As this private English tutor merrily sailed along on the good WordPress, safe, secure and sanitized from the the outside world of other social networking blog sites, I received a request from a guest blogger. Interestingly it came from Blogger.
There are bloggers out there, beavering away to produce interesting posts on a whole myriad of interests, posting on sites such as Blogger, Tumblr and Boing Boing. ‘Boing Boing,’ I hear you ask. Out there in the blogosphere, the Chinese Boing Boing is the most widely read blog in the world.
Below is the post from Malacast Agent pondering on ‘Knowledge in Books’. I have posted it in its entirety, so I take no credit or otherwise for its content or its typos, should you spot any!
Thank you Malacast for trusting me with your work.
Before we jump into this blog post, I should probably tell you a bit about myself: I’m Malacast Agent, lead (and currently, only) writer of the Malacast Editorial (mcasteditorial.blogspot.com) I specialize in writing about books, video games, movies, television, and more recently writing. I do post reviews and previews on occasional, but the bulk of the site is made up of editorials that speak about whatever captures my fancy that day.
Q: Can it be done?
A: In a fashion/kind of/probably not satifactorily
I am two weeks into an experiment to see if my 80,000 word manuscript can be translated into a series of images on Pinterest; not strictly true because I do also put captions underneath the images. The results so far are that it can be done in a fashion/kind of/probably not satifactorily. . .
Starting off was relatively easy. I set the scene with two images representing my two main characters and summed up the novel in a few words. So far so good.
The next pin also seemed to work okay. I found an image with a quote from Ray Bradbury and then included the opening sentence from my novel underneath. So, the scene is set – where now?
Not so easy. Simply finding another image and putting the second sentence of my book in the caption box didn’t work. The line, on its own, was out of context with what had proceeded it. It works in the book because the following sentences can read immediately. The ‘line of thought’ following the images was brought to an abrupt halt. Time does not allow one sentence per week on on my Pinterest board. I suspect I would be in my box before I got to the end of the 80,000 words and you would be considerably older. :-)
So, how to proceed so that readers of my ‘Seeing Unseen’ novel board would be able to follow the narrative of the book? My decision this week has been to sum up the professional character of Seth in a caption, in order to keep the reader in the picture and allow for some development of the narrative.
I would welcome your input here – do the images ‘flow’? Have I left you confused? If so, it’s back to the
drawing Pinterest board.
Please jump over and take a look: http://www.pinterest.com/privatetuition/seeing-unseen-a-novel-by-dlnixon/
As a private English teacher, many of my students see passing their GCSE English as the be-all-and-end-all of our private tutoring.
As we commence our studies, it is as if they feel they are at the foot of an unclimbable mountain. The dizzying heights seem unreachable. The start is tinged with tension the conclusion lost in the mists of time.
I assure them that it’s only a matter of one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. The GCSE English curriculum is merely a path of hurdles. I tell them that I will guide them down the path and together we will stride over the hurdles.
The year progresses, the lessons are ticked off one by one and we arrive at examination time; and sure enough, the ascent has been successful, the peak reached and GCSE English passed. I receive a phone call/text/email/tweet from a very excited student and are asked about private tuition for the next level – ‘A’ level English.
Then a sense of deja vu as the first lesson commences. Nerves, stress, tension, talk of the unclimbable mountain ahead of them. I remind them of the mountain scaled in passing their GCSE and assure them, once again, that we are about to start on a path of hurdles. We will take the journey together one step at a time, one hurdle at a time.
So we start. It may be ‘Hamlet, then on to John Donne, then on to T.S.Eliot, then on to Samuel Beckett. Each one comes and each one goes. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Sometimes the ascent seems shrouded in mist and other times it’s simply that the gradient is too steep. Eventually, the peak is reached, the exam. completed and then the nervous wait for results.
The deja vu kicks in again. Contact by phone/text/email/tweet; ‘A’ level English passed and a place at university accepted.
I know that when the university mountain has been climbed and the peak reached three years later, the student will look back at on the GCSE and ‘A’ level and wonder what all the panic was about. Perhaps even wonder if a private English tutor was required at all!
Stand upon the highest ridge, and see, how small the other mountains seem.
Du Fu, Tang Dynasty (618-907)
I am looking for an editor of adult material in a novel.
The theme is cyber stalking resulting in an underage relationship. Although the relationship is non-sexual there are scenes containing erotic fantasies with graphic sexual details.
For the past 16 months I have been beavering single-mindedly, ferreting for snippets of facts and figures whilst squirreling away ‘useful’ information in order to publish the novel.
I started with a desire to write, a kernel of an idea and a vague plan in my head. 80,000 words later I found that I was a ‘pantster’ rather than a planner. Sitting there cogitating, contemplating and naval gazing, ideas poured forth like tea through a strainer – hopefully leaving the dregs behind in favour of savouring the flavour.
I am about to undertake a second edit, probably a 6-8 week task. Following the conclusion of the first edit four weeks ago, I have attempted to clear my head of the novel and research into editors, publishers and self-publishing. Oh how complicated!
Developmental/substantive/copy editing/proofreading/KDP/POD/LS/CS and on and on. Confused? I was – still am? Slowly but surely the penny seems to have (almost) dropped, the pieces (almost) fallen into place. I need someone to take my work by the scruff of the neck and shake it to within an inch of its life.
Although I have made one or two initial contacts, I am looking for an editor that will look at a small part of my manuscript for free. I hear there are editors out there who are willing to do this. I have come to realise just how important this next step is and I want to be able to have communication with three or four editors to see what they do with my work and how we ‘communicate’. The thought of letting go of my work is scary and I need to feel confident in my choice.
Second Bit of Help
Should I come through that process relatively unscathed, I would appreciate any experience you have had of dealing with Smashwords, Lightning Source and those companies that are willing to do certain tasks for you e.g. Troubadour, Bubblecow, Kazoo, Bookbaby, Silverwood and the list goes on and on and on. It really is difficult to see the wood for the trees or is the trees for the wood. . .
Any words of wisdom that you can cast my way would be most welcome. Thank you.