NaNoWriMo Support Group discussion

After math of NaNo! > Editing worries...

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

For those who have gotten down with your word count, now comes the time of editing. Some people dread editing and some people love it! Others of us are somewhere in between and a little more one then the other. But once we are done with our draft we all become editors ( more or less). So as we November comes to an end and we head into December. I urge you keep going, maybe not as head strong as first, because that can be tiring. But don't forget editing can be fun. Editing gives you a new look at your story as a whole and as pieces and chapters. Take advantage of editing as we approach a new year and new months and make your story, your story!

message 2: by Emilio (new)

Emilio Calderon (EmilioCalderon) | 24 comments I'm looking forward and dreading editing at the same time, but first I have to finish the story. Two thirds into the whole thing and lots of things to still write, I find myself wanting to review, and dreading, those huge plot holes that I know are there, and correcting the manuscript (or should i say typescript) in places that started as a character's POV and changed to be a Diary, and things like that.

This was my first NaNo and I just made it through, and loved and hated each second spent in it. I'll come back next year.

Editing will have to wait 'till January. Good luck for those who are ready to edit and don't despair if you are not. Finish writing the story, but truly finish it, and write again.

message 3: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Smith (adrianjsmith) | 17 comments Mod
There are also websites that have volunteers edit and critique your work for free. Just know that it is for free so 1) the edits are not always correct and 2) the critiques are not always professional or helpful.

The two I use are

They seems to work well. I know there are other sites out there.

I, personally, both enjoy and hate editing. It's tedious, but I also want it to be the best work I can produce so I try very hard on them. I started editing my NaNo a few weeks ago, but I finished NaNo fast. =P

message 4: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (aldersoj40hotmailcom) | 21 comments The "edits" part of the editing, the part of making sure you got the grammatical details, etc., right can be tedious but for me... I write out everything long hand. Then I type it up. As I type it up, the story changes. Then I print it out and go over it again.

Apparently I need to develop into a more thorough editor, because I sent a book to an editor, she made suggestions and said "send the new version to a different editor" and I did. This new editor also made changes. Then I published on Create Space...

It made me feel bad, in a way, that there were little details here and there that needed to be cleaned up... I mean, I should write English, by now, shouldn't I? But I guess you all know how I feel.

message 5: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Smith (adrianjsmith) | 17 comments Mod
There will always be grammatical errors in a text of any length. I ran through each chapter three times, sent to an editor, ran through again, sent to another editor, went through it a final time and turned my manuscript in. I got the manuscript back from the publishing editor with still more changes and then I found even more on top of that. There will always be grammatical errors. The goal, in my opinion, it to eliminate as many as possible and then hope and pray that the plot covers the rest of the mistakes.

♠️ TABI = 타비 ♠️ (Tabi_Card) Gosh I always have grammar and spelling stuff I edit whenever I write lol I write so fast my fingers don't have time to catch up with my brain, and sometimes I skip words XD So I read it over like around the next day or so, and catch and change all of those XD

message 7: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Hayward | 9 comments How Can You EVER Get Over A Bad Critique?

I've been writing novels for a year, and have so far written four , all unpublished so far. I have redrafted the first draft of my novel five or six times, and also sent it around to some friends and family members who were willing to proof read it, with detailed instructions as to what was to be proof read, and not just a"can you read my novel please? " request.
I have also joined two Internet- based critique groups: Inked Voices and Scribophile, for which I critique work on a daily basis, and also regularly submit my own work for critique (although some of it really really gets looked up, especially in Inked Voices). I am starting to take it personally that people don't always look at my work and/critique it, when I always critique work that comes my way whether I really like the writing style or genre or not, and I am NEVER as harsh as some people have been with me.
I am constantly reading books, and not just those in my genres, which so far are urban fantasy for children, and young adult fiction, although I also want to write women's fiction in the very near future.
I have a couple of writing advice books: Write Good or Die edited by Scott Nicholson and No Novel No Problem by Chris Baty (the founder of NaNoWriMo.) I have also participated in, and won , NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo twice each (2013 and 2014 for regular nano and April and July 2014 for Camp).
So far, the general consensus from people who have critiqued my work is "great characterisation/believability/grammar and spelling/plot ideas" , but that I " need to improve the readability and some plot areas to make it more compelling, and cut down on large descriptions. "
I'm concentrating so far on getting my first novel, the first in an urban fantasy trilogy which could be read by anyone, but that is primarily aimed at the 9 to 12 age group ready for publication.
I have been working on it for just over a year, and doing countless rereads and edits myself in addition to the ones other people have done for me. I don't have anyone directly involved in the writing/publishing industries in my family, so has been difficult for me to get very constructive feedback from them, although in general they are quite encouraging. An added problem I have is not having the money on hand to pay an editor, which is what a lot of people have advised me to do
. Back in April/May time this year, I started a campaign to raise money for editing and publishing my book, but I did not raise nearly as much as I needed to (in all, I only raised a couple of hundred pounds, and I learned early on that paid services can be expensive. )
People in both of the critique groups I am in are welcoming, but have also reacted differently to my work. I have had people on the one hand saying that they like my work, and others on the other hand saying that they don't, and getting very personal about it , for example, yesterday I had someone in Scribophile basically say that I don't know how to write a book, and I have to learn to write one. I do not know this person personally, and I responded letting her know that although the work I have posted for critique is from the first novel I ever wrote, she ought to cut me some slack because I have other novels, and have written others since. In fact, I have written four in just a year. She reacted by not exactly saying sorry, but congratulating me on the amount of books I have written in a short time. I don't know whether to take that as an apology or not.
I recognise that a draft is not going to be perfect the first time, and possibly not even the sixth time, but what people need to learn is to not get at people so personally. What they don't realise, is that every day I am working hours to pursue my dream and goal of being a published author, and that I am constantly thinking about, and working on, my book
Another person basically said " it's not that you can't write, you can, you are, but it needs to be better."
Outside of my high school exams, which I passed first time in English and well, (I got a B in English language and a B in English literature), I have also taken a short online course on creative writing run by udemy, and also taking a course on writing prompts run by a small creative writing school local to where I live.
I adore writing I am doing what I can to improve my writing skills with the budget I have available, which is not very much as I have physical disabilities and a high level of medical needs that need to be catered for, and time and time again I get physically upset by the critiques that I get at the moment this is not good for my health.
How can I improve my writing, and not let bad critiques get to me? I really want to grow as a writer and I want my writing to get better over time, because my ultimate goal is to publish my first book next year at the latest, because then I would been working on the same book for near enough two years.
Some people have said that the time I have been working on it now is not long enough, that they have been working on the same book for four years, but I really do not know how long a person should work on the same book for , and when, and how, to judge when it is ready for publication.
I realise that next year is really not far off now, but I really want to improve significantly between now and then in my writing so that I have a better chance of publishing, although it would be great if I could publish before the end of this year, but I'm not sure whether that would be feasible or possible.
At the moment, people are doubting the publishability of my work.

The people who like my work seem to think that it is nearly ready for publishing, and will be at least with some changes. I like to think that too , and I do, but I am really concerned about publishing something that is possibly going to get bad critiques from the outset if it is not more formatted . This is something people in both critique groups I am in have warned me about. Are they right to warn me about this? Is it true that something like that could happen? How likely is it? Would I be wiser to improve my writing before publishing it or just take the plunge and publish? Or could it be possible that they are just saying things like that of jealousy, or that they want me to fail as an author? I seem to think that some people are
I've asked these types of questions already in the critique groups, and I've got a variety of answers, so I thought I would ask in here to see if ask you to see if anyone's got any more useful insight and advice for me.
Deep down, I know I've got the possibility and potential to be a great author, but so far, unfortunately the guidance I have got is not really helping me go in the direction that I would want to go, and that is towards publication. I am not even sure if people who criticise my work and my ability as an author criticise it because they know that I have disabilities and they think that because of that might work will not be very good, even though I am a very hard worker, and intelligent, or whether they are criticising it because they want me to be a better author and be successful. To be honest, it's really hard to know. I need advice on this and everything I have said in this post.

I'd be really grateful if you could also suggest some writing advice books and websites I might find useful to help me on my journey as an author. I've been told by many people who value me and my work that I am on the right track, and that I am doing the right things. This leads me to ask: So why am I not getting better critiques? Does a critique really reflect the writers ability, and give potential readers an indication of this so that they are more likely to readand/or buy a book? I've always wondered about this, because I rate a lot of the books that I read.

message 8: by Emilio (new)

Emilio Calderon (EmilioCalderon) | 24 comments Katherine wrote: "How Can You EVER Get Over A Bad Critique?

I've been writing novels for a year, and have so far written four , all unpublished so far. I have redrafted the first draft of my novel five or six time..."


I have been a member of Scribophile for two years now. I have found that the majority of the people there are genuinely trying to help, while also looking to improve in their own writing.

For some people critics (not criticism) are taken as a personal affront, I don't know if this is your case.

If a writer is good (or bad) I couldn't care less if he or she has any kind of disability (as you mentioned several times in your post), what I care about is that the story is appealing and well written.

In any critique groups you will find the ones that do not wish to hurt your feelings (or those whom are not too exigent) and will tell you that everything is peachy and ready for publication. Others might be too anal about the rules (avoid adverbs, never use passive voice, never do infodumps...) and will call you on every single instance you break any of these "rules". Others will critique and simply wont like your story, not because it's not good, maybe it's not their genre, or they prefer another style, another voice (1st, 2nd, or third person), another tense (present or past), or they are simply not used to it. We all have different preferences.

Three books in a year is impressive, especially if they are your first novels. That brings me to question their quality. I have not read them, so I cannot comment on them, but if they are your first attempts in writing, then it does suggest that a lot of work might still be necessary to make them ready for publication, whatever that means.

What are your goals? If you want to publish for the sake of publishing, then the book is ready as soon as you type the last word and you decide that the book is okey like that. If you wish to make writing a way of living, then you could set the books down for a couple of months and continue working on your skills, maybe with short stories and flash fiction, these will give you the opportunity to develop other writing techniques and provide you with feedback that you can apply to a short piece and see the results in a much shorter time.

In Scribophile there are certain groups that you can join where they critique whole novels or that critique mostly in your genre. it would be good for you to check them out if the "Main Spotlight" is not working for you.

Marion Zimmer-Bradley took over 30 years to research, write, re-write and publish seven (7) books, so don't get discouraged if you have not yet achieved the level of proficiency that you strive for. Keep working on your skills and, if necessary, forget the novel for a while and, when you are ready, then come back to it with better skills and fresh eyes.

I hope this helps.


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