Book Doctor

Book Doctor: Definitions that make the blood boil.

Okay… Minor confession time. I’ve been working as a freelance editor for the past three years and I’m struggling in a big way to find clients. I have a significant number of followers of my editorial blog, and of my YouTube channel, where I give out hints on working with Scrivener and social media. I’ve been asked to present at various workshops throughout the country. Yet, I’m struggling to turn all these marketing tactics into opportunities to get paid.

Yes, folks, I admit it. I’ve sold out. I write and edit for the money. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do. I love sinking my head into characters, sparking emotions that I can’t control. I get a buzz out of helping others achieve their dreams. But I still need to be able to put food on the table and a roof over my head. (There’s only so much patience that the husband will have before his goodwill runs out.)

So to that end, I’ve been looking at my editorial website and trying to work out ways to get better SEO attraction. Website design, social media, and SEO. It’s become my thing. The real trick seems to be to find the right buzz word. Well…

I’ve had to succumb to peer pressure. I’ve had to start using the latest buzz word for developmental editing — and I HATE it.

I’m a BOOK DOCTOR. Now I will go sit in the corner and sulk. Here’s why.
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Pet rabbit

The Rabbit (Delete Scene)

There are times when I feel like a fraud. I have been a beta reader and critique partner for many writers over the years, pointing out areas where stories are weak and where they are strong. I'm a freelance editor with Black Wolf Editorial Services, contracting my services out as a developmental editor, helping other writers shape their stories into masterpieces. However, to date, none of my fiction has been published. I am a published writer, but all of my personal publication credits are non-fiction.

A few of those whom I have provided editing for have gone on to obtain traditional publication contracts. Some have self-published. In most cases, I've received some form of acknowledgement, but I am unlikely to ever get editorial credit, because developmental editing is an early-stage editing — editorial credits commonly go to the copyeditor of a book.

Some writers from my early days of being an editor were actually disgruntled by my comments, even though my comments highlighted the good... and the areas that could be improved. Recently, I heard from one of those writers, and she gave me words that actually lifted my soul.

I wanted to give [you] a way belated thank you.

You did some extensive crits on my works a long, long time ago. I wasn't ready to hear it at that time and did not appreciate them. I'm trying to improve and see now the honesty and TRUTH in those crits. I just wanted to say thank you for investing the time in me. It pushed me to be better.

Well, like that writer, I'm pushing myself to be better. Part of that process is to suck-it-up and share with the world some of my fiction — proving to my readers (and myself) that I really do know how to craft a story. So, I decided to share with you a deleted scene from my high-fantasy novel, Beacon of Hope. The novel itself is currently sitting in that metaphorical drawer, as I have a mental hangup about querying the thing, but still...

I hope you enjoy it.

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Aspiring Writer: The Sequal

In a post last year, I spoke about the term aspiring writer and how it’s a term that I dislike. Back then, I had this wonderful circular argument about how if you write, then you are a writer — no aspiring about it. Regardless, I still see an insane number of people who insist on calling themselves aspiring writers.

Back when that original post first came out, someone had commented on one of my Facebook discussion groups that the term writer referred to a person who was paid to write.

To be fair, the term applies to people who want to make a career out of writing. Writer is a professional term.

You have no idea how much my skin crawls at this concept. Clearly, my arguments using the definitions in Merrian-Webster were insufficient to get my point across. Perhaps the Oxford English Dictionary might sway the ideas. So here goes.Read More

Manuscript is too long, so split it… NOT!!!

I have lost count of the number of times that someone has told me that I should take my long manuscript and split it into two (or three) and call it done. This particular conversation comes up every single time I mention to anyone how long my manuscript is, and it’s actually not outrageously long — it just happens to be over 100,000 words. But let’s face it, my work is high fantasy, and I would struggle to think of any high fantasy novel that wasn’t over 100,000 words (a high fantasy intended for adult audiences).Read More

Wooden Bridge

Life Takes Unexpected Turns

Recently, I saw an article on how robotics have changed over the years and what ethical issues will likely arise. It started me thinking about how life can take unexpected turns but can still lead towards our goals and dreams, just not in the way we expected. How does an article about robotics and ethics relate to unexpected paths toward our dreams? Well…

A writing buddy of mine, Sean Welsh, recently finished his PhD in robot ethics. As part of his research, he has published several articles on the topic and has developed quite the name for himself. To everyone’s excitement in my local writing circles, his activities has lead to a book deal with one of the Big Five on this very topic — do to be released in November 2017.

I’ll gladly admit that I’m a little jealous (I’ve even told him that), but I also couldn’t be more excited for him.Read More