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Posted By John Poindexter

“You want to write a novel?  What type are you going to do? “

 

“Type?”

 

“Yes, type. There are many different genres to choose from, such as romance, historical romance, erotic romance, westerns, crime, paranormal, young adult, and many more.”

 

“Wow! I thought I just could sit down and write my story and get it published.”

 

This seems to be the consensus of several young people. Most believe that it is easy to get a book published. They don’t seem to know that it took even great authors a long time to convince a company to accept their belief that the book they just wrote will make money.

 

Once the book is written, you should leave it sit for some time before you begin going over it again with a marker to identify the mistakes in time, setting, character details, spelling, and plot that needs to be fixed. Editing takes a long time to do. It is not something that can be rushed. Nor do you want it to be rushed. You want to turn out the best work you can so that those long waiting years are reduced as much as possible.

 

It also could be that once you have written that story and made all the corrections, it may still be not the one that gets published. Yes, that is right, it may not be published.

 

First novels are not always the one chosen by a company to be your debut novel. That is why you must continue to write. It could be your second or even fifth book before someone says, “I want to buy your book.”

 

Someone said the other day in their blog that there were several thousand books out there waiting to be sold to publishers.  This is why it may take what seems forever to get one of your stories looked at by an agent or publisher.

 

You can’t just throw something together and say okay buy my book because it is the greatest.

 

Oh! And don’t think your old English teacher will be glad to edit your work for free. Besides having to do his own, he needs to eat.

 

 

 
Posted By John Poindexter

Why is it that teenagers think they can just write anyway they want and it doesn’t matter if it is correct or not?  Do they do it on purpose or is it the way they are being taught?  It ceases to surprise me when I see an essay with no apostrophes, commas, or even slang and vulgar words in it. I am growing use to having to mark up a paper that could be a great paper if the person would just go back and edit.

 

I usually go over all the common mistakes that are made like those mentioned above and even with that I will still have papers that come in with all of these mistakes, and now I get them with texting errors (lol, u ur, bff).

 

As I start another year of teaching, I hope this year brings papers that have been written seriously for a change and edited, especially edited by the writer. It seems that no matter how much you explain the importance of editing, they say, “Well I ran spell checker and there were no mistakes.”

 

I worry that these same people will be the ones to start uploading their stories to Amazon. They will not have it professionally edited and will contain the same mistakes that I pointed out to the ones that were in my classes. Why will this happen?  Because it seems that all teenagers make the same mistakes and these teenagers become adults who continue to write like they did when younger.

 

I blame texting and the Internet for bringing about this abbreviated writing style. They are so used to doing it, they don’t even pay attention to what they are doing when they write for an audience.

 

Of course, the reviews will show that they are full of errors and then no one will buy it. We can only hope that when this happens, they will finally wake up and realize that if you write crap, you get crap in return.

 
Posted By John Poindexter

When I first started writing and wanting to be published, I kept running into articles that expressed the fact that you must have your work edited by a professional. I sat down one summer and for ten hours a day for five days I wrote the story I wanted to write. Then I thought, I will edit it and see how it does.  I sent my queries to several publishers and a few agents, getting rejection after rejection.

 

I decided it was time to polish it some more and then send out again. This time I found an agent that said it was good, but rough and needed a professional editor to go over it. If I was willing to pay the thousand dollar fee, he would consider it again after the editing.

Being a new writer and having no knowledge of how things worked I decided to go for it, even though that was a lot of money as I was just starting a new career after leaving the military. When I received it back, I fixed the errors they had marked and sent it out to agents again saying this time it had been to the Edit Ink editor and rewritten based on his edits. Not one of them bothered to stop laughing long enough to let me know that Edit Ink was a Scam Artist that stole people‘s money and didn’t really help a writer at all.  Finally, it came out that Edit Ink and several other agencies like it were Scam Artist and were ripping people off for large sums of money.

 

One state even went as far as to sue the owners of Edit Ink and a couple of other places, and even though the court awarded the authors compensation I and others never received a cent. Now we have the Internet and there are still Scam Artists out there. You have to really check out the people you want to work with or you too will lose your money.

One place to go is Preditors and Editors and see what they have to say about agents, publishers, etc. Their website is located at http://pred-ed.com/ .  They will list if it is a good company or agent to work with or not.

 

Even with this, you need to be careful and really check out who you choose to work with by asking for references and authors they represent. If they are honest they will give you the names to ask about their relationship. All I can say is read, read and read some more. The more you learn about the business of writing, the better prepared you will be when it is time to go looking for an agent.

 

I have read quite a bit about several agents and publishers via social media sites and other material. I am impressed with several agents that I hope to pitch in the future. I will be grateful if I can get one of these to work with me toward publishing my novels.

 

What have been your experiences?  Please leave a comment. 

 
Posted By John Poindexter

My summer is almost over and I still have not finished editing the novel. Now with a house full, it is harder to find time when I can concentrate to work on it without one of the grandchildren coming in and asking, “What you doing papaw?”

 

Also my mind is now on going back to work and how to get the students active in their studies while it is still warm outside. Even though most of my students are seniors, and should be the most mature of all high school students, it is still hard to get them motivated because they feel they don’t have to do any work since it is their last year.  Of course, I am there to burst that bubble.

 

Reading on a writer’s Facebook page, I find that she and I share the use of what I call round-robin writing.  I usually break the class up into groups of three or four and provide the first sentence for them to start their story. I stress they need to try and read only the previous sentence and not the whole thing so that they base their new one off of just the last one. Of course, this doesn’t always work.

 

When I first started using this writing technique the students did a wonderful job of creating great stories. Now I get obscene, ridiculous sentences that make no sense at all. They want to steal ideas from rap songs and video games, instead of using their own minds to come up with something that is not only appropriate for a school setting, but for the story itself.

 

As I read over these so-called stories, I wonder about the future and where the next great writers will come from. Will there be any real novels coming out or just regurgitated tales made up from games they play or songs they hear.

 

Could this will be the year when the writings go back to being original thought and something wonderful to read? (I can dream, can’t I?)

 

Maybe placing my writing award and pieces of my novel on the wall will inspire some of them to take up serious writing.

 

Granddaughter just came in for the fifth time today. “Hi papaw, what you doing?” Same answer as before, "I’m writing."

 

Have a great week and share your thoughts on the next generation of authors.

 

Sixth time, it is going to be a long day.

 

Until next time,

 

John

 

 

 

 

 
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