Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#IWSG: Pitfall Avoidance Advice




It’s the 8th Insecure Writer’s Support Group of the year. No worries, though, you can sign up any time by clicking on the link. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. 

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and our co-hosts this month: The awesome co-hosts for the August 1 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover,Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

This month’s optional question is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I have a simple bit of advise, really. If you want to get published, it’s all about rewriting and editing. And when you're done with that, edit, edit, and edit some more. How many times, you ask? I probably went through my short story that I submitted to the IWSG Anthology short story contest about a 100 times. I'm serious! Each time I went through my story I found something new to change or correct, or something that could have been said better, or a weak verb to toss. 

Typos and misspellings will get you booted right off the bat, so if you want a publisher or reader to continue reading, you can't make rookie mistakes. And then polish your story until it's squeaky clean. Make a self-editing checklist. Better yet, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is a goldmine. Use it and avoid the most basic pitfall; an unpolished manuscript. 

This is the process I went through to win the feature spot in Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime!

What is your best pitfall avoidance advice?






38 comments:

  1. 100 times? Wow! That's serious dedication. And I couldn't agree more about how important editing is. I cringe thinking about all the embarrassing mistakes people might've seen in my own work if I didn't tweak 'em endlessly, haha!

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    1. It's so important to keep going over it. It needs (at least my writing, LOL) a lot of time invested to make it shine.

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  2. That's incredible Gwen, but you're so right :) Words are so powerful and finding the right sequence and stronger substitutes for our initial drafts makes our work stronger and clearer. Congratulations on your piece in Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime. I wish you the best and happy IWSG day :)

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    1. I'm not the best with words. My style is definitely not eloquent, but I am good in other areas and always obsess over what I'm working on.

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  3. I went my first book 100 times. I've since revised and republished it twice. I'll probably do that again someday, too.

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  4. Editing and proofreading are so, so important. It's important to get a second or third pair of eyes as well since I, at least, start to miss mistakes as I read the piece more and more.

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    1. Absolutely, critique partners, editors, the whole shebang!

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  5. I think I probably went thru my short story for the Hero Lost anthology a 100 times as well and I probably could have gone through it a 100 more times :-)

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  6. I can go through my work countless times and still find things to fix. And then my critique partners get a hold of it and find tons more!

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  7. We are on the same page, Gwen. I posted just about the same answer today.

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    1. I know, I commented the same thing on your blog. Great minds think alike and all that ;)

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  8. That’s a lot of editing! You really put in the time and effort to earn that anthology spot.

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    1. I sure did, Joey. That and a lot of praying for guidance, LOL.

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  9. Every time I go through my manuscript I find something to fix :(

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    1. Me too! I change it, then change it back, then change it again.

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  10. So true! And I agree, I love that Self Editing book. But ever since I've started using it I get annoyed every time I'm reading something from one of the big publishers and notice the author totally breaking the book's rules LOL.

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    1. Gotta know the rules to break 'em! But I know what you mean. They need to re-read the book!

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  11. Amen!!! Editing until the story is so. tight that not even water can flow through it. I've learned that and I so agree with you.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  12. I'm seeing so much good stuff today. Yes, edit, edit, edit.

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    1. This is the advice I’m seeing most. It is so important.

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  13. My editing process takes longer than writing the story, lol.

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  14. Such great advice. And like Delorah, I spent a lot of time on editing.

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    1. Writing goes much faster than the editing for me too, Natalie!

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  15. Editing is so important. Like other commenters, I've often spent more time editing a piece than it took me to write it. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is an excellent resource that has been on my bookshelf for years.

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    1. Editing is a process. It takes me way longer to edit than to write. I didn’t realize that would be the case as a new writer.

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  16. So many writers think they don't need any sort of editing, or dive into editing too soon after finishing a rough draft, instead of taking some time away to develop fresher eyes. Another mistake is writing by committee, following every single bit of advice or suggestion from every single CP, beta, or editor.

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    1. Yes! All writers have a different form of reference to pull from. You have to pick and choose what makes sense to you.

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  17. Yes! You do have to draw a line at some point, but not until you have edited the heck out of it, and had some outside editors go at it, too.

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    1. Editing is a slow process. It’s takes me ten times as long to edit as it takes to write.

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  18. That attention really paid off. That was a great story. I loved it. Would love to read more in that story world too if you ever write it.

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    1. Funny you should say that, Juneta. I have a short story and a novella coming up with the same characters. I will hit you up for a read / review when they’re ready ;)

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  19. 100 times? And it really paid off!
    I need to invest in Self-Editing For Fiction Writers.

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  20. Excellent advice! I'm immediately turned off by a story that is unpolished.

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