Is anyone on here an editor?

(55 Posts)
LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 16-Mar-13 18:57:05

I need some help sad My ms has been rejected left right and centre, even though the agents have said it has great potential. I have 4 beta readers but none of them have picked up the errors that the latest agent has flagged up. It appears that the agents don't have the time to do full edits now so I don't know what to do with it. Would anyone be able to help? Cash flow is an issue at the moment IYKWIM sad

I'm begging. sad thanks

TunipTheVegedude Sat 16-Mar-13 19:20:53

Not an editor I'm afraid, but I'm wondering what sort of errors they are.
I am finding at the moment that my betas have widely different strengths. One person has a nose for plot holes, another is good at picking up bad bits of writing, another is good on pacing, etc. Could it be a matter of finding more beta readers who are strong on the things your current bunch are missing?

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 16-Mar-13 19:34:24

She said there's inconsistencies in the plot and she can't make out what sort of story it is supposed to be. "Your writing is stronger, but your narrative voice still feels quite patchy and inconsistent. And that's what I believe you need to work on if you are going to deliver the story that you love as much as you clearly do. I think they key to success will be making the point of view - Jack's - really secure."

All 8 of the readers have said nothing about this though. sad It's a children's book so isn't huge. Im not sure what else to do.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 16-Mar-13 19:55:05

Mmm, that does sound like the sort of thing you have to be quite skilled to detect. (I was hoping you'd say it was grammar or something else easy so I could help!)
Is it first person or third person restricted viewpoint?

Are you on any of the big writing forums? I joined Absolute Write.com recently and there seem to be quite a few very smart people on there.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 16-Mar-13 19:59:36

It's third person. I tried that, and authonomy sad I live with a spelling and grammar geek so I know thats's OK, I think it's a problem when you spend so much time rewriting, your writing changes over time so it won't be consistent IYSWIM.

She said my picture books were too descriptive as well. I can sort these though, I think.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 16-Mar-13 20:05:17

So if she thinks Jack's point of view isn't secure then she's telling you that there are things in the narration which Jack wouldn't have been aware of, or are expressed in a way that's inconsistent with his character. Did she give any examples? That seems like the sort of thing it ought to be possible to go through systematically and identify. Did you try that and fail to find things? Have your betas had a go at looking for that specifically?

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 16-Mar-13 20:14:32

She's marked up 2 pages but hasn't given any other examples. The mark up that she has made are not specifically for the main character, there's not many for him to be honest. I did ask the beta's to look, they didn't find any (they did get slightly carried away reading the story itself to be honest).

I'll go through it again in a few days. Thank you for answering smile

SheepNoisesOff Sat 16-Mar-13 20:16:16

Do you know Critique Circle? That's another site where you can swap critiques with other writers, I've had some really helpful reviews on there.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 16-Mar-13 20:16:57

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful smile
I hope you find someone to help.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 16-Mar-13 20:19:35

No, I've not heard of that one. I'll explore when I'm feeling a little better. smile

Thank you thanks

TunipTheVegedude Sat 16-Mar-13 20:19:41

Just a thought - I wonder if you could ask on AbsoluteWrite or similar for recommendations for creative writing books that are particularly good on viewpoint and narrative voice?

It must be something a lot of writers struggle with.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 16-Mar-13 20:22:01

I have 4 books. grin I've read through them and ticked all of the instructions /tips off as they have already been covered (or so I thought).

TunipTheVegedude Sun 17-Mar-13 10:21:34

Including 'Self-Editing For Fiction Writers' by Browne and King?
They have a chapter on point-of-view.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 17-Mar-13 11:11:38

Yup. It's somewhere in the house. sad

Punkatheart Sun 17-Mar-13 13:08:21

If you send me at least some of it - maybe I could give you an idea?

I am an assistant editor on a magazine and I write for a living - so I am pretty switched on.....

Could look at it tonight?

PM me.

kungfupannda Sun 17-Mar-13 13:36:23

On the subject of the viewpoint, it could be something to do with psychic distance. If it's third person, is it deep third person (ie you have nothing in the story that he doesn't experience personally)?

If so, the viewpoint issue might well be that you pan out occasionally, and let things creep in that are beyond his knowledge or understanding.

One way of solving viewpoint problems is to switch it to first person.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 17-Mar-13 14:40:06

smile Thank you {sobs}

I put the poor child through hell, kungfupanda. I give him something very special, then an evil psychopathic wizard steals his mum so he has to go an rescue her. It's all from his viewpoint (pretty much, it was a lot of fun to write). I'm blind (literally).

Hope this is going well, LadyMary. I'll be happy to critique a chapter if you want to PM me.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 21-Mar-13 13:45:40

smile Thank you xxx

I'm a little ill at the moment so am taking a few days off. It's soo hard! sad

TunipTheVegedude Fri 22-Mar-13 10:33:36

Hope you feel better soon LadyMary x

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 22-Mar-13 10:38:17

sad Thank you x I need to book ds and I into a hotel so we can sleep and not worry about cooking or cleaning until we feel better. Is there such a place?

GrendelsMum Wed 27-Mar-13 08:38:36

You've been working on it a long time, haven't you? (I think I took a look at a chapter from an earlier draft)

Why don't you put it to one side, work on another novel for the same age group for a few months, and then return to Jack and his adventures with a fresh eye?

Have you been to any classes? I went to some excellent classes at our local FE college, where they also had some specifically for childrens' writing.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 30-Mar-13 20:12:55

A little over 2 years. I have had lots of breaks and have worked on other plots. I want to finish this one now though. It's almost there. I can't afford any classes, the 'how to write' books seem to tell me what I already know. sad

GrendelsMum Sat 30-Mar-13 20:30:49

I was thinking your editor's comments over and thinking about a friend's writing (he's an ex-marine, writing a thriller set in Afghanistan).

His writing has a lot of strengths - he has a great story to tell, he has characters that you want to spend time with, he really knows the situation, and he's very good at dialogue.

But he's much less good at narration. It veers between over descriptive ("Corporal Drake's nostrils flared with the rust red sand and dust flung up from the thick mud walls of the fort as the misshapen bullets hummed through the hazy midday air.") and the bland ("Corporal Drake ran across the yard. Luckily, all the bullets missed, and he reached the door.") Sometimes he gets it dead in the middle, and then it's really good.

I would describe his work as being somewhat patchy and inconsistent when it comes to narrative style. Do you think that there could be anything similar in your writing? Anything where occasionally you go to one extreme and then the other?

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 30-Mar-13 20:55:09

The feedback I have is a bit like that, yes. The descriptions are mainly really good (so they say) but there's other parts which need a bit of a lift. I've been working on the main character's 'personality' as well as she said he was too confusing. He's a bit headstrong (doesn't listen) now. Some of his other qualities come out during the book but this is the first that the reader will see. I'm just not certain it's the best one.

wine

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