nor a rewrite, it is perfect, and everyone should consider publishing it.’. An author with ego will self-publish and put crap on the market, thinking their work is great and will sell a million copies, then finds out that their work does not sell because the quality of the story and the writing of the story is poor. The reading public is an author’s final critic, and they have the power to make of break a writer’s career.
Do you want to be a writer? Then you need to learn the trade. Like a carpenter, a doctor, a plumber or any trade, everyone needs to learn from the basic education related to the trade, serve an apprenticeship, then practice, practice, and continue to learn. For an author; learn the trade, practice by writing, writing and re-writing and learning some more!
A writer needs the basic education associated to writing, an ability to read and write, the basic knowledge of word meanings, punctuation, grammar, spelling, sentence structure, paragraph structure, dialogue structure and have a mind that dreams up stories.
Writing habits are needed. The fingers do not have the speed and dexterity to type a story on a computer as fast as a story unfolds within the mind. Whether you write by long-hand, typewriter or computer; editing, editing, and more editing is the key. If you think that you can type a story on a computer and feel it is a finished product on a first typing, then think again. A computer is a tool to make operations easier, it does not replace the mind.
Write long-hand, so that the mind will unfold a complete detailed story. Often the mind has more of a story than what is actually written, or typed. Then edit the hand-written story to pick up on material needing insertion, or removal. Edit words, sentences, dialogue, scene building, character building, action, emotion, everything essential for story editing. Read the story aloud and if it sounds wrong, then it is wrong. The stress is on (STORY) editing. Once this is accomplished then enter into a computer where technical processes can be accomplished with ease. All previously mentioned should be done by the author, not a general editing service, a friend, daughter or son. Once this is done then submit to a publisher for consideration and review and have several pages edited by a professional in the trade.
If you have this basic ability, then write a story, then send to a publisher asking for consideration, a review and possible editing of several pages. A publisher is looking for the basics required to write, and a plausible story that will grab their interest. You may have a great story line and be a poor technical writer, or may be an excellent writer with a poor story. Publishers want to see the raw author, then the publisher will judge their potential.
Do not use your ego, nor friends, family members, or relatives to review your work, and do not pay someone to review your material. Have an impartial person review your work, provide technical editing, structural editing and story editing of a page or two. Remember that the basics of writing should be known by the author and should be fixed and presented to the best of the author’s ability.
Do not hire and pay for editing services that only corrects spelling, grammar and fixes format. Publishers are not interested in this initially, and this is something that will be accomplished by the author when completing a rewrite and by the publisher after story-editing, and at a final formatting process.
Do not hire or pay an agent unless you are an established author, a published author and have suitable titles as collateral. As a first-time author, or an unpublished author, seek out publishers that accept unsolicited material and are willing to assist and mentor new and up and coming authors, and always ask for a review and edited pages; free, do not pay.
Do not use a vanity press that promises to edit and publish. They do not story-edit, and they charge you for everything, editing, publishing, printing and for final copies. They do not distribute. This is the same for self-publishing. Crap is put out on the market which degrades all authors, and the public is assuming all writing is below par, which will eventually reduce their literature mentality. The buying public is paying for the story, regardless of how the buyer and author perceives how fancy the cover is, or the type of binding that caught their eye and enticed them to buy. The cover does not tell the story, the text tells the story.
If you feel you have the basic writing education, a story, a finished manuscript, and able to hide your ego, and are willing to see red editing on your manuscript, and have a review, and expect to rewrite and rewrite, then send it to a publisher.
Being a publisher and editor, I see the complete gambit of material and authors presenting their work. When a publisher gives a review and edits several pages, they are only giving their view on what their publishing house is interested in. Even if one publisher gives a disheartening review, this does not mean another publisher may praise it. Ego makes you resentful of a review and a rejection letter.
What is more important; than general editing, polishing of a manuscript, agents, distribution, vanity press, self-publishing, or a fancy cover, is a story-editor to edit your manuscript, mentor and assist you in developing the story. You will learn how to self-edit and adapt your material. Story editing is the structural editing of the story line, character building, scene building, action, emotion, dialogue, plot flow, story history, character history, sub plots and the questioning of the author on un-noted facts.
Because of the number of rejections that I must give to authors for various reasons, what is most important, is that most authors need story editing, whether they are interested in our service, or in sending material to another publisher. Moose Hide Books is offering story-editing, and mentor assistance. If authors are interested in story-editing, interested in learning, then send in several chapters for a review, and for an editing of several pages, and ask for a quote. Depending on material, ability of author’s talent, degree of mentoring required, we will quote a reasonable cost. Degree of mentoring or pages to be edited is up to the author. If you have questions, feel free to contact us.