Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Some notes on Editing

If you're looking for real help on a completed manuscript, you most likely need someone with actual editing experience. This isn't to say that friend readers can't give useful input - but effective editing is a real professional skill and not everybody does it well. It can be especially hard for writers, since editing is not the same as re-writing, which - for writers - is always a temptation. Critique is not the same as fix. You don't need to know how another writer would write your book; you need to know what you should do to write it better.

A trusted reader is important and it's wonderful to have one - but a rule of thumb is that the trusted reader should not be a family member or a buddy unless (1) you can absolutely count on them to give you an honest and possibly unpalatable critique which (2) won't destroy your relationship forever, and (3) you have good intellectual reasons to respect their advice. Not all opinions are created equal.

The other thing to think about is that asking somebody to read/edit/comment upon a manuscript is a huge deal -  it's a request for a major time commitment. At publishing companies, your editor is paid to do this (yes, they're PAID to make hateful comments). (Usual practice: they send one paragraph about how much they loved your book, followed by four single-spaced pages of everything that was wrong with it.) 

Not-yet-published authors have the option to send their manuscripts to a professional editor - if you check online, there are manuscript editing services all over the place. These do, however, cost, and obviously that's an issue. But if you're serious about your book, might be worth the investment.

A good editor can make a huge difference.

Rebecca Rupp

Friday, February 22, 2019

Meeting Minutes February 21 2019

Meeting commenced at 6 pm.  There were 9 members present. Becky was absent so Michelle led the meeting.  We had a brief discussion of upcoming writing contests and events.

Events

Open mic night NorthWest Access TV February 22, 2019. 6:30-9. "Join Northwest Access TV and Lesley Nase for our first ever Storytelling Open Mic."

Scott's regular bimonthly performance at the Traveled Cup in St. Albans Vt. Next performance February 23.

April is National Poetry Month: The possibility of poetry readings at the Swanton library or possibly recorded at NorthWest Access TV was discussed.

Contests

Reminder: ONE week left to enter Hunger Mountain Contests.  Information found HERE

Booksie First Chapter contest.  Deadline June 14th.  Information found HERE

Announcements

Judy announced the limited publication of a booklet containing the winners of the 2018 Edwin M. Church Award as well as several of the contest entries. More details to follow.  Announcement for the 2019 adult contest should come in May. The deadline for the youth contest is April 1st.  Find the application HERE

Michelle mentioned the Itty Bitty Writing Space Anthology she will be published in.  The book is slated for a June release.

New member Harry G shared some of his past and present projects.  He has 2 Indie films on Amazon Prime: "Bridges" and "The Nightingale Chronicles". Both are filmed in Vermont. He is independently publishing a novel: 2 linked novellas. "The Green Mountain Sap Suckers". Currently creating a graphic novel/comic book based on the novel and adapting the text to a play manuscript.

Two requests for editing help were put forth by group members.  The first by new member Mike B for helping with his steamboat manuscript.  The second by Don on Becky's behalf.  A friend seeking help with editing/reviewing his 62,000 word manuscript on Street Rodding. Nancy and Kylie both offered to read portions of the latter. Nancy will read Mike's manuscript.

There was a discussion about meeting structure. Emmet suggested shorter opening remarks, announcements etc in order to leave more time for those who wished to read their work and receive feedback. Announcements, contests etc could be emailed separately. Kylie suggested sending work to group members in advance.  Giving them a chance to read and bring prepared feedback to the meetings. There was some conversation about interested group members holding meetings in between our regular monthly sessions.  Time, place TBD.

Writing prompts for March if you are interested. Phrase: "I lost sight of it two or three times." and/or the photo below.



The meeting concluded with readings by 4 group members. Nancy read her short memoir piece "The Disconnect and Long Way Home". Kylie read part of her novel "Homebound" Scott read a proposed memoir style piece which he might elaborate on. Emmet read part of one of his Dystopia novels in progress.

Next meeting is Thursday, March 21st. 6 pm at the Swanton Public Library.


Friday, February 1, 2019

Meeting Minutes January 31st 2019

Attendees: Don LeFebvre, Nancy Fuller, Joy Choquette, Richard Jervis, Annie Matthieu, Emmet Matthieu, Gerhard Andres, Scott Martell, Kylie Fauth, Judy Paxman, Becky Rupp (Minutes taken by Beck)

Upcoming items of interest:

Friday, February 1
Vermont Writes Day Seven minutes of writing on one of seven topics; all ages can participate. For topics list, see https://youngwritersproject.org/node/26496.

February is National Letter Writing Month
See International Correspondence Month (InCoWriMo) HERE or Letter Month HERE. The challenge: write a letter or card a day for 28 days. Options for artwork and penpals.

April is National Poetry Writing Month
We'll be doing the Great Poetry Read again at the Swanton Library, to be filmed by NW Access TV in March and shown on Channel 15 during April.
Everybody welcome - can read your own poetry or that of a favorite poet. Get in touch with me if you're interested in participating.

Burlington Writers Workshop (see the link on the right side of the blog)
Free workshops in poetry, songwriting, creative nonfiction, and fiction, plus book discussion groups. Ongoing - see their winter calendar online. Burlington EVENTS. There are workshops and retreats in Montpelier and Middlebury, as well.

League of Vermont Writers
Next program slated for April 13; no info published yet.

Interest in another author's panel?
Sounds like a yes. Possible participants include Bill Schubart, Stephen Payne, Chris Bojahlian, Chloe Viner, Joy Choquette, Jo Knowles. Send suggestions and I'll sent requests.

Who's interested in a book-to-movie discussion group at the library? The plan would be to choose a couple of possibilities in advance, such that participants would have time to read/watch before meetings.

Meeting structure:

It was suggested that it's best to send out announcements/items of interest in a pre-meeting email, rather than present during the meeting. Becky will do her best.

It was also re-affirmed that we'll try to keep readings to 1000 words or so (about four double-spaced pages, with waffle room).

We discussed the fact that simply reading, without comment or input, doesn't help anyone hone their work - but it's difficult to come up with helpful comments off-the-cuff after hearing a single reading. For those who are comfortable - if you send me a copy of a work you plan to read in advance of the meeting, I'll forward to all SWG members so that they can put together some thoughts in advance.

Readings this meeting: Annie Matthieu, Emmet Matthieu, Nancy Fuller, Scott Martell, Richard Jervis, Kylie Fauth.

WRITING PROMPTS for next meeting, should you decide to accept them: see below. (Scientific discovery and skunks. I'm sure you can do something with that.)

Next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 21, 6 PM, at the Swanton Library.

There's been interest in having a meeting every two weeks - what do you think? Vote!

And, if you haven't already, please like our Facebook PAGE

Meeting Minutes March 21st 2019

Only a few members attended the meeting which commenced at 6 pm.  Several upcoming events and workshops were discussed and proposed. April...