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5 Stages of Becoming a Fiction Writer – (A bit of Humor mixed with Truth)

Every aspiring writer sets out to write the great novel that will make him or her famous. You
may be on this journey yourself so let us prepare you with a review of the five stages you will go through on this journey.

Stage 1 – Being the Invincible Writer with the most fabulous story.

You begin the journey knowing that you have the best idea for a story ever to be told. You tell everyone about this book. Your phone calls go unanswered as your friends avoid listening to you tell them about your great book idea. In this stage you are euphoric, happy, and spend hours writing the outline and smirking about the plot twists and turns you are devising. You can already imagine the royalties, movie offers, and red carpet treatment you will receive once your book is published. Hold onto this feeling for as long as you can, because the next stage gets a
bit rough.

Stage 2 – Paranoia that your characters are out to get you.

As you enter Stage 2, you find that the plot has a few holes. You begin having your characters help fix the plot and then all of a sudden you find out that one is mortally injured. How did that happen? What are you going to do know? You begin to look back and try to figure out how your character misled you. At this stage you begin speaking to your characters (some authors go so far as to yell at these fictional people). You imagine that your characters are plotting against you and have no idea the level of greatness you will achieve as a writer. In some cases, you go back and delete that character completely or you find ways to bring her back from the brink of death and the best part – you expect her to be thankful to you for the rest of the book. Characters are characters. The darn book would be easy to write if all the characters behaved.

Stage 3 – I just want to finish this story.

At this stage in writing your first book, you are exhausted. Maybe you are still working the day job to pay your bills and all you want is one more weekend to finish this book. You are losing sleep, spend all the weekend in sweat pants, and your friends wonder if you are still alive. At this point, you throw the plot out the window and write rapidly to make it to the end. You have now become the speedwriter with one goal in mind: writing the words “THE END.”
Stage 4- I hate my Editor.

The book is finally complete and you realize it might be good to have an editor look this over. You have poured your heart and soul into this book and re-written sentences and used the grammar lessons from Ms. Clark, your fourth grade teacher. You email the book to your editor who turns it around in 48 hours and you open the edited file…and begin to cry. Eight hundred and twenty-seven changes and 47 comments later you realize now that you hate your editor more than your characters. The editor asked questions about the plot and how a character made it back from near death, not to mention changing all your punctuation.

Stage 5 – Please Mom just buy a copy and I will never ask you again for anything.

Finally, after making it through the edits and getting the final book in perfect form, it is
published. Maybe you have chosen traditional publishing or gone out on your own and used
self-publishing. Either way you sit back and get ready for all the good feelings you dreamed of in Stage 1. Eight days later, with no sales reported just yet, you call your mom and have the following conversation.
Author “Hi Mom…do you have a minute or two?”
Mom “Of course dear.”
Author “Mom, I promise to never ask for anything again and you will be the best mom in the world if you do me this one favor.”
Mom “What do you need dear?”
Author “Would you please purchase a copy of my book?”
Mom “You wrote a book?”
end conversation
For all you aspiring authors, this is just a bit of humor to help you through the process. Many of us have walked this path already. We know you will succeed. Keep smiling, keep writing, and know that you are not alone on the journey. In the end, the joy is in becoming a writer with a published book…welcome to the club.

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iBooks Spotlight Roundup

We love the iBooks spotlight. It’s an Apple newsletter that features new and noteworthy books. It’s a great way to discover the next book on your reading list. We rounded up some recent books iBooks highlighted:

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 Set for July release, “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee is back at it.

Gabriel Allon is on the hunt for the murderer of a controversial British Royal.

Renowned blogger and video blogger, Felicia Day, releases her endearing memoir.

A brand new Thunder Point romance where emotions run high.

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Click either banner for more iBooks picks and info on those featured!

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How An Editing Service Can Help You Complete Your Dissertation

Earning a doctoral degree takes several years, with graduate students often living on meager stipends, and sacrificing their social lives. Despite their arduous labor to complete their coursework successfully, many PhD candidates never actually finish their dissertations and end up becoming ABD’s (All But Dissertation) instead of PhD’s. Why is this? They, certainly, have the content for their research covered by
their coursework, literature reviews, and careful selection of dissertation committee members, who know the criteria for a well designed study and publication of the manuscript. So, the inhibiting culprit isn’t lack of knowledge, but rather, the process of completing a doctoral dissertation inhibits many from actually getting their doctorates. Researching and writing a dissertation involves a very stressful and time consuming process. Good coping skills and effective time management are two necessary criteria for finishing the dissertation and achieving the degree.

The Role of an Editing Service in the Dissertation Process
Although it may appear that an editing service helps solely with the content of the delivery of the dissertation manuscript, perhaps a more important role involves facilitating effective coping with the dissertation process.

Social Support


Psychological research on stress has identified a number of very important variables in effective coping. Perhaps the single most important one is seeking social support, which can be informational (i.e., learning what has to be done and how to do it) as well as emotional support. While your dissertation committee may be able to provide some of the informational support, editors also help with myriad formatting details and offer suggestions for content revision that address the specific concerns of your committee members. But, even more important is the emotional support that editors infuse into their comments to you, the doctoral student, that keep you motivated to trudge on.

Metaphorical examples.

Let’s reflect on a prototypical example of the dissertation process by imagining ourselves as Dorothy in the Land of “Oz” and as
“Alice in Wonderland.” Doctoral students often start off with great exuberance down the yellow brick road with high hopes and dreams of reaching the “Emerald City,” envisioning an illuminated gated entrance of flashing emerald letters, “PhD” But, after a series of committee review setbacks, these same students, once feeling ten feet tall, begin to shrink, like Alice after imbibing a shrinking potion, beneath the harsh critiques and daunting, endless revisions. Concrete reality gives way to the surreal experience of captor by flying monkeys to the witch’s castle where they lie shuddering behind the slamming of the dungeon’s door, with bolted latch of emblazoned letters, “ABD!”

It is precisely at this juncture that many graduate students lose their way, no longer feeling excited and empowered, but rather, bewildered and disillusioned. Without someone to offer assistance and emotional support, behavioral passivity and inertia replace enthusiastic drive. For some, debilitating anxiety creates behavioral paralysis; for others, depression spawns inertia. In either case, the end result is derailment from their goal of degree attainment. Procrastination and avoidance often become primary, yet maladaptive, coping responses. What is needed is the kind of emotional support that comes from someone else who shares a connection on student’s side of the writing and revision process. This is what the editor affords the graduate student. And, this is an invaluable coping asset at this point in the process of completing their degree programs. Students maintain an emotional connection to their dissertations because the editor, also, is affectively engaged in both the content, as well as the process, of their dissertation research proposal and defense.

 

Perceived Control and Self-Efficacy

Other salient coping variables involve our thought processes: perceived control and self-efficacy; i.e., the student’s belief in his or her own ability to stay in control of the process and meet the demands of the dissertation process. Although at the outset, students possess varying degrees of optimistic views about their power to succeed, the grueling process can erode even the hardiest beliefs. Working with an editor reestablishes the student’s sense of control over the process as well as the outcome. With each completed revision, in the on-going exchange with the editor, students experience a sense of mastery, restoring self-confidence in their ability to meet the challenge and finish the dissertation successfully.

Time-Management Skills


One other coping skill that is greatly enhanced by using an editorial service is time management. Completing a dissertation imposes great demands on students’ time, and managing time, inevitably, is put to the test. While one segment of the dissertation is sent off to the editor, another is worked on by the student. The timeline established by the committee becomes far more reasonably achieved because each sub-goal is facilitated by the contributions of the editor. This keeps students engaged in the process rather than in flight. It is much easier to keep the writing moving when you know that an editor will take it over and get it back to you quickly.

Good Stress vs. Bad Stress


The dissertation is a source of stress that can be good stress (eustress) or bad stress (distress), and much of that depends on whether you come to see it as a challenge, which catalyzes motivation, or as an albatross, which often leads to defeat. Understanding the process of dissertation writing and the role that an editor can play in helping you cope effectively can make all the difference. It can be the pivotal point
in determining whether you complete your dissertation or remain ABD. Once you make the decision to contract with an editorial service, you will understand the meaning behind the PhD degree. The “P” connotes Persistence; “h” can mean hardiness (perceived control, commitment, and challenge); and “D,” Dedication (fostered by maintaining a positive emotional connection and attitude to the goal of degree completion).

Personal Experience with the Dissertation Process


Editors who are PhD’s have been through the process and understand what makes it work. They know what they need to provide to promote success, and their engagement with you, and with the process itself, is what makes this editorial service stand out above the others.

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Featured Client: Dr. Lisa-Marie Portugal

Edit911 is proud to have edited Dr. Lisa-Marie Portugal’s book entitled Successful Online Faculty Principles and Best Practices. Dr. Portugal identifies the skills and attributes necessary for teachers to be effective in online classes. Her study is valuable not only for higher education leaders, but also corporate trainers, faculty trainers, administrators, retention specialists, researchers, job seekers, and students.

Dr. Portugal holds a PhD in Leadership for Higher Education and instructs undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral coursework in the College of Education for various institutions. Her expertise includes student engagement and success, adult learning theory, best practices in online learning, faculty and student retention, and emerging technologies.

 

Dr. Portugal can be contacted by:

EmailTwitter, and WikiEducator

Her book is available at:

MoreBooks! and Amazon

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