Tag Archive | editing

Meanderings

This weekend has been a bookish weekend. Elizabeth Haydon returned to her Symphony Series after 8 years, and I missed it! Thankfully, only had 2 books to catch up on 🙂 And yes, I’m on the second one.

Other than that, it’s been writerly bookish stuff. Writing a short bio for the anthology I’ll be in next month (much more on that soon, promise!) as well as doing my edits. I hate edits. The Boy says “Editing makes Mommy mean!” All I can say is… Out of the mouth of babes…. I don’t know why this happens every time. It’s not like I hate what’s being said, or that I’m offended. All of the edits make the story much better.

But editing makes Mommy mean. I’m going to have to work on that.Also need to start thinking of my next project. I have one  that is kind of a serial/ series but need to find out what’s going on with part 1 first. And of course, my poor Goblin Queen. Need to do something with her soon.

Met with my lovely and talented assistant for my Author Facebook Page. We will be having contests there pretty soon, so go take a look. Hit Like. You know you want to!  The first contest will be a $10 Starbucks Card, to be done at 50 Likes on the FB page. It should be up and running on Monday.

Why a Starbucks card? Well… In Clickety Clackety, the first short story in The Golden Apple and Other Stories, coffee plays a part in it. Specifically Irish Creme Coffee, but Starbucks doesn’t carry that hehehehe.  So you are free to get your favorite beverage of choice 🙂

I’ll be over on the MMP Blog tomorrow, too. Come by for a visit! You can also check out all the other fabulous authors we have there.

I’ll do a cover reveal over here tomorrow. The anthology is going to be great!

The Gift of the Editor

I am not good at editing my own work. I’m ok at first pass, and a second. But… well. I have at least 2 Beta’s who read my work, and their comments on my grammar are awesome. Then there’s RIe, who does not only call me on my grammar but also my content / style.

I can do content editing, but not the rest. And there was one story that I wanted so badly to come out, and I just couldn’t get it there. Rie was my editor through MMP (Thank you, Nicole!), and she figured it out. Once I told her what was going on in the story (flash) piece, she knew exactly what needed to be done.

Whew!

Garden is one of my favorite stories that I’ve written. I’ve also gotten the best compliment on The Golden Apple and Other Stories because of it. My neice bought and read the book. She liked Cinder’s Ella the most, but she remembered The Golden Apple. But she told me that she thought the story Garden might help one of her friends who had lost a child…. and that hit me in my heart. At it’s heart, Garden is a story about motherhood, and grief… and love.

I don’t know if she’s shown it to her friend. Or if she did and it helped or not… But I do know that my writing touched something deep inside a reader…. and a reader that I know and love, that I spent my childhood with.

That my friends….

That’s a great editor.

(as a side note: as I’ve been writing this, my son and I have been playing Uno…. I just won my first hand. I think the booger is cheating, but I can’t prove it…. OMG, I love him!)

More soon, my lovelies.

Dear Smash Words Author

Dear Smashwords Author,

I, like you, love to write. I bought your short story knowing what it was, and was ok with it. It was, in all actuality and truth, a brilliant concept with a few great turns of phrase.

Then you mucked it up by not having it edited.

“But I went through it twenty times!” I can hear the shriek now, and again I say to you: “You mucked it up by not having it edited.”

“But I don’t have the money…” Hmm. Neither do I. Many writers don’t. But we do have these great people called Beta Readers. I have 2 types of Beta readers. One type is for over all story, ending, how it reads purely from a readers point of view. I’m sorry, but a close friend who doesn’t read much but who loves your work does not count. You need someone who reads what you write. Like tends to attract like, so poke your head up away from the computer screen and take a look around you. The second type of Beta reader, for myself at least, is even more important. The Grammar Police. Yes. You do need them. I have three. Count them. One. Two. Three.

Your brilliant concept? You blew it on grammar. Wrong, shifting tenses AND pronouns! Beta type 2 would have caught this for you. It might have made you feel a little bad to see all that red in your manuscript but oh my, they can take your words and help them SING. Sing, I say!

This isn’t something you can do for yourself, either. There are very few who can (and if you are one of those few, you know that you are blessed so please don’t contradict me here— this is for the newbie). As writers, we spend so much time inside our stories that some times we aren’t really reading the words that are there. We start reading what we think goes there. Eh. It happens. Hence the Grammar Police.

I love those three ladies more than I can say. Rie, Trisha and Linda Beck, you rock my work out. Thank you so much.

Grammar counts. When it works, reading a story is effortless. But when it doesn’t work, when you don’t have that basic grasp (and many of the things I’m calling you out on are basic)… It is confusing. The story becomes a beast that is not approachable in any way.

So please, please, please Think before you publish. Is it REALLY as good as you can make it? Do you know anyone who can act as your grammar police? If not.. ask people. Hey, do  you know anyone who corrects everyone’s letters? Watch on facebook.. you’ll know by their posts that they love books and sometimes even that they love the idiosyncrasies of grammar.

But please, don’t rush in. You can’t get that first impression back, especially when it’s there for all time… or until their e-reader crashes.

 

(And yes, I know that there are some errors on this post…. 😀  )

Catching my breath…

In a very real sense. I’ve had chronic bronchitis for a very long time, but it went on hiatus since… well, pretty much since Ray was born. Sinus infections? Oh my yes. But bronchitis wasn’t my main thing. Until now. It started around Thanksgiving and, Well, I’m finally breathing pretty good, the cough is almost gone, and i feel human again.

So here I am.

I was also catching my breath when it came to writing. I started out on my goal of writing the rock opera with Bon Jovi as the main (only) music… but… I discovered that something I had written before fit in as well. I had orginially started the other piece as something to do with mommyhood, but the rage kept bleeding over and taking it over so I set it aside.

I also wasn’t sure about the tone. It could come across as smart- alecky, which is not what I intended. The newer version is not… it’s more serious.

But the real problem is…. It’s so damn scary. I’m scared even now.

But I’m still gonna do it.

I can feel myself wanting to clamp down, put the story on ice. But I was writing, having fun, listening to Bon Jovi as RESEARCH, people! The actual story line, though, has gotten to a point where I’m afraid to step over the threshold. It’s at the first turning point.

I’ve said before that it’s deeply personal.

It’s also non-fiction.

Which probably accounts for at least some of the fear (ALL OF IT). I may just create a narrator as a character, removing me by one… but that feels like cheating.

Do other people get this petrified of just putting the truth down on paper and accepting the consequences? Good, Bad or indifferent?

Editing, Endings and Evolution

Well, I “met” my editor for my short story and… It wasn’t as bad as I feared. Me, being me (as it’s inconvient to be anyone else right now), had figured something along the lines of “OMG, they realized they hated the story and don’t know how to tell me… or maybe it’s SO horrible it’s taking so long and they hate me and and and…” Yah, I have the tendency to go waaaay past normal and into worst possible case scenario LOL. (In my defense— I do try not to involve too many people in my drama, and I always ASK someone I trust before I go flying off the handle with all the “nobody loves me” stuff.)

ANYHOO— was very nice. Not very painful, at all. Mostly grammar and such, which I get. Well, I understand that the changes need to be made, and made them and sent it back all neat and tidy. SO… that hurdle was cleared and we’re marching onwards toward PUBLICATION! YAY!

 

Ok. So enough tooting my own horn. Lets get down to business.

Specifically, endings.

I don’t claim to have the secret to great endings. I *know* I’m relatively untried as a writer, however… As a reader, you’ll be hard pressed to name 10 people you personally know who reads more than I do unless it’s for their job. And that’s not even counting the books I put down because I can’t get it to them.

There were two great books, one of them A Vintage Affair by Isabell Wolff and the other was Redoubt by Mercedes Lackey. Books held my interest all the way through… And then the endings.

With Wolff’s book, I hadn’t read one of her’s before. Maybe it’s her style. But I honestly thought I skipped a chapter. On my Nook, no less. I went back and forth, through the chapter thing that you can jump around in,… and nope. No missing pages. But to take a book, a really good book, and blow it like that?

Heartbreaking.

You can’t have the heroine telling someone that she’d found someone, but someone who’s currently only a friend, and then in the blooming next chapter holding hands and planning to meet his parents. If you’re going to end it ambiguous, do that. Don’t put the holding hands and plans for future in there. That would have been fine. F I N E. I personally LOVE a happy ending, but not all great books have them.

They do, however, feel COMPLETE. Not as if the publisher had left a chapter out.

Now, I’m going to throw this one out there. First of all, I’ve got nothing but love for Mercedes Lackey. She is one of my all time favorites. The Foundation series that she’s writing right now? I’ve bought all except the current one. In hard back.

I really like this author.

And it sucks that there’s a niggle of doubt over the e-book version of Redoubt, because it is a great read. Oh.. my… gawd… it gets GREAT. And when he realizes what love is, what it truly truly is deep down inside, you feel like crying.

And then you feel like throwing the Nook against the wall when you get to the end and realize… there’s not going to be a reunion between the friends where they can hash things out. For the first time in the series, it doesn’t end with Bear, Lena and Mags huddled up in the Hearler’s college, trying to figure out what’s next.

Now, that could be cuz these kids are growing up. Bear and Lena have gotten married. The second half of the book really picks up and goes and has you by the throat…. and then Dallen is there and you’re cheering, and then… IT’S FREAKING OVER.

And it’s really only a problem for 2 reasons. #1– it didn’t end as the others had, with the friends together and #2…. Someone posted on B&N in their review posted that the publisher had not put everything that is in the hard cover into the Nook version. That it had been EDITED DOWN.

What the heck?!???!!!!

Now, in the first book, I will say in no uncertain terms that I felt as if Wolff had forgotten a chapter. But for Mercedes Lackey? It might just be that it felt too quick because I was gripped into it and wanted more… I wanted the resolution and the kicking of butts to commence. I wanted to find out what it *meant* to Mags… but this could just be a great cliff hanger for the next book.

However…

I can’t tell. Because the pagination in e-books is wonky.

So….

For A Vintage Affair by Isabelle Wolf: Grade B. Solid book, even if it read weird for me. The romance part of it wasn’t really the main part of the story, and the REAL story was taken to it’s full conclusion.

 

Redoubt, by Mercedes Lackey…. I’m going to grudingly give an A to. It would be an A plus, except I STILL (weeks later) feel cheated. Dang it, Ms. Lackey— WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

 

Sorry I’ve been a little wonky myself on posting. I went to doctor’s yesterday— it’s my annual upper respitory / sinus infection time. yay me. But as I am taking my medication, hopefully will be gone by weekend.

 

Ta for now, my lovelies.

 

Fine Art of Editing

While reading I’ve noticed that there seems to have been a distinct lack of editing in books. Now most of the books that I read are great. Cuz otherwise I wouldn’t, you know, finish them.

With these books, it wasn’t bad grammer. It wasn’t faulty logic or crass writing. It just shocked me that no one, from the reading groups on up, told these authors that their books could stand to loose 100-150 pages. Because if I stop reading at 140, skip ahead to 298 and can still not only follow the story but haven’t missed a hole lot… Well….

Loose the verbiage.

I’m kind of a to the point kind of writer. There;s not a whole lot of embellishment. I forgive a lot, especially in Fantasy where author’s are compelled to build a whole world from scratch. However, if you’re writing a modern story… spare me. And keep out of people’s heads just to make your work count. If it  doesn’t add the the story, loose it.

Or you’ve lost me.

You know, the reader who plunked down an insane amount for your print book?

Keep your story moving, and I’ll keep buying. I promise.