Thank You, Next – Writers’ Edition

thank-you-362164_1280 (002)Anyone who follows pop music today has heard Ariana Grande’s song, Thank U, Next (not totally safe for work, FYI), an ode to the wisdom she has learned from her past loves. The moral of the song is that even failed relationships teach you important things, so they are valuable.

So, that got me thinking, what would such a song might look like if written by indie writers? These are the failures indie writers can be thankful for and what they’ve taught us. Continue reading “Thank You, Next – Writers’ Edition”

Newbie Writer Mistakes

beginning author mistakes slip-up-709045_960_720As an editor and proofreader, I have the opportunity to read quite a few first attempts by aspiring writers. I can absolutely relate to having a story to tell, to having characters take my brain hostage until I agree to set their story down on paper. At the time, it might seem that my only choice is to comply or go crazy. That’s how compelling and/or desperate the urge can feel.

So I applaud all of you newbie writers. I applaud you for having the guts to actually do this; to fight the doubts, the fears, the second guesses, and write your story down. Many people feel they have a book in them; only a fraction of them actually start to write. Of those, only a fraction of those finishes the book. And, of those, only a fraction commit to getting the book published. If you’re still with me, you’re in a very small, very special minority. Congratulations.

However, there is one tiny little fly in the ointment. Continue reading “Newbie Writer Mistakes”

The Next Seven Book Reviewer Complaints

Mistakes authors makeEveryone had so much fun with the last seven complaints I had while reviewing books, I thought I’d give them a chance to get right down to some more. Some are a bit esoteric, but when a reviewer is really busy and looking for an excuse to go on to the next book, a few of these will do the trick every time.

8. Information Dump

This is feedback from everyone in comments on the earlier post. NEVER, EVER, EVER bore the reader with an Information Dump. I know you need us to know the whole life story of the main character, but we don’t know we need to know it, so why read it? So we put your book down after Page three.

When is an information dump not an information dump? Never. The only time information is okay is when we don’t notice it, or, best yet, when we want the information. If you can set up a situation where the reader feels like, “Why is he doing that? WHY is he doing that? WHY IS HE…? Oh! That’s why!” then you’ve got it nailed.

Part A: Developmental Errors Continue reading “The Next Seven Book Reviewer Complaints”

Top 7 Book Reviewer Complaints

writer mistakesReviewers are presented with the same situation, over and over again. Beginning writers – and some not so beginning – insist on making the same mistakes. Either they don’t know any better, or they don’t care, or it’s their God-given right to write any way they like, and who are you to tell them different? But it’s a competitive world out there, and fixing basic problems is a good way of improving your chances. It’s also a good way of showing your professionalism.

Please don’t be offended at these. Reviewers have no personal grudge against you or your masterwork. It’s just that if we didn’t have to keep commenting on the same errors over and over, we would have room to say something more important about your work. Continue reading “Top 7 Book Reviewer Complaints”