Winsell’s Fix-Its: Spilling . . . er . . Spelling
We have arrived! The last Writing Tips blog this month, and it’s a big one: editing!
How hard is it to read a book that has spelling errors. Let’s say I’m reading a book, and really getting into it, then I read:
(Totally Made Up)
“Greg, your being a jerk.” Molly shifted her wait from one foot to the other.
Grig tapped his toe against the floor and ran a hand through his hare.
See what I’m saying? I’m sure none of your books are like this, but I have read quite a few that lose me within the first five pages because they are riddled with grammar and spelling problems. You do not have to be a Spelling Bee Winner to write a book. You can spell like a six-year-old and still tell an amazing story, but no one will read that nail-biting drama if you don’t fix the spelling issues. What do you?
FIND SOMEONE TO EDIT YOUR BOOK!
We all need help with different aspects of our writing because no one is perfect. This is why writers have drafts, critique partners, beta readers, and editors.
Traditionally published authors’ manuscripts go through a rigorous bout of editing before they ever see the inside of a bookstore. So, we as Indie authors have to work harder to make our words sparkle and stand out in a crowd.
Okay, Winsell how do I get an editor or any of that other hoopla?
I’m so glad you asked.
- Critique Partners: I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, which is an organization for . . . you guessed it, writers. Being a member comes with the option of getting into critique groups. From there, you can narrow your focus to a small group of writers that are in your genre. You’ll meet fantastic people and get honest and professional opinions about your work.
- Beta Readers: These are writers and book lovers that know what they’re looking for in a story. They read your book and then tell you if you have plot holes, bad spelling errors, places that just don’t fit, and anything else that they think can make your story better. You can find them through Facebook in writing groups. You can also find them at writing conferences through networking and socializing.
- Editors: Maybe you know an English teacher or met a freelance editor at a writing conference. Ask them if they will edit your story, but be willing to pay for their services. Sometimes you can trade with editors. If you’re really great at finding content problems in the story, and they are a copyediting whiz . . . it could be a match made in heaven. More often then not, you’ll have to find an editor; they’ll edit a bout a page or so and then quote you a price for the rest. This can get expensive, but well worth the price for a good editor. Your book will thank you!
So that wraps up the theme this month! Do you have any pet peeves that turn you off to an otherwise good story? I’d love to read them in the comments!