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Posts Tagged ‘revise’

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!

 

 

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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!

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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!

 

 

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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!

 

 

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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.

 

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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!

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ah-ha momentFor the past few years, I’ve listened to well-meaning comments from two writing groups, manuscript evaluators and uninterested agents. After a particularly brutal critique session this past weekend, my brain finally kicked and I experienced an “ah-ha moment”.

I had lost my title character.

A comment made several months ago at a mystery writers conference to “start with the body” sent me off on a major rewrite to move my chapter thirteen to page one. This forced me to re-introduce my potential suspects after the body dropped. What I sacrificed was providing my future readers with a sense of my characters as they responded to each other. Without real-time dialogue, the victim morphed into dreaded and story-slowing back story.

And so, last Saturday, as I drove home with my ego bruised and my head spinning, it occurred to me that all along I’ve been categorizing my story in the wrong genre. Since the first word was put to the page…or more accurately, onto the screen… I’ve considered it a mystery, but it doesn’t start out that way. It’s more accurately defined as perhaps ‘women’s fiction” that becomes a mystery with a dash of romance along the way. I’ve just found a blog called “Women Fiction Writers” and subscribed.

I’m no longer writing for some unknown agent or publisher with an unknown laundry list of what sort of story they are seeking at the moment. I am writing for myself. The story that has been in my head since the beginning has resurfaced and set me free. Will I self-publish? Most likely.

Are my instincts right? Who cares! All I know is that I’m reinvigorated about bringing my original concept to life on the page!

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