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Looking for mentor

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Hakawai, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Hakawai

    Hakawai New Member

    Hello fellow humans,

    I am writing my first draft for my first book series and am seeking a mentor.

    I have a friend who put a draft forward, which made me realise normal people with jobs, kids and mortgages can be authors too, and inspired me to get drafting. I had an idea that I can been kicking around for about eight years so I just went for it.

    I was raised in a new age cult, have a double degree in medieval history and comparative religion (majoring in Hinduism) and armed with 37 years of life experience (including being a seasoned D&D player, and surviving natural disasters and 2 kids) I am weaving that all into the books.

    I have a few issues that I really need some guidance on:

    1. What I am writing is potentially outside of, or bordering, current conventional genres, which may or may not be a problem.

    2. My world has been written to be very colourful and exciting, but it might be too much. I asked a friend to read chapter 1 and she told me to take out minor characters and explanations of world-building terms because it was too full on, then my husband read the same chapter and gave the direct opposite feedback so I put them back in.

    3. I have so, so many words. My first drafts have been so massive that I have split the books into part one and part two as a workaround. I start off in three separate cultures within the world, so I feel I need to put in the groundwork to flesh out all three before the characters are brought together. Somebody suggested doing a whole book on the main character, then doing book 2 on the support characters, then going on to book 3 to get them all together. I think as a reader this would annoy me, but the idea may have merit.

    4. I have some four main characters in book one who have chapters written from their point of view (increasing to 6 in book 2, by promoting minor characters to major ones). There are some critical chapters where I am not sure I have chosen the correct character to narrate the events.

    5. Being a female author writing for female readers, I have put quite a lot of emphasis on character development and character interactions/relationships. I am aware that I might need to remove/condense some of these themes to ensure the action/main plot is progressing at a decent clip. In that scenario, I really need some advice of where to trim.

    6. I have some pretty big personalities in my character line-up. I think that characters are all great, but that’s just my opinion. I really need some feedback on these characters.

    7.My writing (use of tense, grammar etc.) is really poor and I need to take an online course to improve. But I don’t want to polish chapters until I have the chapter formats locked in (which of course is dependent on a lot of the stuff I have mentioned above). I am unsure at what stage of the drafting process I should get stuck in on that. I have read a few fantasy authors that were great world-builders, but not so much great writers, and I suffered through their prose and random tangents. I have the sinking feeling I might be in that category myself but need somebody to tell me straight.

    8. Feedback/editing/publishing – I have no clue. I live in New Zealand and there aren’t going to be any local hubs of anything here really.

    If you have the time and patience to mentor somebody like me, or know somebody who might be interested, please let me know.

  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    First, congratulations on writing a book! You're already far ahead of many. Sure, I know it's not complete, but it sounds like you have First Draft, and that definitely counts.

    Second, your grammar is not poor. Your post was perfectly clear, so I would expect your fiction to have merely the usual collection of goofs and oversights. Go ahead and take a class if you wish to, but going three rounds with a copy editor will probably teach you more.

    Third, what you're asking for is a developmental editor. Be prepared to spend hundreds of dollars, probably more, to hire one. If you find a good one, they're worth the money (assuming you can afford it). Alas, there's no way of knowing which is good and which isn't. Rather like finding a good doctor, you only know after you've spent the money, and there are plenty of poor to mediocre ones out there. On the plus side, you can shop around--any decent one will do a free sample edit, and most will be happy to talk with you about your needs and their services.

    Short of a developmental editor, you do have options. One is a critique circle. Another is a beta reader. There are plenty of resources for finding both. The same caution applies here as above--the real challenge is finding a good fit.
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    My advice: Send three chapters to a pro editor. Take their feedback and do your best to apply it to the rest of your book. You're probably making the same mistakes over and over, so there's no point in asking someone to spot the same problems across a hundred thousand words. Also, editing tends to work in layers. An editor will focus on maybe the three broad things you need to improve first even if there are ten things you can improve after them. The more of those lower editing layers you can knock out early and on your own, the more valuable the editing will be.
  4. Hakawai

    Hakawai New Member

    Thanks for your replies. Some really good practical advice here that I will look into. Cheers.

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