Writer's World

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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Dec 14, 2009 9:31 pm

Being one? Probably not. Looking for one? Definately. That's what going to the Writer's Conference is for. And yes, this would be the appropriate thread to talk about agents, how they work and what they do, as well as editors. As for me, I've done my own editing on my novel using some NWebbers from here to bounce ideas off. I've also critiqued some friend's works as well. In fact it was doing that which got me started into writing to begin with. And here I am three years later.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby princess_of_narnia » Dec 23, 2009 4:55 pm

Hello guys! I was wondering if I could get a little bit of help from y'all. I'm entering an essay contest, but the story I wrote is about 500 over the limit. Could any of you read it and tell me which parts you thought were unecessary?
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Benjamin » Dec 23, 2009 5:48 pm

Princess: That was a great story! I have no clue what could be cut out of it! You did a marvelous job on it! I will keep on thinking to try to help you with what to cut out but other then that, GREAT WORK! :ymapplause: :-bd
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Lady Galadriel » Dec 23, 2009 7:47 pm

princess_of_narnia, I certainly agree with Benjamin; it is awesome. I'm not a writing professional, but here's my opinion. It seems like everything is essential to the story. Could you just try to condense it, like cutting out sentences here and there, or re-word sentences to use less words? Maybe it could still get the same effect with fewer words.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Dec 25, 2009 7:42 am

I'd agree with the other comments. You have a good premise and I didn't really see anything that was extraneous or didn't add to the story. But you could revise the sentences to cut down the length as the suggestions above have indicated. It's pretty much just a matter of simplifying your sentences.

As for me, I have finally gotten back to working on the sequel to my novel, "Battle Cry: Expanding the Kingdom of Heaven". I had to set it down in the middle of this past semester due to my college work load, but with five weeks of winter break, I am back on it. I had to quit 94 pages in, and now after a week of work (and travel) I am 127 pages through. It is also getting close to being finished. I expect 50-75 pages to go, because the story is coming together for the finale. But I have only today before I leave for St. Louis for Urbana 09 so that will be another week of little time to work on it. But after that, I should be able to fly and I expect to be able to finish the first draft before school starts again in three weeks.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Jan 07, 2010 9:12 pm

Shamelessly bumping this thread up.

Now with Nano over, how are the writers doing? Still recovering from Writer's Burn-Out (an expected side-effect of Nano)? Even if you didn't do Nano, like me, are you working on anything?

The sequel to my spiritual warfare novel has taken off again. I am at the character climax (the moment when my characters make thier final developments before the final showdown), which will lead right into my finale. With a full week to go plus change before school starts, I am certain to finish this draft. After I finish, I'll be looking for some feedback, and I will be willing to pass it on to a few people who haven't read the first as well as the few that have. If you are interested, send me a PM and we'll talk.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Mr Anderson » Jan 08, 2010 7:06 am

Heh, boy do I ever hate Writer's Burn-Out. XD
I'm only just able to start *trying* to write again, and I've hardly gotten anything done. Normally I make myself write at least 500 words each day, but since NaNo ended I haven't been able to do anything. Same thing happened last year after NaNo, too, but I didn't really mind much then because I wasn't nearly so dedicated to my writing as I am now.

I'm working on a lot right now, actually (or will be when I can force myself to get going again)...I'm editing my NaNo novel, I'm almost finished the first book of my sci-fi/fantasy/apocolyptic trilogy, I've started a third novel, where the world is a chess board, and certain people are pieces...should be really interesting, I'm excited to see where it goes. And just two days ago I got the idea for two more novels...In the first, mankind is nothing but a few thousand people who have managed to create a pathetic excuse for some sort of society after almost all human life on earth was wiped out. The main problem: they have absolutely no concept of right or wrong, no concept of good or bad. So the plot will probably be something along the lines of rediscovering God, who brings good and evil back into the world (the knowledge of it, that is.) Second book will be about how the world degenerated into that...how the government and society at large basically brainwashed themselves and lost their grip on reality until they started killing and abusing without even feeling regret. The characters from the first book will probably find this out somehow, in order to prevent it from happening again.
I still havent' figured out all the details, or when I might write this, but I have the idea there. ^_^

By the way...are any NWebbers going to the Festival of Faith and Writing in Michigan, this year? It's in April...15-17, and I'm probably going. It's not cheap, but it looks really neat. http://www.calvin.edu/academic/engl/festival/
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Re: Writer's World

Postby stargazer » Jan 09, 2010 1:10 pm

Fencer, my project right now is my NaNo novel, which is still not finished. :ymblushing: (November's just not a good month for me, with all the other things that happen then, such as holiday travel). I've had a little burn out, though being away from it for several weeks around Thanksgiving and then Christmas helped (while I did write down a lot of other ideas and brief segments that came to mind during that time, I didn't do much "serious" writing on it).

Really, though, I just have a few ends to wrap up, and then I can begin a more serious editing job (especially on those earlier chapters!).

Mr Anderson, thanks for pointing out that festival! I'd not heard of it before. I won't be attending, but it's interesting to read about it.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Gladius » Jan 09, 2010 2:56 pm

I'm really, really wishing I had done NaNo. I saw the name floating around the forums, but I didn't investigate it until sometime in December. :-o
I'll be ready next year. B-)
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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Jan 09, 2010 5:32 pm

I had no chance for Nano due to my schedule this year. Next year will also be unlikely due to it being my final year before graduation. I've got one week to kill before school starts and I am going to really push to finish the first draft of my sequel. It's almost done.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby marshmellow-clouds » Jan 11, 2010 5:39 am

I hope this doesn't take you guys off topic, but do any of you fine fellows have any tips on self-editing? I'm trying to fix up my NaNoWriMo novel, but I'm the only one available to read it and edit it. How do you folks edit your novels?
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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Jan 11, 2010 8:33 am

Welcome to Narnia Web marshmellow-clouds.

Speaking from personal experience, here is what I did. If you have a few friends who'd be interested in reading it just for general feedback, that would really help. Getting an outsider's opinion always helps. But I did the actual editing myself.

When you edit, ask yourself these sets of questions:
1). Does this scene, paragraph, dialogue sequence add to the story?
2). Does it help develop the scene, the culture, reveal things about the characters? If so, is there a way to re-word it to make it simipler while still saying the same thing? If not, delete it.
3). Are your actions passive or active (he was walking quickly when... vs as he ran...)?
4). Could someone else picture your setting? This could be done with few words like CS Lewis or many like Tolkien. But you need a set of key words that will put a bunch of images in your reader's mind.
5). If you have action scenes, do the action scenes reveal things about the characters involved or do they advance the plot? I struggled with this early, by having too many actions scenes that are just there without doing anything beneficial to the story.

This should get you started. I'll probably think of more later. It might be an idea to set it aside for a while and come back to it with a fresh mind.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby marshmellow-clouds » Jan 11, 2010 1:14 pm

Wow, thank so much! I'm going to copy and paste those so that I can print them out! It will help so much when I start to edit my rough draft!
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Re: Writer's World

Postby stargazer » Jan 11, 2010 1:48 pm

I'll echo Fencer's welcome to the forum, marshmellow-clouds! Glad you're here.

Fencer, that's excellent advice you've offered above. I'll keep those tips in mind when I begin the 'real' editing of my story.

I had a couple other thoughts that might be helpful for those beginning the editing process.

The first, at the risk of stating the obvious, is to proofread for grammar, spelling, etc. Sounds pretty boring - yet a grammatically-clean manuscript can't hurt. Spellcheckers help but don't always catch things like your and you're, they're, there, and their, and so on. Another bit of grammar-geek advice is to make sure things match up - like verb tenses, or cases (plural nouns go with plural verb forms, etc).

Another, more-interesting bit is to watch for the right balance between descriptive prose and dialogue. While this can vary from writer to writer or even within the same story, generally it's best to avoid too much of either (at the expense of the other).

Similarly, look at how you handle exposition - those sometimes-lengthy descriptions of character backgrounds, your world (in the case of fantasy settings), background events that set up the story, etc. Does it come all at the beginning, in a sort of prologue? That can work sometimes (such as the scroll at the beginning of the original Star Wars movie) but perhaps there's a different way to deliver the information. Perhaps it may work to just deliver a little at a time, as needed to advance the plot and pique your readers' curiosity. I don't think there's a definitive right or wrong answer here; it's just another point to consider as you look at your writing.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Jan 11, 2010 4:01 pm

I have learned not to trust spell/grammar check. Some times it helps, but as stargazer indicated, there is so much it doesn't. But be patient. In six drafts/editing phases of my first novel, I still haven't caught all the grammatical errors. It's a very tedious process, but it makes the manuscript so much more readable.

Some extra on exposition, not everything has to be done in a set of opening paragraphs to set the scene. Here is an example. Only in very few cases would you need to actually specify the time period in the manuscript. You can give clues like setting or technology or even dialect. My novel has two storylines in different time periods, one is modern day, the other is medieval. But I never say when. For the medieval setting, I describe swords, wagons, and lighting by laterns and torches. For the modern setting, I use modern technology like cell phones, texting, and internet to tell how recent the story is in the timeline.

You can use exposition to pass large periods of time in which nothing happens, but for the sake of journeys, just saying "For 20 days, they did this, and did that, but nothing happened" could definately be simplified. Use exposition briefly to set the scene, but use action, dialogue, and things like that to spread out the scene. Action can be used to describe the strength of characters. Dialogue can also be used to describe the situation.

The key with expostion is this phase "Show, don't tell". If you have a character that is trying to rescue someone from a burning building (regardless of time period), don't tell them the building is on fire with smoke filling the room. Make the reader feel the heat. Make them hear the groans of the building's structure. Make them understand the pain of smoke inhilation and the lack of air.

I'll say more later.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby marshmellow-clouds » Jan 11, 2010 7:26 pm

Thanks for the welcome. =)

My old way of editing a novel was just proof-reading (because I was too lazy to do anything more), so I'm very well-versed in that aspect of editing! *laugh* I always do have trouble with finding the right balance of descriptions and dialogue though. Although I never do state what exact time period is! There I got that one! ;) Both of your tips will be a big help! Thanks so much!
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