Reactions to a Sea of Red: Guest Post by Chris Lippincott

An author’s reaction to editing is something editors worry about, as I did when I returned first edits to practicing psychic medium and bestselling author Chris Lippincott. Chris’s compelling storytelling only needed a light editing touch, and our collaboration on his work  paid off: Spirits Beside Us has been the #1 Amazon New Release in death, grief & spirituality since its release. It’s a fascinating look at his journey into mediumship, describes what the other side is like, and offers some remarkable mediumship readings and healing messages that have proven to be life-transforming to the recipients.

Take it away, Chris.

*****

When I began writing my first book, I thought I was creating a magnificent masterpiece. In my mind, it sounded like it flowed, and everyone would be able to understand exactly what I was trying to say. I wrote about my passion and about what I knew, so the content was certainly present. It seemed like the words had spewed forth onto the page like water from a garden hose. After I had completed all my edits and polished my first draft, I was utterly convinced it was the perfect manuscript. All it needed, in my mind, was someone to proofread my work, and it could soon join the great works of the world. Little did I realize, however, that often my writing style lacked the polish that would make it a great work.

Don’t Take Edits Personally

This came as a blow to my ego as well as a frustrating realization that I actually had much more work ahead of me. When I received my manuscript back from my editor Candace, I was at first horrified by the sea of red all over my draft. It practically looked like there were more red marks and corrections than there were black letters. I thought, “Well, clearly, she just doesn’t like my writing and has got it all wrong.”

Try as I might to avoid the extra work (or the blow to my ego), it began to dawn on me that many of her corrections were, in fact, quite necessary. What author ever wants their own words, their living, breathing manuscript, over which they have labored so tirelessly and finally given birth, to receive the painfully sharp cuts of an editorial scalpel? I venture to say no one would wish that upon their own worst enemy.

What author ever wants their own words, their living, breathing manuscript, over which they have labored so tirelessly and finally given birth, to receive the painfully sharp cuts of an editorial scalpel? Click To Tweet

However, to make our prose sing to the heavens and truly connect with our readers, we need the expertise of an editor well versed in the editorial process. It is their knowledge and expertise that enables them to polish our roughhewn manuscripts into shining gems. Editors are the unsung heroes of the literary world. They rarely receive the credit they deserve as they typically are hidden in the background, while the author’s name is seen in bright lights. However, without these critical editors, few authors would ever have their name in lights. Continue reading “Reactions to a Sea of Red: Guest Post by Chris Lippincott”

Courageous Writing: Guest Blog Post by Denise Bossarte

I’m excited to introduce you to Denise Bossarte, a self-proclaimed thriver, award-winning writer, and artist. I met Denise when she contacted me for help with polishing her book proposal. Denise’s subject is one that takes a lot of courage to examine in writing, and I know other writers will benefit from reading her story. Take it away, Denise!

(Update 04.24.21: Denise’s book, Thriving After Sexual Abuse: Break Your Bondage to the Past and Live a Life You Love, is now available! Learn more at https://thrivingaftersexualabusebook.com/.)

**********

Writing takes a lot of courage. It doesn’t matter what you are writing about; you are putting pieces of yourself down on paper. And if you want to publish what you write, your poetry, your novel, your nonfiction book (traditionally or self-published) then you are stepping up to a whole other level of courage to believe that your writing is good enough and your work compelling enough for other people to want to read it.

My first effort at courageous writing was in fiction. 

Genesis of My First Novel: My Process

My first novel, Glamorous, started off literally as a dream I had while living in Atlanta. I was sick with bronchitis, as I often was in the winter. In that state of too-tired-to-sleep, I daydreamed about a PI and a case he took that had paranormal aspects to it.

It was years later that I decided to write the full novel. My good friend was writing a science fiction novel, and we would meet once a week to talk about his book. He went on to be a very successful self-published author and was eventually picked up by 47North, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Amazon Publishing. I had my friend there to guide me through the steps to get a novel self-published—all I had to do was write it!

Some authors plot out every detail for each chapter on sticky notes or notecards. Some just jump in and see where the writing takes them. I did a combination of both. I am a data analyst by trade, so I’m used to working with structure, and I needed a bit of that to feel comfortable knowing the main points of the novel. For that I used what had worked so successfully for my friend: I followed his interpretation of Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need into beats for a story with four parts: Orphan, Wanderer, Warrior, and Martyr.

And I let the artistic side of me daydream about the characters’ background, motives, and behaviors as well as the plot. Each chapter I would run through my mind like a movie, exploring what would happen and how the characters would react, what they would say or do.

Once I felt I had the “screen” version firm in my mind, I would sit down and capture it on the page. Usually I spent about two hours of writing per chapter. And I had to learn the hard way to just be brave enough to put down whatever flowed through the keyboard and worry about perfection later. Trust that it was good enough and that I could make it better later, otherwise I wouldn’t get farther than the first sentence!

Courage came into play once again when putting my work in front of development editors and having to hear them say how much work my manuscript needed. I had slaved for months on the book, and it was heartbreaking to learn I was still very far away from a publishable book.

So I put on my big girl pants and dug into it. I learned to be vulnerable and open enough to take what they said and make it my own, to put it into my own voice. And the results were a night-and-day difference in the quality of the story. Continue reading “Courageous Writing: Guest Blog Post by Denise Bossarte”

Celebrate #InternationalWomensDay with The Healing Power of Girlfriends

 Some of my most important and long-term relationships are with my girlfriends. Whether you’re on top of the world or in the depths of despair (or somewhere in between), there’s something about spending time with another woman who really gets you that can’t be replaced by a spouse, partner, child, parent, or coworker.

When Deborah Olson first contacted me about the book she was writing, detailing these special relationships and how healing they can be for women, I was excited to learn more. Today, that book is available for your reading pleasure: The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 than to add this book to your personal library.

Women and Friendship

When Deborah and I first spoke, she shared that as a women’s emotional health specialist she often hears the same types of things from her clients, including:

  • the importance of having a close friend to confide in,
  • how hurt they are when a friend turns out to be anything but,
  • the frustration of trying to make time for girlfriends while juggling work and home life,
  • confusion over the mixed signals they sometime get from other women, and
  • uncertainty about where to find like-minded women who are also looking for new friends.

These are just a few of the myriad topics Deborah covers in her new book, The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connectionavailable now in paperback and for Kindle.

“Packed with inspiration, insights, and personal stories, this book captures the nuances and uniqueness of the bonds that only exist within friendships between women.” —Allison Abrams, LCSW-R, psychotherapist, author, and contributing expert for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post

Don’t Try to Stop a Passionate Writer

Deborah and I have worked together on this book for months, taking it from concept to publication. As for many writers, publishing a book has always been dream for her, and she really went for it, learning all she could about publishing and marketing a book while she continued writing and revising her manuscript.  Oh, and that’s while she dealt with a few personal challenges, like helping her daughter whose home was destroyed in Hurricane Harvey in August, 2017, and facing her husband’s serious health challenges over much of 2018.

Through it all, Deborah worked on this book with a goal to make it a go-to source for inspiration, insights, and personal stories based on her years of clinical experience, scientific research, questionnaire responses, and personal anecdotes.  Continue reading “Celebrate #InternationalWomensDay with The Healing Power of Girlfriends”

Suffering from Anxiety or Depression? Mind Easing Is for YOU!

Mind Easing: The 3-Layer Healing Plan for Anxiety and Depression by Bick Wanck, MD, one of the founding members of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and an experienced clinician, writer, and educator, is available today as a paperback and ebook.

I’m thrilled to announce the publication of this fantastic resource that shows how to relieve and often resolve anxiety and depression by assisting the mind’s natural ability to heal. Today more than ever, we need to be our own healers, and this is especially true in the management of anxiety and depression.

The Missing Link Between Holistic Healing and Conventional Mental Health Treatment

In the first major conceptual leap in mental health care in forty years, Mind Easing’s 3-Layered Healing Plan directly promotes the body’s natural healing processes with the first comprehensive plan for healing human distress. This unique approach harmonizes wellness approaches, therapy, and, when needed, medicine into a safe and effective plan tailored to individual needs and preferences.

Continue reading “Suffering from Anxiety or Depression? Mind Easing Is for YOU!”

The Healing Power of Girlfriends: It’s Time for the Cover Reveal!

I have exciting news to share!

Women’s health specialist Deborah A. Olson, RN, MA, LPC, has been working for months on her book The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection … and I’m the lucky editor she chose to work with.

What’s the book about?

Deborah is passionate about helping women in every area of their lives, and in this book she shares decades of insights she’s gleaned about connection, communication, and intimacy in healthy friendships to help you nurture your current friendships and find new ones.

The Healing Power of Girlfriends will help you avoid toxic friendships, understand the role expectations play in women’s friendships, and learn how power dynamics can hurt or heal these special relationships. It is chock-full of personal anecdotes, scientific research, and therapeutic advice that any woman can use to support and honor these special friendships.

Today Deborah is revealing her book’s cover!

And now … drumroll, please … the cover reveal for The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection.

 

 

Doesn’t that cover make you want to grab a couple of your besties and head to warmer weather?

If you’re someone who has taken a book from dream to reality, you know how exhilarating the time approaching the publication date can be. And so many decisions have to be made, including what the cover will look like. Deborah’s “happy place” is at the beach, and I think she nailed that one, don’t you?

#SendACardtoAFriend Day

Deborah’s timing couldn’t better! Today is Send a Card to a Friend Day … so pick one or two—or 12—of your besties who have been a source of support and healing for you, and send them a card to let them know how much you value them!

Learn more about Deborah, her work with women, and The Healing Power of Girlfriends (available March 8, 2019) by visiting her website at https://www.galleriacounseling.com/book/. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for updates.

**********

Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer,  and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help, and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining the author’s unique voice while helping them create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here.

For more great writing and publishing information, follow  Change It Up Editing and Writing Services on Facebook, where I share interesting articles and links about writing and publishing. And let’s connect on Twitter and LinkedIn too!

 

 

 

Please Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes with Your NaNo Novel

Did you “win” NaNo? Are you already intoxicated by the sweet smell of success? Congratulations—you’ve earned it! Let’s talk about what you should—and shouldn’t—do for your next steps. Don’t make these mistakes with your NaNoWriMo Novel.

November is over, and with it the end of NaNoWriMo. The blog posts I read during the month were filled with frenzied accounts of growing word counts and even some samples of WIPs.

Did You “Win” NaNoWriMo?

Those who didn’t make it learned some valuable lessons about writing, themselves, and their approach to writing—so truly, there is no such thing as NOT winning NaNoWriMo because whether you make that 50,000 word count or not, you’re a better writer now than you were a month ago.

By the way, I agree with Chuck Wendig’s comments about the language of NaNoWriMo, specifically “winning” and “losing.” Continue reading “Please Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes with Your NaNo Novel”

Are You Making this Common Mistake with Appositives?

An appositive is a modifier. It’s a noun or noun phrase that immediately follows another noun or noun phrase to further define it. You probably use appositives all the time without even realizing it. But are you punctuating them correctly?

Why am I devoting a blog to appositives? I’m so glad you asked!

Learning how to punctuate appositives—most often done with commas but sometimes with parentheses—isn’t difficult, but I see incorrect examples almost every day. The sad thing is that so many of this common appositive punctuation mistakes show up in Amazon book descriptions, websites, book reviews, and pretty much anywhere you find the written word.

Punctuating appositive nouns and phrases is easy once you understand the rules. Click To Tweet

So let’s review definitions, and then I’ll show you how easy it is to correctly punctuate whenever you use an appositive in your writing.

What Is an Appositive?

As a reminder, an appositive is a noun or noun phrase that provides additional information. Like other types of modifiers, an appositive can be essential (restrictive) or nonessential (nonrestrictive) to the sentence. Removing an essential modifier may cause confusion, but removing a nonessential one still leaves most of the meaning intact.

Essential: My cockatoo Snowflake attacked my computer.

Nonessential: My cockatoo, Snowflake, attacked my computer.

Snowflake’s handiwork the day she decided I was working too much.
Snowflake the Cockatoo

What’s the difference, and why does it matter?

If I had more than one cockatoo, I wouldn’t use a comma—I’d want to make it clear that I’m discussing Snowflake and not another bird. I’m specifically throwing “Snowflake” under the bus (she deserves it, don’t you think?). If I delete her name (the essential modifier), I remove the clue that tells you which bird was the culprit, so I could be referring to one of several birds.

The second example is the one I personally would use because I only have one cockatoo, and her name is Snowflake. If I delete the appositive (her name), which is a nonessential modifier, you still know my only pet cockatoo created some trouble. Continue reading “Are You Making this Common Mistake with Appositives?”

The Importance of a Second Pair of Eyes: My Interview at Jera Publishing

Imagine my surprise when Camille Wise, intern at Jera Publishing, contacted me for an interview! Camille is a talented high school senior who is completing an internship with Kimberly Martin at Jera, and she kept me on my toes with her insightful questions about my work as a professional freelance editor. I hope you’ll join me for the interview over at Jera Publishing to learn a bit more about me and my work; here’s an excerpt:

One professional who can transform your book into a front-of-the-bookstore kind of novel is Candace Johnson, owner of Change It Up Editing. Jera Publishing highly recommends her, along with several other editors, to clients in need of manuscript revisions. Because I felt authors deserved a better grasp of editing, I called Candace on a Monday afternoon to learn why it’s such an imperative part of the writing process. If you’re an up-and-coming writer, the following interview is just for you.

Read the rest at https://bit.ly/2uxJBvm.

********************************************************

Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, and writing coach for fiction and nonfiction. She works with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Are You “Good” or Are You “Well”?

 

When someone asks how you are, do you answer, “I’m good,” or “I’m well”?

Is one response more grammatically correct than the other?

Everything Is “Good” and “Well” Until Someone Gets Upset

Part of my job as a freelance editor is to stay abreast of language and grammar styles. That’s not as easy as it might sound—language is always changing to accommodate its users, which is why applying grammar “rules” can be quite challenging at times.

A few weeks ago, I read this on Twitter:

Whenever I ask someone “How are you doing?” and they respond “Well” instead of “Good” I’m like “Oh [explitive] I’m surprised they let you leave Harvard without making you the dean”[sic]

Who knew the difference between responding “I’m good” and “I’m well” was such a point of contention?

That tweet received more than 2,600 likes and was shared 378 times.

Commenters came down passionately on both sides of the discussion; here are a few of my favorites (including the verbatim grammatical errors): Continue reading “Are You “Good” or Are You “Well”?”

5 Things I Learned While Searching for an Editor: Guest Post by Eleora Han, PhD

Please join me in welcoming Eleora Han, PhD, whose book Grieving the Loss of a Love is now available. When I invited her to share some of her story, she was kind enough to write about looking for and finding her editor.

***********************************

I just published a book about working through grief after loss. Surprisingly, I found that one of the most difficult parts of the process was finding the right editor.

Writing a Book Isn’t Like Other Writing

As a psychologist I’ve written or co-authored many scientific articles in peer-reviewed academic journals. Though I felt confident in my writing abilities, I soon realized that writing a book was different. How best should the material be organized and structured, I wondered. Is this writing too academic, or is it appropriate for general audiences? Is any of this any good?

I decided that I needed a partner of sorts—someone supportive who knew the ropes and the lay of the land—someone to bounce ideas off. I soon learned that in the land of publishing, this partner is sometimes known as an editor.

Searching for My Perfect Editor

Once I had my rough draft in hand, I began my search. I didn’t know much about how to search for an editor, but some sources said to look on Upwork, so I began my search there. I posted a job ad and soon received responses from thirty or so applicants, all with dramatically different qualifications and pricing bids. I reviewed their work samples and asked those who were willing to provide sample edits of the first three pages of my manuscript.

Many of the applicants were nice and provided great feedback, but reviewing their work made me realize several critical things:

  1. Anyone can call themselves an editor.

I received applications from teachers, psychologists, college students, hospitalists, pastors, the unemployed, creative writing instructors with literary magazine publications, and newspaper reporters. The variety surprised me! I wanted to work with an editor with prior experience working at a publishing company, but unfortunately none of them did.

  1. Being an editor means different things to different people.

For most of the people on Upwork, editing seemed to mean sending them my draft and then they would email it back to me with their edits … but I wanted someone who was more of a collaborator of sorts, someone I could exchange ideas with and learn from, someone I could turn to for support and help in understanding how the world of publishing works. Continue reading “5 Things I Learned While Searching for an Editor: Guest Post by Eleora Han, PhD”

%d bloggers like this: