Writing, Critiquing, Beta and Launching

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Wow. What a list there.

listThe list may go on.

As I write, I look for those readers/writers for critiquing, and Beta before I send to editor. And then … launch (that does not mean, ‘to the moon, Alice, to the moon!’)

moon

Writing is my job.

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Critiquing is for … critique-ers – i.e. committed folks offering to suggest better sentence structure, grammar, and spelling, big plot holes. Pronouns with each sentence … i.e. I, I, I, or she, she, she … confusing statements, things slowing the plot down.

Beta readers are those committed folks who reads/swap novels to beta (or critique), and look for interest, pacing, plot holes and words like, ‘I would buy this.’ Or … ‘this sucks, start over, dump it,’ etc.

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Not the soul-sucking critiques/betas that pulverize the soul of the writer/author. Generally, in one’s genre or close to … or willing to suspend belief enough to read the work (and if you swap with me, I would do the same). But, honest. Above all honest and respectful. I have had the bashers, some with good points; good grief, leave the mean crap out. Not cool.

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Then the launch. Meaning … I am now ready to sell that work. Add the novel to social media. All of the above willing to be part of it. Easy job. Post to your Twitter, Facebook, or whatever your favorite social media site(s).

When I review a book, launched, I hit all my sites. I give stars (honest) on Amazon (no stars if it requires work, at which time I send the author a note … this needs work, want another review?). I am a dedicated critique -er, Beta, and launcher, ARC reader and reviewer. It is what authors & readers do.

If you are interested in a dedicated swap, critique, beta, launch, these are free copies/swaps. I post via email to a group I dedicate, both readers only, writers only, both. And swapping novels. I have two more Betabook spots that are free. On my beta site I send chapters at a time since my current work is still … in the works.

writer reader dedicated

Let me know if you are interested. Send me that email, and I’ll answer and add you to my list of readers etc.,.

c.mahoney.fnp@gmail.com

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Experts…

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I love sharing my process. It’s kinda fun. The how-to’s of what I do to plot/pants/polish a manuscript (rewrite…). Takes me forever. But, that is part of ‘my’ process. I’ve shared some of my ideas on process before, but, I am not an expert. Be careful. Why?

monty python

Experts are frequently authors. They’ve done well. Experts are all over the place. I Googled the findings of experts and writers of experts were available. Over … three … million. Yikes!

Just like ‘too many cooks spoil the broth…’ whether webinars, conferences, books, coaches, too many experts can spoil not just your process or plot, first lines… they can halt your progress. You become depressed, drink yourself into oblivion, live on the streets… That maybe overstating your situation, but…

You are now too paralyzed to write for fear of breaking the rules, regulations. Your process is decimated, the manuscript is cooked to death and your love for creative writing is gone. Gone, I tell you, gone. Might as well be a ‘Kill Bill’ extra where volunteers set themselves to die (for real).

kill bill

You’ve buried the manuscript. Taken up skydiving. Without the parachute.

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Pfft. Yes, there are great resources you should avail yourselves of, but watch where you step. You pay for expert classes, books, ad nauseum. The pile of money you spend may well be a poop full of crap. If you find yourself unable to follow your plot today, or your manuscript is simmering for those two weeks, read. This is true advice. Not from me, but a bazillion writers. That many writers who say the brief statement, ‘If you are not reading, you are not writing.’

reading is vital to writing

I mean, read fiction. The genre you love, the genre you don’t. Immerse yourself in books that are clean, spotless, and I don’t mean the edit. I am talking about voice. Your voice. I hate horror. But I love Stephen King’s writing. Flawless. Characters that make a novel scarier. Oh, please, do not watch movies based on the book. You will never get a real voice, inner thoughts, emotions as actions.

Now the destruction begins. Have you killed your darlings? Fixed plot holes? Made characters three dimensional? You are ready for your critique group. They will find more.

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And you are allowed to weep. The important aspect is ‘listen to your critique group’. Sweep, dust, clean the mangled manuscript, and get your beta group. Whatever you do, do not use friends, family as readers. They don’t want to offend you. Allow the attacks. You’ll be stronger for the battle. Again, listen to your beta group.

Everything is subjective, in the eyes of the groups that read your work and in the opinions of the experts. Are you satisfied? Did the changes help?

I keep copies of what I have cut, one never knows when that scene will be pertinent to the next novel. A bit OCD I suppose, I keep every copy from a daily write in a file. Because the previous scenes/language/character might have been better than what you pen right now. Yeah, Sherlock. Keep it safe.

oops sherlock

So there you have it. Again, my process. Listen, or listen not. It has meaning for me, perhaps not for you. But for cryin’ out loud, do not … do not run to everyone who calls themselves an expert.

Don’t drink the poison, and please, don’t sign this.

airhead anon

 

 

 

I love editing … said nobody, ever…

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. . yes, still editing Forget Me Not . . . and trying to decide if I should change the title.

      Forget Me Not: Non Compos Mentis — refers to a specific character…

     OR . . . should I change it to Nobody Girl — the victim?

 wonder

     Thoughts?

     Let me know!

     You can also give me thoughts at c.mahoney.fnp@gmail,com

I been away. oops.

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Whoops. Been quiet. Sorry.

December 3, 2017

Goodness. I disappeared for some time. YEP. I’ve stuck my nose into editing/rewriting/editing/rewriting Forget Me Not: Non Compos Mentis. In this heinous process, I MEAN, wonderful process … yeesh, I realize the title is no longer relevant to my story. The protagonist’s obstacle has changed. That’s ’cause the ‘original’ antagonist is different …

PHTTP.

So, I am fiddling with some new ideas. If you have any suggestions do let me know. Thus far my favorite is The Nobody Girl. Or, simply Nobody Girl.

Thoughts?

Wow… what a great idea … not so much

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FMN MSAlright. I began my experiment on printing up the manuscript to edit.

 

Who did this to me?

 

<banshee scream commences>

 

Okay, so it isn’t a bad idea. It’s a HORRIBLE idea. Try not to succumb to the off-beat suggestions that sound good … until you do it.

 

Granted, I am a paperback reader, not Kindle etc reader. But. Editing. In. This. Form. Sucks.

 

No. Just…no.

 

angry

 

 

Be the slasher. First.

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As I report the humor: I copy and pasted this from my website…and didn’t edit the formatting…
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       Okay then. Here are words of wisdom. I don’t recall who said this, but printing your novel is a good way to find plot holes. And other stuff.
       I am in the slash and dash portion of Forget Me Not (again). So today, I am printing the monster to read as a book, slashing (and making notes for my computer copy), making changes in red, blue, or whatever destructive item that fits my mitt.
       I’ve not done this before. I’ll let you know how it goes. Pretty sure this will suck.
      If you say, ‘Oh, argh, I have no printer…,’ put the MS on a thumb drive and take it to Kinko’s or your closest/favorite copy spot. Take the printed behemoth, put it in a MS box, and pretend you are an editor. Consider taking it to a coffee shop, tea room, library.
      The more you rewrite and edit, the happier you’ll be, and find a BETA group (not family or friends) to read as well. Why? They will find what you have not.
      If your hire a copyeditor, make certain your manuscript is ‘clean,’  as possible. Less turnaround time, because often, the copyeditor turns out to be a ghostwriter or has to rewrite your work.  An editor will not point out your wording, style. Only spelling and grammar. Once that editor takes your $1000 or more, and an agent accepts it, guess…what? They will want portions rewritten. Then a publishing house will want more edits. How rich are you to have it edited two more times?
      Avail yourselves of resources. Conferences. Read well-written books. I always recommend a great writer, Stephen King. He knows the craft. When to use short, long sentences, and when ‘unnecessary’ words are needed.
      Whatever you do, do not… do not… publish your first draft. Don’t hire a vanity press.
       Print that puppy, read a Stephen King, and even though the genre is not one I enjoy, I recommend pay close attention to his use of the English language. Then, slash and dash.
      Wish me luck on a new trial of wisdom passed down. Slasher status. Before the editor’s conference…
Thesaurus_Comic

Follow this Guy – Dale Amidei

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I mentioned yesterday how impressive The Bonus Pool was by Dale Amidei, and I was only halfway through. Well, I finished it around 1 a.m. or so, and it really is that good.

His writing is enough to make many of us, especially newbies, stumble, stop, and wonder just what the heck are we thinking, trying to write? Phttp. Bears repeating. It is that good. Kinda envious here. No, that’s not right. Freakin’ envious.

I think all of my fingernails are much shorter. <Looks> Yep.

Modern day espionage meets Boone, a woman searching. Add intrigue, angst, assassins, and a lot of characters well written, faith, and folly.

The thread doesn’t fall apart. The plot is insanely realistic. Pretty sure Dale was a spy in his lifetime…

I am glad I have both copies in paperback. Why? ‘Cause these are worth reading again, especially during the zombie apocalypse. Or maybe, just tomorrow.

Dale is an Indie author. Give him a worthy review, because if they had stars higher than five, I’d hit the top.

Great writing. Kinda hatin’ on ya, Dale. PHTTP.

 

Great Reading!

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I had the pleasure of reading Dale Amidei’s Absinth and Chocolate not long ago, watching as Boone spiraled downward in her personal life. Now, I am reading (halfway through) her journey from the trappings of the world, her grief and redemption — I am not done, but I have no doubt that this intricate plot will be as exciting as Absinth and Chocolate.
Boone is changing. Lin, her charge, has been the only one able to disarm and reach those emotions. This view of Boone is quite different. I don’t like giving away  plots… as you know.
If you delve into Boone’s world, start with Absinthe and Chocolate. Watch as she, in both novels, navigates the labyrinth of global conflict and emotional angst.
You will not be disappointed.

I had the pleasure of reading Dale Amidei’s Absinth and Chocolate not long ago, watching as Boone spiraled downward in her personal life. Now, I am reading (halfway through) her journey from the trappings of the world, her grief and redemption — I am not done, but I have no doubt that this intricate plot will be as exciting as Absinth and Chocolate.
Boone is changing. Lin, her charge, has been the only one able to disarm and reach those emotions. This view of Boone is quite different. I don’t like giving away  plots… as you know.
If you delve into Boone’s world, start with Absinthe and Chocolate. Watch as she, in both novels, navigates the labyrinth of global conflict and emotional angst.
You will not be disappointed.

 

Secs Sells …

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innocentMy works are not filled with sex scenes or erotica. On purpose. Yep, I know sex sells, but I would rather NOT sell at all than pander to the worldly view of voyeurism. Image, well maybe not that ‘cute,’ but you get the idea.

Passion is different. Fighting the battle of not falling into sex is a battle (a subplot) but the main plot is that which grabs. I have read good writing and must skip the erotic scenes because it’s simply a turn-off.

My main characters are flawed, angry, worldly, physically flawed, and emotionally damaged. Once they accept Christ, they backslide. Are we perfect? St. Paul bemoaned his imperfections. At the end of his life he says, ‘I fought the fight, I ran the race’ … what in heaven’s name could that possibly mean? It’s an easy thing to accept grace. It’s a battle to walk, even pray or read the Bible.

I read/write Christian suspense/romance. I want readers to know the plot and the subplot of walking the talk of faith, stumbling, battling the worldly enemy as well as the physical enemy. Asking for help understanding Scripture. It ‘is’ realistic. It is attainable in real life. Using sex to sell is an easy copout.

What do you think?

 

 

Interview… Tonight!

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Hi friends of the written word. And food. Etc.

I was invited for an interview regarding my (healthy) cookbook on an internet based radio show, one I’ve never been on.

PR is PR. Right? It is exposure, and I will be donating a portion of my proceeds to disabled vets.

The radio show is Republic News Radio 101 and you can tune in here: http://tunein.com/station/?StationId=287184

It begins at 9 PM EST and I will also be chit-chatting about my fiction, my website and how to purchase the cookbook.

Hope to see you there! Well, with internet vibes ….

Here is the link to my  website because I KNOW you’ll want the cookbook… http://cmahoneyfnp.wixsite.com/claireosullivan

Just click on the URL next to Fabulous Foods.  After Oct. 31, click on the book.. it’s confusing yes. I know.

 

 

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