The Big Edit

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Last night, I finished the BIG EDIT on How to Steal a Romance. I was too tired to get onto FB, WordPress, etc. to sing that hallelujah until today.

The intense past two weeks did me in. Whew. I took a day/evening off and hope to gather my wits about me, and in another day or so, will go back…and…listen…again. Via an eReader. It speaks each word



so if you have have an extra word here or there awkward sentence here… or accidentally insert a horizontal line that you thought was a strikeout line that sometimes our eyes don’t see–it picks up on it, and boom, you can hit pause and fix the MS. Even better, ’cause it’s free.

I spent about 20 minutes writing my most used phrases and words this morning (yes, again). Actions and emotions. Dialogue-y type stuff. Things that should individually belong to individual character. While the agent didn’t call specifically for these things, as a reader (and my Inner Edit Zombie), my eyes cast a shadow over them, scarier than Dark Shadows (that … might age me … if you know what that is without having to look it up, you’re in the same group!).

What is a writer’s life without the agony of editing? The rejections? The tunic rent asunder, ashes thrown into the air, with weeping and gnashing of teeth?

Okay, so that last part is 1. too Biblical and out of context … and 2. way over the top. For most of us.

Despite my ‘thank you, Lord’, for the small mercies of getting things done, I am still beat. Don’t think I could pick up a book or write a limerick today. Feel like a Borg. Plug me into the wall and let me stand there until I can fit into that waist-crushing outfit Seven of Nine had to wear (like that would ever happen).

<looks around, fanning self>

Anyone have a nice place in Nova Scotia I could stay at? It’s too hot here, so my tropical island dream right now has a latitude of Vermont or higher.

And surely there is a holiday or birthday somewhere in the world tomorrow, so Happy August Ninth *insert name of holiday* and have a great rest of the week.

 

The Edit Zombie. How to Spot it and Protect Yourself from Your Inner Zombie

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I. Hate. Editing. Worse, I hate editing too soon.

It means, ugh … slicing. Dicing. Adding and subtracting words, sections, scenes. And it means — commas, colons, semi-colons. That’s the easy part.

How long should a sentence be? Gasp! Should I use be at the end of the sentence? Should I use an ! point? The dangling modifier. An awkward sentence. Overused words.

If you are new to writing and you spend more time at conferences, reading the Chicago Manual of Style (that changes every year, by the way), and edit each sentence on your first draft–you may be an Edit Zombie.

You may have realized by now writing is not your endgame. It’s (I’m so sorry to say this) your beginning. What is your genre? Do you brand yourself (NO, not like cattle), do you have a platform?

Kristen Lamb has a terrific blog: http://authorkristenlamb.com/  She has classes. Words of wisdom. Don’t forget to follow her!

Back to editing. What a hairy ordeal, and the new writer (without an English or Journalism major) can run into some serious trouble. How do you publish? Through an agent, a traditional publishing house? Vanity (I recommend staying away from them, just ’cause)? Self-publish? Each want you to 1. edit and 2. market. Writing is hard. Editing sucks. And marketing is heinous, but not necessarily the job of your agent/publishing house, and for self-publishing–you are it. Hope and pray you have enough money for a professional editor.

Take heart and keep an eye out. I am writing a down-and-dirty book. The how-to, the lists you need. The TIPS to walk with your head held high, knowing you are no longer the zombie that sucks your soul dry (wait ’til the end of the fun process… )