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Posts Tagged ‘revision’

As I finish my next story, set on the coast of Massachusetts, I’ve added a scene where two characters take a drive in a red Corvette. I thought a lighthouse would be a good destination. After climbing the steps, my characters could comment on the view from the top.

And so after writers group in Plymouth last Saturday, I took a drive to the Scituate Lighthouse to check out its details. To my surprise and disappointment, the only entrance to the lighthouse came through the private home sitting next to it. I approached two ladies in the parking lot and learned that climbing the lighthouse is possible only during the few open houses held during the summer. Since this story occurs in April, I’d never get away with faking the climb. Unfortunately, the area around the lighthouse was sparse with very few interesting attributes. Bummer.

When I arrived back home, I googled a list of coastal
lighthouses and checked their details. More disappointment…none of them are open to the public.

What to do? A different search brought up the Myles Standish Monument in South Duxbury. This looked promising! I convinced my husband to take me for a ride in… guess what? his red Corvette!… to check it out. As I suspected, the monument would not open until the first Sunday in July, Regardless, we parked at the lower entrance, walked up the steep road, and wandered around the outside of the monument. Although no climb was involved, I gathered terrific details to write into my story.

Research is not only required, but can be fun!

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Hollihock headerNext weekend, I’ll be attending the second annual Hollihock Writers Conference in New Bedford, MA. They are offering multitudes of classes, panels, and speakers throughout the 3-days.

This is a new conference as you can tell by the title. I found out about it this past spring at a Writers Retreat on Cape Cod. One of the other writers… Diana Grady from Buzzards Bay Writing Project… mentioned this conference because she thought I’d be interested. Diana will be leading one of the workshops.

Learning new tips and tricks about the process of creating fiction is not only a pleasure, but keeps my retired brain active and alert. There is always something to be gleaned from every class, every speaker, every panel participant.

If you live in southern New England, and haven’t yet signed up, the ‘REGISTER HERE’ button on their website still appears to be active, so what are you waiting for?

http://www.hollihock.org/

 

 

 

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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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