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Arcadia Coach https://arcadiacoach.com Get your Arcadia Book Started and Published! Mon, 03 Aug 2020 19:54:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://arcadiacoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/cropped-800px-Meuble_héraldique_Fleur_de_lys1-1-32x32.jpg Arcadia Coach https://arcadiacoach.com 32 32 AuthorsPublish August #patreonpreview https://arcadiacoach.com/authorspublish-august/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 16:18:04 +0000 https://arcadiacoach.com/?p=203 This post is currently for Patreon members only. Posts titled "Patron Preview" that are locked will be readable by the public within one week. Posts titled Patreon Content are exclusively for Patreon members and require a membership to view. To unlock this content today, click below to subscribe! Members receive exclusive content on Arcadia Coach, […]

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This post is currently for Patreon members only. Posts titled "Patron Preview" that are locked will be readable by the public within one week. Posts titled Patreon Content are exclusively for Patreon members and require a membership to view. To unlock this content today, click below to subscribe! Members receive exclusive content on Arcadia Coach, NOLA History Guy, and Eloquent Profanity, along with other exclusive benefits!
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Establishing your bona fides https://arcadiacoach.com/establishing-your-bona-fides/ Sat, 01 Aug 2020 20:22:07 +0000 https://arcadiacoach.com/?p=175 Establishing your bona fides as an author/exert Bona fides What are your bona fides? From Merriam-Webster: bona fides noun bo·​na fi·​des | \ ˌbō-nə-ˈfī-ˌdēz , ÷ˈbō-nə-ˌfīdz \ Definition of bona fides 1 : good faith : sincerity 2 : the fact of being genuine —often plural in construction 3 : evidence of one’s good faith […]

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Establishing your bona fides as an author/exert

bona fides

“Mid-day on Magazine Street” by Infrogmation

Bona fides

What are your bona fides? From Merriam-Webster:

bona fides noun

bo·​na fi·​des | \ ˌbō-nə-ˈfī-ˌdēz
, ÷ˈbō-nə-ˌfīdz
\
Definition of bona fides

1 : good faith : sincerity
2 : the fact of being genuine —often plural in construction
3 : evidence of one’s good faith or genuineness —often plural in construction
4 : evidence of one’s qualifications or achievements —often plural in construction

As a prospective author, the fourth definition is what we’re working with here. For some, it’s easy to produce evidence of one’s qualifications. Your diplomas and degrees establish your academic bona fides. While those credentials make it easier to pitch a book idea to a publisher, they’re not absolutes. What happens when your education stopped at high school, or perhaps with a BA? Relax, Arcadia looks beyond your academic bona fides.

Expertise

Maybe you work in an office in the city. So, you’ve taken the commuter train in for years. Observing the details of the railroad builds up knowledge. Listening to employees and other passengers over time gives you a bunch of stories to tell. You may not have a degree in history, but you’re a historian. Well, you are if you write the book!

Academic publishers can be strict gatekeepers. Publishers that focus on specific genres, less so. All those years riding that train, working at that store, driving along a highway, make you an authority on your patch of Americana. It’s time to show others you know what you’re talking about. In this section, bona fides, we present ideas for how you can bolster your credentials. Most of those ideas involve writing, but you expected that. We’ll suggest other ideas along the day.

Exercise

For your first exercise in establishing credentials, think about where your expertise lies. Go beyond your day gig. Look at your hobbies and interests. What’s that thing that your friends know better than to wind you up about?

Make a list. Make more than one list, if your interests are varied. Write them down! List them on your blog. No blog? Write them down on your Facebook page. Things will grow from the seeds you plant today.

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Choosing the Right Point of View for Your Story https://arcadiacoach.com/choosing-the-right-point-of-view-for-your-story/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 14:41:23 +0000 https://arcadiacoach.com/?p=21 Point of View … The Narrator’s personality and perspective helps shape the readers’ perspective, and how the story unfolds. The reader sees what the character experiences from their point of view. Why Point of View? POV helps us understand motives, desires, and empathize with characters and what they are going through. Ursula Le Guin, in […]

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Point of View …

The Narrator’s personality and perspective helps shape the readers’ perspective, and how the story unfolds. The reader sees what the character experiences from their point of view.

Why Point of View?

POV helps us understand motives, desires, and empathize with characters and what they are going through. Ursula Le Guin, in Steering the Craft (page 83) says “The technical term for describing who is telling the story and what their relation to the story is.

First Person POV

Use of “I”, or, in plural first person, “we”. This is used in both autobiographical writing and narration.

Examples: David Copperfield (1850), by Charles Dickens character introduction in the opening of Chapter “I Am Born”

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night.” (page 1)


Second Person POV


Use of word “you”. Sort of a ‘choose your own adventure’. When I think of this, which is a very uncommon type of POV that we see. It’s hard to write. Why do I say it’s a choose your own adventure type? Because the reader imagines themselves performing each action. One of my favorite books that showcases second person POV is Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler.

Now you are on the bus, standing in the crowd, hanging from a strap by your arm, and you begin undoing the package with your free hand, making movements something like a monkey, a monkey who wants to peel a banana and at the same time cling to the bough.’ (page 7).

Editor Note: For an interesting Study in Second Person and Calvino, check out DarWrites.


Third Person POV

Use of words he, she, it, they. In today’s world, don’t forget about gender-neutral pronouns as well. Third person POV can stay in one character’s head, or move freely between characters.

Limited POV – only see what’s happening through the character that is narrating, very narrow, and only colored through what our character thinks/ feels /believes about the characters and events around him/her.

Omniscient – “non-involved narrator”. Narrator sees all and knows all, including the character’s private thoughts and feelings.  Ursula Le Guin, in Steering the Craft’s chapter “Point of View and Voice” says, ‘the narrator knows the whole story, tells it because it is important, and is profoundly involved with all the characters.’


BONUS MATERIAL:

If you’ve gotten this far, congratulations! Here’s an extra grammar maven tip that comes from my very good friend and fellow grammarian, Melissa Case about Reflexive Pronouns Me, Myself & I: How and How NOT to Use Reflexive Pronouns on Medium.

Earlier, inSo You Want To Hire an Editor, Now What”  blog post, we talked about head-hopping. This is part of POV – because it’s putting on the blinders and seeing what is going on just from the character that colors the story.

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So You Have Decided to hire an Editor… now what? https://arcadiacoach.com/so-you-have-decided-to-hire-an-editor-now-what/ Wed, 29 Jul 2020 15:36:41 +0000 https://arcadiacoach.com/?p=12 Make sure you know what KIND of edit you are asking for. There are differences between a developmental edit (also known as substantive editing or structural editing): “the big picture” feedback on structure, style, pacing, and voice. “The strongest part/s of the book is when ….” “The weakest part of the book is when…” “Try to change […]

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Make sure you know what KIND of edit you are asking for.

There are differences between a developmental edit (also known as substantive editing or structural editing): “the big picture” feedback on structure, style, pacing, and voice.

“The strongest part/s of the book is when ….”
“The weakest part of the book is when…”
“Try to change the opening to highlight …”

are all things your editor will comment on when doing a developmental edit.

And line editing (or paragraph level editing) – Recasting sentences for clarity and flow. You may see suggestions and comments from your editor on how to fix the following:

“You use too many adjectives…”
“Change the length of your sentences so they are not all the same length.”
“This wording doesn’t fit your intended audience.”

Why vary the length of your sentences?

The reader will not get bored that way. Short sentences make your manuscript seem childish and/or choppy, and bland. Long sentences are hard to read in a row. Listen out loud to your sentences, use your computer for this, or read it out loud, to hear the rhythm in your sentences. See where you can combine your shorter sentences into a medium length one, and cut down the descriptiveness in your long sentences by eliminating passive voice (is, was, were, has), and eliminate repetition. Get to the point.

Also, be sure to pick an editor that is strong in your genre. A developmental edit for non-fiction is different than fiction, or sci-fi.

Prepare yourself for feedback, criticism, and direction.

I know how it would be easy to let your mom, or your aunt, your coworker, or your best friend read your manuscript and make suggestions, and think “hey, so if they can do that, why hire an editor? They have my best interest at heart.” Yes, they do, I don’t want to take away from your friends, families, and co-workers. However, sometimes those close friends and family members won’t tell you what you need to hear, in fear of hurting your feelings, or won’t look as deeply at your manuscript to find the things that aren’t working, such as tenses and change of hair color of your main character. Don’t misunderstand me, your family and friends play an important part of your support structure. But hiring an “outsider” is the best thing you could do.

Once you release your darlings into the world, a second pair of eyes sees it from a different perspective. A fresh one. Don’t be upset when your favorite part of your book comes back all “red penned” to death. It’s my job to give you a point of view you may not consider, ie: head hopping in your characters. Try to picture your main character with a video camera on his /her forehead, and only pointing in one direction. That’s all your character sees. Not behind the door down the block, or what’s not in their range of vision or hearing. IF you need to change perspectives, pass the camera.

Speaking of head-hopping, check out my blog post, “Choosing the Right Point of View for Your Story”. Point of view is part of head-hopping, because it’s putting on the blinders and seeing what is going on just from the character that colors the story. Consider this as you write your characters.

It’s your choice to take the advice or not I give you, but be willing to consider the changes offered. Feel free to agree there’s a problem, but not how the editor suggests to fix it. Talk it over with me. Brainstorm with me. We may come up with a better solution.

Don’t be afraid to tell your editor what you want your book to accomplish.

“What do you want the reader to take away from this?” is a question I ask all my clients. What do you want your reader to feel when they turn the last page. If you tell me what you want, I can help craft your manuscript with the right emotion, turn of phrase, and details that will guide you to that end.

 

Until next time,

Dara
“Red Pen Duchess”

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