Jump to content
careycarey

Shameless begging. I got money, I need an editor!

Recommended Posts

Shameless begging: I got money, I need an editor

[Carey] “Your family stories are always so touching. You should write a book” - PPR_Scribe

Your life reads like an excerpt from a Novel that I would not only buy but stand in a long line that wraps a corner, just for the Author's signature. WOW - Now that's what I call a Testimony” - Free Spirit

People will pat you on the back and I may be the biggest sucker in town, but I need an editor.

I need an editor. I will pay $5 - $10 a page for editing. $300-$500 up-front. I accept the risk. I’d send the first $300-$500 along with a few pages. I believe the stories are okay, but I know they need a little cleaning. Some pages might not need anything but a sentence shift or comma here and there, but the page will still be paid for.

I don't think it's bad part-time money. I know it’s not a lot of money but it could be fun.

If you think I have something I can work with, let me know. Check out these short stories. I call them snippets. They all come from larger chapters.

I heard the shot... I felt the combustion... a loud thunderous roar ....it felt as if air was trying to force it's way through my head. Six told me that no one would be shot, we were only taking guns to scare them. I'd seen people shot on television but it was nothing like that. Blood was spurting from the man while he lay crying and moaning on the floor. I was only 18 ....I was involved in a bank robbery and a possible murder.

I entered the bank after giving the appearance of a man shoveling snow outside. Bank robbery is relatively simple ....there are seldom guards. It's the escape and entrance that harbored my concerns ....pedestrians are also unwanted factors. After placing my shovel outside the door, I entered the bank and without saying a word I handed the tellers a large bag,

suggesting that they should fill it. One clerk fell to the floor ....she was too scared and weak to comply. The other ....with eyes widened, trembling from shock and fear, stumbled through the process. I was covered from head to toe ....they couldn't tell if I was a man or a woman, white

or black ....I walked out. As you know that was not my first bank robbery.

At an early age I witnessed the small nuances between tricks and the women that served them. Everyone enjoys the touch of another and many need to feel as if they belong. I learned that men who paid for the company of women didn't do so merely for sex. They needed to feel like they were a match for the women ....that she may even like them. The women did not have to be beautiful ....many were not. Eva wasn't in many opinions an attractive woman .....she was clean, barely 5'5" and overweight. She was sweet and always carried a smile.

Smooth was cool, he wasn't like the winos that everyone poked fun at. He dressed sharp and everyone wanted to be like him. People said he wasn't a junkie ...but he used Narcotics. Smooth was the talk of the town ....all the women loved him ....I would later find out why. I wanted to be like smooth but I couldn't. I already had a family and I didn't even smoke cigarettes. My brother Carl was a wrestler, a state champ. He told me that he was good because he worked harder than others at his craft. He got up earlier than others .....no one knew what he was doing. He did it his way. I latched onto that idea. I was young ....the world was in front of me and I wanted it all. I wanted to be cool like smooth, a family man like my father, tough as my brothers and go to college. Women whispered their pleasures to me and I entertained the possibilities. College was fertile ground for young attractive women. Cool was in me ....it had touched my soul. I was about to travel a road that I could never have imagined ....no one told me ....they didn't know.

The US military is one of the largest vehicles for drug smuggling in the world. Rita was my friend ....my lover and my company. She agreed to come along on a trip after receiving a promise of adventure. She was very attractive ....stunning ....movie star quality ....she liked me. While passing through the gate Rita's face showed the look of impending doom. The officer ordered everyone out of the vehicle ....a search was about to guidance. Earlier we were in a village ....it was called the jungle ....an area frequented by blacks who were accepted by the locals. It was a humid day ....the sun was bright ....Rita and I were filled with excitement. She was from Virginia and had not traveled much ....she trusted me. We were free and fear was not our enemy. Prior to our journey we talk about the future and the dangers of our travel. I carefully questioned her on the what-if's ....the possibilitie of roadblocks ahead. The officer again said to vacate the vehicle ....Rita went to work.

My life spiraled out of control for several years ....one day in the midst of a storm, I called my mother for help ....she said that she had given it to god and suggested that I pray ....I didn't have a relationship with god at that time and was very depressed about my situation ....I nevertheless sent a weak prayer to god and things changed. I didn't know how to pray ....yet I knew I couldn't continue along this path ....I sat in my cell and asked God for help and guidence. Some have said that there are no time stamps on prayers ....I waited. I am here today ....grateful and alive. My mother told me that although I didn't have a relationship with god at that time ....he had never left me. I've come to believe that to be true.

NEXT Here’s another very short one:

When I was a kid, we lived in the projects. My father told us that one day he was going to buy a house with a basement. In the basement, he was going to build a gym. He did that. Well, it wasn’t a big gym, in fact, it was nothing more than a few items like a bunching bag and small weights, but we loved it. My father screwed in a spring resistance thang in a support beam. It was a used item that my father purchased from the Salvation Army, so there wasn’t much resistance but we made it work. My father said if I stood back far enough and worked that thing long enough, I would eventually see some results. Okay, I had faith in my father’s words, so for days and days, for hours and hours, I pulled on that contraption. One day I noticed a little bump on my arm. It was a muscle! Years later, I had gun boats.

Many more years later, I bought a home, and I had a gym in my basement. To make a long story short, take a look at my son’s arms. (picture not available in this medium)

And, Daddy’s little Girl:

I've always thought being a man was about being tough and strong. I put a great deal of emphases on providing for my family and protecting them. I believe it's safe to say most fathers... real fathers feel the same way. Looking back... the hardest thing for me to do on a continual basis was share my emotions. I gave my family most things that I thought would be beneficial for their survival. Yet I sometimes wonder if I gave them all the tools necessary to endure the long haul of life. I now look back and wonder if I gave them all of me. It would be easy to take the less painful road and say it's not about me. I could blame everybody and everything ....I could open the door to excuses. Yet, I've come to believe that would be closing the door on growth.

How does one prepare for the departure of their only daughter. In many ways my daughter was a bond that kept my family together. She was an integral part of my family unit. She was not planned .....her mother and I were kids playing house and she became pregnant while we were in high school. We married and struggled as young parents .....We shared dreams and spent many days and nights preparing our daughter for the day I will never forget.

Being a young father .....I was just like the birds and the four legged animals that had to find safety in a tree. I could change my spots to look like a man and talk like a man but I wasn't a man. I seldom reached inside to find the soul of a man. I had always mimicked my father ....he was a great influence on my life .....I watched his moves but I never saw his tears. When I became a boy with a child I was scared and insecure .....I masked my fears and shoved those emotions behind. I thought it wasn't manly to show fear .....I found it hard to admit that I didn't know how to handle certain things. I was about to leave my daughter on the steps of a large University .....with strangers.

My daughter had never seen me cry .....my wife had never seen me cry ....in truth, after leaving my parents home ....I had never cried. I thought back to the day my father told me to leave his home and go raise my family .....I remember his pain .....I now was sharing those same emotions. I wondered if I was making the right decision or was I living through my daughter by suggesting she go to a large University far away from home, when she could have gone to a local college with similar benefits ....did I think her chances of being an Olympic star were greater .....living my dream?

My wife and I were about to leave our daughter at her new home ....The University of Kentucky. We were proud yet fearful ....I was her track coach. I had accompanied her on most of her trips. My wife would always be by my side ....assisting as mothers do ....she even ran along during training ....we used her as a rabbit. My daughter would spot her yardage and try to beat her to the line. My son was along ....he was just joyful of the promise of a Happy Meal. My daughter was a high school and national age group champion .....she now was going to Kentucky ....A College National Champion.

In many ways my wife and I didn't plan for this day. Sure, we planned for our daughters new day but not our lives together, without our little girl. The days were gone when we would nudge one another to see who would change her diaper or pick her up from practice. There would be no more loading of the car .....the four of use for family trips to wonderful cities. What would my wife and I do when we didn't have our daughter around? Someone we felt we had to stand guard over. Was this like retirement? Was I retiring from being daddy and she daddy's little girl.

I couldn't fake this one ....I couldn't change my spot from a sad, insecure and fearful father to one that appeared as if he had it all together ....this was real. Emotions flooded me ....I looked at my wife for answers ....her eyes and posture told me that she too had visited a dark place. Emotions I seldom dealt with, invade my soul ....rationalization and ambiguous thought were no match for the pains I was feeling.

I was the leader of the family. As we got closer to the moment of goodbyes ....I again looked in the eyes of my wife ....and with some reserve and trepidation .....I looked into the eyes of my daughter ....they both were looking for answers from their leader. That was a defining moment in my life. At that moment I think I became closer to being a real man ....I lost it ....I cried ....I couldn't talk, I cried. I showed my vulnerability ....I didn't have all the answer and I didn't know anything else to do.

Okay Thumper’s Corner, I am looking for a good editor. I have more stories. Much more.

I have stories of all kinds. I have childhood stories, crime stories, lost love stories, young fatherhood stories, drug abuse stories, gun play stories, work place stories, drug smuggling stories, seeing death stories, incarceration stories, pimp stories, my family stories, love stories, church stories, loneliness & depression stories, overseas stories, blogging stories, lessons I've learn stories, life in the military stories, racism stories, self-discovery stories, grandchildren stories, my education stories, did I say love stories, shame and guilt stories, all true stories...

All on paper.

I need help. Editor wanted

Another short one: Baby momma drama...

If a women has children by different men what is she? Some are quick to call her a scank or a ho. Others might say she's a woman of low principles. Let me tell you a story and I'll tell you what I call them. I have a definition that's counter to the popular opinion.

This story is about a man and a women that fell in love. Do you like a good love stories - I do. Like most love stories there's a beginning, a middle and the end. This story begins with a man that had lived a few years and a young beautiful black women that was just leaving her nest. They met in the military; he a fast talker, slick walker. She was a young innocent girl out to see the world. He had a history. In fact, he was denied entry into one branch of the military because of past criminal behavior. He was young but the streets called him at an early age. Being of a criminal mind and no ones fool, he found a way to slip into a different branch of the armed forces.

Since he considered himself a lover and not a fighter and wasn't going to shoot at anyone, he wiggled his way into the cool confines of office life. He felt like one of the Beverly Hillbillies ....swimming pools, movies stars AND air conditioning. Life was good, he had a first hand view of all the new women that arrived on the base. Aside from greeting them at the door, their records preceded them. At first he felt kind of funny looking at their past but he rationalized that it was his job to make sure all their records were in order - it was one of his jobs.

He came from the streets so he'd witnessed all the pimps and hustlers trying to lay their magic on women but his thang was different. An old player told him that women love sincere men that make them smile. So his thang was sincerity with a smile and a pinch of dishonest ....just a pinch. He knew that most women felt isolated in the military and longed for home. Well, while looking through their records to see if they had any ...ahhh, any ...ahhh, things he didn't want to catch, he would look to see what high school they went to and the city they were from.

He was a cleaver old fox. While greeting them at the door he would extend his hand and then quickly pull it back with a startled look and say, "Helen Lampkin, German Town High School, women you haven't changed one bit". The ice was broken, the women was comfortable with her lost and found homie. Now, he still had work to do but friends before lovers was the name of the game and two friends had found each other on a lonely military base.

One such women tweaked his heart along with his love of hide and go seek. She was a city girl that walked with a long stride that said, I know I look good and you can't have any. Her shoulders were back and her chin was slightly tipped up. She had heard all the lines. Women like that don't have to sleep alone. The old wolf knew he had to come with a new game. He decide just to be sincere without any lies. He told her what he generally did when anticipating a new arrival but that he just want to be straight up with her. He told her that he just wanted to meet her and he didn't want to start a friendship off with a lie. She paused and asked him if he looked in her medical records. He looked deep into her eyes and told her that he had not - he lied but the relationship blossomed :-). Hey, he was a wolf, okay.

Life was good, they were the talk of the base. They drove around in a brand new block long Oldsmobile Ninety Eight that she helped him pay for. They yelled out the windows at the other soldiers and turned up their music to blast Marvin Gay .....what's going on .....what's going' on.

They were in love. There was only one problem. This wolf turned serious lover had another lover - back home ...a child too.

I went in the military to start a new life. But as my mother would say, if you play with a puppy, it will lick you in the face. My father's version was, if you sit in a barbershop you will eventually get a haircut. I fathered a child as a teenager and her mother was waiting for me back home. We had planned a life together yet I was in the arms of another women. I was hesitant about telling this part of my story because there remains a sense of guilt that I hurt others by my selfish ways. The shame and guilt goes away when I address the issues and honestly accepted my wrongdoings. When I jacked up my slacks and said I messed up, I can then move on. But to share my story and my pain with others is a new journey. The road is tough when the fingers of fault are pointing directly at me. However, I've grown tired of many depicting mothers with children by different men as some sort of women with flawed character or low morals. I was involved with two wonderful women that just happened to run into a guy like me.

While playing house with my new lover we brought another child into the world. I wasn't man enough to tell either of the women about each other so I maintained two separate lives. I was close enough to my home town that I could drive home when I choose to do so. I lived this lie for 2 years until everything came tumbling down. I had become so comfortable with living like this that I even drove my second family to my parents home to let them visit with their new grandchild. I put them in an awful position. My father would give me the look of deep concern and ask me what the hell I was doing. My mother was force to take the route of don't ask don't tell. Everyone paid a price when the news broke.

After visiting my parents one weekend, I decided to stop at a local horse racing track on my way out of town. My skills at picking winners wasn't very good so I decided to leave after the 5th race. I was with Rita* (*name changed) and my son. As we approached the car a voice said, "how are you doing Carey", it was Debbie*, the mother of my first child. She had a gun in her hand, a 2 shot derringer. I was stunned, I walked toward her. My son ran behind me saying daddy daddy. He didn't know there was danger, he just couldn't understand why I was walking off from him.

At that moment my life changed and so did the lives of several others.

To be continued ...........later

Okay, one more short one: All kinds of momma’s day!

Another Mothers Day has come and gone. That's my Mother and Father in the picture (not included here)

It was a great day. I started my day at church with my lady. I was around all types of mothers. I also experienced several emotions. My mother no longer lives in her home, my sister now lives there. My mother had to move to a place that didn't have stairs. Mom lived in her home for nearly 50 years. Yesterday we eat dinner at my mothers old home. Although it was her house it no longer felt like home to her. My sister has made it her home and I could see the sadness in my mothers eyes. We had a good time but after a few hours my mother was ready to go back to her new home.

Later in the day I turned into the cook. My lady and I entertained her mother and her family. We broke out the old pictures and turned on some music. Yes, laughter and all types of dance steps hit the floor. Well, my girls mother thought she was doing the stanky leg but it was just stanky. I swear, the women is about 65 yrs old and is still trying real hard to hold onto years gone by. She started breakin' down this one move that made her look like she was going to take a dump. Of course I was encouraging her with shouts of "GO DORIS GO DORIS".

They call it mothers day but one of the mothers has stopped being mom. Well, she has 2 children but she now straps down her titties and her lover is another momma. Yep, dey snatchin'. I don't have a problem with who licks on who. In fact, when she came through the door I punched her in her arm just like she was a dude. Shit, you would have thought I gave her a million bucks. She smiled like a sissy in a penis farm. She no longer does penis but you know what am talking about.

Why do negros come late? I am so tired of CP time ....what about a time called now? If dinner is at 3pm they drag their ass up in the house at 4:30 ...what's up with that shit. They worked me. I cooked prime rib. Yeah, that steak is easy to prepare and it's easy on the gums of the old folk. My ladies son, his wife and their 2 children came late. They didn't even get in the door before they started talking about food. I started to say it was mothers day and NOT "late niggas" day. But I was cool, I hooked them up.

There should be a day called new mommas day. Well, one of the younger boys in the house was working on a new momma. See, he had my ladies phone and decided to do a little texting. When she asked him what he was doing, he quickly said, "nothing". We knew that meant he was up to no good. Yes sir, he was sending messages to some female telling her all the nasty stuff he was going to do to her. The kid is only 14. I was wondering if he was a octopus because he would need 8"Johnsons" and 4 tongues to do all the nasty thangs he was talkin' about doing.

It was a good day. We took new pictures and laughed at old ones. We eat and danced. Every mother got a flower. I cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed the floor. When I started cleaning up I thought everyone would know it was time for them to hit the road. Oh no, they asked me if I had any new bootlegged movie. See, I knew they were getting a little too comfortable when grandma fell asleep with one of the babies in her arms. I pulled out plan "B". I went straight to the bathroom and started running bath water while pulling off my socks.

Aretha Franklin said, "company is all right with me ...every once in awhile, but when me and mine start making love". See, my day wasn't done. I had another job to do. I ain't tryin' to tell my business but the eagle landed.

Okay, one more time Thumper’s Corner, I am looking for a good editor. I have more stories. Much more.

I have stories of all kinds. I have childhood stories, crime stories, lost love stories, young fatherhood stories, drug abuse stories, gun play stories, work place stories, drug smuggling stories, seeing death stories, incarceration stories, pimp stories, my family stories, love stories, church stories, loneliness & depression stories, overseas stories, blogging stories, lessons I've learn stories, life in the military stories, racism stories, self-discovery stories, grandchildren stories, my education stories, did I say love stories, shame and guilt stories, all true stories...

All on paper.

I need help. Editor wanted

I am very serious about this. If you think I have a viable product hit my e-mail. What I am thinking about doing is having 2-3 editors at one time. Each will get the same pages( and money) .

I have nothing to lose but a little money. Money is not my biggest problem and I’ve been around long enough to know I have to pay to play.

But look, if you think the stories are crap, I don’t need stroking, nor do I want to just give my money away.

Carey.m@mchsi.com

Last Sample:

A Dream Deferred

There are many things I should be doing today but I am consumed by the current events. There was an article on Yahoo, asking the question, "Why Did Obama Win"? I'll get back to that. I am sure we all have stories of struggle. It's been said that if a man controls your mind he controls you. I am not the type of man that blames others for my faults. However if a person's dreams are deferred by limited exposure, who's to blame? Maybe no one, because in doing so, we look back and not forward. When I think about the dreams of my grandfather, six generation past, I know he looked forward to a day in which he would no longer be a slave. In 1865 he was released from slavery in Kentucky and moved north. While a slave he was responsible for the care of the farm animals. He was in essence an animal doctor. Skills in hand, he headed North. He settled into a white community on the banks of Mississippi River in northern Illinois, Port Byron. Generations later, my Great-Grandmother's dream was to simply go to school. She never had that opportunity, she raised 10 children while working beside my grandfather as sharecroppers. One of my mother's dreams was to go to high school and graduate, she did that. I was talking to my daughter this morning and we conversed about my grandson. Her voice made me stop and think of a dream my wife shared with me. See, my daughter was not planned. My wife became pregnant while we were in high school. There was talk of abortion and adoption. We married and struggled as young parents, yet, we shared dreams and passed them along to our children. My daughter went back to Kentucky, not as a slave, nor to find her roots but as a student at the University Of Kentucky. My wife passed away 6 months before the birth of our grandchild. While talking to my daughter she told me that my grandson, who is 5 yrs old, said that he and Obama were just alike. My daughter said, yes, you are both black. He declared, NO MOMMY! We are both presidents. His school held class elections to familiarize students with the voting process; he was voted president of his 1st grade class. Ignoring the comparison that most adults would make, my grandson focused on something greater than race. He was proud of the fact that he won the presidency. He knew the job of president was important, yet too young to understand the significance of skin color in the past election. It wasn't important to him that they shared a color. He was proud of the fact that he was good enough to be president. Maybe one day it will cease being such a big deal. My grandfather didn't look back. I have a grandson- his name is Carey-he's the president.

Why did Obama win? Because he was the best man for the job!

~CareyCarey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be glad to do it, but only after you consider this.

What do you want an editor for? To find all typoes? Spell check and your own eyes do that. To make suggestions about character, setting, theme, and the like.

Most authors already have that in their minds.

I have done this for people where we went through and found every typo and misprint and mistake.

And the mss was submitted and the editor STILL wanted changes.

My experience has been that this is something requested by those who are unsure about their talent, reception, etc.

They want somebody who will help them produce a surefire mss that requires no editing and is immediately accepted.

This does not happen save if you are Stephen King or some author whose name is bigger than the title on the cover.

I will apply for the position you advertise. But I can guarentee nothing.

I will do it only if you consider what I have said and mull it over.

My advice is clean it up as much as possible and jump in the water and swim like everybody else. And when you got that mss finished, start on the next one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, thanks for your reply.

I've received several replies by e-mail and yours was very insightful. I few things caught my eye.

1. "My experience has been that this is something requested by those who are unsure about their talent, reception, etc"

In my case, that's very true. I am very unsure if I have a product that others want to read.

2. "What do you want an editor for? To find all typoes? Spell check and your own eyes do that. To make suggestions about character, setting, theme, and the like"

Again Chris, you asked the right questions. Typos are not my concerns, they will come to the light. I am interested in proper sentence structure. Since I consider myself a storyteller and not a "writer", I write like I talk. That's not a bad thang, but considering the fact that the written word is absent of many of the nuances of verbal communication, I'd like to make sure my sentences are not confusing.

One author, (with several published books) that repied to my request, had this to say:

"I consider myself a developmental editor. I’ve seen Harvard English degree type editors butcher the author’s original voice and tone. Sure, all the sentence structures are grammatically correct, but the essence is lost. For example:

I try to keep the author’s voice intact. If you’re writing in a conversational style, then it won’t be perfect grammar usually. Of course together we’ll find a perfect balance.

I won’t change your stories. I only suggest ways to make them stronger. Ultimately you decide if you want to use my suggestions or not. For example, let’s look at your story about boxing in the basement.

“When I was a kid I lived in the projects.”

In the south, the projects have yards, grass, etc. Whereas up north, it’s “brick city.” So as an editor, I’d suggest spending a few sentences describing YOUR projects. Set the scene. Give you readers a foundation as they read.

“My father told us that one day he was going to buy a house with a basement. In the basement, he was going to build a gym.”

Let the reader “hear” your father. Maybe write in a brief conversation between the two of you. This gives your readers insight into the kind of relationship you two shared at the time. Also include some of his physical attributes. All of these things help your readers connect to your tale. And when they connect, they begin to care about what happens (which is what you want).

As I look over your works, I notice that you do a lot of “telling” the stories instead of “showing” the stories. This is common with new writers. If you work with me, I will teach you various methods of “showing” your story.

Congrats again on taking the next step. I hope to work with you soon."

Chris, I understood their comments. However, I never write "conversation". I've found it very difficult to do. Well, when I've tried doing so, my wording is redunant. And I've been too lazy to find the correct transitional phrasing to make it work. More so, since I am telling a story (my life story) I have not found it necessary to do that. I sort of understand the concept of "showing" a story but I don't know if my voice requires that method. I am sure it does (to some degree) but I don't want the book to get bogged down with what I consider to be unnessary pie filing.

In short, although I am a black man that has lived several lives, I don't want to "sound" black and ignorant. The common argument of good books vs bad books, has a lot to do with bad writing. It's seldom about a bad story because that subjective.

I am looking for someone that understands things such as an independent clause,a dependent clause, adjective clauses, elliptical clauses, run-on sentences, fragments, mood shifts, shifts in person, misplaced modifiers, etc.

I think proper sentence structure can enhance reading pleasure without destroying the voice of the writer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carey:

You are wrong.

Have you never read Huckleberry Finn? How about Pimp, the Story of my life? How about this book we have all been talking about, Push?

None written in proper English.

All the writers are using, mostly the same vocabulary. The difference is in Voice. The particular way they use or combine them.

You may come up with something that uses the King's English and that is so dull nobody wants to read it.

You know what you should do? Join a writers workshop and work through it. You sound like you are very unsure of yourself on this and not ready to do a novel.

Many writers have workshopped works that were later published.

Also, you will have the benefit of having folks right there you can talk to.

THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET, MY FRIEND. I don't give a damn how long you study you will probably never get to the point where you can write everything out smoothly in one draft.

WRITING IS HARD WORK. Sometimes when I have really got down on a piece I am funky and tired just like I got through running a country mile.

And then the "fun" starts--the rewriting.

It is just like excercising, or playing a sport, or a real hard physical job.

You should only step out on it unless you GOTTA!

Of course, you can get a ghostwriter.

That would be expensive--and again--

ANYBODY WHO GUARENTEES YOU PUBLICATION IS PROBABLY LYING TO YOU.

Bon appetit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest careycarey

"All the writers are using, mostly the same vocabulary. The difference is in Voice. The particular way they use or combine them"

Chris, obviously we have a misunderstanding. I am not talking about vocabulary. Yes, it is about voice. Here's the deal, when a person tells the story of their life, that life may include all sorts of people, places and things. Consequently, if a scene was about a family drama, the "vocabulary" may change but the voice of the writer should stay the same. The writer's vocabulary may even change, because we all use different vocabulary depending on any given situation. Again, a scene may change but once the voice of the writer is set, it's on. I don't think a book is boring because someone doesn't talk in ebonics, or doesn't say "muthafucker" 10 times in one sentence. A book is boring when the writer ain't talking about a goddamn thang.

Through all that BS, my reading pleasure suffers when a book is poorly written. I don't care if we are talking about d*cks and Ho's,or Martha Stewart & Papa Joe's, a "good" story sucks when the writing makes it hard to understand who's saying what.

Take for instance Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promise Land. Okay, since you went there with your examples. Is this book poorly written? No. Did the writer have his voice and his own vocabulary? Yes. Did some of his characters have their own vocabulary? Yes.

How about Walter Moseley? Is it his stories that got him over,or a combination of good storytelling and good composition?

And Chris, you said it right here: "The difference is in Voice. The particular way they use or combine them"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest careycarey

Chris, let me say this so maybe we can reach some form of understanding. The struggles of a "writer" are not new to me. I write a column for a newspaper. As I said in my opening post, those small stories are only very small portions of larger stories, that are on paper. They all comprise a larger story. Many sleepless nights have gone into writng those pages.

I believe your vision is different than mine. It's possible that your vision of a pimp is different than mine. What does a pimp look like? It's possible that your vision of a bank robber is different than mine. What does a bank robber look like. What does a father look like and how does he talk? What does a family man look like and how does he talk? Does all college students look alike and talk alike. The narrator of a story can tell a story ( an exciting story) without playing into stereotypical images. I believe that's a major problem with many authors that write what some would call "street lit" or "crime fiction". I think poor sentence structure kills their story. At least, I know it a major reason why many people refuse to read it. When I read some of that mess, I get the impression that the writer is "trying" to write in a certain voice, instead of really saying what's on their mind. The stories seem to be contrieved and focuses on small "WOWs" instead of focusing on if the story is moving along in an interesting and concise fashion. I am not writng fiction. I am telling a story of my life. That being said, the stories and the vocabulary that are used within the full story are already set. Now, it's my job to transfer those stories onto paper in the most effective way possible. Daffy Duck could be laying pipe to Minnie Duck, but if I am going to write about their nasty ass, I don't have to talk like a duck.

I am in no way talking about "Proper English" and I believe that's where our disagreements can be found.

Do you notice how some of the posts of some of the crew of Thumper's Corner, flows from start to finish. Have you paid attention to some of their transitional phrasing? Regardless of what they are talking about, their message has a congruency that allows the reader to quickly grasp what they are trying to say.

In the end (for me) It's about awkward construction. The voice will stay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the first place, if you write a column for a newspaper, Carey, then why would you have trouble finding an editor for your memoirs??

In the second place, you should've figured out that all you need is a proof-reader. If you are planning to shop your manuscript around to a publisher, if it is purchased, the company will take care of the editing.

If you are planning to self-publish, then you have total control over the project and since it's your life story, you can exercise your own judgment in regard to editing. Also, since you are aware of how important "voice" is, then the battle is half won. All you have to do is read your writing out loud, and see how it "sounds".

You seem to be creating a problem that doesn't exist. :blink:

But who, better than Chrishayden, can assist you in the undertaking of "tellin it like it is" from a subjective POV. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carey, having edited your work for my site, and having read ChrisHayden's feedback to you and that of the person who reached out to you via email, I would say: Take them up on their offer! They sound perfectly capable of helping you tighten things up without sacrificing or hindering your unique voice and gift as a storyteller. However, it sounds like they are offering more than you think you need. Let me say this: A good editor, one that is worth your money, will "diagnose" what needs to be done. They are bringing a skill set to the table that perhaps you don't have or that you haven't quite honed. Why not be open to more than just "things such as an independent clause,a dependent clause, adjective clauses, elliptical clauses, run-on sentences, fragments, mood shifts, shifts in person, misplaced modifiers, etc."? What's the worst that can happen?

The best editors take good work and give you suggestions for how you can make it better. And usually that requires stretching on the writer's part, a little or a lot. You wrote: "However, I never write "conversation". I've found it very difficult to do." They way you've gone at it on these boards with folks, you're telling me that you're shying away from something because it's difficult? So what if your first drafts/attempts at conversation are redundant. As ChrisHayden said, that's why rewriting is central to this entire process, and a good editor can help you with that. You just have to put something down.

You wrote: "More so, since I am telling a story (my life story) I have not found it necessary to do that."

Memoir is chock full of conversation.

and..."I sort of understand the concept of "showing" a story but I don't know if my voice requires that method."

Two different things entirely. Your voice/any narrator's has its merits, but it can't carry your entire story. You need scenes, and in scenes, people talk.

and..."I am sure it does (to some degree) but I don't want the book to get bogged down with what I consider to be unnecessary pie filing."

You've had at least one reader (that potential editor) who has conveyed to you that this isn't "unnecessary." You have to write the story that's in you, and know which feedback to heed and which to ignore, but seriously consider whether you think this is "filling" because you'd rather not delve into what are, for you, uncharted waters. Which brings me to...

You wrote: "And I've been too lazy to find the correct transitional phrasing to make it work."

*side eye* So we can ignore all the rest, then? Basically, you are saying, "Sure, this might be what's called for and what will enrich my story...but it's too hard and I'm too lazy to do it." Seriously, Carey? Given all the obstacles you've faced and overcome in your life, you aren't willing to take on this challenge?

If you look, you will eventually find an editor to do what you want. Just know that you've gotten offers from two who can give you so much more, if you are willing to do the work. I hope you are!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest careycarey

Cynique, now that was great advice! All of what you said I did not know. Well, except for the people at the newspaper. First, dem white folks B). Second, I get paid per column, I seldom see them. If they have a problem with something they call me. And believe you me, they have called for several reasons. Lastly, I don't want them knowing anything about me other than what I tell them. As it stands, they think I am this nice old grandfather, and not a retired thug with a checkered past. :D

There was a call out for different "voices" and I applied.

"All you have to do is read your writing out loud, and see how it "sounds".

Again, that's the sh*t right there. I've had other people read my stuff out loud, and instantly I can hear if it's working. When I do hear something that's not working, that's when I scratch my head and say "Damn, that's f*cked up, how can I make that sound right". I'm thinking the more eyes and ears, the better. Two heads are better than one, even if one is a pumpkin head. And heck, since I am not a writer, I am looking for the ears and eyes of professionals. I truly believe sentence structure/composition is of the utmost importance in any form of writing/voice.

Where's my guy Thump when I need him. I believe he knows what I am trying to say.

No problems, just asking for help. And this exchange and the e-mails I've received is part of the journey. It's a process. I don't mind being put in check. I need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest careycarey

Damn Kitty, you punch me in my gut *lol*. Yelp, I have to admit, I am a lazy old fool.

Obviously you know what you are talking about because you've read my stuff.

Re: "pie filling" . Again I have to say that you are correct. Not only am I a lazy writer, I am a lazy reader. Consequently, when I read, I plunder through words or scenes that I don't consider to be of much importance. But I have to move out of my own way, if I want to be an effective communicator/writer. I have to let the reader "see" what I am talking about.

Re: conversations in memiors... Damn, you're right again. I hate you.

Yes, I didn't want to use redundant words like "he said", "they said" "he laughed", etc,. And I didn't know how to "show" those things, or was to lazy to do a little research.

Believe me, although I may have "bucked" at some of the replies, I am taking it all in.

In defense of my defensive ways, one author/editor that hit me has several published books. Although they gave me great advice, and I am still considering working with them, I didn't like some of their stuff. I mean, I know everyone has a different voice, but pace and to much fluff is still an issue with me. I know, I know... "just be open for suggestions Carey". And I am.

and..."I sort of understand the concept of "showing" a story but I don't know if my voice requires that method."

Kitty: "Two different things entirely. Your voice/any narrator's has its merits, but it can't carry your entire story. You need scenes, and in scenes, people talk"

Gotcha!

Well Kitty, it looks like you've saved me a little grief, one more time. Damn, what do I owe you? Well, just add it to my bill.

I don't like getting spanked but this was a good spanking. Oh boy, I see Cyniques is typing while we speak. Let me put on my thick jeans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But I have to move out of my own way...

And all God's people said...

Yes, I didn't want to use redundant words like "he said", "they said" "he laughed", etc,.

Okay, that's an easy one. That's one area where you are actually supposed to be "redundant." "The Rules" say that you shouldn't even try to fancy or vary things up; if someone said it, use "said." You know how you say you are a lazy reader, reading over things? Well, readers tend to read over the "he said." We don't even notice them--unless they are used awkwardly or excessively. Every statement doesn't have to follow or be preceded by "he said." Just look at the dialogue in some of your favorite books.

And I didn't know how to "show" those things, or was to lazy to do a little research.

Or take a writing workshop on dialogue. One "trick" is to write everything as if it were a scene, almost as if you were writing a script. It's okay if you don't recall the exact words someone said. Recall as best as you can and put it in quotation marks. It's trial and error. Read it out loud, let others read it, revise as needed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

In defense of my defensive ways, one author/editor that hit me has several published books. Although they gave me great advice, and I am still considering working with them, I didn't like some of their stuff. I mean, I know everyone has a different voice, but pace and to much fluff is still an issue with me. I know, I know... "just be open for suggestions Carey". And I am.

Hmm...I've been edited before by folks whose writing I wasn't a fan of, but I understand what you're saying. In this case, I would ask for references, and see what others have to say about the quality of the editing work.

Well Kitty, it looks like you've saved me a little grief, one more time. Damn, what do I owe you?

A personalized, signed copy of this damned memoir, lololol!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Kitty,

I hope I don't embarass you, but you've inspired a post. This place (TC's) is truly a discussion board. It's unlike Twitter, Face book, text messaging, or even blogs, and I'll tell you why. Well, to do it justice, I'll have to start a new thread. See, there it is already, I couldn't write about this in a blog post. Well, I could but it wouldn't have the same flavor or find it's proper audience.

The title: What are you reading Why Do You Read That Crap? :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you find an editor? Among the varied opinions here, when it's all said and done, your eye (the same eye that knows your work so well) can only catch certain things, so it is ALWAYS a good idea to have someone else look over your work. I think it's a good idea and I think you should go for it. And I am willing to assist if you are still looking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Ms. Tierra Allen,

No, I have not made a final decison, and I'll tell you why. Since I've been a fool, I've now come to believe that fools rush in, where wise men tread not. After having various conversations on this board (great suggestions)and elsewhere (on this subject), I realize that I do not have a keen direction. For instance, today Xeon suggested that I taylor my stories or write my stories with all the grit and details that I can employ. I can do that because the stories are real, however, I am still wondering who would want to read that. In other words, who would be my target audience. Moreso, to do the stories justice(which are already on paper), I have to write about other individuals. That's very problematic. Case in point, one woman that I was involved with, lead a somewhat double life of her own. The details of such (gritty details) are not known by many. Therefore, I question rather or not it's morally proper to disclose such details, or if I leave them out, will it hurt my final product? On the other hand (trying not to give too many details "here") another woman that I was intimately involved with (for years)... well, there's a young man (offspring)presently playing in the NFL. I'll leave that right there.

Also, on one occasion, a person overdosed in my home, and died. Now, needless to say, the details of that night and the following day, can go as low as I desire, because the memories are folded in my mind, and to some degree, on paper. But again, how much is too much and whom might I hurt in the process of divulging such information. The stories and/or episodes continue...

So, in short Tierra, I am still searching for the proper direction. In fact, I've even considered developing 2 books at the same time. They would be the same stories, written at the same time, but one would be a soft PG version, and in the other, I wouldn't leave any stones unturned. Gritty and real could be good, but who would want to read that, and what would be the ramifications of such? Soft and real could be good, but who would want to read that?

Yes, I still need an editor, but backing up, my most pressing need is the minds of those that can formulate a direction. See, money is not the issue, it's more about wasting time and rendering a product that others do not want to read. I don't want to write a book just for the sake of saying I wrote one. Hell, it's already written (rough), but is there a market and/or what is my market? At the present time, I am my only market. As Xeon said, and I agree, it is cathodic, and "I" think the book is rather engrossing. But again, who am I to make such a judgement.

Tierra, I know I've said a lot and it might have been somewhat confusing, but that's where I am at today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Ms. Tierra Allen,

No, I have not made a final decison, and I'll tell you why. Since I've been a fool, I've now come to believe that fools rush in, where wise men tread not. After having various conversations on this board (great suggestions)and elsewhere (on this subject), I realize that I do not have a keen direction. For instance, today Xeon suggested that I taylor my stories or write my stories with all the grit and details that I can employ. I can do that because the stories are real, however, I am still wondering who would want to read that. In other words, who would be my target audience. Moreso, to do the stories justice(which are already on paper), I have to write about other individuals. That's very problematic. Case in point, one woman that I was involved with, lead a somewhat double life of her own. The details of such (gritty details) are not known by many. Therefore, I question rather or not it's morally proper to disclose such details, or if I leave them out, will it hurt my final product? On the other hand (trying not to give too many details "here") another woman that I was intimately involved with (for years)... well, there's a young man (offspring)presently playing in the NFL. I'll leave that right there.

Also, on one occasion, a person overdosed in my home, and died. Now, needless to say, the details of that night and the following day, can go as low as I desire, because the memories are folded in my mind, and to some degree, on paper. But again, how much is too much and whom might I hurt in the process of divulging such information. The stories and/or episodes continue...

So, in short Tierra, I am still searching for the proper direction. In fact, I've even considered developing 2 books at the same time. They would be the same stories, written at the same time, but one would be a soft PG version, and in the other, I wouldn't leave any stones unturned. Gritty and real could be good, but who would want to read that, and what would be the ramifications of such? Soft and real could be good, but who would want to read that?

Yes, I still need an editor, but backing up, my most pressing need is the minds of those that can formulate a direction. See, money is not the issue, it's more about wasting time and rendering a product that others do not want to read. I don't want to write a book just for the sake of saying I wrote one. Hell, it's already written (rough), but is there a market and/or what is my market? At the present time, I am my only market. As Xeon said, and I agree, it is cathodic, and "I" think the book is rather engrossing. But again, who am I to make such a judgement.

Tierra, I know I've said a lot and it might have been somewhat confusing, but that's where I am at today.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Seems like you're getting a little TOO much help. Your market would depend on the information you're writing. I also think "mood" is very important, what are you trying to leave your writers with when it's all said and done? That should determine how much information you share. The goal is to tell a well written story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tierra, I don't think a writer can ever get too much advice. I think it's just the opposite. There are thousands and thousands of well written books... gathering dust! There's loads of books that are stuffed in trunks and attics... gathering dust, because some writers thought they had a good product, and the right advice. In fact, I've read a few books before they went to print, that I knew wouldn't fly, but the author didn't ask my opinion or I was hesitant to tell them the real truth.

Sure a writer wants to tell a well written story, but the story has to find an audience. From what I've come to believe, marketing is the key to success. I am taking it all in. Do you have published books?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tierra, I don't think a writer can ever get too much advice.

He can indeed if he's busy gathering advice instead of writing. ;)

I think it's just the opposite. There are thousands and thousands of well written books... gathering dust! There's loads of books that are stuffed in trunks and attics... gathering dust, because some writers thought they had a good product, and the right advice. In fact, I've read a few books before they went to print, that I knew wouldn't fly, but the author didn't ask my opinion or I was hesitant to tell them the real truth.

Sure a writer wants to tell a well written story, but the story has to find an audience. From what I've come to believe, marketing is the key to success. I am taking it all in.

But you're never going to arrive at a consensus of opinion. Ultimately, you have to piss or get off the pot. There are no guarantees, and we have enough stories of famous authors being rejected early on, and, conversely, literary one-hit wonders to prove that often marketing and getting published is in many ways a crap shoot. I have an agent that I found via a neighbor's personal connection. I got lucky. Who knows if I would have found solid representation had I gone the typical query route. Not to say that having an agent is going to automatically get me a publishing contract, but it's a good first step. But guess what: The books that are in me to write will be the same, regardless; my writing is my writing.

Well-written books don't gather dust/go unread because writers didn't gather enough opinions. Those authors garnered the one opinion that ultimately mattered when it came to getting published: a publisher's. And even, then, publishers differ. So you can keep chasing all the variations and possibilities...or you can write.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Marissawilsonbooks

I had a wonderful editor... she helped me tremendously and I gladly give her a plug!! Her name is Leila Jefferson. Check her out at www.mytimepublishing.com. I ended up self publishing and she gave me exactly what I needed... a great editor!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kitty, I hear you on the "piss or get off the pot". But in my own defence, you've been doing this a long time. So I can assume you asked many questions before you made your move. Heck, you're an Ivy league graduate and an instructor. So I am still drinking coffee and still pissing. You're in the upper room. ;)

All goodbyes ain't gone.

Hello Marissawilson,

Thanks! Post your book and/or tell us how it's doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kitty, I hear you on the "piss or get off the pot". But in my own defence, you've been doing this a long time. So I can assume you asked many questions before you made your move. Heck, you're an Ivy league graduate and an instructor. So I am still drinking coffee and still pissing. You're in the upper room. ;)

Nice try, Carey, lol. I got to the "upper room", as you say, primarily by writing, not asking questions. :-) You like to keep it simple, right? Well, many wise folks have observed this simple truth: Writers write. It always comes back to that.

Of course I asked questions when I got started, I still do, and I always will, but all questions aren't created equal. Tierra gave you some sound advice: I also think "mood" is very important, what are you trying to leave your writers with when it's all said and done? Instead of asking more questions of others, spend some time yourself with that question which only you can answer.

There's a lot of learning and growing that happens through trial and error (lots of error!) and through osmosis--reading other writers. I've probably learned more about writing by just writing, being edited by superb editors, and by reading other writers than by any other methods. You're asking questions, some of which are philosophical or hypothetical or can't be answered until you do what you're going to do. "Who wants to read this?" You won't really know until you put it out there.

Look, you'll do what you're going to do in your own time; we all do. But know the difference between that and stalling. Now, lest you think I'm beating up on you, I'll let these be my final words on the subject:

Ask yourself a question--Is all this questioning fear-based, uncertainty-based? If so, stop with the questions and write through the fear and the uncertainty, like the rest of us. What's the worst thing that could happen if you just wrote? An editor or publisher will tell you if something is potentially litigious or prosecutable. Jay-Z had dream hampton write his biography, and then he decided to shelve it in part because a good portion of it was prosecutable. But there are ways around pretty much anything if you want it badly enough (ultimately, there were other issues for Jay-Z as well). Who says you have to write about every single thing that ever happened to you? Further, practice the art of allusion.

Ask questions related to your actual manuscript, when you have one. It's far easier for people to give you useful and meaningful feedback on something concrete. You've shared samples, but what "answers" are you waiting for someone to give before you can write beyond them to that which you ultimately seek to write? Are you waiting for the "right" editor? Would you know him/her if s/he showed up?

So I am still drinking coffee and still pissing.

As long as you know that's what you're doing. But you did start this thread by saying that you were looking for an editor... :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kitty,

If I am not mistaken, I saw you in the blog world today? If you remember (de-friending)we'll start from there.

Nope, I don't think you are beating me up, I asked for it. Also, let me take you back a couple of years. I was searching for a word and you gave me "serendipitous". Okay, since I started this post I've received more useful information than I could have imagined.

I have no fear of asking questions that others may think are futile. And, I appreciate your (everyones)input.

With the suggestions here and at my e-mail, I am a richer man. When it's all said and done, you are right again ol'wise one. It's time for me to zip up my pants and jack up my slacks and do the damn thang. Don't be surpirsed if I knock on your door and say "here, now read this shit" :(

Of course I'd want the discount package and the hookup with your agent. You can't turn me and then right in the middle... turn me off. ;) See you in the upper room.

Btw, I've copied and printed every suggestion. Yes, even Cynique's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×