Editing! Hooray!

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Today, I wanted to say a few words about the editing process. Editing your manuscript, whether it’s a novel, a screenplay, a short-story or whatever you’re working on, is easily the hardest part. It’s where you separate the wheat from the chaff, sotospeak. To say it in another way, it’s the part of the process where you see what’s good, what’s not, and you get into the nitty-gritty of polishing or improving the text.

It’s also where reader feedback becomes crucial.

Being a writer means people read your stuff. That’s hard for a lot of writers who dread negative feedback.

“Egads!” she cried. “What if they don’t like my work?!” Her mind reeled with negative thoughts. A sinister voice began to whisper, if they don’t like your work, they must not like you… 

It’s just not true. You and your work are not one and the same entity. Both grow over time, and both need critical feedback from folks you can trust in order to identify the weak spots and then hammer them out on the anvil of practice.

My  novel, Twin Souls, is being reviewed and edited by myself, my boyfriend, and another friend of mine. All of us are avid readers. We have similar interests, but generally we’ve read a lot. This is essential. If you’re writing in a genre, you should have read as much of that genre as you can stomach. You need to know the sea before you can sail it, or map out the land before you attempt a long journey across it. Familiarize yourself with the terrain, that way you can have an idea of what’s been successful.

In summary, it’s important to have friends you can trust and to know your genre. Let your friends read your work, listen to their feedback. Don’t argue. Don’t get defensive. Just listen. Then think about it. Talk about it with them. Work through disagreements – it’s all part of the process, and if you think you won’t have to do the same thing with your agent,  your publisher and fellow authors in that sunny future where you’re successful – you’re dead wrong and probably won’t get there.

 

 

 

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A writing contest? Really?

I entered into this contest over at inkitt.com…. I’m not exactly okay with this idea, but, if you want to read it you can head on over there and start reading. Also – please vote for me, you may have to make an account, but it’s super easy and you can do it with facebook/twitter or just an email address. Every vote counts, and if I can get in the top 10% that would be amazing. Right now, that means roughly 100 votes or more and I know I have enough friends to pull that off.

That’s more or less where the moral quandary comes in. What we’re looking at here is a popularity contest. I guess for a publishing deal, that makes sense, because if you already have a built up reader base, then voila, people will want to buy your book. The lead guy has almost 800 votes at present, which is great for him, he’s way in the lead, but I’d love to give him a run for his money (and that publishing deal).

I’ll be updating it with more chapters soon, and please, if you have any criticism at all write up a review. The book is finished, but I’m still polishing the text, making tweaks to the characters, so if your bit of criticism is apt I’ll use it.

Thanks guys, please remember to vote!

That one-page synopsis…

No spoilers! Ahh, but that’s the hard part.

Twin Souls is a blend of YA fantasy and sci-fi elements which should be familiar to readers of those genres. Alex, my precocious teenage protagonist, is struck by a sudden attraction to a new guy at school – Aaron. He’s confused by his feelings, as they’re getting mixed up with whomever he shares close proximity. Alex is a psychic; he doesn’t know it yet, but being able to sense other people’s feelings is just the beginning of his abilities.

Alex’s best friend, Jan, supports him through Aaron’s tragic disappearance. It’s up to them to figure out who took him, and why. The police can’t be trusted, a mysterious stalker and a free-energy device of Alex’s own design are all embroiled in the conundrum. Just when they’re starting to get some answers, Alex makes contact with a hyperdimensional life form named Spark, who informs him everything is much more complicated.

Spark is a Light Ethry, also called Watchers or Guardians. Their job is to passively observe or occasionally support mortals as they achieve their karmic destinies. They’re opposed by the Dark Ethry, demonic intelligences that have fallen and become hungry for mortal lives, their emotions and their souls.

Spark introduces Alex to the idea that he has a twin soul. In this case, Alex’s twin soul is a dragon named Shift who resides on Dra’kar, a parallel world. Shift has the unique ability to hop between dimensions, and on his world it’s prophesied that bringing a human to Dra’kar is the only way they can upend the rule of Raxis, the tyrannical Matriarch. To this end, we follow Shift as he’s pursued by Raxis’ minions, befriends Puck, a goofy-yet-loveable Dryad, and finds himself a mentor that can teach him how to make the shift between dimensions.

What happened to Aaron and can Alex save him? What do the Dark Ethry have planned for Earth and how does it relate to what happened on Dra’kar? Will Alex & Shift be able to master their abilities and discover how they must use them in order to protect their loved ones and save both their worlds from utter domination? Am I a halfway decent writer able to enthrall my readers with loveable characters and an intriguing plot? Find out this and more in The Adventures of Alex, Shift & Spark: Twin Souls.