Writing for Yourself – Guest Post by, Traci Kenworth…

Is it a Good Idea?

We all start our writing stories that we’d want to hear. How do we take it beyond that? To what the reader would want to grab hold of as quick as possible? Patience and rewriting. Who would have guessed that readers wanted to read about a Hobbit and a hole? A trip through a closet? A boy who lost his parents and finds out he’s from a wizard family? Families fighting for an Iron Throne. It’s obvious that the writers of these books care about their characters. They were the first readers. Every author is that for their story. Does it mean that it’s publishable? For some, yes, for others, no. But that’s what rewriting is about.

Rewriting is important.

Anyone that tries to submit a first draft to an agent or publisher is wasting their time. There’s a lot of competition out there that follows the rules, puts in the work. They’re going to be chosen first. The reason? They put the time in. That gets agents and publishers excited. They see possibilities, promise. Of course, usually more edits are in the future but that will lead to publication with a stronger book. Working with your agent and editor pays off in the end. Not to say that all their recommendations have to be followed but consider whether that change would make your work better or not.

Take it to your critique partner/s.

They will be the first read in the drafts you’re working on. My experience on this though, is that I write the first draft better with no one catching sight of it. When I start working with it like play dough in the later drafts, I submit it to critique partners for advice. In the past, I had a hard time with critiques, but I believe it was because I let others look at early works and it wasn’t ready nor the story I eventually wished to tell. So, make sure you’re work is where you want it before you let others pick it apart. I think it’ll make the critiques much more worth your time.

Consider a beta.

This is the first read through your entire story by a reader that will give his/her/their opinions on the work. They may see things you don’t. They can tell you what they like. What they don’t. They might not be able to point to how to fix things but that will come to you as you consider it. Often, the solution comes when we least suspect it. In a dream. A song. The words of someone speaking. The wonder at the idea gets the writer buzzing and hurrying to the WIP to get to work.

An Editor-for-Hire.

Should you pay someone to help you mold your work? I’m not saying for them to write your story and you put your name on it. This kind of work involves back-and-forth submissions between you and the editor and working to improve the WIP. I think it’s a good idea, especially if you’re going Indie. Find someone your comfortable with, someone who gets what you’re trying to do. There are good editors out their for all budgets. The budget is something that put me off for a while but with finances improving, it’s something I’m willing to invest. I found an editor willing to work with my budget that has lots of experience with YA projects. That’s what I needed.

How about you? Do you consider any of the above? Does writing for yourself cripple a project for publication? Do you hire anyone to take a look at your story?

Traci Kenworth

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11 thoughts on “Writing for Yourself – Guest Post by, Traci Kenworth…

  1. I’m finding editors a lovely bargain and so helpful! I’ll be honest, I was hesitant to talk to one before, but a friend gave me a push and now I’m about to tackle the suggested revision for the first fifty pages. I like breaking it down, there’s less to work with all at once and I can concentrate on it better.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A lovely post, Traci. I had While the Bombs Fell and Through the Nethergate developmentally edited and did extensive re-writing afterwards. A lot more for WTBF as that was my first larger work. I implemented the advice for WTBG when writing TTNG and that resulted in a lot less major rewrites and more expansion and descriptive re-writing and joining a few dots that were less clear to my editor than to me. I then sent the manuscripts back for spelling and punctuation editing.My publisher also reads and provides comments on my books.

    Liked by 2 people

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