Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘manuscript’

As I’ve been creating mystery #3, taking place in mid-December New England, I discovered I was mixing up Colonial timelines and character names with the later Victorian architecture.

I had to make a decision so I could write the opening scene in the appropriate location.

Victorian period would allow the story to unfold in a beautifully appointed bed & breakfast, converted from a generations-old family home.

Colonial architecture would age the bed & breakfast, allowing centuries-old family history to filter into the story.

Earlier this week, my husband and I visited the Daniel Webster Estate in Marshfield, MA, to help narrow my choice. And yesterday, I stopped by the Society of Mayflower Descendants in Plymouth, MA, for a nice chat with the two women behind the desk and a man sitting at a research table.

In the end, because my fictional Harbor Falls series is located on the coast of Massachusetts, I settled on a Colonial backstory. Connections to the Mayflower pilgrims, a sad eighteenth century ghost, and parallels to current times will round out the main mystery plot with ghostly connections to my amateur sleuth’s personal subplot.

Such fun!

Read Full Post »

So excited! My second story ‘Where There’s Smoke, There’s Trouble‘ was submitted a few weeks ago to my publisher Riverhaven Books in Whitman, Massachusetts.

In addition to editing and formatting, Stephanie has already created the cover, which I’m showing you here. She suggested a continuation of the 3-word title to coordinate with my debut mystery ‘The Uninvited Guest’. After consulting several trusted readers, I tend to agree. The full title will probably be spelled out on the inside cover and tops of the story pages.

I still owe Stephanie the map of Harbor Falls, the acknowledgements list, and the back cover blurb. All are in the works and simply need some fine-tuning before I send them along.

Fingers are crossed that the finished book will be available this September as scheduled.

Read Full Post »

female-hand-writing-red-pen-white-background-35404047Well, the proof of my novel arrived, and for the past week, I’ve been combing through the pages to spot details that needed adjusting. Marked in red ink with the top corner of the page folded for easy locating, I noted missing punctuation, single-word changes, reversal of publisher line-editing efforts, and the return of several paragraphs dropped somewhere along the way.

This past Sunday morning, I drove the proof to my publisher’s home and we reviewed my editing requests, plus font size and format, possible reduction of pages by removing the space between lines, bookmark design, and adjustment of back cover blurb that currently gives away too much of the mystery.

So many details before making the commitment to print a supply of books for my personal sales at a local print shop! At some point in the near future, my novel will also be registered with Amazon as both an e-book and their print-on-demand version.  When that happens, I’ll provide the link for those of you who are interested in reading my story!

The road to first-novel publication has been long and educational, but eminently interesting along the way!

 

 

Read Full Post »

A_Woman_Reading_Papers_At_Her_DeskIt’s no surprise that the lady helping me self-publish my first novel has gotten sidetracked with other projects and life itself.

We lost about three weeks in our timeline, but are now back on track. She provided me with the formatted manuscript, and included her own edits for the first half.

When I re-read my story, I found about a dozen places that needed to be returned to my own voice. She agreed to make the adjustments with very little resistance, but brought up two scenes that didn’t sit right with her. I saw her point, and have provided a revamp to take care of her concerns.

And so I’m waiting for her to get back to me with her second half edits, which I will then review and make further adjustments if needed.

In the meantime, I approached a recently-opened bookstore in a nearby town to ask about scheduling my book launch in their upstairs space. Before they will discuss that possibility, their buyer needs a ‘readers copy’ of my novel to determine if they will stock my novel in the local author section. If that decision is positive, then the events lady will discuss a possible book launch.

So many details, but I’m getting close!

Read Full Post »

red send buttonWell, a few minutes ago, I pulled on my big girl panties and hit the ‘send’ button.

After months of working with my editor to fine-tune the writing, firm up the plot, and deepen the characters, I’ve sent my story along for the final phase of preparation before publication.

Nothing to do now but watch for the galley proof to arrive. My final opportunity to make sure everything is in its proper place. That nothing has been dropped. That nothing has been added or duplicated. That all eyes are dotted. That all tees are crossed. Forgive my bastardization of those two letters.

While I wait, I guess I’ll turn my attentions to my next story…sigh.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

cartoon lady with pencil and notepadWell, I re-worked chapters 38-41 of my story before returning the file to my editor Sunday night. Although I’ve reviewed and tweaked each page too many times to count, I’m still finding verbs that need to be upgraded, two sentences that will be strengthened if combined, and paragraphs that must be re-sequenced to make sense.

Despite the agonizing slowness of the editing process, I can’t tell you how pleased I am with my editor’s suggestions. She asks hard questions about a character’s thought process, or the relationship between one character and another, or a detail that seems to have changed from a previous chapter. Very little gets by her.

All I have to do is bang my head against the wall until I’m inspired.

My editor should be returning the file by mid-week. I’ll review her comments about what I submitted, and move on to review the next few chapters.

Oh, before I forget, I’m meeting with my publisher on Wednesday to design the cover art… how exciting!

 

 

Read Full Post »

revision by handThe editing process is taking longer than I anticipated, but I’m not complaining.

My manuscript is emailed back and forth between my desktop and my editor Ellen in New Hampshire. Although I sometimes overrule one of her suggestions, for the most part, her comments to invent a better story are dead on. My characters are gaining depth, the plot line is gaining traction.

We manage to fine-tune several chapters each week. If we stay on track, we’ll finish this part of the self-publishing route by early June. Although my story will be available as an e-book and print-on-demand from Amazon, I will also print a quantity of soft covers, hopefully in time to sell at the Cape Cod Writers Conference in early August.

In the meantime, I’m re-writing the blurb for the inside flap and working with Stephanie at Riverhaven Books in Whitman, MA, to design the cover art.

I have to say…this is fun!

 

 

Read Full Post »

hands on laptopAt this point, my editor and I have exchanged the master manuscript several times. In the last round, she pointed out a major discrepancy concerning last names. I had to rethink my characters and their relationships to find a way to make it logical in the narrative.

Another comment involved a walk-on character. My editor’s suggestion?…either eliminate the woman entirely, or make sure she shows up again in the story. I chose door #2 and added this wacky character into two future scenes, liking the effect immensely.

And let’s not forget a few grammar lessons! I love to use ellipses, and sprinkled them liberally throughout my story to indicate an aside remark, which is not it’s proper use. However, since I couldn’t locate even one online article to back me up, I had to replace them all with either an em-dash or a comma, depending on the sentence structure.

In an effort to strengthen word choice, I found the following website of 297 flabby words that rob writing of its power:  http://boostblogtraffic.com/weak-writing/. The list not only indicates the words to be avoided, but provided samples of alternate ways to write around them. I was astonished to see the number of times I used to word ‘so’.  Only a chosen few remain.

However, a word of warning. When you find a dastardly weak word lurking within your story, you’ll sometimes find yourself rewriting the entire paragraph that surrounds it! But have no fear… it will become a better read.

DAMN. There’s another ellipsis!

Read Full Post »

hands on keyboardSeveral weeks ago, I purchased ten hours of editing and met my first-ever editor via phone. We discussed the level of editing I was expecting from her, and she explained how to use the “Track Changes” feature of MS WORD.

She emailed my first two chapters with not only comments to deepen characters or clarify a scene, but line editing for minor punctuation and grammar corrections. Time used: 3.5 hours.

When I panicked that my ten hours was being used up so quickly for such a small portion of the novel, she explained that she wanted me to see what a complete edit would include. That at some point, line editing would be necessary before going to print or e-book.

The next three chapters arrived with comments only, using another 2.25 hours.

Although I’m very pleased with her suggestions, and have no doubt that my story will be improved with her input, I’m thinking I’ll tackle my own line editing after we finish fine-tuning the chapter details.

 

Read Full Post »

hands on laptop…my road to self-publication that is.

Riverhaven Books forwarded an analysis of my story by one of their editors.

First the good news:

The author has a well-conceived mystery. There are very good twists and turns, especially at the end. The writing is straight-forward and follows a logical structure. There will be little required in terms of correcting punctuation or grammar.

And now the not-as-good news:

However, I think there is developmental work to be done. I would recommend that the author work on character development, backstory, subtlety in dialogue, and that she check with law enforcement professionals on some of the legal practices described, as some don’t ring true.

I can either try to develop these improvements on my own, or hire this same editor to work with me. Her 10-hour contract costs $30 per hour…sounds like a good investment to me!

I’ll keep you posted as we move along!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »