Creative and Memoir Writing

By Carol Brennan King  May 24, 2023

Greetings Readers,

Welcome to the processing of my manuscript – turning it from your “pretty final” draft into something you will find in a bookstore. Or at least the beginning of that process.

That’s where I am with my current book, and I thought I would invite you along on these (I hope) final months to publication.

First, make a copy of your finished at the moment manuscript. Put that in a file of its own, and name it something that will say – Don’t mess with this file. You can make copies of it to work on, but you want to have a complete first final copy for reference.

That way, as you edit and make changes to the copy you are working on, read that editing, you always have a complete original copy. This enables you to determine which version works better at any given point in the writing.

Today I printed the entire manuscript out for the first time, all 291 pages. Now, I will head through the pages, pencil in hand, for a final edit. Once I have penciled my way from one end to the other, I will go into the document and make those changes.

I do have a very big economic decision to make soon. Generally, every writer hires a professional book editor, or other types of editor, to edit the work. Once they have made their recommendations, you make the changes recommended unless there is some wording you prefer because you chose that form for a purpose.

I use Grammarly, an editing program. The only troublesome issue for me is that it is formatted according to English grammar – read that UK English. In my book, I occasionally use an Irish expression or incorrect grammar because that is the way a particular character might speak. When that happens, I sail over Grammarly’s suggestion. Just so you view Grammarly as the maker of good recommendations.

Note, you had better be certain that your original language or grammar in the manuscript is correct or the best for that scene.

Back to my important decision: do I hire an editor at about $2,000, or do I trust my own skills? I have edited two published books for other people, have a master’s degree in English/Creative Writing, and have taught English for thirty years. So take the risk or not? Still not completely decided.

I did complete online queries to three editors Monday and have heard back from two favorably (in three days). Note, when you are looking for editors, it is important, or at least very helpful, to find someone who works in your genre. All three of my prospects work in the arena of historical fiction.

I will let you know my decision after I get through this next set of edits. By the way, I think a coach is a worthwhile investment. I found a coach about 18 months ago at a great price. Honestly, I am not sure I would be where I am in the process of writing my book without her holding me accountable to reach my weekly goals.

She does do more than the accountability thing. She provides loads of resources to the writer, and I have regular opportunities to talk personally to her.

That said, maybe you have someone in your life who could be your accountability person. Vow up front to always respect what they say.

By the way, it is definitely time for me to start publishing again, articles, poems, or stories. Think this way: It is important that when prospective readers of your new work google your name, and they will, they find you have been publishing.

I will tell you more about that next week. Happy writing!

P.S. I just got off the phone from a conversation with a publisher. But the rest of that story will wait until next week.

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