Tag Archives: editing

Weekend Coffee Share: Pardon my mess!

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If we were having coffee this weekend, you would have a hard time finding a place to set down your cup. My tables, desks, counters, floors… all of them would be covered with papers and notebooks and calendars.

I would give you an embarrassed shrug and explain that I am currently trying to organize my year. You might choose to point out that my ‘organization’ looks very similar to ‘chaos,’ and I would wholeheartedly agree with you.

I’d clear a spot for us on the couch, and explain that I’m working on lining up conventions for 2017. The process tends to be overwhelming since there are so many options out there. I would ask you if you had any recommendations for conventions near your hometown, since I find word of mouth far less intimidating than Internet searches.

But not all of the papers are for conventions. You would also see pages of my latest manuscript, splashed with highlighting and crawling with comments and corrections. Read the rest of this entry

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Analyzing Subplots

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subplots markers

Still working on making sense of the hot mess that is the first book of my Dagger Trilogy. One of the book’s major problems was that I had a lot of different goals and objectives, and they all kind of got tangled together. So, I’ve been untangling these threads and subsequently spending a lot of time thinking about subplots.

Once I finalized my list of what all the different subplots were, I needed to get my head around what was happening in each of the subplots. For this, I turned to my beloved Arc book. (And I don’t say ‘beloved’ lightly. I wrote a whole blog post about this particular book.) This was my set up: Read the rest of this entry

Editing Out Loud

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My Dad prefers to indulge in fiction via audio books, so that he can read while walking. This fact has become a very important part of my editing process. I started putting my books onto cassette tapes so I could get his feedback on them, and guess what? Reading them out loud is an amazing tool!

I mean, I guess I sort of knew this before; it’s been recommended by several different teachers in my education. But here’s my discovery: there is a fundamental difference between just reading something out loud to myself and creating an audio version of the book. I read out loud as I’m writing to see if a phrase is working, or if the dialog sounds natural, but that’s just reading it. When I’m making the audio book, I’m performing it, and that changes the entire way I look at the words.

Example: I have an addiction to the ellipsis. I throw them in everywhere. When I’m just mumble-reading to myself, yeah, those pauses sound great. But when I put my stage voice on, I realize that I don’t need them. Read the rest of this entry

Editing: Paper vs. Technology

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Now that Camp Nano is over, I’ve turned my attention back from short stories to a novella I’m editing. (Well, first I slept a lot. Then I went back to editing.)

I am–and always have been–an ‘edit on the computer’ kind of girl. It’s always seemed more practical to me, especially considering what a tangled mess my first drafts tend to be. After all, anything paper can do, computers can do better, right? (Obviously not, or the title of the post would be a bit superfluous, but let me run with this anyway…) I can color large blocks of text that need fixing. I can insert new scenes. I can leave myself little notes right in the text. And I save the unnecessary expense of paper and ink, which can be substantial if you’re printing a double spaced novel.

Read the rest of this entry