Reading your manuscripts

 

 

Do you ever read your stories out loud? Or as some people have suggested do you read them backward? The purpose of these exercises is to catch any errors or inconsistencies that you might have not noticed when you read it with your eyes. Granted I did scoff when I first learned of these tips.

It is easy to read our own work and miss some small and big items that need to be addressed. Yet when we read other works from writers we seem to be able to pick an error as small as a pin in a haystack.

We get so use to our stories, working on it, revising, editing and adding to it that it becomes like a second skin to us and errors just blend into the background. We can’t always spot the mistakes as readily if at all.

Hence why it is suggested we read our works out loud or backwards to find what we first missed. If one is not used to doing these methods it can be a bit awkward but you soon get over that. It’s a good way to proof your stuff and not look like a total goof when people get their turn at beta reading your manuscripts.

Conference For Writers

Paper_with_pen

Saturday I went to a free writer’s conference. The authors were required to donate 40% of their profits for each book sold to the organization for children’s literacy. It’s a great cause. This year they were having authors, publishers, and literary agents.

The speakers were motivating, the workshops that I attended were educational. Granted there is only so much they can say in the time allotted. But I was fortunate enough to pick the workshops that gave me good gems of information. But again it was free. My philosophy still stands with if I learn just one nugget of information it’s worth the whole trip. And I did. In fact I learned quite a bit and I will have to decipher my notes into clear English soon.

I know a lot of people who won’t attend a free conference. Since it’s being free, how good can it possibly be? It can be amazingly good. The first one I attended a few years ago, gave me the information and contact to help me push forward and get my book picked up by a publisher. I mean, come on people. Seriously?

Knowing there would be literary agents I started working on my pitch. Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Googling and reading way to many articles on the topic I made time to scribble one that I’m happy with. This is what I came up with for volume two of my children’s series, “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: Rainforest Friends and Families.”

Set in the rainforest of South America, Jasper, an Amazon parrot, learns about life and family values. With his younger brother, Willie ,and their friend, Charlie, a spider monkey, the brothers encounter a Green Anaconda, food-throwing monkeys, and other challenges that help them grow along the way. This is volume two of a children’s chapter book aimed at grades 3 – 5.

I know it is not perfect and I’m sure I will be going back and forth over it. But I feel that I’m almost there. This conference helped me get started on another step of the ladder that I’m climbing in my journey as an author. There is so much to learn and everything is for the first time. That is not always fun. But my goal is to move forward, not backward with my work. Conferences. You can learn so much from them if you just have an open mind. It will make you do things you feel you are not able to do.

But if one never tries, the response will always be no.

Changes:How do we handle them?

best-free-wordpress-themes

I’m fortunate that there are free websites for me to use for my author’s page. I use WordPress. It gives me enough widgets and space to profile myself and my brand. I do like to change it up a bit with the color, pictures and format of the page.

However, last Friday it was changed for me. I released a post in the early morning. Going back around 11:30 to check on something I saw my page was different. The reason being the theme had been deactivated by the site. Not only that but my side bars went with it.

Yes I went ballistic. I was in the process of wrapping up edits for my book, “Squirrel Mafia”, so I could send it off to my editor. But this stopped me cold. I’ve been working on my social platform for at least three years, maybe four, now and every sites revolves around the other sites I go to. It had to be fixed, pronto. In my mind, there was no other thought. For the next three hours I tried different themes trying to get one I’d be happy with. I posted on FB my displeasure. I reached for a Pepsi as I fussed, complained and talked to the computer about my frustration. What I have now I like to call a WIP. I’m not quite happy with it, though people have told me it looks fine. Maybe it will grow on me.

Change. How do we handle change, whether they be small or big? Does this depend on our age or our environment or perhaps how we were raised? Things that use to bother me in the past rarely is a blimp on my radar now while others will get me stalled for a bit. How we choose to handle each situation varies from each situation and hopefully we learn from each experience as we move along in life.

Yes this was a small bleep for me. It showed me a bit of myself in how I interact with the big and little. But it also showed me that I would keep at it until it was solved or to do the best I can.

I was told by a friend, “Sharon you are grace under fire – I like that about you LOL!” I like that, even if it means having to go through trials to get to this point.