Editing on a Budget

You’ve almost finished your book, you just need to make sure it is polished and ready for the next step, whether getting an agent or self-publishing your work.

Here are some helpful tips to fine-tune your work:

  • If you haven’t already downloaded grammarly, this is a great editing tool. You can download it for free or for a small monthly fee they offer premium editing.
  • The next step is put the work aside for a week or so. Do nothing – leave it alone.
  • Return to your novel with fresh eyes. Read the work aloud and no cheating – read the whole novel and pay attention. You will be surprised how many mistakes you will find, and you may rewrite sections because the work doesn’t quite flow.
  • Do a final grammar check, and if you are happy, it’s time to move to the next step to get your work published. 

 

 

The Newbie Writer

Writer’s Block

Finally, you’ve decided to take the plunge and begin a career as a writer. It’s taken years to admit to yourself this is what you’ve always wanted to do and now is the perfect time to begin your new endeavor.

You begin the day in front of your laptop or stare down at your writing pad tapping your pen for inspiration. Instead of writing, you simply stare. Your mind is a blank. You can’t think of one word. The ideas that have been rumbling around in your head for years suddenly vanish. You break out in a sweat when you realize you have nothing important to say. You pace, become restless, and suffer from caffeine overload.

What do you do?

 

  • Stop drinking coffee if you’ve already had a pot or two.
  • Take a long walk.
  • Or do some gardening or play a sport.
  • Perhaps exercise or meditate.

Soon, the ideas will begin to flow. Don’t forget to bring your cellphone to text ideas to yourself or have a notepad and pencil handy.

However, working from home causes distractions and/or the sound of silence kills inspiration.

  • Go to a coffee shop. The noise and activity help ideas flow.
  • Visit the local library. Sit among books for inspiration.
  • Nice day? Sit on a park bench and people watch. This will soon inspire words to come alive

Homebound? No problem.

  • Music. Depending on your tastes – some people can belch out words with rock, while others prefer classical music.
  • Take a short nap, cover your eyes, and when you are relaxed and fall between sleep and wakefulness, ideas will ping. Don’t forget your writing pad.
  • Just write – one of my writing instructors suggested writing about an outlandish journey that you would take and add strange characters that you would meet on the journey. Very much like The Epic of Gilgamesh, but more fun because you are the hero, even add a bit of romance.

Start with an idea, write an outline, and the rewrites will become rewarding as the story takes hold. Good Luck!

New Words

New Words, Trendy Words, and Words that Matter

These words are new to the 2017 dictionary. Some words will be obviously familiar, but other words totally alien. 

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Bromance (n): A close but non-sexual relationship between two men.
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Chillax (v): Calm down and relax.
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Crunk (adj): Very excited or full of energy.
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Droolworthy (adj): Extremely attractive or desirable.
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Frankenfood (n): Genetically modified food.
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Grrrl (n): A young woman regarded as independent and strong or aggressive, especially in her attitude to men or in her sexuality (A blend of “Grrrr” and “Girl.”)
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Guyliner (n): Eyeliner that is worn by men.
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Hater (n): A person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing.
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Illiterati (n): People who are not well educated or well informed about a particular subject or sphere of activity.
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Infomania (n): The compulsive desire to check or accumulate news and information, typically via mobile phone or computer.
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Locavore (n): A person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.
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Muffin Top (n): A roll of fat visible above the top of a pair of women’s tight-fitting low-waisted trousers.
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Muggle (n): A person who is not conversant with a particular activity or skill.
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Noob (n): A person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity, especially computing or the use of the Internet.
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Purple State (n): A US state where the Democratic and Republican parties have similar levels of support among voters.
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Screenager (n): A person in their teens or twenties who has an aptitude for computers and the Internet.
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Textspeak (n): Language regarded as characteristic of text messages, consisting of abbreviations, acronyms, initials, emoticons. (wut hpns win u write lyk dis.)
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Totes (adv): Totally.
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Truthiness (n): the quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true.
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Twitterati (n): Keen or frequent users of the social networking site Twitter.
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Upcycle (v): Reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.
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Whovian (n): A fan of the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who.
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Woot (ex): (Especially in electronic communication) Used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph.