Minnie’s Page(s) – one lonesome woman’s attempts at writing that magnum opus

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Hello! This is Minnie Karsan, a pseudonym I am using to hide my real identity. I want to be known by my pseudonym as I – ahem- am writing a novel . And that novel is about the great, glittery city, Dubai, and the folks who live here. And it’s full of laffs. So you see why I want to use a pen name, just in case someone decides to sue me. Not that my book is about any particular individual. Still – I have to be careful!

 

I’m going to share with you my experiences as a writer, all the trials and tribulations we of the writing fraternity go through. So here I go….

                                                                     Editors or Creditors?!!

'Can you redo this manuscript, John, and make it less stupid?'
‘Can you redo this manuscript, John, and make it less stupid?’

Editors! They are a breed apart, and they can make you or break you. It’s so important to choose the right editor for your book, before you send it off to agents and publishers. And herein lies the rub!

Now, let me confess- my book has gone to three editors. The first time, it was a totally wrong person. She did not stick to her commitment and returned it to me after four months-  after, of course, I’d paid her money upfront. And there were just a few paras telling me in nice words how awful my novel was. At least, that’s the feeling I got.

Anyway, I worked on the it and made changes as she had suggested, and sent it along to another editor, this time from a well-known agency based in the UK. The feedback was better, but obviously my book was still not up to the mark.

I then sat down at my desk once more, despairing at my ever-expanding bottom, and got down to it for the nth time. I decided to change everything about my book, write it in the first person and make it funny. My protagonist would not be sad and serious but airy-headed and fun. I used some of the same details as in my original attempt, but literally infused it with humour. I’ve finally got it- or at least I think I have! I’ve now sent it off to yet another editor, and am waiting for her response. And this time, I was careful about who I chose.

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How to choose an editor? Now there are editors, and there are editors. The main mistake I’d made (the first time) was not sending it to an editor who liked my genre (women’s fiction.) The second time, I didn’t have a choice as the agency chose the editor for me- and she was someone who wrote erotic fiction!

Now, my advice to you is don’t rush it when finding an editor. Ask a few hard questions. See what books she or he has helped an author publish. (Editors usually boast about this on their page.) If the books have been accepted by a traditional publisher, that’s a big check mark. But if all the books are self-published, I’d cast my net again.

I’ve been told to send my book to those editors who’ve been editing my favorite author’s books, books similar to mine. But that’s easier said than done. Very few authors give out the names of their editors, although you just might be lucky if you skin the acknowledgements page.

And one last word. Some editors just do not get back to you. This I experienced on more than one occasion. And I automatically thought my book was so poorly written that it did not even merit a response! Well, all I can say is, have faith in yourself and your writing. You are paying big bucks, the little nest that you’ve saved up to spend on yourself, and if an editor does not respond, it just reflects badly on his or her professionalism.

Let me get back my edited novel, and I’ll share the comments with you- warts n all! Maybe I have another big rewrite? Maybe I should abandon this work altogether and start something afresh? Dear writers, like it or not, I’m dragging you along on this journey!

I’d love to hear your comments about your editorial woes (or commendations).

Until next time…..

Minnie

(Cartoons and images from Cartoonstock)

4 thoughts on “Minnie’s Page(s) – one lonesome woman’s attempts at writing that magnum opus

  1. Wow! I’m so impressed Minnie, by your never say die approach to writing. No matter how many hurdles you had to cross and how much criticism you had received, you continued your quest with resilience and resolve. That’s the part and parcel being an author- you have to have a thick hide and a steely determination.
    I’m sure your novel is as fluidly and interestingly written as this blog. My best wishes are with you. Your tips on finding editor are great. I’d like to share them with other writers on Twitter. Can’t wait to see your novel on the shelves of the bookstores. Hopefully, I’ll get a signed copy for my bookshelf.

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    1. Hi Chandana: Thank you for your kind comments. Yes, writing is indeed hard work, and no matter what distractions or criticism you face, you just have to soldier on! Actually, this is not really a boring trudge, but can be immensely creative as you think up of better ways to say what you have to say!
      Researching the right kind of editor is vital for the success of your book, something I learnt the hard way!
      Thanks so much for wanting to share my blog on Twitter! I am flattered! And thanks too for your encouraging words!

      Like

  2. I totally agree with how important it is to find the right editor! I had an author tell me once that it’s like picking your spouse. You’ll be working very closely together so you’ve got to like and respect one another!

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    1. Hi Anne:
      Hahaha! I love that simile! Yes, indeed, it is like choosing the right partner. The wrong one may not only lead you down the wrong path, but totally wreck your book!
      Thank you for your comments.

      Like

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