Editing Takes Time

Editing is the hardest part of writing. Writers groan over editing their longer pieces. Just when you think you have found everything wrong in the manuscript, you find the silliest punctuation mistake or the mistake gets published in the book or newsletter. (If you find an error in this article, email me for a prize. First one that finds one gets it.) How do you edit so you get all of the errors out of a piece of writing? Here is what I have learned.

First: Write the entire piece. I fix the spelling and typos as I go along otherwise my pieces would become unreadable. Get those ideas down. Then leave it alone for awhile.

Second: Do a first edit. This is here you look at the content of your piece. Does it have the content you want it to have? Does your plot make sense? Are there any writing holes you need to fix. I found a timeline problem in one of my pieces and had to change the days around for it to make sense.

Third: Edit your Point of View and Characters. Do you have several points of view, or one point of view? Do your points of view agree with one another? Does your POV character carry each scene? Are you characters making sense? I had to rewrite an entire scene due to my POV not being my main character’s.

Fourth: Edit by chapters, then pages, then paragraphs, then lines, then words. Take your piece through an stringent editing process from chapters to words.

Final edit: Use a speech app to read it to you. There is one in Word. Pay attention and you will catch a lot of little line edits that need to be done. Take your time and your piece will be polished and ready for that publisher.

You can also use an aide such a ProWritingaide or Fictionary to help edit your pieces.

When you write take time to go back and edit each piece with the care it deserves.

February 2021 Featured Author- Greg Marchand

Author Inteview

  • What is the first book that made you cry?

I remember Where the Red Fern Grows being pretty sad when I was young.

  • What is your writing Kryptonite?

Simply not having enough free time has to be the biggest hinderance, I think, for any writer who also works full time. It is for me.

  • Who is one author are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m not “friends” with my publisher’s head (who is also an author) in the traditional sense, but she provides constant, invaluable pro tips on all things writing, and publishing/marketing as well. I’m a better writer because of her, no question.

  • If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Plot first, use ProWritingAid to stomp out your passive voice, and be proud—you’ll actually be published one day.

  • How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I would say it’s shown me the importance of time management and deadlines, because marketing and promotion are now just as important as the writing itself and require a LOT of time, not just in execution, but learning how to do it.

  • What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?

Paying an editor for my first novel. If it’s your first novel, I don’t know how you don’t hire an editor. They provide typo and grammar help, etc., yes, but there are bigger elements to story-telling that an editor will teach you, like character arc and pacing. You’re paying for more than just the correction of your story—you get to learn a hell of a lot.

  • As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I’ll go with a bighorn ram. I do have one tattooed on my chest after all. They’re small, mostly docile, but can hold their own. And for some bizarre reason, they seem to find themselves trying to climb higher and higher, as if bored by the lowlands. Sure, they’ve evolved to climb to avoid predators, but don’t they look like they’re just sort of enjoying themselves up there? That’s me, just trying to avoid disaster in this strange existence, and just trying to get a kick out of it while I’m here.

  • How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

A handful of short, novelette, and novella-sized works await my editing. My third novel is in its very early stages. All of my stories have a strong nature element, usually a creature or two, and supernatural occurrences.

  • Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Jack London’s Call of the Wild. It’s third-person, yet feels like the dog is telling the story. It made me think about the lines we draw between point of view, and appreciate those who can manipulate a story’s narration that way.

  • How do you select the names of your characters?

They are approximately 85% randomly chosen, 15% hidden meaning for myself. I’m not fantastical (is that a word?), so I need ordinary names, but not so ordinary they incite yawning.

  • What is your favorite childhood book?

Where the Redfern Grows. You got me. It’s pretty much the only book I read the first half of my life. I can’t “booknerd-out” with readers and other authors, which is kind of sad. In timed reading sections of elementary school tests, even through high school, I scored really well—on the questions I had time to answer. I was a slow reader, needed to absorb every detail, and I could never finish reading it all in the allotted time. So, at a young age, I assumed I wasn’t a “good reader.” How could I be a good reader if I couldn’t even finish the reading test on time, right? Thus, reading never became a part of my identity. And so, hyperactivity became me, and I went the bicycle, crawdad hunting, football, wrestling, cross-country route.

Author Biography

Greg Marchand

Greg Marchand is a Medical Laboratory Technician, Western Kentucky University Alum, U.S. Army veteran, and former Yellowstone sous chef currently living in the “Crossroads of America” state of Indiana. From writing articles for his high school yearbook, to penning radio scripts on foreign soil for the U.S. military, Greg has always found a passion for writing. The colorful, admirable, and contradictory people he’s met in his lifetime inspire his stories, as do his moments spent among the trees, in the mountains, and under the stars.

When he’s not cursing medical laboratory instruments for a living, Greg is often downstairs hashing out his tilted stories, P90x-ing, and struggling to learn banjo. Occasionally, he emerges from his man cave to cook for his wife and stepson, and to take the dogs down to the river.

Book Blurb

BLURB:

The paths of five strangers cross and their fates intertwine when Yellowstone Lake employee, Kyle Fenn, finds his way into an ancient, sacred cave and gets too close to a buried secret.

Moderators remove an archaeological scholar from a conference stage at Montana State University as he frantically declares that evil always finds a way… After burying her mother, and suffering the apparent loss of her boyfriend, a young Virginian returns to work at Yellowstone, to start again… A Native man leaves his ranch and his father’s crooked patriarchy to work as a Yellowstone ranger where he discovers a darkness now compromises his family’s safety… And, in Gardiner, Montana, outside Yellowstone’s north gate, a hot-headed divorcee gains a special ability after playing pool with a stranger.

Yellowstone Shifters follows Fenn as he finds himself at the epicenter of a paranormal re-awakening, deciphering friend from foe and seeking the origin of this unfathomable evil.

<releases March 2, 2021> https://gregmarchandwrites.com/yellowstone-shifters

LINKS TO BOOK: https://books2read.com/u/mKyVNZ

5 Interview Questions and My Answers

I’m starting to practice answers to interview questions as my book publication gets closer (charges at me like a runaway Rhino.) I thought my readers might be interested to see some answers from me.

Question 1- What’s your next project?

Grey Dawn of Dharaven: Katz Island is Book 1 of a proposed series. I have written books two, three and four. At the present time I am writing Book 5 in the series.

I am also working on an anthology short story piece. I have a romance noel idea I have kicked around for years and a horror novel that has been written to page 36. I have over 350 poems written. They have been typed up and will be easier to access to begin the process of rewriting and choosing poems for a chapbook or pamphlet of poetry.

Questions 2: What are the best choices that have made me into the writer I am today?

First off I realized I had no idea how to write a complete book early on when I began to write. I read Pereira’s DIY/MFA book to learn what is included in a good book. I learned about online resources and books to help me in my writing process. To realize I did not know about something I truly wanted to do, then researching and learning about it made me work hard to accomplish becoming an author.

Question 3 What is my favorite love story?

The relationship that develops between Richard and Kahlan, in the Sword of Truth series written by Terry Goodkind, touched me. I love the way they can support one another as they go through hell and highwater to save the kingdom.

Question 4 List five adjectives to describe yourself.

Stubborn, lovable, smart, creative, and hopeful

Question 5 If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?

If you take it one second, one minute, and one increment of time at a time you can get through anything.

This year’s sentence: I wish love, hope, and peace fill your life with joy.

What am I reading?

I am a writer and I like to help other writers, so I post a lot of things for writers to use on my blog.  I also have readers of my blog, so I must serve then also with things to read about.  I am hoping that my readers are writers, and my writers are readers.

I am a reader, too. Last year I read over 52 books.

What do I read? I read a lot fantasy and science fiction novels.  I will read an occasional romance.  I like the Reader’s Digest for a quick read. I like the San Diego Zoo’s Zoo News. I have a zoo membership, so the magazine comes for free. It hs information about the zoo’s animals and horticulture, plus upcoming events.

What authors do I enjoy reading?

Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors. She has strong female characters in her books. Jolene is her latest. It is a book set in the old coal producing times of Tennessee. The title character is not the main character in the story, but she does cause some trouble for them when she tries to help.

Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern is an excellent set of books to read.  Her son Todd McCaffrey cowrote with her and has written several books in the series himself. Find a timeline on line and read the books in order of the timeline.

Terry Goodkind writes the Sword of Truth Series.  A series of books that takes world building into a new realm. I fell in love with his main characters Richard and Kahlan. Goodkind puts them through hell as they try to save their world several times from villains that either want to take over the world or want everyone dead.  Excellent fantasy adventure reads starting with Wizard’s First Rule.

What I am reading right now?  I finished The Lion of Cairo a few nights ago, then plunged into the military sci fi adventure Death Lands. 

What’s next?

It depends on what I find on my bookshelves. I have two bookshelves I am attempting to empty of the one book authors I have bought. I also have ARCS to read for other authors. I also have books on my Kindle app. I get a lot of free books on it.

Featured Author for January 2021- Angelique Jordonna

Angelique Jordonna and her book Dani   

Links

https://www.amazon.com/DANI-Angelique-Jordonna-ebook/dp/B089NXSG34/

http://www.angeliquejordonnaauthor.com

www.books2read.com/dani

Author Interview with Katherine E. Soto

1. What is the first book that made you cry?
          I don’t remember ever crying while reading a book. I don’t cry during movies either, except that one time during I Am Legend, where the dog died. Perhaps something is wrong with me emotionally.

2. What is your writing Kryptonite?
           I would say I’m my own kryptonite. I’m easily distracted by things. Social media, my wife, television. Also self doubt is a killer for me. Or work. People. Everything.

3. Who is one author you are friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
        My writing BFF or writing wife as I call her is A.J. Mullican. Awesome author and great friend. She does her best to motivate me and push me to do the things I need to do, even when I’m distracted, One day we will write a book together, actually that’s in the works but I’m surrounded by Kryptonite.

4. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
          Don’t give up and believe in yourself.

5. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
          I have horrible grammar and spelling so working with my publisher has helped me know what to look for when editing my stories. I’ll never be great at it but, I’ve gotten better. I find myself going back to correct things now that I wouldn’t have worried about before.


6. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?
         A laptop.

7. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
          I’m pretty plain and simple so it wouldn’t be anything too over the top. Perhaps a cat of some sort.

8. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
       😬😬😬 At this point in time I have about fifteen unfinished pieces that I need to work on.

9. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

     😬😬😬 no

10. How do you select the names of your characters?
          I usually name my characters and my wife will go through and read my work… she’ll shake her head at me and say “That names not going to work, their name is….” And of course, I go back and change the name.

11. What is your favorite childhood book?
          It’s hard to choose just one. I loved Shel Silverstein when I was younger. Goosebumps/R.L. Stine. The Outsiders was great. Edgar Allen Poe was probably my favorite writer as a teenager though.

Author Bio:

Angelique Jordonna is a romance psych/thriller author from Michigan. She spent several years in San Antonio before moving to Kansas, and then back to Michigan where she currently resides with her wife, kids, and three dogs. Angelique spent her early years playing music and writing poetry, having several of her poems published in anthology books. She eventually transitioned into writing short stories and recently finished her first full-length novel. Currently, she is working on several other projects. When not working or writing she likes spending her time traveling, going to concerts, and meeting new friends along the way. She enjoys entertaining her troops with her sarcastic raunchy humor.

BLURB: DANI

A twisted childhood filled with abuse, pain, fear, and isolation has led Dani down a spiraling path of sinister and ever darker creative destruction . . . and into the arms of a lover named Lyric.

Everything begins to change for Dani, but will it last? Can finding an emotional connection with Lyric curb Dani’s sadistic hunger? Is this new love stronger than her deadly compulsions?

Just for Fun

Update on My Author Kingdom

In other words- How the struggle goes to get my name out there.

My website visit chart. Very few zero days this month.

Newsletter subscribers: 608 contacts and 519 subscribers. The unsubscribes are due to contest giveaways who drop out after the contests. The newsletter goes out on the 21st of each month. I have developed a template to use.

Twitter 347 followers

Instagram- I am at 10 posts. 2 followers I had to change the name to katherineesotoauthor2 on Instagram. My old name was having problems with log in.

Author page on Facebook 239 people following me

Bookbub I have 1,022 followers. I also have 14 book reviews.

I have 2 story magnets on story origin I use for newsletter swaps.

Free download gift for my readers: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WzRG13UoEi3aEE3EzAmh0SQZxdl1qEIz/view?usp=sharing

Have a great Holiday

Grandma’s Christmas Decorating

This is a piece I wrote thinking about my decorating and how it would look to my granddaughter.

The Christmas decorations were put up a little at a time if Grandma did not hire help. The Santa collection in its whites, blues and reds twinkled with lites she draped within the collection.  The handful of Santas were scattered throughout the snowmen like she could not make up her mind which to collect. Each is special and has memories of other Christmases wrapped around them.  Her box collection has reindeer, snowmen, and holly painted on the tops and sides. There are four Christmas countdown calendars boxes. Two with drawers and doors go in the box collection on top of the large redwood trunk that sits in the living room next to the case with the snowman collection. A wooden tree that has its own wooden ornaments in its bottom cupboards is placed on the silver cart. The silver is moved to another spot in the living room for the holidays. The front hallway greets guests with a small tree with tiny ornaments on it.  The decorations change as she adds to the small ornament collection. Nascar ornaments too big for the tiny tree take up space underneath, along with non-hanging decorations such as a wooden train.  The big tree stands five feet tall. It is prelit with lights, so there is not an early struggle to put lights on and off it. Grandma’s precious ornaments, each with its memory are on this tree.  The gifts her girls gave her. Things friends made or gave her.  Grandpa’s friend who made ornaments to go in her Christmas cards are placed among the branches. If you ask Grandma for a memory, she can tell you about each ornament. The tree is lit every evening and sometimes it is left lit up for days and nights. The three Christmas trees, the box collection the grandchildren could play with, and the Christmas tree are my memories of a Christmas at Grandma’s.  I can’t forget those presents, either.

2021 Goals

Goals are an important part of the beginning of a new year. Goals give you broad ideas to reach for during the year. They provide guides to where you are going during the year. They often give a jumping off place and a finish line.

My Goals for 2021

Author Goals

Publish Book 1

Market Book 1,

Book 2 into queue

Edit book 2-4

Anthology short story edited and turned in

Continue writing Book 5

Keep Author Platform running smoothly with weekly blog posts and daily media posts.

I want to learn how to write non fiction.

I am also a poet and would like to put my poems together.

I want to enter contests with my poetry.

Personal Goals

Organize my office and house

Stay as heathy as I can this year.

Exercise each day as you can

Go through Clothes Closet

Take already read books to Goodwill

Stay Mentally healthy, avoid depression

Watch anxiety, keep it low

Social Goals are on hold due to Covid 19 pandemic

Stay in contact with family and friends by phone and computer