How to Correct Your Book Properly

As you know, I’ve always said that correcting your novel is not an easy job — it’s exhausting, boring, and it feels like wasting time, although it’s not.

Even though, let’s not forget this:

Everyone who edits their copy has a fool for an editor.

— Donald Davis

This comes to say: if it’s going hard, if you feel like you’re not doing a good job, you’re doing the best you can, and many (most) professional writer do have an editor. You might need to edit it more than once or twice and even ask other people about what’s their opinion (do they feel like there are plot gaps, irrelevant details, too many details) and then decide if you want or not to do something about it. It’s your book after all.

And never forget:

Different people have different tastes

It’s important that your book won’t appeal to everyone, but first of all, you have to like it. That’s what makes you authentic and invested in your work. You should like it. If, like the rest of us humans, you fear failure, I strongly suggest you read THIS post.

This is not the first time I touch upon the subject of editing, I shared a few different tips on how to edit your work before (HERE). However, I felt like I needed to deepen the subject; that’s why today I am going to speak only about the manner in which you can correct (from a grammatical point of view) your novel.

1. Use a specialised programme

Nowadays, technology eases our tasks and brings lots of benefits to our lives. Many programmes that aim to help the writers and bloggers around the world had been developed. Happily, there are also free versions of these. Although regarded with scepticism, they are very good. I’ve personally used Grammarly — the free version at first — which is easy to use and competent all the same. It might not find all the grammatical errors, but you’ll be surprised by it nevertheless. You can also choose whether you want to have the text corrected in the U.K. or U.S.A English. In addition to this, the program offers explanations for each correction. And you can also download the Microsoft Plug-in and this option is also available for Mac.

If you go for the paid version, there are even more features. Luckily, if you invite friends and they make an account, you both receive a free week of Premium Grammarly. Yay!

2. Get a beta reader

Beta readers don’t only tell you how can you improve your book overall. If you ask them, these persons can especially look after grammatical errors. This method is very nice because it helps you make friends and get to know people in this field. If you search thoroughly, you’ll find people willing to give a helping hand without expecting material benefits. These types of person can be usually found on different Facebook special dedicated pages or websites.

Warning: Be aware to whom you entrust your book. There are scammers and the so-called “bad people” who would/could steal your work. I would suggest doing a little research beforehand; that does not mean you should be paranoiac, just pay attention.

Besides, a beta reader can also give you his opinion regarding the book. If he or she can be integrated into the segment of the market you’re addressing to, his thoughts are very important when it comes to improving the quality of your work.

3. Contract an editor

If you want to take the self-publishing road and you have an amount of money at your disposition, you should consider contracting an editor. He’s a professional and a capable person with a vast experience in the domain. You can “steal” a few tricks and improve your writing in the future as well (just analyse the changes he makes/suggests). On top of that, the editor can be your connection to get to know other people in the field.

4. Don’t rush!

This one, I don’t think it comes as a surprise. However, I feel like I can’t stress it enough. Mostly, because I fell victim to this trap in the past, when I was a newbie (if you’re a newbie as well, I suggest you read THIS post). If you want to properly correct your book, you should be patient and not rush the process or the people you’re working with. Also, be open-minded and decide with your head whether you should or make a change, not with your heart — sometimes, pressing delete is very hard, but it’s also needed. Don’t be afraid to be merciless with your book. This is a good time to let listen to your inner critic a bit.

And also:

Avoid distractions

When you start editing, turn off your phone, don’t be the “I’m just going to check my mail once” or “just a quick look on Facebook/Twitter.” Although I’ve acknowledged the importance of music in the creative process (HERE), I advise you to keep it to a minimum.

If you liked this post please share and subscribe for more tips! Also, let me know in the comments below which tip do you find more useful and if you have any suggestions.

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How to Be Constant

I’ve written an article about why constancy is important in a writer’s life. I decided that it was only fair to come with some solutions for those who might say “It’s not possible.” I was reticent in the beginning myself, so I could understand these types of comments.

  1. Change your mindset

I want to make it clear from the start. If you sit down and write because you think you’re forced to follow a schedule, and you consider the experience of writing only a few paragraphs a waste of time, you’re doing this wrong. You have to start by changing your mindset. Be open to new and don’t brush off this method immediately. Give it a chance and try to make it work. No one forces you to write – it’s just a commitment to yourself.

  1. Make a schedule

Hardly will one manage to write every single day. That’s why I have a proposition for you: make a schedule. Add other two days for writing aside from your current one. When you can handle those as if they’re a piece of cake, add two more. When I say to make a plan, I am thinking about having some sort of calendar where you can check your days. Visualising your goal has a great impact.

  1. Make writing a priority in your agenda

Some of us, because we find pleasure in writing, don’t consider it to be a priority in our day. But if you put it on your agenda, you’ll endeavour to mark it, just as you do with all your other duties. Choose half an hour to write whenever you’d like throughout the day. You have time to read this article, to stay on Facebook, to read the news… I’m sure you can find an open window.

  1. Be passionate!

It would be better to write about something you’re truly passionate about. It will ease the transition. Or you could write about some that you admire. Do you have a favourite show or book? Do you intend to tell me you haven’t died to know how a specific character would act in a situation? You have the power to create that! You should have a much fun doing this.


Don’t beat yourself up if there are days when you slack. It will happen. Then, inhale deeply and remember why you do this. There is a day tomorrow, too. If you are harsh on yourself, it won’t contribute to improving the process or making the experience enjoyable.

Tips for Mastering Social Media

My social media skills have never been the best. Once I published my first book and I understood the importance of creating your audience, I tried very hard to improve them. Happily, I succeeded in what I wanted. Still, the struggle was real. The hard part was finding the most reliable approach.

But lucky you, I’m willing to share my discoveries! We writers have to be united, after all. All that I’m about to tell you might seem obvious, but when you find yourself in the actual situation your eyes aren’t open and your view so clear. Everything is a blurry mess, usually.

Without further ado…

  1. Create a schedule

The very first thing you should do is create a schedule. It will help you keep track of your posts, know which days you should be active on a certain platform and help you with time management. The real question is: do you know how to make the schedule? I suggest that you begin by taken a blank paper and write down the platforms you’re using and the week’s days. Mark gradually when you post on a certain platform. Also, try to post at least three times a week on every single platform. You must not post on the same days on all the platforms. It’s comfortable, but a lazy thing.

  1. Posts’ variety

Now that you have a schedule – and you follow it – you need to think what post you’re going to make. I think that unless you have an announcement, you shouldn’t have the exact same post on every account. Again, it’s lazy. You must invest time and creativity. Variety does matter, especially for your readers. But bear in mind that this is your audience, so post think related to your field of work, or subject in which you are very interested. “Silly pictures” as those with “It’s Monday/Friday” are fine, as well as those who have a funny pinch. But it’s all down to your personality in the end. If you’re poetry or novels are dark and morbid, go for something like that.

  1. Stats

Stats are a feature that you have access to on almost any platform that can be used for promoting yourself. You should keep your eyes these because they tell you the most what were the most viewed or liked posts, which hours and days were the best. According to the stats try to adapt your content and schedule. It will not only please your audience but also attract new persons.

  1. Write posts in advance

Life is hard and keeps you busy. I know; it happens to all of us. That’s why, when you have spare time, you should write some posts in advance. Constancy is very important to keep your audience engaged. If you post once a month, people will literally forget who you are. Don’t let them! You can usually schedule posts which help you have something published in case you don’t have time to write in the scheduled date.

3 Tips for Better Editing

Today, I want to touch upon the editing subject. Editing is a very important part of the writing process. It contributes to polishing the work. This part, however, might be exhausting as it implies much patience and finesse. And when our perfectionist spirit kicks in, we better grip on something.

But editing doesn’t necessarily have to resemble a walk along the path of hell. I’ve discovered over the years how certain preparation could make the experience almost enjoyable. The short list that I’m about to present you does not only help with improving the experience but also with making the editing better.

So, without further ado, these are my 3 tips for better editing:

  1. Take a break

Haha. That’s, I think, the best thing one could hear when it comes to hard work, right? Can you believe that I’m not even joking? Let’s assume you’ve just finished your novella or novel. You’d want to get it done for good and start editing, probably. But the right thing to do is to let it cool for a while. You’re too caught in the story. Instead of frying your brain further, take a break of a month or two. It will give you a more objective view on your work and more patience. During the pause phase, do not touch the material, or think about it. Relax, do activities you enjoy and enjoy life.

  1. Read aloud

Editing is a tricky activity, especially when it comes to dialogue. In your head, the exchange of replies might sound perfect, but then, when you read aloud, it seems dull. When you engage more than one sense, your skills strengthen. It somehow makes the experience more real and gives you a quite objective work. It’s like you hear those persons speaking, and not read a dialogue. Also, reading aloud makes you realise whether or not the description is boring.

  1. Divide the editing into two phases

I observed that this works like a piece of cake. It’s a secret that no one wants to tell. Usually, when one edits his work he tries to take care of both style and errors at the same time. He might re-read his work to see if he’s satisfied with the results, and he’d still focus on both of them.

Editing should be divided into two phases: the style editing and the grammatical errors correcting one.

The author should start by looking at the composition as a whole, at the characters in order to make them believable and other things regarding plot and development. Unlike editors, writers don’t have the superpower of reading on letters – I know an editor with a vast editing experience and she lent me a trick or two -; that’s why the second round of editing should focus only on grammatical errors.

Mistakes Debutant Writers Make

  • They rush to finish the novel

I was not one of those people, happily for me. But I’ve read about many who had this problem. The main idea is that the writer should take his time to make the novel as good as it can be. Writing every day is important, but sometimes the lack of inspiration just kicks in. Don’t be depressed. Guess what? It happens to all of us. I refuse to believe that there is a person out there who has never had writer’s block.

Usually, when one’s in a hurry, he tends to be superficial. I’ve missed some important explanations in my debuting novel and I didn’t even hurry a bit.

  • They don’t take enough time revising

Revision is very important. It improves the book by creating better characters, setting the plotline, and correcting possible typing errors. Now, for the last part, let me tell you that there will be some errors. I’ve had plenty and swear I revised it twice and had two others persons checking it. I am not a machine and I do not read on letters (that’s how you detect typos).

Revising is like retouching a masterpiece. You work at it till you are more than content with the result. Be sure that in the future, after you’ve accumulated more experience you are convinced you could rewrite it way better. But the point is for you to make progress and to give your best at the moment!

  • They spent too much time thinking about what others may say

I personally had few moments like this when I would think “Wouldn’t they it is inappropriate for a teenager writer to describe it?” or “Maybe some will consider it too violent…” because you see, being a writer is hard enough already when it comes to criticism, but I was a teenager so the pressure was even higher. I’ve read hundreds of book, I knew how to describe things that I hadn’t done or been part of. But the question regarding how the society would look on it was in my head.

That’s why I advise you to not think about it. Criticism will come anyway. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 15 or 50; write what you want without being ashamed of it. It’s your art! It’s your thoughts! It’s your way of expressing things!

To overcome the last one, I leave you a beautifully written phrase which captures the process of writing.

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.

– Cyril Connolly

Trips and Tips

  • A nice trip

I had another post in mind for today. However, I went on a trip to the mountains with some of my friends and I didn’t find it fit to write it (at least, not today). I felt that I have to tell you how it had been, especially because I had a great time.

It has been the first time when I went with only my friends on a trip (no parents or teachers involved). So you can guess it was a very big deal.

We went to Sinaia, a mountain resort in Romania. We’ve chosen it over the seaside because even if it too hot for this season, the water is not nearly as warm as it should be. We’ve stayed there for three days, including the arrival and the departure. It isn’t a long period of time, I know. I wish it had been longer. But we still managed to visit the city, the park, and some important tourist attractions.

The Peleș Castle has been tremendously impressive. There lived King Carol I and Queen Elizabeth. It was the first castle to be entirely electrified on the continent. Did you know that it was and is still considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Europe?

There’s no surprise since it combines three to five architectural styles – and I’ve only seen 50 rooms out of 300! It is a magnificent thing as the castle, taken as a whole, is harmonically designed. But just imagine German Neo-Renaissance, Italian Renaissance, French Baroque, Art 1900, all gathered in one construction.

I’ve seen rooms as one could only imagine or read about. It took by surprise all my senses. So many purposeful chambers and secret doors. I felt like in a labyrinth… or a royal trap. I find it difficult to live in such a place. It has the power to make one (whoever he might be) weak and meaningless.

History passionate should definitely check it out if they get to Sinaia.

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  • Be one with nature

Green dominated this trip. Forest, fresh spring grass, parks… it was refreshing. I’ve visited the park which is quite big, even though not as large as when I was a mere child.

Just make sure you do spend some time outside, ”ín the wild”. Having fun and visiting are important aspects; but in the century in which people are oblivious regarding nature, you should make a difference.

I don’t say that you should put your life in danger by in the dark depths of the forest where you could meet a not-so-friendly bear. However, take the chance to inhale the clear air, to see places you haven’t seen before, to make a picnic (but please, for God’s sake, don’t let all the trash behind you).

Many persons must learn to respect the surroundings and to let them as they had been found, for the joy of the future newcomers.

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5 Tips for a Successful Trip

 

  1. Plan ahead!

    Don’t let it on the last-minute to buy the tickets (if you need any), or to make a booking. Also, don’t go on a trip with the hope you’ll find some offers for accommodation because you might be wrong – unless you have a ”plan B”.

  2. Do some research!

    Make a list of the landmarks you want to visit. Be sure to read a little about the history of the place you are going to visit. It will make you staying so much easier if you plan on visiting something.

  3. Choose your clothes wisely!

    Think how you could combine the clothes before throwing them into a luggage. You’ll end up by saying ”I have nothing to wear!”. Furthermore, don’t take too many clothes. If you go somewhere by train, they will be harder to carry the. However, be sure to take one cosy blouse in case there will be some heavy raining and cold weather.

  4. Explore!

    From the very beginning, search for places where you may eat, supermarkets, tourist routes, taxi stations, so you can have an overall view of the place. It comes in handy at times.

  5. Look on the bright side of things!

    Something may go wrong. It happens. Don’t stress yourself about it. Try to enjoy the rest of the trip and cheer yourself up. You should have fun and make memories.