Asking for something ridiculous!

#1
So, what I am asking is something no one will do. I know it, but still have hopes.

I am a new writer, and have many areas to improve on. I have improved in my latest chapters, but I am nowhere near perfect(or even great). What I am looking for is an editor of some sorts. Like if you are free to do it. You can just give me suggestions, on areas where things need to be added, subtracted or edited. Can anyone do it? Just PM me. Thanks. 

I will of course mention you in my novel(not many readers, but still.) Your help will be great.

P.S. Anyone who wants to say that do it yourself, I know. I know, and I want to. It's just that, with someone to guide me, I can do better. 

Re: Asking for something ridiculous!

#2
Quote:The wind was blowing and sweeping away all the fallen leaves with it. There were trees all around. Cordelia and a rebel were both struggling to take down each other. Cordelia was very tense as it was her first fight. 
Was and were are, generally, weak words that only detract. There are instances where they're necessary, but you have five of them in four sentences here. It's good to search any time you use was or were and see if they can be eliminated with reworking the sentence. In this case:
Quote:The wind blew and swept away all the fallen leaves with it. There were trees all around. Cordelia and a rebel struggled to take down each other. Cordelia was very tense as it was her first fight.
At its most basic, this makes it a tiny bit more active, but 'there were trees all around' is still far from compelling, and 'Cordelia and a rebel both struggled to take down each other' reads oddly.
Quote:Wind blew through the trees and swept away all the fallen leaves. Cordelia fought a rebel soldier, each struggling to take the other down. It was Cordelia's first real fight and she felt the tension of it.
Here we've shown that there are trees, but without the pesky 'were', and made things feel a bit closer in. Less like an omniscient camera telling facts, and more like a personal connection to the character. I'm still not entirely happy with it - I'd probably do another couple revision passes if it were me - but this is just a test to show you how to add immediacy and vibrancy. Try to use active words and varied structures and sentence lengths. (I've already spent an hour on this post and I have things to get to.)

I know it's easier to ask someone else make these decisions, but unless you miraculously find someone with too much time on their hands the kind of extensive revising you need is a very expensive route to take. It'll be infinitely more valuable to learn how to write and edit for yourself.

I'm afraid there's no shortcut but a lot of work and struggle.

It won't be easy, it won't be fast, but it will be worth it.

I really think the best thing for you to do is to just keep practicing. Don't worry too much about making each chapter perfect, but try to improve at least one thing as you go. Maybe work on characterization, or on removing excessive words, or on making descriptions more evocative. Maybe focus on removing 'was doing' or remind yourself to vary sentence structure.

Look up some lectures on writing, search for blog posts on revising or prose. There are plenty of free resources out there that you can employ to learn. It may be slower than if you had a dedicated teacher showing you exactly what to study, but it's better to get started now and do your best than wait around for someone to come along and fix all your problems for you.

I know it's not what you want to hear - I know I'd love to have a dedicated mentor and editor showing me how to improve - but there are so many writers and so few mentors to go around, it's vanishingly unlikely that any of us will stumble upon one willing to put that much effort into our books for free.

And if one does show up, better that you have a head start than that you were waiting around at the starting line.

The more effort you can put into improvement on your own, the better you can prove to any prospective mentor/editor that you're worth putting the time into instead of all the other writers out there. Showing that you're dedicated, that you're not going to give up, that you're determined to improve with or without their help - that's far more likely to catch an editor's attention.

I know how you feel. I've been there myself. So often I look at my stories and know they're broken but not how to fix them, and you just have to pick up the pieces as best you can and try to do better next time. But every sentence, every page that you write is practice. It's all progress. It's like filling an experience bar with every chapter you write. It may feel like you're not making progress or going anywhere, but it adds up over time. The most important thing is just to keep doing your best and try to improve to the best of your ability.

You can do it. peoYes

Re: Asking for something ridiculous!

#3
Following what Asviloka said about getting better yourself so you don't pay an arm and leg: If you want to get better, then write a 30K word story. When you're at 30K, then get feedback from someone that is both way better than you, and someone that will crush your hopes and dreams. From there, you start over and write it again, but better this time and use the feedback you get.

Repeat this about four to five times.

Congrats. You will likely be a competent writer at this point.

Re: Asking for something ridiculous!

#4
We would all do better with someone to guide us lol
Honestly, it's good you're self-aware enough to realize you could use an editor. Knowing you need to improve is the first step in improving. But editing takes time, effort, and a better grasp on whatever the heck an "adverb" is than I have. There are plenty of AI online pseudo-editors (Hemmingwayapp, Zoho, Scribens), but they just filter each sentence you write through a solid list of grammar rules, and as such can't tell you how to truly improve.
Sad to say it, but if you want a human editor who can actually help... you're going to have to pay someone.

Re: Asking for something ridiculous!

#5

Asviloka Wrote:
Quote:The wind was blowing and sweeping away all the fallen leaves with it. There were trees all around. Cordelia and a rebel were both struggling to take down each other. Cordelia was very tense as it was her first fight. 
Was and were are, generally, weak words that only detract. There are instances where they're necessary, but you have five of them in four sentences here. It's good to search any time you use was or were and see if they can be eliminated with reworking the sentence. In this case:
Quote:The wind blew and swept away all the fallen leaves with it. There were trees all around. Cordelia and a rebel struggled to take down each other. Cordelia was very tense as it was her first fight.
At its most basic, this makes it a tiny bit more active, but 'there were trees all around' is still far from compelling, and 'Cordelia and a rebel both struggled to take down each other' reads oddly.
Quote:Wind blew through the trees and swept away all the fallen leaves. Cordelia fought a rebel soldier, each struggling to take the other down. It was Cordelia's first real fight and she felt the tension of it.
Here we've shown that there are trees, but without the pesky 'were', and made things feel a bit closer in. Less like an omniscient camera telling facts, and more like a personal connection to the character. I'm still not entirely happy with it - I'd probably do another couple revision passes if it were me - but this is just a test to show you how to add immediacy and vibrancy. Try to use active words and varied structures and sentence lengths. (I've already spent an hour on this post and I have things to get to.)

I know it's easier to ask someone else make these decisions, but unless you miraculously find someone with too much time on their hands the kind of extensive revising you need is a very expensive route to take. It'll be infinitely more valuable to learn how to write and edit for yourself.

I'm afraid there's no shortcut but a lot of work and struggle.

It won't be easy, it won't be fast, but it will be worth it.

I really think the best thing for you to do is to just keep practicing. Don't worry too much about making each chapter perfect, but try to improve at least one thing as you go. Maybe work on characterization, or on removing excessive words, or on making descriptions more evocative. Maybe focus on removing 'was doing' or remind yourself to vary sentence structure.

Look up some lectures on writing, search for blog posts on revising or prose. There are plenty of free resources out there that you can employ to learn. It may be slower than if you had a dedicated teacher showing you exactly what to study, but it's better to get started now and do your best than wait around for someone to come along and fix all your problems for you.

I know it's not what you want to hear - I know I'd love to have a dedicated mentor and editor showing me how to improve - but there are so many writers and so few mentors to go around, it's vanishingly unlikely that any of us will stumble upon one willing to put that much effort into our books for free.

And if one does show up, better that you have a head start than that you were waiting around at the starting line.

The more effort you can put into improvement on your own, the better you can prove to any prospective mentor/editor that you're worth putting the time into instead of all the other writers out there. Showing that you're dedicated, that you're not going to give up, that you're determined to improve with or without their help - that's far more likely to catch an editor's attention.

I know how you feel. I've been there myself. So often I look at my stories and know they're broken but not how to fix them, and you just have to pick up the pieces as best you can and try to do better next time. But every sentence, every page that you write is practice. It's all progress. It's like filling an experience bar with every chapter you write. It may feel like you're not making progress or going anywhere, but it adds up over time. The most important thing is just to keep doing your best and try to improve to the best of your ability.

You can do it. peoYes
That one sentence became much better(but you spent a lot of time in it, thanks.) I am trying to improve a lot, but I don't have much time. I want to write and devote time to it, but I have almost no free time.


I know I must try harder, and I will. I have a decent amount of readers(in respect to my quality quantity and such.) I have great readers who comment a lot and things. 
Let's see how it goes. I will definitely complete my novel. It is short, around 600 to 1k pages, I believe. I have the whole story planned out, and hope that by the end I can deliver something worthwhile to read.

Thanks. 

Re: Asking for something ridiculous!

#6

Vivian Wrote: Following what Asviloka said about getting better yourself so you don't pay an arm and leg: If you want to get better, then write a 30K word story. When you're at 30K, then get feedback from someone that is both way better than you, and someone that will crush your hopes and dreams. From there, you start over and write it again, but better this time and use the feedback you get.

Repeat this about four to five times.

Congrats. You will likely be a competent writer at this point.
Yes, I did want a point, where I could go edit back. I have almost no time, and writing a chapter, editing it, etc is almost impossible. I just do it somehow.

I will attempt what you said, or maybe I will try writing a few short stories of around 500 to 1k words each(again when I get time)

Thanks. 

Re: Asking for something ridiculous!

#7

Mad Wrote: We would all do better with someone to guide us lol
Honestly, it's good you're self-aware enough to realize you could use an editor. Knowing you need to improve is the first step in improving. But editing takes time, effort, and a better grasp on whatever the heck an "adverb" is than I have. There are plenty of AI online pseudo-editors (Hemmingwayapp, Zoho, Scribens), but they just filter each sentence you write through a solid list of grammar rules, and as such can't tell you how to truly improve.
Sad to say it, but if you want a human editor who can actually help... you're going to have to pay someone.

Lol I know. I just had a false hope that I will find someone, who just wanted to help someone out, had immense amount of time on her hand and also for free. These are almost unreal circumstances.
I can't actually pay(atleast now).

Thanks.