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DoomieBey
06-03-2009, 04:08 AM
I am writing my book using Movie Magic Screewriter [novel format]. I have a Beta that I would like to begin sending my work to, but cannot figure out how to send it. Whenever I copy some of my work, and try to send it to [her] via PM or email, my computer will shut down and restart! And suggestions?

dgiharris
06-03-2009, 05:21 AM
NOt sure about everyone else, but the only way I Beta something is when someone sends me a hard copy, double spaced, as if I were an Agent or Publisher (along with SASE).

My advice, is that you generate a hardcopy and send it to your Betas EXACTLY as if you were sending it to an Agent.

Personally, as I go through a manuscript (i've never beta'd for a screenplay mind you) I make notes and edits real time as well as write questions and comments about what i'm feeling/thinking. Then at the end of each chapter I write my comments of the chapter and how I feel about the book up to that point. I've found this is the best way to give comments instead of reading first then trying to come back and remember what I was thinking.

Anyways, that is my advice, maybe others will feel differently. To each their own.

Mel...

Matera the Mad
06-03-2009, 05:54 AM
You should export your work to RTF (Rich Text Format), an easier to handle file type for copy/pasting from or for sending as an attachment.

DoomieBey
06-03-2009, 06:42 AM
Oh, thanks. That's a GREAT tip/idea! I have about two and a half more chapters remaining. Once I'm done, I'll do just as you suggested. Thanks again.

Uh, do you Beta nonfiction? If so, what are your limits??
NOt sure about everyone else, but the only way I Beta something is when someone sends me a hard copy, double spaced, as if I were an Agent or Publisher (along with SASE).

My advice, is that you generate a hardcopy and send it to your Betas EXACTLY as if you were sending it to an Agent.

Personally, as I go through a manuscript (i've never beta'd for a screenplay mind you) I make notes and edits real time as well as write questions and comments about what i'm feeling/thinking. Then at the end of each chapter I write my comments of the chapter and how I feel about the book up to that point. I've found this is the best way to give comments instead of reading first then trying to come back and remember what I was thinking.

Anyways, that is my advice, maybe others will feel differently. To each their own.

Mel...

DoomieBey
06-03-2009, 06:45 AM
I don't have a CLUE as to what you're referring to; and yes, I'm a high school graduate :tongue. How do I find this on MMS? Also, if I convert my work to pdf form, can I change it back?
You should export your work to RTF (Rich Text Format), an easier to handle file type for copy/pasting from or for sending as an attachment.

Matera the Mad
06-03-2009, 07:49 AM
You don't convert it, you export it. Somewhere in some menu of the program there is the word "export". RTFM, okay? You click on that and choose what format, and the program saves another file containing your manuscript in a form that someone who didn't care to waste money on a fancypants writing proggie can open with common software. You send your beta that and go on with whatever you're doing with the fancypants thing.

dgiharris
06-03-2009, 11:57 AM
Oh, thanks. That's a GREAT tip/idea! I have about two and a half more chapters remaining. Once I'm done, I'll do just as you suggested. Thanks again.

Uh, do you Beta nonfiction? If so, what are your limits??

I'm flattered you asked me but you know nothing about me. I could be a horrible writer and or picky reader.

When looking for a Beta, it is really important that you are comfortable and trust the Beta reader. You want someone who reads in the genre you are writing in. If you feel your story is similar to a certain book or author's style, then you want readers who liked that certain book or author . You also want a mix of writers and readers to Beta. The reason you want a 'reader' is because readers are the end customer and their feedback will be different than a fellow writer's feedback.

THere is a thread around here about finding a Beta Reader, I suggest you read it.

Think about it this way. You spend a year or two writing a book, do you really want to trust all that time and effort on someone you know nothing about?

The nice thing about AW is that there are writers just coming out of the woodwork here. You should be able to establish a relationship with several writers in the SYW forum and other forums. As you get to know them, you will see their skill and styles and know if you <=> them would be a good fit. And if you know any writers where you live, that's good to.

c/s

You mentioned that you have two more chapters left. What draft are you on? Is this the first draft, 2nd draft, 3rd draft? Beta means that you essentially have both written and re-written the book. That is, you have done the best you can and now need outside feedback.

This will RARELY be the case for a 1st draft.

hope i'm not coming across as harsh, just trying to help. Make sure you check out the threads on this subject, I think there is a sticky or two that should help

Mel...

pixydust
06-03-2009, 12:05 PM
It's always a good idea to save your files in RTF (rich text format). When you go to save the file, click on "save as"--it should show the name of the file and right under that the format. Click on the little arrow to open the list, choose 'rich text format' and you're good to go. RTF is less likely to carry bugs and any program can open it. Unlike if you save it as a word doc or works doc.

dgiharris
06-03-2009, 12:20 PM
Lastly,

I have a suggestion? Before you beta, can you take a stab at doing some critiques in AW. I'm not sure if you are a book writer or a screenplay writer. We have forums for both.

The Share Your Work Forum is a GREAT place to build relationships with fellow writers. Also, I'm not sure where you are in the writing process but I get the sense you are fairly new to this, if so, the SYW forum will be a tremendous help to improving your writing. Without SYW I would have never gotten published.

When I first joined, I made it a point to do about 1 critique per day and I held that pace for the first two years. Now, since I'm busy with my book, I don't crit as much but I still make it a point to pop in and out and give some critiques. Because of this, I have about 20 good writers/friends who will give me a critique whenever I need it.

Also, it is a great learning process to read the critiques of others and get their perspectives.

IMHO, that is the real value of AW.

Good luck with all this and I wish you the best.

Make sure you stop by in the Goals and Accomplishment forum to give us an update on how all this is going for you when you hit your milestones.

Mel...

DoomieBey
06-04-2009, 01:34 AM
Gosh, this is what I consider invaluable information. dgiharris seems to have all bases covered about me: I'm new to this, I'm interested in both nonfiction and screenplay, and I'm into my first draft. Most of what I'm learning, I'm learning from people such as you, Veggiechick, Pixydust, Matera the Mad, the Research Guy, etc. Oh, and I have alligator skin, so I can take "harsh" feedback. Actually, it makes me a better overall person, though name-calling would be senseless. Please feel free to share what you think is necessary to make me a better writer. In the end, isn't what this is all about?

dgiharris
06-04-2009, 04:26 AM
Doomie,
Seems you have the right attitude which is good, because becoming a good (and published) writer is all about having the write attitude. It is a long road FULL of disappointment. All the stuff you hear about being rejected 100 times before getting published is more or less true. I'm not a professional by any stretch, but it took me about a year AFTER joining AW to get my first paid publication.
I don't know anything about you so I'm just going to stereotype based on the typical Newbie that comes to AW, this may or may not apply exactly to you.
In regards to your question:
... Please feel free to share what you think is necessary to make me a better writer. In the end, isn't what this is all about?

Here are a list of things you should do.

Go to SYW forum daily and critique (that means read and comment on) at least one story every day. Make sure you read other writers crits as well. This will help you build invaluable relationships with writers. Eventually (after a month or so) you will start to form your own inner circle of writing friends. After about six months, you will have strong relationships that you can count on to help your writing career for years to come IMHO (in my humble opinion). My personal genres are humor, sci-fi/fantasy, and mainstream, though on occasion I go to queries (we all have to query eventually) and Women's romance.

Familarize yourself with the Uncle Jim Thread and read the first 1000 posts (yes the first one thousand posts).
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6710
This thread is worth its weight in gold. I've read about half of the thread. I used to read about 20 minutes per day. In a nutshell, a professional famous writer took it upon himself to educate us on the writing process from writing the first book, common mistakes, what the industry standards are, etc. etc. This thread is pure f**king gold and will shave YEARS off of your learning curve. Took me about a month (20 minutes per day) to get through the 1st 1000 posts. After reading 10 posts you will see the value of it immediately. Read not only his posts but the comments of others.

Go to the Bewares and Background forum and read the stickies (stickies are posts at the top that are always there) about the publishing process

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22

and also make sure you read the first 20 posts of the Publish America thread. They are pros at scamming newbies out of their money. This thread can literally save you thousands of dollars

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33451

After you've critique a few works in SYW, post your chapter one in SYW and see what others have to say (feedback usually takes about a week so be patient)

And work the AW site daily, I probably invest 1 - 2 hrs to this site daily, though now, as an old crusty veteran I probably spend too much time on the non-writing related forums :(

It takes about 6 months to get a thorough understanding of all that AW can do for you and to become a familiar face around here, and build up your own AW crew. You will notice that you and your 'crew' will grow together and start hitting your goals together (which is exciting). You can also share good news in the Goals and Accomplishment forums and the Rejection Forums.

Back to writing, do you have at least one "How to be a better writer" book? I suggest you by one, doesn't really matter who, several decent books out there.

Also, you need to buy and read Elements of Style by Shrunk and White. That is 88 pages and is arguably the BEST book about writing ever written.

When you start to lose heart (which you will) pop over to both the Goals and Accomplishment forum to see how hard and long your fellow writers had to struggle as well as the Rejection forum.

O.k. that's about all I got. Whew!!! Yes, it is a lot right? But if this writing stuff were easy, everyone would do it.

Good luck and hope you stick around.

BTW, what is your genre?

Mel....

DoomieBey
06-04-2009, 04:47 AM
I intend to do just as you suggested. I've also had the pleasure of getting consistently great advice from the Research Guy, and Veggiechick. I learned of this site from Predators and Editors [or is it Editors and Predators?], which gave the site high marks.

My genre is nonfiction. The category would be inspirational/self help. My book is for prison returnees who have made the decision to live by society's rules - more or less - but need a good reality check as a push to get started. The book is to educate returnees about what should and shouldn't be expected upon release. There is no sympathy, no excuses, no "gimmies", and lots of "what ifs" and sacasm.

The market would seem to be small for a book such as mine, so I've decided to go the self publishing route via Lightning Source. I hope that one of my marketing outlets will be the National Department of Corrections. I have lists of questions that returnees should ask themselves, a check list, random quotes from everyday people in society according to the chapter; and at the end of the book, I plan to have a mini quizz of about fifty questions, an answer sheet, along with a "certificate" that can be separated from the book itself.

Sounds like alot, but it's not. Really. And whether you are sympathetic, empathic, or apathetic about returnees, the fact is that many will be returning to a community near you at some point, so it would behoove concerned citizens to do what they can to assist individuals who truly desire a lifestyle change. It's not about giving money; but more about allowing them to stand on their own feet, and not be a finacial/emotional dependant. People can find better uses for their tax paying dollars, than providing free cable tv, recreation centers with tread mills and universal equipment, buffet style hot bars during meals; free medial and dental, no utilities, clothing, etc - only to return home and act as if society owes THEM something.

Blah blah blah. Didn't mean to ramble.

dgiharris
06-04-2009, 09:09 AM
A few things.

First off, your book sounds incredible. I have some indirect experience with prisoners (uncle works with them and I've done a lot of volunteer work) and think it would be useful. I'm not sure how many books like that are out there, but if there are not alot, this sounds like a great opportunity.

Second point. There are over 1.5 MILLION prisoners along with MILLIONS of people who are directly or indirectly associated with prisoners, prison lifestyle, social work etc.

My point? There should be a big enough market to interest traditional publishers. Just to give you a sense of scale, most first time book deals are for 10,000 copies. Basically, you have more than enough market to sastify that requirement.

I strongly urge you to consider going the traditional publisher route 'first'. Self publishing is extremely EXTREMELY expensive. I mean, it may very well be that self publishing is best path, but please give the traditional route a try first (after) you have worked this site for a good six months.

I know it sounds like a long time, but if you are looking at the long run, it really is worth it.

Anyways, before you decide, work this site for six months along with those links I sent you. Trust me, you really want to give this site six months before you make a writing decision that could impact the next 2 - 10 years of your writing life.

good luck with whatever you decide, and drop by the goals and accomplishments thread to give us an update from time to time.

Mel...

DoomieBey
06-05-2009, 01:59 AM
Your post are actually along the lines of my original thoughts. I'm going to go with your advice because, frankly, it makes sense; and it'll give me an opportunity to sharpen my work to a fine point. And I believe that waiting will be worth the wait. I'm not including stats, charts, graphs, and detailed demographic, because that would "date" the book. Stats change like the weather, so I'm striving to keep it gender, race, and geographically friendly. I'll share my work once I've completed at least two drafts, and I hope that you will be one of the ones to share your opinion.

dgiharris
06-05-2009, 06:31 AM
Your post are actually along the lines of my original thoughts. I'm going to go with your advice because, frankly, it makes sense; and it'll give me an opportunity to sharpen my work to a fine point. And I believe that waiting will be worth the wait. I'm not including stats, charts, graphs, and detailed demographic, because that would "date" the book. Stats change like the weather, so I'm striving to keep it gender, race, and geographically friendly. I'll share my work once I've completed at least two drafts, and I hope that you will be one of the ones to share your opinion.

Hmm... I would say that you shouldn't be afraid to use charts, stats, and graphs if you think it will make the book better.

Will they date the book? Sure. But that's not that big a deal, you can revise your book with each new edition.

It is perfectly acceptable to keep your stats in sync with the census bureau. And if i'm not mistaken, they take a census every other year? It shouldn't take you more than 40 hrs to update and revise a book, cut and paste the new stats, charts, graphs, etc. when needed and change wording from 1.5 million to 1.6 million, again, very minor changes.

In short, try not to assume anything with this. Get a book on writing nonfiction and the book should give you similar advice.

Again, good luck. Book sounds great.

Mel...

DoomieBey
06-06-2009, 11:22 AM
Will do. Thanks.