• Fur Affinity Forums are governed by Fur Affinity's Rules and Policies. Links and additional information can be accessed in the Site Information Forum.

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
Note: This is not a general advertisement for free writing help. That's a quick way to get buried in a pile of literary crap. This is just part of my correspondence with a newer writer who has some questions and concerns. I thought some of this might be helpful to the general audience, so I have posted only my reply. Should the other grant me permission to post their part as well, I'll do that later. In any case, they will remain anonymous.

Hello **,

Thanks for writing to me.

Just so I understand what I may be getting into, what is the overall word count of your piece? As you've said, it is an investment in time, but one that I have taken on many times in the past.

In fact, I just returned a historical novel, with my notes, over to another local writer. I love the premise of their story, but that story has a long way to go before it's ready. Along with my notes on grammar and such, that's what I told them.

For what it's worth, my posted work gets very few 'faves' and even fewer comments. Based on sales of my one published novel, fewer than 1% of all book buyers will leave any review or comment. From other, more experienced writers, I have learned that (regarding organic, unprompted, unpaid-for reviews) 1% is pretty much the norm for literature. People these days are used to getting fed free information from the net. Even when someone loves what they've read, to them the story is just another thing to read, then on to the next thing online. The author doesn't even come into the picture. Knowing that, I don't let it get me down.

I can offer my opinions and some pointers, but what you seem to specifically be looking for is a writing coach. Professional coaches charge hundreds to thousands of dollars for their services, depending on the work's length and current level of completion.

I do not consider myself a professional by any means, and have so far charged no one a single penny. I you live close to the Seattle metro area, I may take it on in any case, just for the (face to face) social aspect of it all. Otherwise I must balance my effort against the reward. In this case, knowing I helped out a fellow writer and nothing more.

Depending on my interactions with that writer, I may later ask that person to beta-read my work for me. Every writer is too close to their own work to see some of its flaws. For example, I frequently "auto correct" and "auto fill", to use computer terms. This means that I will read my own work and correct something or add something, in my head, without actually fixing the work itself.

Because they can only see what is written on the page, beta readers can really help with that. Their different point of view also allows them to spot plot holes, and ask questions like, "Who's talking here?" or "You lost me here. Where is this going?" or "This passage feels like a dead-end. Is it really necessary?"

(In response to 200-300 hour time investment claim) I have well over one-thousand hours invested in my current, nearly complete work; one that I have every intention of publishing. I'm sure that I have written thousands of hours of stuff that may never be published. I write because I enjoy doing it for myself. If I thought of it as just another job; one that doesn't pay well to boot, then I would likely not do it at all. Most writers, like most other artists, often make only pennies per hour of labor, if that. One must write for the pleasure of the act.

Without more information from you, I can not promise to help you through to the end product. That level of commitment can cost me dozens, if not hundreds of hours in reading, providing input, rereading. . . Think on this. If you'd like to see the story through, give me the word count and I'll make my decision.

(Edits not sent in correspondence)​

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
Someone else asked me about what level of completion I look for in my own work, before I release my stories to beta readers. I sent this:
"20 – The Seventh Chapter
The woman tossed her coat aside as she entered Martin's home [1/2 Japanese (very rare), 1/4 German (rare at this purity), 1/4 Andean Peruvian. Light blue eyes and dirty-blond hair artificially prioritized. Lead in]. "I'm the one who approached you about all this. There's no weight on your conscience. All my research tells me that there's nothing illegal about it."

Martin, "I just can't help seeing its permanence. I can offer you protection, but you will still lose your human rights and everything you own." He escorted her to the living room. [think dedicated meeting space in his home. Secundus not in existence yet]

"I could transfer all of my personal holdings under House Boardman. You could provide me with a maintenance trust; maybe we could establish some supply drop points. Martin, you know I've always been most comfortable living on the fringe. How is my life going to change, except for the better?"

Martin walked to the nearby kitchen [think dedicated meeting space. . .] and started making coffee and sandwiches. From there, he said, "You'll develop a true appreciation for a quality lice comb. Lets get these particulars down, while you still have some legal say in the matter." He poured opaque, black coffee into a mismatched pair of old, stained cups.

"Fur? Just a few days ago, you told me that the selection process is blind."[implies that there are other likely options. too early]

"It is," said Martin, "but after a while you get a feel for what the selection program looks for. I see a big cat in your future." [doesn't really work now]

Plopping the sandwiches down onto the plates. He returned to the living room with the refreshments. Throughout the night, . . ."

Then answered, "When I've addressed these [self critique and other notes], and decided on a chapter title, then it might be ready.