Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Editors are not Magical Unicorns

Editors are awesome. I have to say that, because I am one… But I also think they are actually awesome. Editors tend to know a lot more about language than the average bear. They are intelligent, thoughtful people who approach writing with a very analytical eye.

They are not, however, magical unicorns.

They do not have horns that they can wave over your manuscript and fix every stylistic issue. They also do not poop out rainbows that will take your boring descriptions and elevate them into beautifully lyrical sentences. That’s your job.

In other words: You should never give your editor an unedited first draft of your manuscript.

Some authors might argue against me (but, Rachel, that’s what they are there for!). I’m going to put up a pretty logical argument.

My first argument is: your editor is still not a magical unicorn.

My second argument is: your editor is not you. Your editor has their own style, their own way of approaching words and syntax. Your editor is a human who does not have telepathic powers. This means, if you give a completely unedited, unrevised draft to your editor, you will not achieve the same results.

When you revise your first draft, there’s probably a lot of things you will change. Awkward sentences, preferring one word over another, adding description, removing description. Perhaps “bloomed” wasn’t the right word lyrically, but “blossomed” is. Structurally “bloomed” still works--your editor will not change this, because it is a stylistic change.

By revising your own work first, you get to make the stylistic edits. Once those are in place, your editor can focus on making every sentence read perfectly. They won’t insert “blossomed” for you.

While editors are not magical unicorns, they are still pretty awesome. Every author should at least do a trade for editing if they can’t afford to hire someone. I know my book became exponentially better after my editor started picking through my piece.

Even if they are not magical unicorns, you can be your own magical unicorn. Wave your own horn, poop out your own rainbows, and realize that the stylistic fixes have to initially come from you.

Your editor is there to assist in making the rainbows glow brighter and file your horn into a sharper point, not to create the magic in the first place.

That’s on you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Girl Nevermore and Other Projects Underway

Hello, bloggers! *waves* It has been awhile since I’ve updated, and… of course, I’ve gotten sucked back into my own little world again. Reality is a real thing, huh? But I miss being connected online, so here’s my attempt at giving a fun little update and getting back into the swing of things.

Recently, I’ve been juggling a lot. My fairytale retelling / apocalypse YA novel, In a Blue Moon, has 12,000 words written and completely edited. I’m working on it in a different process than before, doing each chapter as a draft then editing the chapter five times before moving onto the next chapter. It’s making for a very smooth read. Those 12,000 words? They are essentially finished, just need a final look over from my editor. Which means publishing this one will be a breeze.

However, with my YA Contemporary, Girl Nevermore, I am taking the usual approach, but revamped slightly. I’m drafting the whole thing out (26,000 words so far), and then I will edit each chapter five times before moving on to edit the next chapter. I’m trying to figure out which process I like better.

While In a Blue Moon is essentially “finished,” it also isn’t growing in word count very quickly, since I’m doing a lot of stops and starts. I think drafting then editing one part over and over will be the best way for me to continue. It should feel more like I’m writing the book once, editing the book “once,” and proofing the book once. We’ll see, but I’m hoping this is what I can trick myself into doing.

Both of these titles should be out in the next year. Drafting and editing have become a lot easier, since I’ve written so many books at this point, and since I’ve taken a few editing courses as a refresher (those helped).

On top of that, I’ve started an independent author collective with six other fantastic indie authors. I encourage you to check out our site, TheScriptors.com. I enjoy the books of every author on there, so they are worth checking out.

Tons of shenanigans in the making. Tons of things in the works. I’m excited that I’ve decided to walk the indie line, because it lets me write what I want when I want with nothing but my own self-imposed deadlines. While I’m still open to the idea of an agent / publisher sometime in the future, it’s not a high priority right now. I just want to write. Period.

I think that’s a good decision for now.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Collapse: Out now!

It has been a long journey to get to my third release date. A large part of it still feels very surreal, like I'm dreaming. This has to be a fantasy world, because there's no way I could have three books out... right?  Alas, I'm not waking up from the real world--not anytime soon anyway. So three books it is!

I've learned a lot on this journey. The main thing: stop stressing.

The other thing I learned? Try to finish everything as early as possible. Having more time to ask blogs and get readers before the release would have been nice. But I'm quite happy that I made the deadline with a darn good book.

The Collapse was a lot of fun for me to write. Murphy is such an interesting character and getting to write a dual narrative was a nice change of pace. I wrote about how I switched playlists depending on which voice I was writing for. Jay and Murphy have such different feels, and I think that's what makes The Collapse so interesting.

You can purchase your copy of The Collapse for kindle. It will be out soon in paperback!
Murphy carries on after Jay abandons Hipstopia--and him. With a mixture of hatred and admiration for his new foe, Murphy becomes more aggressive than ever, unearthing a darker side of himself. He’s willing to sacrifice anything to keep Sky and Hipstopia safe, even if it means killing Jay.

Free from Murphy’s reins, Jason wants to begin his new life with Kiera, but she’ll never be able to settle as long as Leo is trapped in prison. The only way Jason can keep her safe is by going back into Hipstopia with her, but if he sees Murphy again, he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to pull the trigger.

Now on opposite sides of the war, Jason and Murphy tell their stories as they come head to head in the final battle.
If you haven't read the first book in the duet, Hipstopia, you can get it for .99 on kindle.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Collapse: Cover Reveal and Goodreads Giveaway

Guys!  GUYS!  It finally happened!  The Collapse has a delightful cover, and I have a goodreads giveaway set up for two signed paperback ARCs that will end on May 19.  Not only can you enter to win, but you can also look at the pretty thing I created!

Here's the synopsis for the sequel to Hipstopia:

Murphy carries on after Jay abandons Hipstopia--and him. With a mixture of hatred and admiration for his new foe, Murphy becomes more aggressive than ever, unearthing a darker side of himself. He’s willing to sacrifice anything to keep Sky and Hipstopia safe, even if it means killing Jay.

Free from Murphy’s reins, Jason wants to begin his new life with Kiera, but she’ll never be able to settle as long as Lee is trapped in prison. The only way Jason can keep her safe is by going back into Hipstopia with her, but if he sees Murphy again, he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to pull the trigger.

Now on opposite sides of the war, Jason and Murphy tell their stories as they come head to head in the final battle.

Enter the giveaway below!  You can purchase Hipstopia for kindle or as a paperbackThe Collapse will be released on May 26!  Mark your calendars, it's going to be an awesome ride!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Collapse by R.A. Desilets

The Collapse

by R.A. Desilets

Giveaway ends May 19, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekly Giveaway: Week Three

Congratulations goes to Cordelia -- the winner of Week Two's giveaway.  Once she chooses her book, I will remove it from the list.

As promised, there's another giveaway -- Week Three! This ends midnight PT on 5/4.  If an international winner wins, they will only receive ebook copies of both my novelettes, My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade and Hipstopia.  If a U.S. winner wins, they will get to choose from the list of physical books to have mailed to them AND receive a copy of the ebooks!  Good luck!

You can choose one of the following if you win:

Young Adult Books
Adult Books 

a Rafflecopter giveaway