Last week I finished the first draft of the fourth volume to my children’s chapter book series. It’s also know as the Jasper, Amazon parrot series. It caters to middle grade children.
I was able to accomplish this due to the sheet above that challenged writers to write something every day for a month. Jasper 4 had already been started so it only took me a couple of weeks to finish it up. Since I still had half the sheet left over I worked on editing the first draft.
When I reread the whole manuscript from scratch I saw so much work was going to be needed to get this work in tip top shape. The loopholes I saw were huge. The grammar well I am not good with grammar so I didn’t get discouraged from that. Though I am getting much better at it since I started this career as a writer.
Knowing how much needs to be done is daunting. To date I am about half way done doing the first round of edits on this volume. I am a stickler for getting things right when it comes to the animals, what they do, the issue I am addressing in a book and so much more. This will be read by kids or to kids by parents. I want to make sure I make it as accurate as possible. I don’t want them to just read it for fun. I want them to learn about the animals, the region, care about them and the topics that plague this area. Just because it is a children’s book doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same treatment that other target audiences receive.
But you know what? I am done the first draft. I am done. That feels so good to say out loud. Jasper is flying one more time with new characters, new issue and more camaraderie with family and friends.
Years before I started writing I knew virtually nothing, if anything, about the craft. Yes I knew how to write but where to go from there? My English when it comes to grammar, run off sentences, prepositions, dangling participles and past tenses might as well be a foreign language to me. If you are like me then a good editor is absolutely needed. But what kind of editor do you need?
Editors ranges from content to copy to line editor. You also have your proof reader, critique partner and beta reader to boot to think about. There is also your developmental part which is what I do.
Who you choose all depends at what stage of your book you are at. Editors can be pricey but after working so hard on your manuscript do you want to leave it to chance you got every single thing right?
I know my line editor is awesome. I have had a few publishers comment on my manuscript noting how professionally it was edited. That is all her and no one but her.
Will you need more than one editor? If you can afford to then do so. You need to get your work in the best possible shape you can get it in before you start submitting for publication. Publishers get thousands and thousands of mail from writers. One good way for them to toss it in the slush pile is for it not being properly edited.
Even if you self publish, all it takes is for a few readers to read your works and rate it low due to the edits. Do enough books like this and readers will notice. You still need a editor regardless how you publish your writings.
Not sure where to start? Ask other writers. If you are part of a writing group ask the members in there. Look online,check out websites that are designed to help you to find an editor of any kind. But take the time to do this. Your work took you a long time to complete, why short change it now that it is ready to shine? This is not an area you short change yourself.
I been dubbed the Queen of Webinars by a friend. A title I happily embrace. I only attend the ones that are free. Which brings me to the topic of this post. I have a few friends who think since it is free there can be little to gain and little to learn. I always ask them why they feel this way.
Free doesn’t always mean it will be a bust. Sometimes it just means well that it’s free. Why not take advantage of these opportunities? If you get one nugget, one piece of information, isn’t it worth your time to attend?
Next week I will be attending a free class at the community college on how to market. FREE. They have a great department that is funded by the state and the primary goal of the program is to help people with their business and to impart knowledge that can help us do that.
I will be there just like I will be at any and all future classes available to me whether it be a webinar or class. It is not easy getting oneself out there but to also do it well needs to also be considered. That takes knowledge and people sharing with you what they know that can help propel you forward. Yes, there are many classes and books that will cost money but can equally help you. But when the opportunity presents itself and the cost is zero, you bet your bottom dollar I will be there if I am able to.
Still blows me away that people will not attend simply because the cost is zero.