Incorrect Order Words – Sentence Structure #2

I continue my quest for editing and revising, Prophecy Ink, my newest novel. I sit with a lovely cup of tea or frothy cocoa and scrutinize my work. Did I really make that mistake? I could feel inept or embarrassed, but there’s no point. I’m not the first person to make simple mistakes or complicated ones, and I won’t be the last. Which is why I’m sharing my journey so you can rest assured that it’s all okay.

Incorrect Order Word
– Sentence structure

On my last post, I showed how messy my Grammar is by Grammarly’s standards. I’m not afraid to admit to mistakes. If I didn’t have any then I’d have less to blog about. I learn a lot as I go and sometimes it’s gentle “Duh” reminders of something I should know, did know, and maybe forgot… temporarily. To recap, I had 19 sentence structure errors. Not bad, not bad at all.
Sentence Structure: 19
Here are some common sentence structure problems found in my draft of Prophecy Ink. In pink is today’s subject, in purple crossed out has already been covered. Missed it? No problem just click on the purple crossed out word and it will take you to the post.

Incorrect word order
Missing Verb √ 
Squinting Modifier
Incorrect Adverb Placement
Missing _____ in emphatic sentence

Continuing with Incorrect word order. I do this all the time. I find that a big reason for this is simply local jargon, dialect or phrases. Now if found in dialogue, I think carefully, do I want it to be bad since people talk that way? Sometimes. Too much can be irritating to a reader. Outside dialogue, there is no excuse and they all need to be fixed. Here are some examples and what the Grammarly program shows me.

Grammerly 4

I smiled as the funeral director came to tell me the room was set for my guests and me.

I do this a lot. Meh. It’s easy to fix. I can rewrite the sentence or with Grammarly, I click the offered green correction and it fixes it for me with its suggestion. Easy peasy.

Grammerly 5.jpg

There was the chance that he would run but why he would?

This example is one that doesn’t work. (Yes there are other issues with the sentence including the extra word ‘the’ that I took out and replaced it with ‘that’. I’ll leave the rest for other examples.) The reason for this ‘weird fix’ is because I’ve put a rhetorical question in the narrative. It’s a good idea to avoid this as much as possible. To fix it I would rewrite the sentence completely or remove the rhetorical part of it.

The Grammarly suggestion was silly and wouldn’t make sense. Instead, I cleaned up the messy sentence with a simple rewrite.
There was the unlikely chance that he would run.

Incorrect word order is easy to do, it’s also easy to spot and super easy to fix. Sometimes It’s me typing too fast or my fingers not keeping up with my brain. Sometimes it’s as simple as me making a mistake. Stressing about it won’t help. It does need to be fixed and it will be.

My advice about Incorrect Word Order:

Happens it does, fix it you will easily. Haha, I sound like Yoda. Pay attention to the suggested fix it may point out a bigger problem. As always every mistake is a chance to correct it and a bigger opportunity to make it even better. 

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

Froth

Messy, Messy, Messy – Sentence Structure #1 (Missing Verbs)

MessyMessy, Messy, Messy Sentence Structure

Let me start with a housekeeping note: No I’m not talking about washing floors or windows. I’m going to be trying out some new things with my blog and posts. Bear with me as I try out some new looks etc. I’ve been looking around on some blogs, and I think mine could be put together better. I may be wiping this one and starting over. Not sure about that yet. I might need to remove and repost my old blogs. If I do that I’ll be improving them.

Now onto today’s post.

No matter how perfect I think, my writing is, it’s still messy. I have all kinds of errors, some obvious and some not. To work this out, I wade through the swamp of editing and revision. Prophecy Ink is coming along well. I thought I would share some of the mess and what I did to fix it.

At this point, I had the book revised twice.

I talked about this in my last post. I’m using Grammarly to edit and below are some stats on what I have to work on.

Grammerly 1Contextual Spelling: 349
Grammer: 212
Punctuation: 999+ (Um that’s embarrassing)
Sentence Structure: 19
Style: 127
Vocabulary Enhancement: 267

Okay so I promised I’d be honest from the start, and this is… embarrassing. Or is it?  No, I suppose it’s not really since I know I’m not perfect and I’m not a professional writer(Yet).

When Grammarly underlines all of these issues, the page gets messy. It seems a daunting task to cover all of these issues and fix them. It is, but it’s not at the same time. This is my book, my work of art and my passion. So perfecting it is part of the process. It’s like raising a kid, it’s not always pretty, it can get hectic, tedious, and even boring at times but it’s also exciting, amazing, rewarding and even fun.

When I find a sentence that is just crap, focus on it and repair it to perfection it’s rewarding.

For today I’ll look at Sentence structure since it’s the least abundant.

The first example is a short paragraph. It has 4 issues.
Sentence structure: missing Verb
Vocabulary Enhancement: Overused word Bad
Punctuation:  , and
Vocabulary Enhancement: Overused word wide

structure 1

Normally I do my edit with Grammarly with all features turned on. For this example, I’ll show what the Sentence structure feature helped me with.

To address the issue of the missing verb, I added “It’s a” to the sentence. Or

Grammerly 3
I took the sentence out completely and melded it with the first sentence. Editing isn’t about only fixing the immediate issue, it’s an opportunity to write a better sentence. I read the sentence before and the one with the problem and the one after. After two changes I came up with “I nodded and rubbed the small scrape on my forehead.” I covered all the information I wanted to convey, with fewer words and ended up with a sentence that is structured better.

Here are some common sentence structure problems found.
Incorrect word order
Missing Verb
Squinting Modifier
Incorrect Adverb Placement
Missing _____ in emphatic sentence
I will cover these corrections in future posts. And yes I will be using real examples from my new book.

My advice about Missing Verbs:

A great opportunity to fix the entire sentence not just plop in the missing verb. Sure sometimes all you need to do is add the verb and that’s okay too. 

-Sheryl

I couldn’t think of how to fit today’s prompt in other than to say I’ve been listening to classical and string quartet music while editing lately along with a bunch of other genres. Music helps keep my mind from wandering off task. 

Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

Quartet

Filtering Out Those Filter Words

Filtering Out Those Filter Words

I spend a fair amount of time talking about filter words. That is because they plague me without mercy. Some would say they are the hallmark of a bad writer, others would say even the best writers fall prey to them. So what exactly are they?

They are lazy words, extra words and useless words that creep into a sentence too often. They take the place of words with more literary value.

Here are some of the most common ones I find in my writing

  • Believe
  • Wonder
  • Thought, Think, to think
  • See, to see, saw
  • feel, to feel, felt
  • look, looked
  • Touch
  • Realize
  • watch
  • seem
  • note
  • That
  • Just
  • to be able to
  • hear, heard
  • notice
  • experience
  • sound 
  • Pretty
  • Here
  • actually
  • a bit
  • really
  • very
  • simply
  • rather
  • so
  • quite

There are lists aplenty online that have others and explanations. Basically, they can make a sentence stale and or repetitive. These little words can suck the life out of a sentence faster than you can say “I’m pretty sure I believe they seem to be actually very useless words.”

Here are some actual examples from my new story and how I fixed them.

Edna looked away from me and turned to her son. “You really have to stop bringing the stray’s home Tray, you’re not a boy anymore. I’m pretty sure you can’t fix this one.”

Fixed:

Edna released me from her trance and turned to her son. “You must stop bringing the stray’s home Tray, you’re not a boy anymore. You can’t fix this one.”

Not only did I chop out the filter words but I made Edna more of a bitch, which is good for portraying her character.

The next has a lot wrong with it.

Furious, Edna simply told me to sit and be quiet. I didn’t really get a chance to defend myself. I sat with a thud on the cheap chair that felt very lumpy and looked at my phone wondering what to do. I realized she doesn’t seem to understand and doesn’t want to listen to reason. 

That needs some rearranging and fixing for certain.

Here it is fixed;

Furious, Edna pointed at the lumpy cheap chair.”Sit and be quiet.”
She didn’t give me a chance to defend myself. I sat with a thud and scowled at my phone like a sulky child. What do I do? She doesn’t understand and won’t listen to reason. 

That’s better and gets to the point.

Filter words are best found in editing if they are highlighted. I do this all the time. I also highlight overused words like I, me, myself, said, ate, eat, drink, smelled etc… Overused words are easy to find as they are a type of filter words. I explain how I search and find them in Well colour me silly.

Not all filter words are bad, sometimes they fit into the sentence perfectly and belong there. Sometimes, rarely, but if I find myself excusing too many of them, I go back(Change their colours) and look at them again. It can be as simple as deleting them or as complicated as rewriting a sentence or even paragraph. It’s worth it.

My advice about filter words
Find them and then find a better value than them. They are easy to find once you start looking and you will be better off without them.

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

No “Filter Word” Parking Here

Well colour me silly

Mercy

The Little Details

As I make my way through my second edit between living my life, I’ve noticed something is missing.

The little details.

I’m missing the little details. I have people dressed but in what? I have people entering a room but it’s empty. I have people in a car that was never described and dancing to music that isn’t acknowledged.

This is a bad thing, but it’s expected. When I write my original draft, I tend to skip the little details in favor of writing the story. My fingers fly across the keyboard and because they can’t keep up with what I want to say, the little details are left out. This isn’t always the case but it does happen. There will be naysayers out there that say “if you can’t write it properly the first time you’re not a good writer.”  Boo to them. Naysayers will do anything to bring me down and I don’t care what they say.

This book is so much fun and it’s very fast-paced. It happens in under two weeks. Because of the pace and excitement level, I did skip a lot of little details.

I don’t see this as a problem, now I have the opportunity to go back and fix what’s missing with a calm mind.

For example:

Original:

I rushed to get dressed and ran down the stairs to the busy street. I skipped my morning coffee. I would get one from the franchise near the office.

I hurriedly walked the six blocks north and dodged people too busy to care that they were in my way.

This needs some work. Now you don’t know the character or why she’s rushing, that’s not important for this example. Because word count is of little concern this time around, I can embellish without worry.

Corrected:

There was no thought to the grey pencil skirt I slipped over my hips nor the powder blue blouse I fumbled to button. I tore a pair of stockings in my haste and cursed until I had my blue flats on my feet.

After nearly tripping down my apartment stairs out to the busy street, I elected to skip my usual morning coffee from the little shop across the street. I needed to get to the office six blocks north. The sunny morning was an exercise in dodging people too busy to care that they were in my way.

Now she’s wearing specific clothes because this story is fast paced I try to keep track of what each character is wearing by having a day summary for each day in the story.

When putting in details like skipping the coffee, it’s an opportunity to set the mood for later or a moment when she might go to get one elsewhere. When editing it is easy to put in small details that can have a big impact. They are foreshadow’s on a small scale.

Finding the missed details can be a challenge, I’ll often have others read my story and let me know when they can’t imagine what a character’s wearing or doing or where they are exactly.

My advice about little details.
Fit them in without listing them off, have the character interact with the object or space you’re describing. Whether you put them in from the start or later when you edit, don’t forget to mention what kind of coffee someone is sipping.

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

Other posts about details

Details, details, details

She’s a person not a cake

Dancing

Finding Excitement

My post is a bit late this week, but here it is none the less. I was thinking today about how so many things affect the writing process, both good and bad.

On the good side, there’s inspiration, ideas, emotions, mood, events, motivating family/friends, goals and so much more. On the flip side, all of those things in negative can be devastating to progress.

As a human and a writer I try to stay objective and filter out the negative, the comments the looks the moods and emotions. I do my best to stay positive and project that for others. It’s not always easy not to succumb to the negative.

I’m heavy into my second revision of Prophecy, my new book, and I noticed that I was feeling a bit blah about it. Hmm… it’s a hard job, yet rewarding. I love the story and characters but I was ho-hum. Why? Then I realized I was super solo on this part. It’s been a while since I’ve talked about it with the hubby because we’ve talked about it and nothing new is going on other than it’s losing filter words like there’s a hole in the bucket.

Excitement and recognition. As a human and a writer I thrive off recognition, but what about excitement?  Today I was talking with a friend about my book and he asked what it’s about so I gave him the book jacket synopsis. He was intrigued and we talked about the premise and I gave him a bit of a more in-depth semi synopsis. He was excited and told me the concept and ideas were spot-on, that he wanted to know more. That is a good thing. In this high energy conversation, it occurred to me that I shouldn’t just sit quietly that it’s okay to talk about the book and I should be.

This comes with a warning label of sorts. Naysayers and naturally negative or jealous people are not a good conversation when talking about an achievement or my book. They will have a snide tone or even say negative things. I would also never talk plot or ideas with anyone I don’t know or don’t trust.

My point is that I forgot to be excited about my book. Realistically it’s a huge accomplishment. I need to remember that and I need to remind my self that I deserve to be proud of that accomplishment. Everyone does, everyone deserves to be proud of what they do and accomplish. Whether it’s a book, or song, painting or deliciously baked cake, we need to stop worrying about what other people think and enjoy the fact that we have done something. It is even more important not to self-bully our setbacks and errors. Even if All I could write was one paragraph or one chapter of a book, that’s more than never trying at all.

My advice about excitement in accomplishment
It’s important to find excitement and pride in your work, in progress or finished because you bothered to try in the first place. Never let others tear you down, never let jealousy bring your spirits low. Be proud and be excited and the right people will share it with you not use it against you. (Especially if it’s cake)

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

Succumb

The Big Bad Bio

The Big Bad Bio

The Big Bad Bio

I’ve talked about Bio’s (Character Biographies) before in “Who’s who in the grand scheme of things”.  Now that I have a few books under my belt and I just finished my newest novel(Super excited) I wanted to talk about Bio’s again.  I’ve had some time to work out the kinks and hone the process.

I’ll start with my how.  Whether it’s a pad of paper, word document or my personal favorite a spreadsheet, I think it’s imperative to keep a Bio on EVERYONE in the story. Even if it’s the crotchety old neighbor who only shakes a fist at the protagonist and is in the story for all of one second.

Why?

Because, if I know what they look like, their quirks, age, DOB, family status, level of education, job status, pay rate etc. etc. then I can always make sure John, the Virgo barista has blond hair and brown eyes and doesn’t magically have green eyes and become the bartender who’s birthday is in January. Consistency is mega important and any reader who’s read a book and found something off… tends to never forget and never fully forgive, especially if they find two or heaven forbid more than two.

So what does a big bad bio of mine look like?  If I have a simple one page Bio, it will look like this:

BIO

I often don’t apply a year to the DOB because I don’t apply a year to my stories. This type of quick bio is good for quick references. If I want to go into more detail, I will create a full-page bio for each major and minor character.

Which details I put in are usually story driven. If I only ever have Jane wearing cut-off jeans and that’s important to the story I put that in her bio.

Here is a list of things I might have in the bio. Now if I have a lot, and I usually do I’ll have more than one page for the bio. I will either create an individual Bio page for each or I’ll group Bio Stats one page would be appearance another would be behavior and another might be education and employment.

Not all individual bio’s are equal. Obviously, the main characters will have much more detailed bio’s than Albert the hotdog vendor. Repeat or reoccurring characters get a little more TLC than Pauline the bitter angry bus driver who hits the brakes too hard at every stop.

Here is a list of what I might include

Name
Age
Weight
Height
Eye Color
Skin Color
Hair Color
Hair Style
Bad Habits
Good Habits

Ethnicity/Family origin
Religion
Birthdate or DOB
Education
Job
Tattoos
Scars
Quirks
Catch Phrases
Likes/Dislikes
Favorite Food
Hated Food
Type of music
Style of Clothes

The options are endless, ideally, they would be listed if there is a significant difference or if the character is minor and I might forget. Some of the things may never even be mentioned in the book. I’ll still give each character a full bio.  I’ll even give them a history or back-story. It’s important when I’m writing to be able to stay focused, and having to stop and go back pages or chapters to remind myself of one tiny detail is annoying and distracting.

My advice about Characters Bio’s.
There is no right or wrong way to create a Bio as long as you can read it and understand what’s what. They are very important and I think they can make things a lot easier if you decide to have a return visit from a minor or very, very minor character.

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

 

 Focused

Something To Write About

I’ve been taking some family time off this summer and posting a little less frequently.  My newest book is taking almost all my free time and it’s amazing how much fun I’m having writing it.

When I look back over my year since I started blogging I have to admit I’ve learned a lot. Things that I didn’t know and might never have discovered if it wasn’t for starting a blog.

Grammar is something that can always be improved upon (IMO) since I know I’m not a grammar genius I take all the advice I can get. I have also done a lot of research to find out the little things I had no idea about.

I’ve blogged about dashes, commas, tenses, filter words (A huge issue for me), Interjection, dangling modifiers, exposition, hyperboles, clauses, fragment sentences and so much more.

I’ve also learned that inspiration can come from anywhere. Honestly anywhere!  My new book was inspired by an insignificant everyday thing. I’ve blogged about people watching, seeing the world and not just what’s in front of me, I’ve talked about sources of inspiration such as vacations, the beach, amusement parks, the bar, barbeques, and anything that involves people, places, and things. Being more aware and seeing the world around me has become a great source of inspiration.

I’ve met a great number of writers since I started this journey, both online and off. Each and every one of them a unique talent that brought my attention to various styles of writing. I’ve since dabbled in first person perspective writing and it’s a lot of fun.  I’ve also found that reading others works’ and appreciating

I’ve also found that reading others works’ and appreciating their style is a wonderful way to understand my own. Whether it is books, poems, short stories or songs everyone has a voice. I may absolutely love how someone else writes, and they may influence me but I have my own voice and copying someone else’s style or voice is a waste of time. It won’t read as well as my own.

Distractions and writer’s block are a writer’s worst enemy. Through other bloggers and writers and research, I’ve learned what can be done to minimize both issues. Breaks and living life are necessary for both getting the creative juices flowing and for keeping the mind active and able to focus.

Story structure or the arc of a story is important and I have spent a good amount of time researching the various styles and methods used to write a story. Some people plan it all out before they start writing. While others go with the flow. Myself I’ve discovered I’m a little of both. I think and think and plan it out but I go with the flow and if things change along the way then so be it. I do know having an end in mind is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, the story becomes either too long or pointless.

Keeping the reader engaged and delivering an entertaining story is the most important part of writing. I know if I like what I write, then others will too.  Therefore I don’t worry about what others think and I never let it influence my writing. I write for me and then I share it.

I’ll continue to touch on these key aspects of writing and since I’ve learned so much and still have plenty more to learn I’ll be revisiting some of them with more information.

I don’t think anyone can know everything about writing and there is always room for improvement and expansion.

My advice about writing 
Never be afraid to try something new, or visit something old. Looking back momentarily is a great way to move forward monumentally.

-Sheryl

My Posts From The Start

Independent Clauses depend on nobody.

Influential Words

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved
Delivery

Distracted By Distraction

Time is always an issue for me. Finding it to write and really get into it. Somedays I can plug along and find the simple errors others I can dig in and really get to the meat of some problems.

I’m in the middle of BiaAtlas re-write and it’s going well. My word count is coming down slowly but steadily.

When I’m writing there are several things that can cause me to become distracted or lose focus. Not all of them are bad and often they can be a reminder to take a well needed or deserved break.

Other people – It’s important to remember there are real living people in the world 😉
Television
The weather
My own thoughts – yes this is a real problem sometimes
Other projects (I have a new storyline I’m in the beginning stages of plotting)
Sleepy or tired – sometimes it’s just hard to stay focused on anything.
Work – this one is a necessity… but still…
Cleaning or chores
Reading

There are other distractions that I don’t have time for and have suffered for it such as video games and Facebook. The bottom line is there will always be distractions and I don’t freak out about them. I’ve talked about this before but I think if I’m being distracted there might be a reason for it.

The funniest distraction is the distraction by distraction. When I’m distracted simply by thinking about being distracted.

When I sit and start to work on editing my book it can be overwhelming. I’ve been through it countless times, I’m probably missing things right in front of me because I’ve been through it countless times. I have a plan for that and I’ll dive into that plan in a later post once I’ve done enough research to explain it properly.

For now, it’s one objective at a time seek out and destroy superfluous text and simplify. I’m on the hunt for repetition of ideas, phrases, comments, actions, descriptions, and anything I’ve mentioned more than once.

I will keep at it and keep my self-inflicted symphony of distractions to a minimum while addressing the important ones, the ones that tell me I need a real break. After all, a distraction is only a distraction if we need to be distracted.

My advice about distractions
Don’t ignore that you’re being distracted and figure out why it’s happening. Maybe take a break or do something random to reset your attention. Distractions are not always a bad thing.

-Sheryl

Other posts

Squirrelly concentration at best

More is less, and vice versa.

My Posts From The Start

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

Symphony

ONE YEAR BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY

Hello, It was one year ago today that I posted my very first blog The “Word Count” Down, post.

Happy one year anniversary to myself!

I have come a long way since that first post. It was so short and sweet and the beginning of a lot of progressively better posts.

The “word count” down.

Exactly one year from the day I started:

I have posted 247 posts, not including re-blogs and blogging awards which would make it 256.

I have 763 WordPress followers and 118 followers on other platforms totaling 881.

Since day one I’ve had the honor of 16299 views, 7457 visitors, 6972 likes from awesome visitors and 2236 comments from those who deemed me worthy of a shout out or even criticism, all of which were welcomed and appreciated.

I have had visitors from 117 different countries around the world. This is amazing and fascinating to receive comments from such a variety of people from amazing places.

I don’t mention all this to brag, but to show how one year of hard work can be broken down to statistics. I have learned so much from my year of blogging and I know I have so much more to go. With every post, I write and read I become stronger and more confident as a writer.

I started this blog to strengthen my writer’s platform and in addition, I have strengthened myself in many respects. I know what it means to be rejected repeatedly. I have received praise, congratulations, along with scorn, criticism, and negativity. All of it is a resource to learn from. Nobody is perfect and I shouldn’t expect to be.

When I began this journey, I was in the process of editing and revising BiaAtlas, the very first book that I wrote. I’ve toiled and revisited this book many times and the funny thing is I’m at the same stage all over again one year later. I’m working to bring the word count down even further to make it more appealing to literary agents and in the process, I’m employing all the tips, rules and tricks I’ve learned throughout the year of blogging.

I’m not upset that I’m back at the start because I’m not all the way back at the start. I made fantastic progress to the point I was happy with what I had accomplished. Now I’m back at it and making it even better.

I’ve shared my journey thus far with anyone interested in reading. I am excited for the next 365 days that will hold more information, updates and even some rewrites of old (now substandard blogs) that need updating badly.  I hope to share more of my personal journey and the range of emotions I go through as I struggle and persevere.

I plan to try yet again to get BiaAtlas in the hands of an eager Literary agent all the while I will begin the process of revising my new book that is not yet titled. This is all so very exciting for me and I hope to have some fantastic things to report on throughout this next year of my journey.

I have toyed with the idea of writing a short story and posting chapters regularly as I have seen other bloggers do, but I’m not quite ready for that just yet. I did sort of attempt it previously but they were based on my blog character examples and I had to set that aside as it developed too quickly to a novel.

I’m not sure what this next year of blogging holds for me, but I hope you stick around to see how it goes. As always I’m open to comments and constructive criticism and will give an honest consideration to any legitimate suggestions or post subject requests.

Thank you to everyone that reads and follows, to those that comment and care. You make blogging an experience, not a chore.

My advice about blogging.
Write what means something to you and write for yourself. If you like it others are bound to enjoy it as well. Stay strong and never give up on your dreams.

-Sheryl

Here is a list of all my posts from the start My Posts From The Start

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

ONE YEAR BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY new

Substandard

Title

Title. It’s a little word only five letters long. It is a descriptive heading or caption used to give a book, chapter, song, poem, picture or anything that needs an appellation.

For such a small word it holds a significant importance. I put a lot of thought into the title of my first book, and I mean a lot.

Here are some things a title of a book should convey or contain

  1. Be part of the story at some point. Don’t call it “My blue button.” and never have anything to do with a blue button tangible or imagined. Unless blue button is a euphemism that is a major part of the story, it might not be a good title.
  2. Hold some significance to the story/characters
  3. Be short and meaningful – It’s a title, not a log line
  4. Catchy / Interesting – I’m often drawn to alliteration titles or punchy hard words.
  5. Clever – boring titles suggest a boring book
  6. Not borrowed or stolen from another book – Just don’t. Google and search to make sure it’s not accidentally copying someone else.
  7. The feel or even genre of the book –  “Loved to death.” Might not be a good romance title but might be a good suspense…

So back to my title. The title of my book has significant meaning and plays a big part in the story as it progresses. However, now I’m rewriting the book to a point where I can re-submit to Literary Agents.  I’m changing the tone of many chapters, reducing the word count by more than 24000 words(Yeah seriously ugh, at least I’m almost half way there). The catch is that I will need to change the title or it will be passed over completely. This was not advice given lightly and was given by a professional in the industry.

So I will come up with a new title for the next round of queries for the Literary agents. I will likely either work BiaAtlas back in as a subtitle or ask for it to be the full title once my book lands a publishing deal.  I’m doing this so I can give my book a second chance. Typically you cannot resubmit the same story to the same literary agents for the second time. Unless the story/prose has been changed significantly.

It is hard to say what makes a title but I know a title can make or break the chances a story has being picked up by literary agents let alone publishers. In the self-publishing industry, it is even more important as it is what will make a potential reader stop or keep scrolling past the list of titles.

So how does one find out what a good title is? Take a look at books that are in the same genre. Even ones that aren’t. What are the similarities? Whats popular? Take a look at unsuccessful books on Amazon, how do their titles differ from top sellers? A great place to get a feel for what might or might not work is a bookstore or online stores. I personally like to go and physically look at the covers.

It’s daunting to think a one to five words can make or break my chances or success. No pressure right? I’m not going to stress about it as I said before, I can change it back or work it in another way. I was told at the beginning of my journey to be flexible and not be stone hard set in my ways or having my way. It was fantastic advice that I took and take to heart.

My advice about Titles of a book.
Be willing to change it if a publisher want’s to change it. Take a look at what’s working for others but don’t copy or steal. Be creative and meaningful.

-Sheryl

Other posts that are related

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The “word count” down.

My Posts From The Start

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