So, you have completed your vomit draft. Now it is time to tidy up things. The first thing to consider is how much a potential reader can understand from your text.
- Do you tell enough to make your piece comprehensible to your readers? Fill in the gaps.
- Are you leaving enough out so that your readers can do some of the thought-work? Remove those parts where you say the obvious or repeat yourself.
It is very common to overestimate your readers’ prior knowledge of the topic, and to underestimate their intelligence.
You might also want to look at your use of language:
- Are you being consistent in your narrative voice, that is, is your chapter written in the first person (I), or the third person (she/he)?
- Are you consistent in terms of tenses? If you are telling an anecdote, use either the past or the present tense.
- Are events coming in an appropriate order? Do you start with the first things first, or do you tell your story in reverse chronological order? If not any of these, how do you ensure a red thread?
- What does your sentence structure look like? If you have many sentences beginning with I, experiment with alternative an alternative word order, to ensure variety and a good rhythm.
Now comes the scary part
Show your draft to someone you trust, and ask for feedback. Now, it is very important to specify that you are not interested in hearing if your text is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This is simply not relevant at this stage. Instead, ask your trusted friend the following questions:
- What parts don’t you understand, and how can I clarify things?
- What parts are redundant?
- Do you think the parts are presented in the right order, or how could I change this?
- Is my language consistent? If not, what should I change?
- What are you curious to learn more about?
Questions we have had so far
Can I write in Swedish?
Yes, you can write in either Swedish or English. The book will be translated into both languages. The English translation will be published first, followed by the Swedish one.
My English / Swedish is not perfect, is that ok?
That’s fine. We will correct all language mistakes, and help you to formulate things if too difficult. Contributing authors will be confirmed end of February or beginning of March, and then there will be 3 months of making your pieces perfect.
Does it need to be personal?
Yes, personal, but not necessarily private. And bear in mind that personal does not necessarily need to be about yourself, but rather your own view, perspective or interpretation of something that you have learnt, experienced, observed.
Would you need some help to continue?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your questions, needs or thoughts, or to book a meeting with us in Stockholm. We are happy to help as much as we can.