#Writerinmotion Week 7: Wrap-Up and How to Perfect Your Own Work

Well, everyone, this is the end of the seven-week blog journey for the #writerinmotion experience. I would like to thank the editors who signed on for this journey, my friends who commented on my blog and via the WIM Twitter feed. I would like to thank my three CPs for their excellent feedback including my editor, Jeni Chappelle, too. Although I haven’t written a short story in a decade, it did feel good to write one again for this special journey. And I’m glad to share my transformation on how my rough draft sparkled and shined in the final draft last week. And this snippet had prompted me to write Light my Fire in a novel form next spring. I’ve made some new friends and future CPs/betas for future projects as we’ll keep the WIM Twitter feed and Slack channel active after this weekend.

Here are some takeaway tips on how you can use the #WIM experience for your own work. It’s all about how to write something from scratch and polish it in its final draft. (I’ve seen some people misused the hash tag–except for two people–when they’ve gotten the wrong idea. It had nothing to do with self-promoting books, journal writing or traveling.)  WIM is perfect for all types of writing formats–short works (short stories, flash fiction, scripts and plays, poetry and songs, graphic novels and comic books), nonfiction (essays, blogs and articles, biography and memoir chapters, devotions and newsletters, and longer works (novel and novella chapters from any age and genre market). And yes for those who are in the query trenches, it’s perfect for queries, writing a synopsis, and Twitter pitches. Whether you’re going the traditional, self-publishing, indie, small press or hybrid publishing route, it works!

Step 1: Write It Out. Whether prompted by a photo or an idea or not, write it out in free write. Don’t edit and have a daily word count in mind. Start with writing 500 words a day on paper or on your computer. You can do it at home, at the library or coffee shop, or during your lunch hour break for work. No distractions. Keep in mind, shorter works in both nonfiction and fiction would take less time to write than longer ones. After you get one writing, let it rest and set for a moment like a weekend or a week before you can read it with fresh eyes.

2. Self-Edit to Trim It Down. This is when you cut out of the fat and weed out the passive and filter words, the adverbs and extra descriptive adjectives. Take out the fluff and trim it until you have a set word count (or line count for poetry/songs) in mind. There are many useful venues online and in books about which words you can cut out without doing any harm to your work. If you’re an underwriter, you need to add the fat. If you’re an overwrite like me, you need to cut it out. There are other websites that are perfect for self-editing like Pro Writing Aid and Edit Minion for starters. Is there any wordy sentences or big graphs or repetition? Trim it down until it’s good enough for the next step.

3. Betas are Worth Gold. Now it’s time to give it to another set of fresh eyes to help you. make stronger and trimmer. Whether you have one or a few, it’s time to grab an alpha reader, a beta reader, and a critique partner. You can find them online, on Twitter and on Facebook, your local Meet-Up, an online crit list like the Internet Writing Workshop or Scribophile, or even your local writing group if your library has one. If it’s shorter work or longer, make some new friends. Whether you send them a chapter, 3 chapters or 50 pages, or the full manuscript, work out a system that’s right for you and see if it’s works. And if you’re new to writing and editing,  here are the definitions between the three terms: An alpha reader is a first reader that your provide feedback before its done. A beta reader is someone who gives you feedback from a reader’s standpoint. Sometimes they can be one and the same. And a critique partner is someone who tells you what’s working and not working in the story with a bunch of notes for your feedback. After you let the feedback set in, take charge of your work and make it better and see how it works out.

4. Make it Shine. For those who can afford an editor to evaluate a partial or a full manuscript, this is a great investment for having exceptional work to give you excellent feedback on how to improvement your story. For those who are going the traditional or hybrid/small press route, you would have one for your future stories. For those who are doing indie or self-publishing, you’re on your own. See my special note down below. And if you can’t afford one like me, you can go back to your betas and CPs if they read revisions. Some do and some don’t. If not, find a cold reader to read it through to check for errors by proofreading the manuscript. Note: As a book reviewer for Upwork for two years, I’ve read and review some self-published books for my client for one year. Mostly these authors just write and publish without editing it before it goes on final print. I had to turn down two assignments because of that cause: sloppy unedited work. I couldn’t give it a fair score. Others were fine, but still these self-published authors should’ve known better than to hit the submit button to print it out. If you plan to self-publish or go indie, please proofread and spellcheck your own work and have a beta/CP look it over.  Don’t rush the process and let it gradually happen in time. It would be worth it!

5. Just Hit Send! After you’ve have a cold reader or an editor look it over and you’ve implemented all the feedback to make it publishable and ready for print in literary journals or to editors and agents, even for pitch contests as well, you’re done and look at your work. Move onto the next project and do it all over again. Stay busy and stay active!

As Porky Pig said, that’s all folks! Thanks for following my blog! For my regular blog followers, stay tuned for a regular update in two weeks! See you then!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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