Posts Tagged ‘editing’

Blood and Guts or Emotions

In her article explaining an upcoming editing workshop at Savvy Writers, Jill Elizabeth Nelson says–We’re going to have fun “getting violent” with our readers. They’ll love us for it! “But,” you say, “I’m writing a cozy mystery,” or, “My book is a relationship saga,” or “I’m penning the next great literary classic. The most violent event that takes place is a paper cut.” Then it’s time to learn a simple truth of our craft—outward violence in any genre is boring blood and gore if we omit the psychological and emotional impact that stirs our reader’s depths. A single sentence or paragraph of introspection can perform more emotional violence on our reader than pages of car chase or gun fight. Unless we engage our reader at their core, they are likely to close our book and lay it aside.

But wait a minute, I thought readers liked the action scenes of shoot ’em up, car chases, bombing, and paragraphs of blood and gore. And yet, another author told me she writes horror, but not the blood and guts kind poured out on the page, but rather horror through the emotion of primal fear.

First, I don’t read books of torture and gore. I couldn’t even read The Lovely Bones because it was told by a teen-age girl who was murdered. The writing was so well done, I couldn’t read it. Does that make sense? So how could I write a horror story? Sunshine Boulevard is a mystery/horror story. I wrote it using my pen name because noone would believe I wrote such a story. (And maybe a bit of hesitancy to let people know I could write such a book.) But as Ms. Nelson suggests, it is horror brought about through emotional suspense, not through blood and guts spewing throughout the work.

Ms. Nelson’s workshop is intriguing. I would love to take it but I will be traveling. I certainly hope she offers it again.

Savvy Authors is a website for all writers. I joined it and am learning my way around the many topics and information. So much to see and learn. Perhaps you would like to check it out.

Sunshine Boulevard Available Today!

Today is the day to celebrate!
 

Sound the trumpets! Sunshine Boulevard marches onto the world-wide stage of e-books today! Muse It Up Publishing releases this mystery/horror with humor e-book March 1, 2011, along with a great line-up of books full of interesting stories sure to intrigue and tantalize all readers.

 
I want to thank so many people who have helped me along this journey to reach the title of “published author.” From my grandmother, Ma, to my sister-in-law, Sandy, who encouraged me to write as far back as when I was in high school. After selling our retail floral and greenhouse business, I screwed up my courage to ask our regional newspaper editor, Rich, if he would be interested in some ideas I had for articles for the paper.  When I turned in my first one, he actually ran it in the paper with my byline. Thanks, Rich, and the staff at the Times-Indicator
Through the years editors, my writing group who meets at the library, and writers online such as Audrey Shaffer and the gang at The Writers Chatroom and Lea Schizas’ free Muse Online Writers Conference have provided valuable information and encouragement. The welcoming, warm authors and editors at Muse It Up Publishing have shepherded me through the process of editing and answered so many questions from this newbie novelist with patience and humor. I am blessed to have my daughters and husband walking this new path with me. Thank you Sara, Lee Ann, and Ted.
It is my pleasure and great honor to offer you, my readers, this entertaining, quick read for you to enjoy. Thank you!
Sunshine Boulevard is available at Muse It Up Publishing bookstore, amazon.com, bn.com, and e-book retailers online.

It's Not Over Till the Editing is Done

This week I received the first edited manuscript for Sunshine Boulevard. My content editor, Karen McGrath, sent me her edited version of the ms done by using the Tracking option on Microsoft Word program. Oh, my goodness, but you should have seen the red boxes with deletions, insertions, and comments! Whoooo-eeeeeeeeee….Karen assured me this is what all authors have to go through and that mine was no worse than others.

Do you remember getting your red-inked English theme back from your sixth grade teacher? While that was a shock, opening up my ms file and seeing all the red boxes on the right side of the page with broken lines leading to the text took me back to those school years. Oh my.

When my heart slowed down and I could breathe again, I began reading through the ms. As I read, I noticed the flow of the story was smoother, the action was faster, a few words replaced several sentences. All of the things I love to do when I edit my writing. Hey, she made this script even better??

I now look at the trimmed down story as being on Word Watchers…a writer’s version of Weight Watchers.  I went over her changes and suggestions and added my own, then emailed the file back to her.

I did not realize that after turning in a ms I would be spending hours on revising it again. But I want to put out the best story for my readers and I appreciate Karen working with me to do that.  I am anxious to see what she sends back to me for the second edit and to learn about the process that Muse It Up Publishing uses to finish the ms in order to give the reader the very best reading experience.

Stay tuned. I’ll probably be whining again about the editing!!

Editing the Manuscript with the MS Word Find Tool

I did a pre-edit on my mystery novella, Sunshine Boulevard, last month. Karen McGrath, Muse It Up Publishing editor, sent a sheet full of words that need to be weeded out of the ms to avoid passive voice. Some of the 24 words to purge are just, that, had, but, and then, about, was, as, very were, has been, and so on.

I pulled up the Sunshine Boulevard file and  smugly clicked on the Edit tag in MS Word 2003 and scrolled to Find. Knowing that I would not be using the villainous word, just,  in my ms, I clicked on Find and typed in” just”. Lo and behold, there was a ton of them! Just imagine. I guess I just didn’t realize just  how much I unconsciously slipped it in. Just how crazy is that!

The Find feature is a life-saver for writers. If you discover you have misspelled a word throughout your manuscript or if you decide to change a character’s name from Sally to Martha, the Find tool will find it for you. If you want to replace it, just type in Sally then type in Martha for the replacement. Like magic the entire piece will be cleaned up for you. You may want to play with it a bit by using a small document instead of an entire novel’s manuscript at first.

I sent off the edited masterpiece shaking my head at what was an eye-opening experience for me. This exercise certainly helped point out my over-used words and allowed me to write stronger sentences. Now I can only imagine how much tighter and more focused my story will be after an editor looks it over. Looking forward to that!