martin white | author

Did you say finished..?

Did you say finished..?

Well, maybe nothing is ever really finished – but as of today I’m quite certain that I’ve taken this damn manuscript as far as I can without starting to hallucinate things into it or carve bits out of it I might regret.

And possibly for the first time I have some useful practical advice which I have personally learned and can offer anyone near the stage I’m at right now. Yes, I read an article on blogs and it said that people like to see good advice being offered that’s going to help them, rather than just whiney stuff about how everything is so hard for us writers…

Anyway, are you ready for this amazing advice?

Actually, before I blow it all by telling you it, I have to say how much I’m impressed with Fiverr so far. I’m a member of a few writery groups on Facebook and I get loads of heed nippin ads about cover design, editing, copyediting and a bunch of other stuff that promises you the best possible service for the best possible price and when you get to the cost – eventually – away at the bottom of 5 metres of scrolling – it all seems to cost a couple of kidneys.

I’m not in a possition to diss anyone yet (apart from East Coast Buses for their late bus not turning up last night and costing me an arm and a leg in taxi fares – tossers – okay, nothing to do with wrtiting but I wis pure ragin’) – but it looks to me like there’s a lot of talent on Fiverr who will do stuff you need but can’t necessarily do (like covers, independent editing etc) – for a far more competitive price. I mean, these look like people who don’t have outrageous overheads as they work from home and people who are trying to establish themselves by putting quality work out there for a good price rather than just spending a fortune on facebook advertising. Support them I say!

And as per my musing about professional editing a couple of blogs ago, I’ve now decided since this is a novella, my first experience and probably won’t make me enough money to quit my three jobs (one of them being a writer). So instead of getting a detailed editing for this (as thats something I feel I’ve done to death already) – I’m going to get a couple of Beta Readers to go through it and give me their detailed reports. I mean, that’s sort of editing too, right? Should cost about £60 for both – but I see that as an investment as it might just point out any flaws that I’m currently blind to.

The cover – well, I do have some strong and interesting (to me, anyway) ideas – but I dont have the time to learn how to do all that sort of stuff on photoshop or whatever – so I can see a collaboration with a cover artist coming on. Its not as expensive as you’d think and lordy, I’ve seen some awful covers out there in ibookland – really awful – I dont want my book to be one of them, even if what’s inside is shit.

Oh, I was going to give some right clever advice…

After my last editing pass I was pretty confident I’d caught everything – and every word was in the right place, everything flowed beautifully (including the blood) and all the best possible word choices were all there.

So – I decided to actually read it all aloud to myself – and – it was a very positive experience. There were a lot of ‘other’ things I picked up, some annoyingly minor grammar indiscretions, repeated words you just dont see when you’re looking at it all… Honestly, the whole thing just comes to life when you’re saying it aloud, the words, the sentence construction, the placing of commas – words you’ve used too often – you can spot them all with a completely different set of senses if you’re hearing it out loud. So if you’re writing, I believe you should do this – and at an early stage – it’s something I’ll be doing very early on after this weeks experience.

Here endeth the lesson.

And I’ll let you know how I get on with Fiverr…

Yes, I doodle and scribble on my manuscripts. Anything other than actually do work…
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