Dare to Read

November 7, 2012

Writers Need Editors

Filed under: Editing,On Publishing,On Writing,Photograph — carmenferreiroesteban @ 4:48 pm
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

 

Writers need editors. No exceptions.

Even if, like me, you are both a writer and an editor, you need to hire an editor for your own writing.

A new pair of eyes and a fresh mind will pick up obvious mistakes, inconsistencies, even spelling errors you haven’t noticed.

I was reminded of this last night after I wrote a post for the DVTA (the local chapter of the American Translation Association). The post was about the translation conference I’ve just attended, which, by the way, is one of the reasons I have been absent from this blog lately.

Feeling overconfident, I wrote it and sent it the same day, instead of waiting overnight and reread it as I always do when working on a translation or writing project. But this was just a short piece, it was perfect as it was, I was sure.

I was wrong. Luckily my colleague found the mistakes and edited them saving me from public (if not private) embarrassment.

Still not convinced that hiring an editor is a must?

I’ll show you some examples that support my claim.

Just this morning I read on the second paragraph of a book I was considering buying on Amazon: “My mother died in childbed.” I didn’t buy the book. In fact, I didn’t read past the first page, because this was not the only mistake.

But authors are not the only ones who need help, journalists could use an editor too apparently, for, a little later, I found the following sentences in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Spelling mistake: “The two Columbia University alums.”

Really awful grammar: “He’s a guy, he likes it – and isn’t that who we wear perfume for?” I think she meant to say: “… isn’t to please men the reason we wear perfume after all?”

Maybe I’m picky, maybe it’s because, being a writer, I can’t turn off the editor on me while I’m reading that these mistakes bother me. But I think not. I think if you’re serious about your writing, you should hire a professional editor before publishing your book, both to revise and to edit your manuscript. And, if you want the book to be perfect, I’d recommend you hire a proofreader as well.

We all make mistakes, but your reader doesn’t have to know that.

If you want to learn more about the different types of editing services available click here.

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August 3, 2012

Write, Edit, Publish

Filed under: Editing,On Traslation,On Writing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 11:27 am
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

 

I haven’t been blogging lately for several reasons.

The main one being that I was in Spain for two weeks. As I don’t go back to my country often, when I go there I immerse myself completely in the present moment so much so that those parts of my brain that do not relate to my Spanish experience are blocked. Writing a blog was not a possibility as even my English became rusty.

That’s why, for the last week, I posted pictures only. Pictures of a superbly fancy New York. A fancy world I only inhabit in my dreams.

In the meantime, in the real world, I have decided to revamp my life.

If I was mainly a writer for the last few years, now my translation work will take priority. Plus I have added another facet to my business: Editing.

I have been a translator for over ten years and I like it very much because it allows me to use both my background as a Biologist and my proficiency in Spanish and English.

For the last twelve years I have also helped other writers to develop their stories as a critique partner. It’s a work I love because I love the plotting part of writing best. That’s why I have decided to expand this aspect of my work and offer my services through my website WriteEditPublish (http://www.writeeditpublish.com/).

So…

If you want to explain technical content to a lay audience…
If you need help writing, revising or editing your manuscript…
If you want to create a Spanish version of your work…

Please stop by.

And remember…

Because I am a writer, too, I’m deeply aware of the love, time and energy you have invested in your manuscript and promise to treat it with the utmost respect.

January 31, 2012

Where Ideas Come From

Filed under: Fantasy,On Writing,Pictures,Two Moon Princess,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:43 am
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Where do you get your ideas? is a question every writer has been asked at one time or another.

For me, in many occasions, the idea for a story comes from a real place or person.

To illustrate this, I’m going to post every week, a picture of one of these places or people and explain why / how they made it into my books.

I’ll start with my first book: TWO MOON PRINCESS (http://goo.gl/VX0r1) and the place where this story began for me:

Arch at Playa de las Catedrales (Cathedral Beach) in Spain

Once upon a time, when I was a child, I saw a broken arch on a beach in northern Spain. In my mind, the arch was magical. It was a portal to another world, I called Xaren Ra. Later, I moved to California and Andrea, a sixteen year old princess from Xaren-Ra came with me.

In TWO MOON PRINCESS Andrea travels from her wold to California through an arch the full moon rising turns into a portal between Xaren-Ra and Earth.

After I wrote my story, I found out that, a couple of miles north of the town in California where I first lived when I moved to the States, there is an arch similar to the one in Spain.

Goat Rock, Sonoma Coast, CA

Coincidence? Perhaps.

November 29, 2011

Reviewing with Cheryl B. Klein

Filed under: Becquer Eternal,On Writing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 7:16 am
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

I bought Cheryl B. Klein’s book, Second Sight. An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising & Publishing Books for Children and Young Adult, after attending her workshop at the SCBWI NJ conference.

A recompilation of some of her talks and blogs, this easy to read yet insightful book is just what I needed to get ready for my revision of Becquer Eternal.

I do not claim I have assimilated all her wisdom in one reading but I did learn enough to know where to start.

The most interesting piece of advice?

If you have a long section of dialogue copy it in another page and eliminate all the tags. Go back to that section some time later. If you don’t miss the tags, cut them in the final version.

So now, as soon as my current beta reader returns Becquer Eternal to me with her critique, I’ll revise it once again.

This time, I’m ready.

May 30, 2011

Archetype vs. Stereotype at the Enchanted Inkpot

Filed under: On Writing,The Enchanted Inkpot — carmenferreiroesteban @ 10:54 am
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Today Jennifer Nielsen discusses archetype vs. stereotype characters and how they impact the story at the Enchanted Inkpot.

Join us there.

http://enchantedinkpot.livejournal.com/91935.html

April 26, 2011

Not Your Typical Damsel in Distress

Filed under: On Reading,On Writing,The Enchanted Inkpot — carmenferreiroesteban @ 8:55 am
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Tired of reading about hapless heroines in need of rescuing?

Then Bryony Pearce’s post “Subverting the Cliche: Maiden in Peril” at The Enchanted Inkpot at

http://enchantedinkpot.livejournal.com/88904.html is right for you.

February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Becquer!

Filed under: Becquer,On Reading,On Writing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 10:59 am
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by Carmen Ferreiro Esteban

Today is Becquer’s birthday.

Becquer, Gustavo Adolfo, was a Spanish writer, born in Sevilla in 1836. Had he been alive, he would have been 15 years short of 200, today.

Unfortunately he died young, at 34, leaving behind a too short body of work his friends published after his death, for while alive, he was mostly unknown.

Yet, Becquer, the poet, is not dead for every day, someone, somewhere, cares enough to publish a poem in her blog, to read his legends, then lie awake at night in fear of the ghosts he’s conjured with his words.

Becquer is not dead for he lives in his poems. And his poems are alive in the feverish mind of any Spanish girl whose heart has been broken yet once again.

He’s alive in my thoughts, for, as you may remember if you’ve read my previous posts, in my book, I made Becquer immortal and brought him to the New World.

And I know he’s alive because today, after weeks of struggling with a plot that seemed to go nowhere, something clicked in my mind and story and characters fit together at last, like the pieces in a game of chess aligning for checkmate.

It was that magical moment, if you’re a writer you’ll recognize, when everything falls neatly into place, the way a mighty castle forms at the bottom of a lake by the addition of just an extra grain of salt.

And being my book about Becquer and being his birthday today, how can I not believe it was his spirit’s whispers the wind that made music out of my notes?

And so it is with all my heart, I wish you, Becquer, a very Happy Birthday and a long immortal life.

February 7, 2011

Marketing for Writers. Interview with Shelli Johannes-Wells

Filed under: Author's Interview,On Marketing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:08 am
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today, I have invited Shelli Johannes-Wells to join me.

Shelli is a YA/MG writer who runs a wonderful marketing blog for authors “Market my Words” (www.faeriality.blogspot.com) I highly recommend.

Shelli has, kindly, agreed to answer my questions about the best strategies for authors to promote their books. Her answers were so thorough and insightful, I have decided to share them with you, my readers, in two posts, so you can digest them at leisure.

Please read on.

CFE. As an author with no previous experience on sales, I am baffled by the marketing part of the business. So I was somehow relieved when someone as knowledgeable as Alvina Ling, Executive Editor at Little Brown (Young Readers) said in answer to your question “what do you feel is most important in promoting books? What doesn’t seem to work?

“To be honest, the longer I’m in the business, the more clueless I am about what works and what doesn’t. It really seems like a crap shoot to me. I know this isn’t a great answer–but it’s the truth!”

(http://faeriality.blogspot.com/2011/01/marvelous-marketer-alvina-ling.html)

Do you agree with Ms. Ling’s answer?

SJW. I think a lot of people do not know how to organize so they do just throw stuff out there. I think you can organize your marketing so it is relevant, not too expensive and very targeted.  I’ll say this – if you don’t do anything, you can be sure it won’t work. But if you do everything and it’s just random, it’s not worth the time either. It needs to be to the point and specific.

CFE. Even if it’s hard to guess what works or not when promoting your book, what steps would you recommend to an author whose book has already being released?

SJW. First, I think every author needs a web presence. That should be first and can be done way before you get published.

The author needs to organize and write down 3-5 target audiences. Not just teens, schools, bookstores and libraries. But really think about who they are targeting. The niche’s their book touches.

Then I think the author needs to come up with a plan of attack for each target audience and decide what will reach them in the most effective way.

CFE. I have heard an author must have a blog. So my question is, what can the author do, in the way of advertising, to increase the traffic to his/her site?

SJW. Actually I DON’T think a blog is a must for everyone. Web site – I would say yes. But anything after that needs to be what the author feels comfortable with and it needs to be purposeful. If you start a blog and only post once a month, it’s a waste of time if networking is what you want out of it.

Now, if you do have a blog and want to increase traffic – you need to think of it as relationship building and go out and meet people. Kinda like – you wont get a date if you dont talk to guys. Does that make sense. A few easy ways to build traffic are: post regularly, visit others and comment, and have short posts that are timely. Don’t plug yourself all the time. Do it to meet others and they will come 🙂  Of course – you can always read up on SEO optimization and making sure your blogs are listed in places like STUMBLEUPON or technorati.

CFE. What is more productive in your opinion, running contests on your blog or commenting on other authors/possible readers blogs? Other suggestions.

SJW. Any of it. To me, if you are genuine and give back, people come by. Show your voice, run contests, meet your followers and your blog will grow over time. It does take time. Just like Rome, no blog was built overnight (wow am I profound or what today? :L)

To be continued…

January 26, 2011

Words for Writers to Live by

Filed under: On Writing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 8:38 pm
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“Just write your heart out. I promise you that’s what matters. I would much, much rather find a great, unusual, distinctive book by a phobic writer covered in oozing sores who lives in a closet than a decent but not amazingly original book by the world’s best promoter. I could sell the former a lot better, too.” Elizabeth Law, Publisher, Egmont USA
as posted in the wonderful blog: http://shrinkingvioletpromotions.blogspot.com/

January 24, 2011

Fantasy writer’s use of history, legend, & myth by Jenny Moss

Filed under: On Writing,The Enchanted Inkpot — carmenferreiroesteban @ 1:57 pm
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Please join us at The Enchanted Inkpot (http://community.livejournal.com/enchantedinkpot/80746.html#cutid1) for our Monday blog.

Today read and share your views on how fantasy writers use history, legend and myth in their stories.

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