books, editing, editor, writing tips

Eyes on the Editor: Dennis De Rose of Moneysaver Editing

Dennis De Rose is the editor at Moneysaver Editing. He’s also the co-author of Jumpstarting Your Inner Novelist. Find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Jumpstarting-Your-Inner-Novelist-Thompson/dp/151530437X/

How did you get into editing?

I never wanted to be an editor. It just happened. About 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to help writers by reviewing their books, but I didn’t want to purchase them. I contacted a wonderful lady, Deborah Gaynor, from Kentucky. She has a reviewing service (Readers Favorite) she had started a few years earlier. She accepted me as a reviewer and I began reading an adventure novel. (I edited the next book he wrote and it won a gold medal for best fiction in the category.) When I sent my review to Deborah, she realized it was well written. Apparently, most of the reviews she received needed tweaking. She asked me to do that for her and I accepted the challenge. I tweaked 1000 reviews for her and she agreed to put me on her website as her editor. The first thing I edited was a children’s story about a horse. I wanted to edit the story for free but the author insisted on paying me. I accepted five dollars as payment and that is how this adventure began.

How do you choose which manuscripts you will accept?

I don’t really choose a manuscript. The writer has to choose his or her editor. I will only accept a job if the writing is somewhat coherent. If, after a lengthy conversation with the writer, I decide we are a good fit I will edit a short chapter at no charge. I need to see how well a piece is written and the writer’s style. That really is the best way.

Is there any reason you would turn a manuscript away?

a) Perhaps the writer refuses to communicate with me via telephone.
b) We might not be a good fit.
c) The manuscript is so poorly written that I can’t even understand the first sentence.
d) The writer cannot afford to pay me even after we set up a payment plan.
e) It’s nonfiction and I know nothing about the subject matter.

What is your position on self-editing within the author community?

A writer is free to do whatever floats his or her boat. I have no problem with someone choosing to self-edit. But chances are, and this has been proven over and over, that the book will not be the best it can be. I have been editing for almost 10 years and I have only met one writer that did such a good job that I could not improve on his writing, not even a little bit.

DDR1

Do you have any advice for authors who legitimately can’t hire an editor?

a) Take your time. Do not rush the process. I believe the slow turtle wins the race.
b) Have your manuscript read by several readers, not just family, and listen to what they have to say.
c) Join writers groups on Face Book and LinkedIn. Let those writers help you to write better.
d) Go online and read tons of writing how to’s and spend a few dollars for a few good writing manuals. You might be able to pick up a used copy of A Pocket Style Manual 6th ed. written by Hacker and Sommers for as little as 50 cents at your library’s used bookstore.

Are there specific genres you prefer to work in? On the flip side, are there any genres you refuse?

I prefer fiction in any genre, but I love: adventure, mystery and fantasy. I will no longer edit poetry, or any nonfiction that I am not familiar with.

What does a typical editing day look like for you? Do you keep typical 9-5 hours?

Since I edit part-time, about 3 to 4 hours a day, time is no longer a factor. I retired 5 years ago and my wife lives to shop, so I do a lot of editing when she is not around. As I work on this she is out and about, probably at Sam’s Club or another favorite place, Kohl’s. When I am not editing, I am busy promoting myself, creating an all-purpose website, reading and reviewing books, talking to other writers and keeping in touch with my writers/friends. I believe volunteering in your community is a wonderful way to give back, so I volunteer at our local library bookstore two days a week. I also love spending time with family and friends, especially camping and traveling. Why not see the world and make a few friends along the way?

Picking an editor is a big decision. What advice do you have for authors who feel they are ready to take this step?

a) Take your time looking for a good editor. Think of it as a job interview with you as the employer.
b) Ask yourself a few questions… Have I taken the steps to write the best manuscript I possibly can? Can I afford to pay a good editor? Do I have the time to work closely with an editor so that I know my book will be the best it can be?

What should a writer look for in their ideal fit?

A writer and an editor need to become a writing team. They both have to be willing to take the time to form that bond. Plan to meet either in person or converse on the phone for as long as it takes to get a feel for each other. Look for common ground. People that think alike tend to work better together. Don’t stress yourself out; find someone (like me) that is willing to make a payment plan, one that you can live with.

How can an author reach out to see if you are the right editor for their book?

Feel free to call me at 845-239-4513. Be sure to write all your questions down first. Let’s talk as long as you like. Email me at DDEROSE@HVC.RR.COM. Or do a search for Moneysaver Editing. I am all over the place. Check out my LinkedIn site at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dennis-de-rose-15262917 I am here to help you make your book the best it can be.

author advice, authors, books, fiction, poems, poetry, writing tips

The Difference Between Poetry And Fiction

A couple weeks ago I had a discussion with a fan/friend. He asked an interesting question: “Which is harder to write, poetry or fiction?” My answer was automatic.

Poetry is easier (for me) to create. It’s only a matter of pulling what’s inside of me out. It’s searching the darkest parts of my soul, where fear and hope and pain dwell and exposing it to the light. The hard part of being a poet is releasing it to the world. When I allow a poem to be read, I’m allowing someone to see me completely exposed. And while I’ve known immense joy, it’s the darkness inside that needs to be purged. Each poem given out for public consumption is open to ridicule, to criticism, but it’s not just my words- it’s the scars inside. It. Is. Hard.

Trapped In Yesterday

Trapped now I’m locked in yesterday

Please don’t think it’s you why I turn a way

I can’t stand the way it makes me feel

To know that this could become real

You can’t expect me not to flee

When you hold such power over me

The last to get this close left me to learn

The searing pain of love forever burns

I don’t want to go though that again

And nothing you say can make this fear end

I wonder if you understand

Why I shiver when you touch my hand

Why I can’t go but neither can I stay

The answers you’ll find in my yesterday.

*Excerpted poem from About A Girl: A Poetry Compilation

https://www.amazon.com/About-Girl-Compilation-Sandra-Ely-ebook/dp/B01KS5AMKE

Fiction is harder to create. Characters have to be built from scratch, they have to be made real from pen and pad. Worlds have to be created. Supporting characters must have their place, feel like real people, and yet, remain on the side lines to allow the protagonist to complete their journey. It’s a lot of work. On the other hand, passing it off to be published might be scary, but it’s not the same soul-crushing fear. Readers can agree, or disagree, with the choices you characters make. They can love, or hate the content. At the end of the day, though, it’s not you under the piercing gaze of readers who will no doubt catch every mistake.

Excerpt from Kiss of Death, Immortal Hearts Book 2

“Time to feed the human,” Beau announced, carrying over two cups of coffee.

He handed me one of the heavy black mugs and I took a sip, testing the flavor. The robust flavor of the coffee hit me first, full-bodied and slightly bitter. Then, the sweet, creamy mix that was tailored to my taste buds. I was impressed he remembered I preferred brown sugar in my coffee. The gesture warmed my heart, as it never failed to do.

“So,” I said as I cut into my eggs. “What’s on the agenda for today?” The yolk spilled out, but the whites remained firm and intact. Cooking the perfect over-medium egg was not an easy feat, especially for one who didn’t eat. I’d been working at it for years and my success rate was spotty at best.

“Well, I have to be at the club today; somebody has to oversee business there. Valerie and Adam are going to be here in a little while to take you to your place and get some of your things.”

“I appreciate the offer, but I don’t need an escort, Beau.”

“Maybe not, but it’s already set up regardless.”

“You do realize I didn’t sign up for this just to be stuck with a babysitter, right?” I hid my annoyance by nibbling on a strip of crispy bacon.

“You’re one of mine, Leah. I won’t allow you to blindly walk into danger.”

My pulse quickened, but I wouldn’t let him charm me into abandoning my position. “And I won’t be able to do what you want me to do if I’m constantly being guarded by vampires. It’s counterproductive, really.”

“Let’s just agree to take this a day at a time. This is new for both of us.” His tone hinted at something left unsaid, but I decided to leave it be. Breakfast was my favorite meal and I had no intention of ruining another meal over this assignment.

www.amazon.com/Kiss-Death-Immortal-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B00SCQT3SO/

Both poetry and fiction are beautiful and terrifying in their own ways. I could no more give up one than the other. Each offers a reward of it’s own it’s own to my soul, but they are so vastly different from inception to publication.

Keep up-to-date on all my written works via facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/authorsandraely ) and twitter @AuthorSandraEly
author advice, authors, ficiton, poetry, Uncategorized, writing tips

Can Writing Poetry Aid In Fiction Writing?

I’m sure you’ve heard about the differences between writing novels and writing short fiction. It’s hard to go back and forth between the two. With one you need all the background information, you need build up, conflict, and resolution; with the other you want to get straight to the action with as little back story as possible. It’s a daunting task going back and forth, but what about going back and forth between fiction and poetry?

Poetry is hard. Taking your soul and putting it on paper, and then, offering it up for the world to tear apart is emotionally grueling. You can write poetry faster than a novel, but the best poems derive from real-life experience and that takes a toll on a person.

Fiction takes a long time to develop and hone. It’s less about emotion, and more about skill. To make your reader feel like a part of the world you’ve created and to feel whatever your characters is a special kind of gift. To create something from nothing is amazing.

So, does switching between the two cause complications in the writing process? I don’t think so. I think, switching between the two is an excellent exercise to keep your writing skills sharp.

Both types of writing are so different from the other. Going back and forth between poetry and fiction- whether it is a novel or a short story- can be beneficiary to both works. While one allows you to escape reality, the other allows you to embrace the beauty and the mess of life. By allowing yourself to switch between the two, you will have a better understanding of yourself, and therefore, be better able to discover what motivates your characters.