Hello! :)

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Lea123

Reliably forgetful
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
218
Reaction score
159
Location
The Ether
Hi,

I've not been on a forum in years and I'm really excited to see that some classic emojis are still a thing.

:e2tongue::deadhorse :e2shower:(my personal favourite.)

I'm Ali, a teacher from the UK. I hate my job (kids are great, don't get me wrong) and writing is the only thing that keeps me sane. I'm nearly 30 and paranoid this is my version of a mid-life crisis; none of my family have great lifespans so it could be a genuine thing.

I've always had an overactive imagination and I can't concentrate on anything for more than a couple of minutes before zoning out and ending up in my own world. I can't recall the last time I watched TV and actually paid attention; I'm a magpie, always pinching things for my own world building, always collecting things that remind me of my characters etc.

Currently, I've been with my characters since I was about 13/14. I'm at that terrifying point where I've written my first novel (drafted and redrafted several times) and I don't know what to do next. Some days I'm pretty impressed with it. Other times, it's more blind panic where I fear I know my characters so well that I omit things and the actual written bit is rubbish. Self publishing looks terrifying (I'm not an out there kind of person...) and there's no way I can afford a small fortune for an editor / agent.

Anyway, no one I know really gets it, and I'm also really shy so no one knows I write. My partner thinks I've been lesson planning when really I'm sat writing my books.

If you've made it this far through my post, thanks! I can't wait to get stuck in!


:e2coffee:
 

CMBright

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
1,026
Reaction score
881
Welcome, hang out, lurk, post questions or respond to threads that catch your interest.

A mod will wander by soon to let you know to read the stickies, and about the 50 post requirement before you can share your work.

Congrats on finishing a novel. I wish I could make that claim. You will find the range from novice to published here. I've found them to be both nice and helpful.
 

Lea123

Reliably forgetful
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
218
Reaction score
159
Location
The Ether
Thank you! :)

Now it's done, I feel at a loss of what to do! It's a strange feeling...
 

Izz

Doing the Space Operatic
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
7,283
Reaction score
1,866
Location
NZ
Website
www.justgoodfiction.com
Welcome to AW, Ali! It's great to meet you :)

You're going to love it here, I'm sure. Not only do we still have plenty of classic emojis :partyguy: but we also have tons of information regarding all things writing and publishing and a vast community of likeminded folk to hang out with.

Please carefully read the Newbies Guide you were linked to when you registered, as well as the stickied threads at the top of each forum page. These resources will help you understand not only the rules of the forums but also the culture and etiquette of all the various spaces within.

AW is a very large place and it can be easy to get lost and/or overwhelmed at first but if you take your time exploring you'll be familiar with the forums soon enough. You might find our Novels room a nice place to start exploring from, or perhaps the Writing Genre section, where you'll see boards covering all genres. You might also want to mosey on down to the Share Your Work area. You'll likely find you'll learn as much or more about your writing process from reading the critiques of others as you would having your own work critiqued. Note: there is a 50-post requirement before you can start a thread in that area but there's no post requirement for jumping in and offering critique/insight of your own. Again, you'll probably improve your own writing out of sight by doing so. Please read the stickies in the Intro to Share Your Work subforum before posting in SYW.

As to what you should do now that you've written your first novel: start working on the next one. :D Think of it this way: if you sell your first book, what is your publisher going to want to see next? Your second book.

Also, in regards to editors and agents: While there are many who say you have to hire an editor to get your work to a publishable standard that is absolutely not a requirement. You can learn to edit your own work objectively and well. AW can certainly help you do that.

And you should never, ever pay an agent to represent you. If any agent asks for money in return for representation, then end that conversation super quick. Agents pay their bills by selling your books to publishers and taking a cut of the deal. To learn more about how the business side of writing works, you can explore our Publishing rooms, and our Bewares, Recommendations & Background Checks subforum.

Anyhoo, that's enough prattling for now! Explore, lurk, join in conversations you find fun or interesting, make friends, enjoy yourself :D

See you around the boards!
Izz
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Unimportant

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
7,618
Reaction score
3,453
Location
Aotearoa
Hi,

I've not been on a forum in years and I'm really excited to see that some classic emojis are still a thing.

:e2tongue::deadhorse :e2shower:(my personal favourite.)

I'm Ali, a teacher from the UK. I hate my job (kids are great, don't get me wrong) and writing is the only thing that keeps me sane. I'm nearly 30 and paranoid this is my version of a mid-life crisis; none of my family have great lifespans so it could be a genuine thing.

I've always had an overactive imagination and I can't concentrate on anything for more than a couple of minutes before zoning out and ending up in my own world. I can't recall the last time I watched TV and actually paid attention; I'm a magpie, always pinching things for my own world building, always collecting things that remind me of my characters etc.

Currently, I've been with my characters since I was about 13/14. I'm at that terrifying point where I've written my first novel (drafted and redrafted several times) and I don't know what to do next. Some days I'm pretty impressed with it. Other times, it's more blind panic where I fear I know my characters so well that I omit things and the actual written bit is rubbish. Self publishing looks terrifying (I'm not an out there kind of person...) and there's no way I can afford a small fortune for an editor / agent.

Anyway, no one I know really gets it, and I'm also really shy so no one knows I write. My partner thinks I've been lesson planning when really I'm sat writing my books.

If you've made it this far through my post, thanks! I can't wait to get stuck in!


:e2coffee:
Welcome, Lea123!

Many of us have family who don't 'get it' or who don't even know we write. You're not alone.

Agents don't cost anything. All you need to do is send query letters to agents. If they're interested, they'll ask to read the book. If they think they can successfully sell the book to a publisher, they'll offer to represent you. They'll send your book round to editors, and when one or more offer to buy it, the agent takes a commission on the sales (usually 15%, I think?).

Not that it's easy. Writing a query letter is freaking hard work -- but happily, Absolute Write has a very active critique section called Query Letter Hell. Slog on down there and read a few billion queries to see how it's done!

And yeah, querying agents isn't easy, either. You have to research the ones who represent work in your genre, and then grit your teeth and send out the query letters, and then feel like stink when they reply with a form rejection letter.

But writing a novel is bloody hard yakka indeed, and you've already done that! If you can write a book, you can write a query letter. I promise.
 

Nether

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
596
Reaction score
542
Location
New England
Welcome.

Hi,

I've not been on a forum in years and I'm really excited to see that some classic emojis are still a thing.

So much of AW is refreshing because older sensibilities are intact. Even a lot of older, traditional forums I frequent have "modernized" in some regards.

I'm Ali, a teacher from the UK. I hate my job (kids are great, don't get me wrong) and writing is the only thing that keeps me sane. I'm nearly 30 and paranoid this is my version of a mid-life crisis; none of my family have great lifespans so it could be a genuine thing.

Looming mortality was also a motivator for me coming back to writing and finally finishing something. I always had that "someday" in the back of my mind, but then I'm realizing that you can't really count on that. Cheerful thoughts and all that :p

I've always had an overactive imagination and I can't concentrate on anything for more than a couple of minutes before zoning out and ending up in my own world. I can't recall the last time I watched TV and actually paid attention; I'm a magpie, always pinching things for my own world building, always collecting things that remind me of my characters etc.

I live on "what if?"s. Whenever I'm watching anything, I'm thinking about the possible outcomes and what could have been done differently. And some of my favorite stories have been the result of "I want to do something like that!" (although when I tell people what inspired the work, I sometimes get a "How is that like that?")

Currently, I've been with my characters since I was about 13/14. I'm at that terrifying point where I've written my first novel (drafted and redrafted several times) and I don't know what to do next. Some days I'm pretty impressed with it. Other times, it's more blind panic where I fear I know my characters so well that I omit things and the actual written bit is rubbish. Self publishing looks terrifying (I'm not an out there kind of person...) and there's no way I can afford a small fortune for an editor / agent.

That's what critique partners and beta readers are for. Getting additional sets of eyes, input, etc, can help you develop things further. (Also, if an agent tries to charge you anything, there's a very good chance that they're not a legitimate agent. Agents are supposed to make money when the author makes money.)

However, as for the "what's next" when you finish a novel, one answer is always another novel :D Sure, when you're probably still going to work on it more, get input and feedback, but it also helps to keep writing other stuff while all that is going on.

As for self-publishing, you can technically DIY everything, although the general advice is that it's not a great idea to try to DIY your cover art. (Personally, I know some graphic designers so if I do decide to self-publish, I think I'd just ask them for help despite having some experience in that arena.)

Anyway, no one I know really gets it, and I'm also really shy so no one knows I write. My partner thinks I've been lesson planning when really I'm sat writing my books.

If you've made it this far through my post, thanks! I can't wait to get stuck in!

I can relate to that. I haven't exactly told people in my close, personal circles that I'm writing again (partly because they were exactly supportive the first time -- instead, some had done everything they could to talk me out of writing in general). I think the only relative I mentioned to was my brother, but he was probably still drunk at the time and he hasn't asked about it.
 

regdog

The Scavengers
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
56,748
Reaction score
20,514
Location
She/Her
Welcome to AW


Take some time and read the Newbie Guide and the Stickies found
at the top of Forum pages. They are your best guide to learning about
Absolute Write.

Stop by the Weekend Progress Report each week to brag about your weekly writing accomplishments. Awesome smilies and awards are given out.

Please read the FAQ about posting photos.


In fact we have lots of brilliant FAQs check them out.


Members who want to start a thread in Share Your Work to have work critiqued need
50 posts. Don’t make a mad dash to reach your 50 posts. That is frowned upon and can lead to your posts being deleted.
Take some time to greet fellow newbies, critique other members’ works, or join a discussion.


Announcements, Events and Self Promotion is for active members only. All obvious spam will be deleted on sight! Here’s how to Promote With Aplomb.
 

Lea123

Reliably forgetful
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
218
Reaction score
159
Location
The Ether
Thanks for the welcome everyone!

Unimportant - it's interesting to read about the agent. When I tried to work out the cost for a professional round of editing I almost choked on my tea. Probably more than my car is worth. I teach English (granted, to 11 year olds) so I'm hoping I can iron out most of the punctuation issues with some distance and a few revisits. It's such a relief to hear that, albeit difficult to grab one, agents don't cost at first.

Nether - I'm glad I'm not the only one! It's amazing how the imagination works, isn't it?

Thanks Reddog, I spent a good chunk of time browsing when waiting for my account to be activated. The picture stuff looks too technical for me so I'll probably never attempt it! So glad there's finally a place that acknowledges chocolate as one of the main food groups.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nether

Nether

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
596
Reaction score
542
Location
New England
When I tried to work out the cost for a professional round of editing I almost choked on my tea. Probably more than my car is worth. I teach English (granted, to 11 year olds) so I'm hoping I can iron out most of the punctuation issues with some distance and a few revisits. It's such a relief to hear that, albeit difficult to grab one, agents don't cost at first.

I mean, critique partners and beta readers should pick up on at least some errors as well. It's one reason why writers share their work with other writers (another is that it can help both writers improve their craft). That's where the Share Your Work forum can help, if you decide to go that route. (There's a 50-post requirement to reach it, but you're already at 17 posts so you'll likely have access to it soon.) In addition to AW, there are any number of places where you can find critique partners and beta readers as well.

Otherwise, if you land a publisher (with or without the help of an agent), those expenses will be covered on their side. That's part of the appeal of trade publishing, since you don't have any expenses regarding things like editing, cover design, and the like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lea123

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
7,618
Reaction score
3,453
Location
Aotearoa
Thanks for the welcome everyone!

Unimportant - it's interesting to read about the agent. When I tried to work out the cost for a professional round of editing I almost choked on my tea. Probably more than my car is worth. I teach English (granted, to 11 year olds) so I'm hoping I can iron out most of the punctuation issues with some distance and a few revisits. It's such a relief to hear that, albeit difficult to grab one, agents don't cost at first.

Nether - I'm glad I'm not the only one! It's amazing how the imagination works, isn't it?

Thanks Reddog, I spent a good chunk of time browsing when waiting for my account to be activated. The picture stuff looks too technical for me so I'll probably never attempt it! So glad there's finally a place that acknowledges chocolate as one of the main food groups.
If you can write grammatically correct English, you're ahead of the game. Excellent!

As for editing for content, plot, etc -- yes, a good freelance editor will cost thousands. There are other options, though.

(1) If/when your book is good enough, and you can get a literary agent to represent you, the agent will sell your book to a trade publisher, and the publisher will supply the content editor, copy editor, layout specialist, cover artist, and everything else.

(2) To get your book to (1) if it isn't there already, beta readers can help you identify areas of the story that can be improved. Beta readers work for free, usually on a quid pro quo basis. Want to know the best place to find a beta reader? Oh, look, here you are! It's Absolute Write!

Want to know how to attract a beta reader? By showing other writers that you are able and willing to act as a beta reader. By critiquing other people's stories. Hop on down to Share Your Work and write a critique or two or ten or fifty, and you'll sure as heck make friends -- and find folks willing to partner with you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lea123

Lea123

Reliably forgetful
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
218
Reaction score
159
Location
The Ether
If you can write grammatically correct English, you're ahead of the game. Excellent!

As for editing for content, plot, etc -- yes, a good freelance editor will cost thousands. There are other options, though.

(1) If/when your book is good enough, and you can get a literary agent to represent you, the agent will sell your book to a trade publisher, and the publisher will supply the content editor, copy editor, layout specialist, cover artist, and everything else.

(2) To get your book to (1) if it isn't there already, beta readers can help you identify areas of the story that can be improved. Beta readers work for free, usually on a quid pro quo basis. Want to know the best place to find a beta reader? Oh, look, here you are! It's Absolute Write!

Want to know how to attract a beta reader? By showing other writers that you are able and willing to act as a beta reader. By critiquing other people's stories. Hop on down to Share Your Work and write a critique or two or ten or fifty, and you'll sure as heck make friends -- and find folks willing to partner with you.
I'm starting to feel like joining this place was the best accidental discovery I ever made! You guys are so helpful. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Unimportant

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
7,618
Reaction score
3,453
Location
Aotearoa
I'm starting to feel like joining this place was the best accidental discovery I ever made! You guys are so helpful. :)
:)
What genre do you write in?

And as for what to do next: go write another book. Agents and publishers know that when readers buy, read, and love a book, the first thing they do is race out and buy that author's other books.
 

mccardey

wear a mask
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
15,077
Reaction score
6,746
Location
Australia.
Hi,

I've not been on a forum in years and I'm really excited to see that some classic emojis are still a thing.

:e2tongue::deadhorse :e2shower:(my personal favourite.)

I'm Ali, a teacher from the UK. I hate my job (kids are great, don't get me wrong) and writing is the only thing that keeps me sane. I'm nearly 30 and paranoid this is my version of a mid-life crisis; none of my family have great lifespans so it could be a genuine thing.

I've always had an overactive imagination and I can't concentrate on anything for more than a couple of minutes before zoning out and ending up in my own world. I can't recall the last time I watched TV and actually paid attention; I'm a magpie, always pinching things for my own world building, always collecting things that remind me of my characters etc.

Currently, I've been with my characters since I was about 13/14. I'm at that terrifying point where I've written my first novel (drafted and redrafted several times) and I don't know what to do next. Some days I'm pretty impressed with it. Other times, it's more blind panic where I fear I know my characters so well that I omit things and the actual written bit is rubbish. Self publishing looks terrifying (I'm not an out there kind of person...) and there's no way I can afford a small fortune for an editor / agent.

Anyway, no one I know really gets it, and I'm also really shy so no one knows I write. My partner thinks I've been lesson planning when really I'm sat writing my books.

If you've made it this far through my post, thanks! I can't wait to get stuck in!


:e2coffee:
Hi Lea - everyone already said all the useful things, so I'll just say I'm incredibly jealous that you're in the UK which is where I would have been, RIGHT NOW if the pandemic hadn't hit. I hope you're staying safe and wearing your mask. (Writers are good with masks ;) ) I look forward to seeing you round the traps, and yes - as Unimportant said, reading and critting in Share Your Work will put you ahead of the game.

Welcome!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lea123

Lea123

Reliably forgetful
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
218
Reaction score
159
Location
The Ether
:)
What genre do you write in?

And as for what to do next: go write another book. Agents and publishers know that when readers buy, read, and love a book, the first thing they do is race out and buy that author's other books.
Fantasy. I suppose 'high fantasy' as Google would call it. There's so much technical jargon with writing and I'm new to that side of it!

I've been flitting between the first three books in the series. Whenever I hit a wall with the first, I'd just write whatever was on my mind for whatever book the scenario fit in. I've been laying off the second and third whilst I finalise the first one just in case there were plot changes that then impacted the other books. I was terrified of getting muddled. There's room for four although I did love the Beyond the Deepwoods idea where each book followed different family members, generations down the line. I'm probably rambling here... :')

Anyway, all I write is based on the characters and world I've made. I worry that when the stories dry up, that's it. My brain is done.
 

Lea123

Reliably forgetful
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
218
Reaction score
159
Location
The Ether
Hi Lea - everyone already said all the useful things, so I'll just say I'm incredibly jealous that you're in the UK which is where I would have been, RIGHT NOW if the pandemic hadn't hit. I hope you're staying safe and wearing your mask. (Writers are good with masks ;) ) I look forward to seeing you round the traps, and yes - as Unimportant said, reading and critting in Share Your Work will put you ahead of the game.

Welcome!
Really!? I'm so lucky we live in the country but even I'm done with the grey and miserable weather. Australia sounds like bliss! Hopefully you can come join in the soggy, wet weather fun soon!
 

mccardey

wear a mask
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
15,077
Reaction score
6,746
Location
Australia.
Really!? I'm so lucky we live in the country but even I'm done with the grey and miserable weather. Australia sounds like bliss! Hopefully you can come join in the soggy, wet weather fun soon!
My agent is in London, and she has promised to take me mudlarking on the Thames. (A good agent is invaluable when it comes to things like mudlarking...)
 

Lea123

Reliably forgetful
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
218
Reaction score
159
Location
The Ether
My agent is in London, and she has promised to take me mudlarking on the Thames. (A good agent is invaluable when it comes to things like mudlarking...)
For the mudlarking offer alone, she sounds like a solid agent! I imagine you'd need a tetanus shot first though if you're sifting through the Thames... :greenie
 

mccardey

wear a mask
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
15,077
Reaction score
6,746
Location
Australia.
For the mudlarking offer alone, she sounds like a solid agent! I imagine you'd need a tetanus shot first though if you're sifting through the Thames... :greenie
She did say that. I'm not sure that she spends a lot of time covered in mud and filth from choice, but hey - honeymoon period, right?
 
Last edited:
  • Haha
Reactions: Lea123

Nether

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
596
Reaction score
542
Location
New England
I'm starting to feel like joining this place was the best accidental discovery I ever made! You guys are so helpful. :)

Been meaning to ask, but how'd you accidentally find AW? Because that sounds like one wild accident. :p
 

Lea123

Reliably forgetful
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
218
Reaction score
159
Location
The Ether
Been meaning to ask, but how'd you accidentally find AW? Because that sounds like one wild accident. :p
I was sat in the staff room at work caught between a conversation about Love Island and another about cramming everything into our all ready rammed time table - neither of which I had any interest in.

In one of those self-reflective hormonal moments, I realised I have 0 people that I can talk to about the things I actually enjoy. It's like, no, I don't want to go out tonight; I want to sit and write my stories, or shoot my bow.

If I told anyone I wrote in my spare time I'd probably get the old: 'Wait... you write for fun?' 🤣

This then escalated to some 2am Googling because the sobering realisation that I'm hovering on the edges of conversations was all I could focus on.

Then I panicked that I'd join a 'proper writing community' and I'd be outed as some fraud. This place popped up; I lurked for a bit, et voila. Heeeeere's Lea! :e2woo:

Fairly certain I have a terrible case of imposter syndrome. This post is basically an essay now, I do apologise.
 

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
7,618
Reaction score
3,453
Location
Aotearoa
I was sat in the staff room at work caught between a conversation about Love Island and another about cramming everything into our all ready rammed time table - neither of which I had any interest in.

In one of those self-reflective hormonal moments, I realised I have 0 people that I can talk to about the things I actually enjoy. It's like, no, I don't want to go out tonight; I want to sit and write my stories, or shoot my bow.

If I told anyone I wrote in my spare time I'd probably get the old: 'Wait... you write for fun?' 🤣

This then escalated to some 2am Googling because the sobering realisation that I'm hovering on the edges of conversations was all I could focus on.

Then I panicked that I'd join a 'proper writing community' and I'd be outed as some fraud. This place popped up; I lurked for a bit, et voila. Heeeeere's Lea! :e2woo:

Fairly certain I have a terrible case of imposter syndrome. This post is basically an essay now, I do apologise.
Oooooh, you shoot a bow? Longbow or compound? I hunted with a compound bow like thirty years ago, and remember it fondly.

You're not an imposter, any more than the rest of us, I promise. Whether you're here to goad yourself into writing, or talk about writing, or read about writing, or write about reading, or think about publishing, or.... or, heck, just to hang out with a bunch of people who are open and friendly, you sure as heck belong.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lea123

Lea123

Reliably forgetful
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
218
Reaction score
159
Location
The Ether
Oooooh, you shoot a bow? Longbow or compound? I hunted with a compound bow like thirty years ago, and remember it fondly.

You're not an imposter, any more than the rest of us, I promise. Whether you're here to goad yourself into writing, or talk about writing, or read about writing, or write about reading, or think about publishing, or.... or, heck, just to hang out with a bunch of people who are open and friendly, you sure as heck belong.
No way!? Mine is a recurve but I'd love to shoot a traditional English longbow when I've got the money. A few people at the range have one and they're so aesthetically pleasing. I cannot get my head around compound but I've got a friend who spends more money than sense on his!

Thanks for the imposter-peptalk. I needed it tonight! :e2writer:
 

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
7,618
Reaction score
3,453
Location
Aotearoa
No way!? Mine is a recurve but I'd love to shoot a traditional English longbow when I've got the money. A few people at the range have one and they're so aesthetically pleasing. I cannot get my head around compound but I've got a friend who spends more money than sense on his!

Thanks for the imposter-peptalk. I needed it tonight! :e2writer:
Well, to be fair, by "hunt" I meant "sit in the woods and watch the deer and chipmunks and blue jays, with no intention of actually shooting anything". :) I had good accuracy up to 20 yards, fair up to 30 yards, but was not good enough at 40+ yards to back myself to hit anything smaller than a bale of straw.

And this was back in the day when compound bows were a lot less complex -- or expensive. I think I spent less than $100 on mine, which tells you just how many decades ago this was!

Recurves and traditional longbows are incredibly beautiful, I agree.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lea123

Krampus Nacht

St. Nicholas and Krampus