The Journal, Monday, 7/10

Hey Folks,

This is important, so it goes up front.

Just in case you happen across “How To Easily Proofread And Edit Your Own eBook” (by The Digital Reader), IMHO there’s only one piece of valid advice in the whole article: Read Your Work Aloud.

Everything else there either lets someone else into your work or won’t work.

Topic: What a Writer Needs, Post-Story

You need a good first reader. By “good” I mean someone who enjoys your work, but someone who will also point out four things: misspellings, wrong words, inconsistencies, and any place where he or she feels “kicked out” of the story or otherwise confused.

A good first reader also is very seldom a writer. You don’t want opinions on “what I would have done.” From a first reader, you want only what I listed above. Nothing else.

If you read your work aloud (and allow yourself to touch the mss here and there as you do so) you’re being your own first reader.

After that, trust yourself and publish it.

If something’s still twingeing that little voice in your head about the story, you might also send it to a good copyeditor. In this case, by “good” I mean knowledgeable but non-intrusive. (Using a copyeditor is an especially good idea if you don’t have a good first reader.)

But avoid “story” editors and “developmental” editors and “critique groups” etc. literally like you would avoid the plague. Seriously. Don’t let anyone (especially other writers) into your work.

Strictly FYI (this is not an advertisement), I am also a copyeditor. You can see what I do at http://harveystanbrough.com/copyediting/. If I can help, email me.

* * *

Well, I have edits coming in. I just sent one out a couple days ago. I received one this morning, I have a promise for another, and I’m kind of assuming a third.

That’s okay. In fact, it’s good. It’s helping me refine my schedule. Or maybe start a schedule again.

One, I need to climb back up on Heinlein’s Rules. I put myself out there as an HR “adherent” but I haven’t been adhering lately even to Rule 1: You Must Write. My plan is for that to change today, with or without the “in public” part. Actually, I’ve been writing a bit. More on that below.

When I have an edit, I’ll work on that from the time I get up until my wife heads off to work. Then a transition break, then writing fiction.

When I finish anything during the day, I’ll create a cover, promo doc etc. and publish it. Then, if there’s time left in the day, I’ll return to the edit.

Today, and Writing

This morning I did the usual email and Facebook stuff. That will change in coming days too when I have an edit in the in-box. Then I’ll do the email/FB stuff during breaks.

So starting an edit way late at 6 a.m., then on to writing at around 9 a.m.

I started writing at 10. Wrote what I thought was a good opening, but it fizzled.

That’s happened a couple of times in the past couple of days. I get through the opening and at some point the story just doesn’t seem to matter to me anymore.

Don’t be concerned. I’m just whining. I’ll get over it.

I really need to figure this out.

Anyway, I wrote the words in those openings, so I’m counting them. I’ve gone through and revised the numbers on the last two posts to reflect those openings and numbers.

I’ll keep plugging. Maybe something will take soon.

See you then.

Of Interest

If you’re bent that way, check out The Somnium Project at https://somniumproject.wordpress.com/. “Somnium” has been called the first-ever science fiction story.

If you’re a verbivore, check out “More Than 600 New Words, Phrases, and Senses…” at http://www.infodocket.com/2017/06/30/600-new-words-phrases-and-senses-added-to-oxford-english-dictionary-june-2017-update/. Scroll down on that page for the New Words List and other interesting links.

Fiction Words: 1070
Nonfiction Words: 650 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1720

Writing of OPENING for “Graham’s Road” (yes, Linda Maye, from your sign)

Day 1…… 1070 words. Total words to date…… 1070 (fizzled)

(All of the numbers below are revised to reflect totals from 8, 9, and 10 July.)

Total fiction words for the month……… 4888
Total fiction words for the year………… 342845
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5050
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 112880
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 455725

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 592 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels or novellas)………………… 7 novels or novellas
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 179

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