Today’s world demands that you need an online presence, especially in social networking. If you can’t be found there, you’ll lose potential readers. You need to be on the social networking sites.
Importance of Social Networking
Successful businesses over the last few centuries can tell you how important social networking. Even politicians can attest to it. Networking has been the make or break for many businesses. In today’s digital age, it is even more important. You want to get to know people who can help you in so many ways.
Definition of Presence
More and more new authors don’t understand what it means to have a presence online. They think that they have a facebook page and that is enough. Presence means seeing you across the web. Can I look you up and find you? You need to be discoverable online.
How to Get a Presence
You need to get yourself online. You need to be found when someone searches for you. At no time should I have to search high and low to find even one mention of you. Get a presence!
Start with a website. Every author needs one. It cannot be a Facebook page. It needs to be a stand alone website. There are several free versions to choose from or you can purchase a domain name. Keep it updated and share it with other people.
Can you be found on the various social media platforms? If I typed in your name there, would I find you easily? Have a Facebook page, a Google Plus page, a Twitter account, and consider others such as Pinterest and Youtube.
Sometimes the creative spirit kicks in and demands full attention. It doesn’t matter if you are at work or in the middle of the cereal aisle at the local grocery store. Creativity is alive and will control you.
I was at work this last week when an idea hit me for a scene in my book. That sucked because I had so much work to do that I couldn’t jot much of anything down. I took a few seconds to grab a piece of scratch paper and put down a few words so I could remember it all better later. It didn’t matter that I was at work. My creative streak wanted to be let out.
Then I get off work and am able to spend a couple of hours just writing with no interruptions. I get into my writing groove and manage to produce close to two thousand words. The two hours flew by. In fact, I didn’t want to stop. I was writing like crazy. The scenes were flowing like never before. But I have to stop!!!! No! I don’t want to!
But life gets in the way.
When you are in your writing groove, you really want to stay there. You need to find anyway to achieve that. In my situation, I checked in with family and discovered they were nearly all busy and away from home. The youngest was cool giving me more time and ate leftovers. I put the phone down and continued writing. I managed to get another chapter complete.
Anytime you find yourself in the writing groove, keep going. Do everything you can to continue in it as it is not always there when you have the time.
You’ve reviewed your work. You’ve had a friend read over it. Now are you done? There is one more thing you can do to help you self-edit your book – read it backwards.
It Makes Sense
You might think I’m crazy, but it really does make sense to read your work backwards to catch mistakes. Think about it. As you are reading your manuscript, you know what is to come next and what should be there whether it is or not. Reading it backwards, you know what happened previously, but you aren’t usually a hundred percent sure it happened right before the section you are reading.
Start out at the last paragraph of your manuscript. When I say read your work backwards, I don’t mean read it literally backwards. Take the paragraph right above this one. You wouldn’t read it as “reading are you section the before right happened…..” That wouldn’t help you edit at all. You’d read the last sentence first. Does it make sense when it stands alone? Work on that sentence first. Then the next one.
Makes You See Line by Line
See how you are focused on one line at a time. You take one sentence and forget the rest. There are no assumptions or guesses. You are tackling one sentence at a time. The problem with just looking at the manuscript as a whole is you are still looking at the manuscript as a whole.
Focusing on one section helps you see it more clearly. When you are done with each sentence of one paragraph, then you read the paragraph from the real start to finish and see how it sounds. Read it out loud. Read it to someone. You’ll see how much better it sounds.
You might also see where you need to expand or eliminate. Know the expression “can’t see the forest for the trees?” That is kind of what it is like to edit your own work, but it is needed long before an editor sees it.
Give this approach a try. You might be surprised how well it improves your self-editing skills.
When you go back over your writing, you, or your editor, may see where a scene needs to be expanded. This happens a lot. It’s not uncommon at all. But how do you expand it?
Separate It/Stand Alone
Read a scene as though it is the only scene in the book. Ignore the rest. Focus on just those words you have pulled out to stand alone. That way you can let it come alive without the burden of the before and after.
Make It Visual
You want the reader to be able to see the scene. They need to visualize it in their minds. Is your scene visual enough?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is it obvious where the characters are as in room or such?
- Is the character described where the reader could spot their doppelganger in a crowd?
- Can the reader feel like they are there?
If you can’t answer in the affirmative to any of these, then you need to add more description.
Are there important details you can add to expand a scene? There might more than you realize. Small details can tell the reader so much.
Describe the setting. Is the scene set? Can I, as a reader, see the kitchen? It doesn’t have to be so descriptive that I know every single inch of it. That’s too much.
Describe the person. What ethnic background are they? Is there something about their appearance that is important?
Background info. What do we need to know about their background? Most characters to have a little background revealed to them. It could be a tragic event that plays slightly into the story. Add some background just to help the reader understand the character better.
This isn’t your ordinary vampire story. They aren’t bats and they don’t react to garlic. They are much more serious than that.
Meet the Fallen – the vampires who sinned one horrible moment and refused to repent. They prefer to drink the blood of humans and live in the dark.
Meet the Cursed – they once committed the same sins to become vampires, but they repented and begged for forgiveness. Showing how determined they were, they were allowed to live as humans but with the task of protecting the world from their brothers, the Fallen.
Meet Meghan Mills – the woman the Fallen have focused all their attention on. They will not eat until they have her. But what for? No one knows, but the Cursed will do anything to protect her and discover why the Fallen want her so badly.
Go back into time and watch as vampires are created and how those who sought forgiveness struggled with their sin and the duties placed before them. Go with them in today’s world as they battle with a mystery that gets darker as the days go by.
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Criticism is part of a writer’s life. You can’t avoid it. It begins with the fact that you want to be a writer all through the process of publication and writing the next book. Everyone will not like your book even if you became a number one best-seller for an entire year. The books that are widely acclaimed have just as many who hate it as who love it. Criticism will be there even if it is only in the wings. Most of it you can ignore as some will be just mean comments spurned by nasty people and jealousy. But there is some constructive criticism that shouldn’t be ignored. If you want to be successful as a writer, you have to be able to take that constructive criticism and use it.
Now, what is constructive criticism? Well, it is criticism that points out areas of your work that needs improvement while not being mean or hateful. It is criticism that avoids being sugary sweet and points out in an encouraging manner how to make it all better. For example, “I love how you brought Stuart into the scene here. Maybe try to make his first words a little less knowing. Otherwise, the reader might pick up too early that he is the killer.” The critique points out where you make it better. They could have said, “You dummy, you made it obvious he killed Daniel. Reword that.” See the difference. The first one was encouraging while directing. The second is nasty and criticizing.
It is easy to take that first statement as criticism. You read it or hear it, and you bristle. You don’t want to hear anything negative in nature. You really want to hear how wonderful you right, and nothing needs to be changed.
When you are editing your book, it is very smart to get another set of eyes to look over. The reality is that you are too involved. You know what is meant to be said so your mind puts the right words there whether they are there are not. Another set of eyes will catch those mistakes.
It doesn’t matter how good you are, when you are deeply involved in a story or have looked at it way too many times, you’ll miss something or a lot of somethings. It happens and will. Nobody is perfect. That’s why you need a fresh set of eyes.
Another set of eyes can find discrepancies in stories. What can it hurt? Realy? Aside from some wounded pride, let someone else look at it. I promise that you won’t regret it.
Okay, maybe you will with some people. Some people just can’t be nice or have any sense. Those I give you permission to ignore.You are looking for those who give constructive suggestions and point out things you might miss.
Not as Personally Involved
Someone else looking at work your doesn’t have the personal attachment to your work.They can be honest and objective. Their emotions are not tied to the story. They can see problems without subconsciously trying to bury them.
Yes, we overlook many of our mistakes. Someone else can catch things we couldn’t.