Tag Archives: revision

WIPpet Wednesday: I’ve Got Nothin’

wippetwednesdayI think the title of this post is pretty self-explanatory. I have nothing new for WIPpet Wednesday because I have written nothing new on any of my WIPs.

Haha.

I’m so productive.

Anywho, in keeping with the spirit of one of my 2015 goals (be more bloggy) I figured I’d use this space for some updating.

I spent the weekend in editing hell.

What do I mean by editing hell, you ask?

Editing hell is agonizing over sentences and word choices and comma placement and action beats. Editing hell is searching the document for repeated phrases. Editing hell is searching the document for dashes, so you can make sure your spacing is consistent for all dashes (that was fun). Editing hell is running a spell check and finding no less than 5 misspelled words! One of them was sovereignty, so I guess I can forgive that, since we’re only human, after all. 😉

Revision Tip: FOR THE LOVE OF FLUFFY UNICORNS RUN A FINAL SPELL CHECK.

You see, that was the last time I could touch it before I sent it away to be formatted. And then I freaked out. And then I saw the Kindle preview and got excited again. Shew. It’s been an emotional whirlwind of a week.

So that’s where things stand, presently. Tonight, I approved the final e-book versions, with all the fun graphics added, and so now we’re on to the print version! And there was much rejoicing! Huzzah.

I’m still freaking out, by the way…just doing a better job of hiding my emotions!

Oh, before I forget, you can now add Stones on Goodreads. Almost 30 people — and I don’t personally know all of them! — have already added it to their To Read shelf. I’m having mini-panic attacks over this as well, because that means these people might actually read it, and then what if it suuuuuuuuccccckkkkkkkkkkkssssss.

I could probably ramble on and on about my nerves and over-excitable emotions and bore y’all to death…but instead I’m going to take deep breaths, eat chocolate, and remember this: “Trust your dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.”

*fingers crossed*

Alright, enough about me; let’s get on to the good stuff! You should definitely check out the other contributors to WIPpet Wednesday because I hear there’s a sexy pillow fight involved. Get on it! 😀

As always, a big thanks to K.L.Schwengel for babysitting us!

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On Writers and Reviews

As the release date for Stones creeps ever closer, I find myself growing ever more anxious. The cover is out in the world, with my name on it and guys…I’m kind of freaking out.

I think I’ve officially entered the “What in the name of fluffy unicorns have I done?” phase of publishing. Has anyone else been there?

If you were reading my other blog, you might know that I started writing this book at seventeen. Do you know how long that is? Nine years. Nine! That’s almost a decade, and now I’m just going to throw my baby out into the world and let her be judged and dissected and poked and prodded??

(Maybe no one will notice. But, my mother has been telling every living person she knows, so maybe not.)

Insanity. Madness, I tell you.

I know there’s very little left of the story 17-year-old Jessica envisioned; I don’t think there’s an original sentence left, but these characters have been with me since the beginning (most of them, anyway. The telepathic cat got cut).

Needless to say, I feel very affectionately towards Aurelia & Co. and it distresses me that someone out in the world – or the internet – might not feel the same way.

Which brings me to the other point of this post: reviews.

I’m supposed to be working on writing a scene that fleshes out some character development, but in the name of procrastination, I’ve been reading negative reviews of popular books on Goodreads.

Is this productive and/or healthy? I don’t know.

But I’m rationalizing this frenzied research by saying I’m preparing myself for the worst. How bad can it get?

Hahahahahahahahahaha.

Now, I like to think that I’m pretty thick-skinned. My writing has been taking punches since my first Intro to Creative Writing class in college, which I handled very gracefully, with only minimal griping behind the professor’s back. But these were very supportive environments, and mediated so things could never get too nasty.

Ever sorted the reviews of a book you liked by the users who gave 1 star? Yeah.

Most of the time these reviews are well-structured, eloquent, constructive, and sometimes amusing. And sometimes I agree with them. I’ll admit it; I don’t like every book I read, even though I know the author invested a lot of time and energy into the writing of it. I know they probably feel the same way I do about their “babies”.

I’m sure a “What the hell is this shit?” still stings, even for the most established authors.

But, here’s the kicker: established authors with popular, traditionally published books have 15,000 positive reviews, glowing with praise, to balance out the 800-1000 negative reviews.

As a soon-to-be indie author, like all the awesome indie authors before me, my work is going to live or die by reviews and recommendations. And one “What the hell is this shit?” review could dissuade many a potential buyer or new fan.

By no means do I have a perfect book (does anyone?) and I’m sure there will a typo or two (hopefully just two) that evaded the many eyes that looked over Stones.

Writers and editors are still human, people! 😉

But, I think I’ve crafted an entertaining read, at the very least, and no one will feel the urge to “hurl this book across the room with disgust”.

What about you, fellow indies? How do you feel about reviews and how do you handle them?

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Updates Galore!

Greetings, my lovely peeps!

Thing have been a little hectic here lately, and I don’t have the energy for a useful informative post, so you’ll have to settle for a “life update” post instead.

Business Item Number 1:

I started a new job about 3 weeks ago, which accounts for all the busyness I’ve been encountering recently. I haven’t had nearly enough time to cultivate and tend to my social media outlets. And my Pinterest boards. The struggle is real, y’all.

Business Item Number 2:

I got that infernal prologue written and sent it off to my editor. She returned it with minimal revisions (yay!), and I got it critiqued by my writing group last Monday. Besides a few piddly issues — like Track Changes deleting spaces — I’ve officially finished the heavy-duty editing process! Woop woop!

I cleaned up the piddly issues (hopefully) and literally just sent Stones off to a second round of beta readers.

With all that being said, here’s an updated, still-subject-to-change publication schedule:

September: Stones in the hands of new betas, start working on that back cover copy (do not want).

October: More editing and proofing. Depending on what kind of feedback I receive from betas, I may or may not send it back to my editor. If changes are minor, I’ll just prepare for a final proofread for small errors. Also, COVER REVEAL MONTH!

November: Formatting, final cover design for the paperback version, and any miscellaneous issues.

In my mind, I’m still on schedule for an early December release. Of course, since this is my first time, I could be seriously underestimating the time it takes to get Stones out and about. I also don’t think I’ve got much wiggle room for catastrophic events or grievous errors. Anyone know what those could be??

December seems to be creeping up on me so fast!

Oh, and I’ll be throwing promotional stuff around in there as well. Oy. So much to do!

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What I’ve Learned About Revision (Part 1)

Trolling

sometimes i troll my editor

Since Stones is back in the hands of my editor for the third (and maybe final?) time, I figured I would let y’all know what I’ve learned (if anything) so far, as a first-time indie author.

I’ve titled this “part 1” just in case I think of any more gems of wisdom later on. 🙂

Trust Your Editor

Hopefully, since you’ve hired them, you trust them…but this point goes further than that. You have to trust that they understand your vision. You have to trust that they know what they’re talking about, as a professional and as a reader.  Which is why I would recommend that you ALWAYS find someone who either reads or writes in your genre. And LOVES every minute of it.

When I first get something back from my lovely editor, I read through all her comments first…and then go complain about her to anyone who will listen. I bitch and moan for a couple days and then go back and read her comments again. And begrudgingly admit that she might be right about a few things.

Buuutttt…

Trust Yourself Too

Only you know what’s at the heart of your story; an editor only helps you get there in a clear and concise and grammatically correct way.

The Littlest Fixes Are Buggers

Okay, so this one might just be relevant to me because I’m a tad special. I had the hardest trouble doing line edits and addressing comments like “need tag”, “need to see a reaction”, “needs to be reacting”, “why isn’t she reacting???”

Clarifying character motivations and fixing plot problems were a piece of cake compared to fixing the little inconsistencies.

 

What have you learned about yourself or your writing through the revision process?

 

Related Links:

15 Questions You Should Always Ask Your Editor Before Hiring Them

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One Round Down

After one all-nighter*, a marathon writing weekend, and 4,000 additional words later, I’ve officially completed one round of edits and returned them to my lovely and patient editor. Yes, I ended up with more words, but filler was still trimmed and the additions are decidedly juicy. Stones was already rather skinny for a fantasy, at only about 76K words, so I’m not worried about buffing it (her? him?) up a bit.

Everything anyone has ever told you about editing and revising is true. It is so hard. There was much squealing in frustration, which my dog loved. I’m exhausted, starving (although, probably because it’s lunch time), and my little writing brain is totally fried. Compared to this, writing the blasted thing was a piece of cake.

There was also cake eaten…to inspire productivity.

On that note, I’m off to find food…

editing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Note: I did not finish edits in just one night. The whole process took about two weeks, but I apparently saved all the hardest parts (read: heavy emotional scenes) for last and had to stay up extra late to meet my deadline. 🙂

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Deadlines

deadlines

 

I’m drinking the haterade and feeling the pressure!

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Procrastination Station

I should be working. Instead, I’m taking color-coded chapter notes based off my editor’s feedback. That still counts as being productive, right?

New Image

One of the biggest issues I’m struggling with is over-showing vs. not showing enough. During scenes of particularly high drama, when the reader is supposed to be feeling very strong emotions, I’ve either created melodrama or emotionless character drones. Melodrama is a weakness that I’ve been aware of since I first started getting my work seriously critiqued (college, mostly). I’ve apparently remedied this weakness by not including feelings at all, which caused my editor to suspect my character had been possessed, since she wasn’t showing any emotion during an emotional scene. Well, demonic possession wasn’t quite what I was going for.

So, how do I fix this?

Answer: I have no idea.

Oh…were you waiting for writerly advice? Heh heh. 🙂

How about a plan of action instead? Right.

First, I’m going to take a good long look at these scenes and make sure all characters are reacting (at all) and are reacting appropriately, given the situation and their personalities. Falling out of character during emotional scenes is a no-no. Also, eliminate all and any cliches and stated emotions (so-and-so was sad). The biggest thing I need to do is dig deep into my characters and make sure I’m pulling from their fears, and hopes, and experiences to make the scene theirs, and not something I’ve seen or heard before.

I guess this is what revision is all about, eh?

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