Tag Archives: first draft

Saving Money on Editing: Tips on Self-Editing

Kobo Writing Life

Hiring the right editor for the appropriate edits can often be one of the most challenging as well as the most expensive steps in the publishing process for an author. So what are one of the many things an author can do to save money?

Janell E. Robisch, the owner of Speculations Editing Services, an editor with more than twenty years of experience in the publishing industry, has a new book in which she not only shares tips on how to find the best editor for you and your specific writing projects, but also how to save money.

One of the ways an author can save money is by self-editing before submitting their work to an editor.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Two of her book Saving Money on Editing & Choosing the Best Editor, which offers helpful advice on that topic.

Self-editing can also save…

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How do I start writing a memoir?

Terena Scott

Recently I was asked if I had any pointers for starting a memoir. As a matter of fact I do.

First, you need to know what your book is about. I’m not being snarky. It is vitally important that you know from page one what your book’s purpose is. The book shouldn’t just be about you. Your story needs to resonate with total strangers. Your story is about something bigger than you; you are simply the catalyst for the story.

Think of your favorite memoirs. Why are they a favorite? Could you understand the writer’s struggle? Identify with it? Did you care about the writer and cheer for her?

That’s what you want to happen with your own memoir; your story needs to capture the imagination of people you don’t know. How do you do that?

Write what your book is about. It might be easier to write a description…

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How Much Should I Write?

Okay, you know how you’re going to write your memoir, you’ve chosen a specific aspect of your life to write about, you know the time frame you’re writing in, and you have a daily designated time to write, let’s take a look at the next tip in our 7 Tips to Start You Writing Your Memoir series: 

Tip #5: Decide how much you’re going to write each time you sit down at your computer.

For instance, are you going to write 500 words a day, 1000 words a day or 1500 words a day? If you prefer to quantify your work in pages, are you going to write one page, two pages, three pages, or five pages each day? 500 words a day is a good starting point for most people; but, everyone is different, especially when it comes to writing. Most first drafts are somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 words. If you write 500 words a day (5 days a week), in about seven or eight months, you will have a 70,000 to 80,000 first draft.

The best thing to do, if you don’t have a clue about how much to write each day, is to sit down and write for one hour. At the end of the one hour, measure how much you have written, either in words or pages. However many words or pages you’ve written, this would be a good starting point for you. Of course, if you go over your word a day or page a day, this just means you’ll reach your goal that much faster, but what you don’t want to do is consistently not make your daily goal.

If, after a month or so, you notice that you’ve been consistently going over your count, simply change your marker.

That’s it for now.

Start Writing Your Memoir

In our last post, we talked about the difference between a memoir and a biography. In this post, I am going to share the first of seven tips to help you start writing your memoir. Although this post is primarily for individuals who haven’t started writing their memoir, even if you have begun writing, you may still find this series of blog posts helpful. The goal of this series is to generate a first draft of your memoir.

Tip #1:

Decide how you’re going to write the first draft of your memoir. Are you going to type it using a word processing program such as Microsoft’s Word? Or, maybe you already have some experience writing and you would like to use a writing software such as Scrivener. I found Microsoft’s Word sufficient for my first draft of THAT WAS THEN. You can even format in Word using Styles. More about that later, after your first draft has gone through numerous rounds of edits and your manuscript is ready to be formatted.

If the thought of sitting at your computer for a couple of hours each day (some people can churn out several pages in just one hour) does not get your heart thumping with excitement, you may want to consider a dictation-type software such as Dragon. With this device, you can record your voice with a recorded audio device . After you transfer the files (recording) to your computer, Dragon will transcribe the file for you. Although you will need to install the software and set it up, which includes “training” the software to recognize your voice, for some people, this is a more feasible alternative to sitting in front of a computer for a couple of hours each day. You may even finish your first draft faster since most of us talk faster than we type.

Dragon is also a great alternative for individuals who are concerned about spelling and grammar. (You can run each document through the spellcheck once it has been transcribed and leave the editing to a good copy editor.) Keep in mind that there will probably be some clean up involved, as the software is not 100% accurate. (The more you use it, the better it will work for you.)

I found sitting at my computer each day helped me to establish a writing routine, which helped me to write my first draft in three months. That’s it for now.