Friday, November 13, 2009

Calling All Wannabe Editors

I have a new manuscript that I need some more eyes to look at. I am not going to post it on my other blog for a couple of reasons. Tabula Rasa didn't get the traffic or the feedback I had hoped for. Oh, several of you visited, and those of you who said anything about Abish: The Story of a Convert were very complimentary, thank you, but I think I was hoping for something else. Something constructive--a way to improve.

If you would like a copy of my new manuscript, here is what I'm looking for from this preliminary reader's circle:

1 - General feedback about what worked and didn't work, over all.
2 - Specific feedback about places in the novel that might be improved.
3 -I am not looking for someone to edit line by line, but if you find glaring mistakes, they should be brought to my attention.
4 - An honest opinion about the storytelling method and tone of the story.
5 - Title suggestions.

If you would be willing to do that without fear of hurting my feelings, (I really am getting tougher with this writing stuff) then here are a few specifics:

1 - I am only sending out the manuscript electronically. I don't have the software to create PDF files on my computer, so I would send it as a Word document. I would ask you very respectfully not to make changes to the actual manuscript, but instead to open a separate document (or written notes that could be scanned or typed later) to keep track of your comments, referencing pages or chapters.
2 - When you finish the manuscript and send me your feedback, I would ask you to delete my rough copy from your computer.

If you still manage to be interested after all of the above, then here are a few details about the novel itself so that you can decide if the material would even interest you:

1 - The epilogue of this story was written 12 years ago, so it is safe to say that I have given it a whole lot of thought. The chapters are told from shifting viewpoints; the whole story is only put together near the end. It mostly flows chronologically, but not entirely.
2 - It is essentially an LDS romance novel. I try to remind myself that such designation is a category and not a put-down, but it is hard to remember sometimes. If I seek publication for the story it will be through LDS publishers only. Thematically, I would have to really dismember it to make it appeal to a broader audience. I don't think you necessarily need to be a member of the LDS church to appreciate it, but a knowledge of LDS culture and standards would probably be helpful. The book assumes you already have some background.
3- It is hard for me to define exactly who the audience is. The main characters, through most of the story, are in their early twenties. Most of their coming of age stuff takes place as background information.
4 - The novel is actually quite entertaining. The Word document is 230 pages or so, but TamathyC finished it in mostly one sitting. Taking notes as you go will make your reading a bit more time consuming, but I'd like to think you will be compensated for your time.

Whew. If you have made it this far and want to sign up for a copy then leave a comment. If I don't already have your email address, then leave it in the comments section or e-mail it directly to me at scienceteachermommy (at) hotmail (dot) com. Best case scenario would be between five and ten readers, but having no idea what kind of response an exercise like this will gain I don't want to either have a threshold number or limit any interested parties.


FoxyJ said...

I've reviewed a lot of manuscripts and read a lot of LDS lit, so I'd be happy to take a look at it. My email address is on my blogger profile.

Sherry said...

I can do it. Also, I have software on my work computer that can do the PDF thing, so if you are interested, let me know when you email me the manuscript.

Cathy said...

I would be interested--still want to do a good edit on Abish but am deterred by time. You probably would have gotten more editing comments if comments were enabled while we were reading it. I understand why they weren't--who wants a bunch of comments/ questions that would be canceled by reading the next chapter--but the system of putting it up stretched out over time and then enabling comments only at the end makes it hard for commenting unless you have either a phenomenal memory or lots of time. No intent of criticism is here--I just thought it might help you understand why your enthusiastic readers had responded with praise and generalities instead of concrete comments.

Z. Marie said...

Sign me up!

Angelita Bonita said...

I would love to read it!

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Cathy--your comments are perfectly well-aimed. I agree completely. I had it all worked out one way in my head before I started the other blog, but the reality was totally different. Getting the manuscript at once will me much more productive.

Thanks for your replies ladies. I'll leave this open for a day or two and then send it off early next week. It will be a word document. Sherry totally lied about the PDF thing. Okay, she didn't lie, she just had delusions of grandeur. ;)

Doreen said...

I'd love to read it. :o) I think you have my email? If not, doreen1999 at yahoo dot com. :p

Guatemalamama said...

I am a willing participant.

Wodin said...

This is not my normal sign-in, but go ahead and send me the manuscript. I could use a new read to distract me from the weirdness of my real life.
Plus I fancy that I am good at this sort of thing and might have good ideas for you.
loradona (at) gmail (dot) com.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Cathy--No email address for you. You can send me a message at scienceteachermommy on hotmail.

Genjunky said...

Would be interesting to help you out. I still haven't finished the one you worked on for me! One day...
You can download from Microsoft Word's site an "applet" or something like that to save docs as pdfs. I had to do it for my family history calling. If you sent it to me, I could do it for you if you like...I think you could look up in the help file from Word about saving as pdf. I think that's how I did it. Good luck. Have you thought of publishing your other manuscripts on blurb? with the ability for others to purchase? I'd have bought them. I know it would be much more fulfilling to have DB pick it up or bookcraft.

BTW - great pics of the boys and you look fabulous! I really like the long hair!

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Genjunky: I will look into the pdf thing, but I'll send it to you as is anyway. As far as blurb goes, when I first thought about using the site for publishing Abish (a year or two ago), there was no way to load word files directly into their format, and their pages aren't set up for large amounts of text.

I'm thinking of putting together a series of seasonal essays/poetry and Plantboy's floral pictures though. Mostly for a birthday gift for Jeff (March), but I would probably open it up to interested purchasers. Plantboy's pictures alone would make it worth the price! I'll let you know if it actually comes together. ;)

mstanger said...

Probably not a member of the target audience, but happy to help if you think my feedback would be useful. I suspect I could get my wife to take a look as well (she fits both the target audience and the editing experience profiles).

Jeff McBride said...

I can help you convert your word document to a pdf using adobe acrobat or you can use a free program, cutePDF writer.

Mommy of Five said...

I'd love to read it. I really liked the other 2 that I was able to read of yours.

I still need to sit down and read Abish. I read the first few chapters, then figured I would wait till they were all up...I forgot about them.

Anonymous said...

Dear Science Teacher Mommy --

I'm really glad you've found the readers that you are looking for -- when you are ready to move to a single or two editor, I have a couple of suggestions for you of editors that I think are terrific!

Best wishes to you on this next manuscript!