Redlines are Encouragement

I have been writing lately and it feels good.

Even published, I still only write when the mood hits. Perhaps if I was a full-time author with deadlines decreed from a huge publishing house, I would stress more and have hard deadlines. But I don’t think I would enjoy it as much. I write because I get an idea and want to see where it will go. Finally, finished with school, I think my brain just wants something to keep busy with. Sometimes I feel I have writer-A.D.D. I can’t seem to stick with one genre. Solstice Night was a paranormal romance, yet Thrush, my novella due out next month, is a thriller with zero paranormal elements. I have started an inter galactic science fiction (not sure where I’m going with it yet) and have an idea for another paranormal romance. This one with shifters. (Sorry, no vampires.)

However, my most active project is an anthology. On Good Reads I joined the Paranormal and Horror Lovers group. After seeing collaborations done by other groups, I suggested P&H L write our own book of short stories. The idea received immediate support from the moderators and fellow group members. At first, we had more enthusiasm than direction. We formed a private group to help coordinate our efforts and established deadlines to keep us on task. We decided early on it would be a free ebook via Smashwords. This format gives the authors the best opportunity to reach new readers with multiple ebook file types; but more than publicity, it makes the anthology purely about the stories without commercial expectations. It lets the contributors write freely. It’s been a great but surprising experience. Some members that were very vocal in the beginning have fallen away while late comers have broken out with great contributions. Yet, its the constant input, the steady dialog, that will ultimately see the document finished. Once the idea was established, the group went quiet. We were too involved with our own stories. Occasionally, we posted a question, but for the most part we worked alone. We have entered the editing phase now. Through peer reviews, each story gets three reads through. Since the group is author, editor and publisher, we need each other to not just catch but provide honest feedback.

Editing means redlines. If the editor is really reading your work, there will be lots and lots of mark-ups. When I first open a document and see my document ‘bleeding’, it is shocking (and a little disheartening). However, redlines means my reader was really paying attention to my work. And he or she put in the effort to correct my mistakes. If the original was too hard to read through or not engaging the reader wouldn’t bother. Yes, they might mark a few token typos, but they wouldn’t make it to the really beneficial comments on how to make the story better. Whether the editing happens in-person or over the internet, don’t take the comments you get for granted. They are given with the best intention of making your story better.

I’ve read four of eight submissions for the anthology, and they have all been good reads. Unique. Scary. Funny. I feel we have a strong collection of work.

Cover art needs to be finalized. Compiling and formatting all the stories will occur after the rounds of editing. Entitled “All the Lovely Creatures” we plan to release the anthology in early October, just in time for Halloween.

23 comments on “Redlines are Encouragement

  1. I know what you mean. Those redlines can be shocking!

  2. Hi…I too am in the P&H group – haven’t perhaps been as active as I should be, splitting my time amongst GR, twitter, facebook, and maybe oh maybe writing a line or two. Oh, and then there’s the editing of my debut novel. And hence, the reason for my reply. You’re spot on when you say that every comment/edit deserves attention. I read an author’s post somewhere that said when he was finished with having his book edited, he could barely recognize it. I now know what he meant. Mine has changed tremendously. And all for the good. Pay attention, folks. Your editors are improving your work. Take the time to pay attention. You’ll see, in the end.
    Great article – well done 🙂

    Warm Regards, Thomas

    • Just getting someone to read your work is immensely helpful, but editors seem to really get their hands dirty. Their comments may cut deeper than a well-meaning friend but the story will come out better in the end.

      You should stop by P&H some, it’s a pretty great group

      • Hi Sirrom. I have to say that getting impartial eyes to help you is best. Friends are too close. They will be more hesitant to offending you, or will not be as thorough simply because they like you. A bloody ax-pen hurts. But it’s a good hurt, if it improves your book.

  3. This is a very encouraging story; the collaboration, Goodreads, Smashwords, all of it. I am glad to see things like this happening.

  4. Hey there 🙂 new follower via GR. You have a really lovely blog 🙂

    Leah x

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  6. […] Redlines are Encouragement (bcsirrom.wordpress.com) Rate this:Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tags: Book review, debut novel, GoodReads, paranormal romance, publishing, Reviews and Criticism, urban fantasy, vampire books, writing Permalink […]

  7. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I am one of the authors for the anthology and I have read three of the stories (four if you include mine). This is going to be a fantastic group of stories. Thank you Sirrom for making the suggestion and putting it all together for Smashwords.
    I completely agree with those red lines. I read and reread my work before I send it to anyone to be edited. I just needs fresh eyes. Some mistakes I could slap myself for making but it’s all good and the more I write the better I get with the first draft.

    • So glad you stopped by my blog.

      I can’t believe how much support the anthology has gathered. When I posted the suggestion I hoped for two or three writer’s to join in. Now we have ten writers, plus an awesome cover design and professional forward.

  8. […] Redlines are Encouragement (bcsirrom.wordpress.com) […]

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