On the heels of the previous post on editing lessons, Howard Oberg asked me to provide "some examples of bad vs. good." In Howard's own words: "As a noob writer sometimes I don't even know crap writing if it hit me in the face." I asked Howard if he'd like to serve as a lab rabbit in this exercise. He agreed: "A chance to be humiliated before the masses. Sure, why not." We sealed the deal with coffee, and below you will find the opening to Howard's short story Cortonia—first the unedited version, then the edited version (with my comments), then a mini editorial letter, the kind I usually send to my clients. Here we go. (Howard, breathe. It's okay. I won't kill you. YET.)
I'm editing the manuscript of my last client right now, as editing proved to me very painful because I'm such a perfectionist. I've been told I'm very good at editing, as good as a pro (which made my jaw drop, because I'm a total rookie), and I made money. I could continue making money editing, but it's not what I want to do. I want to write books and publish books and make money selling books, so I have deleted the editing page from my site, and I have only one client left (and after that zero).Read More
What if I told you that the number of books you give away isn't enough? And I mean actual paperbacks, not ebooks. What if I told you that if you're cringing about the idea of parting with hundreds of your books for free, "You know nothing, John Snow?" What if I said 1,000 might be the number to come close to yield what you desire—albeit only the beginnings of it—which is, the road out of obscurity?
Yeah, I know. I had my hair move on my head too after I recently dove into marrying my art (book writing) and my business (book selling) and started researching book marketing tactics that would get me on the New York Times Best Sellers list, because that's my goal and my dream, and I'll do a naked dance for you if that happens. For real. Until then...Read More
As you have probably noticed, I have switched my blog commenting system from native Squarespace to Disqus. And you have also probably noticed that if you hang out on my site for a while, a popup will tell you not to kill me for a popup but instead to subscribe to my fabulous newsletter. This is all part of what I told you I'd do: focus on selling my books. You see, this May 15th it's been 5 years since I started writing full-time, and though I soared at first (there was lots of interest in my first trilogy, even from agents), I then painfully crashed into the gulch of despair of not-making-money-as-an-author. For a while I waited for something miraculous to happen, as in, somehow magically Rosehead would get on all bestsellers lists and I wouldn't have to do squat. Well, no miracle happened, and eventually I had to collect myself back together, bone by bone, and climb out (the perfect crisis of the Hero's Journey, by the way). And now I'm on my way back up. I'm not up yet, but I'm getting there. Because my plan is to:Read More
I'm struggling with finishing Draft 5 of TUBE. I've been writing it for over a year now, and new stories are crowding it out of my mind, but every day I get up and I know I have to finish it. It's an important story—for me and for you—and so it's important I do a good job. But man, how do I love procrastinating on it, and how hard it is to get myself in gear! Once I start, I forget my fears, and it's easy. Starting is the hard part. So I came up with four ways to trick myself into writing it every morning. I know I'm not alone. Lots of times you told me how you have to kick yourself in the ass, hard, to get yourself to work on that manuscript that you rewrote so many times, it makes you want to vomit. Well then, here is how I trick my brain into TUBE. See if you can steal some ideas for yourself, and share yours, and send bags of coffee (to my new PO Box, so it wouldn't feel empty and lonely!).Read More