4/15/18

Proofread. It's Important!

The value of the proofreader is greatly underestimated. I've caught many errors (typos and grammatical errors) in best sellers. I've even spotted errors in my own manuscripts after a proofreader has returned the work reporting nothing amiss. If I find twenty mistakes, my guess is that I've missed a dozen others. (Special note: Re-read your manuscript after the proofreader is done with it.)

The proofreader is (usually) the last line of defense before a book or article goes public. Yet, too many errors slip through. Sure, some inevitably escape the trained eye. We're human after all and prone to error. However, the vast majority of them ought to be stopped and pointed out by the proofreader.

So many folks blame the author or editor for these slips, but, as an author and editor, I've seen first hand how easy it is to insert errors while correcting other ones.

Why?

The author and editor are too close to the manuscript, making it possible to miss the details after a while.

A proofreader brings a fresh set of eyes to the piece. There's no emotional attachment or weariness from having written and rewritten sentences, choosing more descriptive words, or cutting out well-love scenes that add no value to the story. But, unless attacked with the determination to find those pestersome errors, proofreading will prove less than adequate.

How to Proofread

Avoid getting too swept up into the story. It's great if the proofreader enjoys the manuscript. But, don't lose sight of the reason for reading it in the first place. Remaining focused on the task a trained mind. Definitely, let the editor and author know the manuscript was fun to proofread.

There's more to this

Read aloud. At a minimum, mouth the words. With eyes, brain, mouth, and ears all engaged, the ability to catch the almost invisible errors is possible.

Why proofread aloud?

The brain has a way of correcting flaws during silent reading. Because of this, speed reading is a bad idea for a proofreader. Reading aloud exposes the tendency of the brain to auto-correct. I've had to reread sentences when what my brain perceives differ from what my lips said. That's when I'm able to catch and point out the issue. This helps the author release a manuscript with less errors which results in less embarrassment and enhanced reading pleasure.

So, take proofreading seriously. It's important!


4/1/18

Introducing Endigo Society...


Norwick Robinson is a talented manga writer from Camden, NJ, and founder of Endigo Society. He's surrounded himself with remarkable graphic artists and is preparing to release the first project. Please read below to learn about this amazing young man.
 
1) Given the tendency for authors to have many favorite books, what a favorite book of yours?
     - I dabble in a a lot of genres so its hard to pick one. but, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is my favorite. I loved the journey the main character had to endure in the book. It reminds me of my life.

2) Besides reading/writing, what do you like to do for fun?
     - I like to watch movies and study animes. I like to study what directors do and sharpen my blade. Overall, I'm a student of the game first.

3) What/Who inspired you to write?
     - My main inspiration came from the Japanese culture. The philosophy they put into mangas is great. The one manga that stood out to me is Samurai Champloo. The way they mixed the Japanese culture with hip-hop culture is amazing.

4) How many projects have you completed/published?
     - I have my first project completed but I'm not sure if I want to take the independent route or go with a publisher.

5) What are their genres?
     - manga/syfy

6) What’s your most/least favorite thing about being a writer?
     - My most favorite thing is exceeding the standards I set for myself, and the least favorite thing is the time I put into it.

7) What do you consider as the biggest lesson learned from being a published writer?
     - Learning how to work with a team is the biggest lesson I learned. I felt as though I could do it all by myself, but I soon found out that I couldn't make progress without a team.

8) Any final words?
     - I'm just happy to put out a piece of work that's appreciated by the fans.

9) Where can readers find your writings?

10) Where can fans find you online?
     - Website: www.endigosociety.com
     - Instagram: Endigochild
     - Twitter: Endigochild
     - Facebook Fan Page: Facebook.com/EndigoSociety

3/18/18

Making My Writing Deep 3rd POV

A submissions editor once told me to tighten up my manuscript before submitting. I had no idea what that meant. I'm still learning. However, one thing I struggle through is reducing the amount of filter words in my work.

What are filter words? Basically, any word that separates the reader from the character. Here's a starter list:
  • see 
  • hear
  • think
  • touch
  • wonder
  • realize
  • watch
  • look
  • seem
  • feel
  • can
  • decide
  • sound
  • know
  • notice
  • experience
One small example...

Instead of using"see," just write what the character sees.

Go from...
He saw the cat climb up the tapestry.

To...
The cat climbed up the tapestry.

Removing filter words from my work has been both the toughest and most rewarding work I've done as a writer. The result is tighter, crisper prose. The trick is to begin thinking that way. I'm still figuring things out as I continue on my journey as a writer in pursuit of deep third person POVs.

3/1/18

Introducing Margaret Brown...



Margaret Brown is a poet from Philadelphia. She attends numerous open mics in the area and has organized her own events. Please read below to learn about this remarkable woman.

1) Given the tendency for authors to have many favorite books, what a favorite book of yours?
     - My favorite book is "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker.

2) Besides reading/writing, what do you like to do for fun?
     - Besides writing, I like to do crafts, bowl and bake.

3) What/Who inspired you to write?
     - My brother inspired me to write.

4) How many projects have you completed/published?
     - I have ten projects completed, eight published and one chapbook with other poets.

5) What are their genres?
     - My genre is poetry.

6) What’s your most/least favorite thing about being a writer?
     - My biggest lesson learned from being a published writer was choosing the right publisher.

7) What do you consider as the biggest lesson learned from being a published writer?
     - I've learned to read the fine print, do the research on publishers and ask established authors.

8) Any final words?
     - Readers can find my writings on my fan page on facebook "Margaret's Writings", Amazon  and B&N.

9) Where can readers find your writings? (online and brick/mortar bookstores)
     - Fans can fine my writings on Margaret Writing's on Facebook, AmazonTwitter, Instagram B&N.

10) Where can fans find you online?
     - FB fan page: Margaret's Writings



2/18/18

Accomplishments in 2017

What a challenging year...2017! Nevertheless, I accomplished a few of my writing goals:
  • Released the print format of Billiard Buddies in February
  • Signed a contract for If It Kills Me with Keith Publications in October
  • Finished typing in all the scenes (clocked at ~74 hours) from loose sheets and notebooks in November
I'd been pursuing the third goal for a few years, so it felt great finally completing that one. Once again, I'm grateful to the South Jersey Writers' Group for holding a class on making SMART (Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Limited) goals. I'd used this approach for my day job but had never thought of using it for my writing projects. It worked so well in 2017 that I'm doing it again in 2018.

Looking forward to what I can accomplish next.

2/4/18

Starting out 2018 with a win

On January 18th, the South Jersey Writers' Group awarded me first place in their Poetry Contest. Surprise and gratefulness are two words that come to mind. After experiencing some personal loss, having others appreciate "I Exist. Hear Me" encouraged me in a meaningful way.

I wrote this poem at a time of an internal battle to forge ahead despite all the negative phrases running through my mind...phrases I'd heard over the years from those whose opinions I'd valued.

On January 26th, I had the opportunity to read "I Exist. Hear Me" at the South Jersey Writers Group Open Mic.

My poem will be published on the South Jersey Writers' Group soon, a benefit of winning the competition. I will post here after that happens, so stay tuned.

Thank you South Jersey Writers' Group for your continual support. Check out their blog.