About Amy’s Courage

The second book of my series already has a title. Unfortunately, it has little else.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written the book. But it’s a first draft and like all first drafts, it’s ugly. Really ugly.

I’ve been struggling with the editing. Really struggling. I kept opening up the draft, shuddering with horror and basically closing it again. I thought about settling and just doing a mediocre job but I hated doing that.

Then I read D. Emery’s excellent post Good News and Bad News, and I felt so validated. D. Emery writes about being stuck writing his second book, Darkness Revealed. He puts eloquently into words exactly what I feel.

Darkness Revealed is much more obvious about the philosophy aspects, and that takes a lot of thinking to get right. I need to craft philosophical ways of thinking and explaining the situation behind the Darkening, and they need to be logically sound.

And I don’t have the mental capacity (and barely the time) to do that right now.

…I realize that’s a disappointment for the people eager to read the sequel, but as I said with my retrospective post, quality is first, quantity will come with time.”

He could go ahead and write a mediocre book but his integrity won’t let him and I admire that in him. In fact, that’s what I want for my book too.

D. Emery’s post gives me hope. I hope that, like he wrote, ‘quality first, quantity will come with time’. For a beginning writer like myself, hope is a wonderful thing.

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Balance

I just read this wonderfully honest post by Crystin Goodwin and it really hit me, I spend more time working on my blog than I do on my WIP. Hm…

There’s a good possibility that the reason I’m not working on my book is not that my blog takes up my time. I could find more time for my WIP but I’m procrastinating because it’s editing and to quote a friend, my first draft is ‘eye searing’ bad. Reading it is actually painful.

But Crystin’s post brings up a great question, how do you balance writing on your book vs. writing on your blog? Should we post every day? Should we only post when we have high-quality posts? Should we write first and then blog?

I’d love to hear what works for you.

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Another five star review for Olivia’s Choice!

Olivia’s Choice got another five star review on Goodreads! I’m over the moon! So happy, I couldn’t stop smiling.

Check it out here. Yeey!

As well, I’m almost through the edits. D. Emery Bunn did an incredible job with my book and now it shines like a diamond. It’s unbelievable what good editing can do.

When I’m done…I’ll have a surprise! (a good one, not the one where you’re at the dentist and have a cavity).

Olivia’s Choice Page: Updated.

The Page for Olivia’s Choice is getting some exciting changes.

One, the blurb has been shortened and spiffed up.

Two, I’ve cleaned up the reviews and added two new ones. One by the Bookie Monster and another by Romance Reviews.

Three, D. Emery Bunn has run through the book and checked the editing. He’s an absolute grammar-Ninja. Any and all misplaced comas suffered an untimely death. The new, shinier Olivia’s Choice will be up and running as soon as I can update all those changes. See the sidebar for an update to where I am in my fight against those run-on sentences and that dreaded passive voice.

I’m pretty excited about it all. Why not check it out and let me know what you think!

Editing help

I got Olivia’s Choice done all on my own. I combed through the book over and over and over again. I did this for an entire year. Until I got to the point that if I saw it one more time, I was going to throw it across the room.

Then I got a review back that commented on the superfluous words in the book. Nuts. I knew almost immediately I couldn’t do it alone. That’s when I heard of D. Emery Bunn.

I’ve said before he’s like a grammar ninja. I’ll add that he has suggestions that strengthen the message and deliver the punchline without taking away the flavour of my writing. I told him I only wanted line edits…and of course he did much more. To say I was impressed vastly underrates my reaction. I was blown away.

I wanted to mention him on my blog because he honestly did such an amazing job. I know my book will be so much better because of him. Not only will it be grammar perfect, it will be tighter and deliver the message with less words. For example, Emery suggested a change in the Glossary at the beginning that compacts it and helps make it easier to read.

If you’re looking for someone to do some editing, I can’t recommend him highly enough. On a personal level, he’s approachable and very reasonable. On a professional one, he did an incredible job and finished early!

Here are his links:

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/

 http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/contact-me/

Editing links

If you’re editing and you’re like me, you don’t want to spend any more time at this task than you need to. That’s why, before you start adding comas and deleting adverbs, you might want to keep in mind how these pros do the job. I certainly wish I had done so before I did the editing of Olivia’s Choice. Instead of an entire year, the thing might have been done much sooner.

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/05/how-i-edit.html–author, writer and literary agent, Nathan Bransford knows writing. Here’s how he edits.

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/2013/12/30/the-joy-and-necessity-of-editing-2-novel-length-edits/ — Big edits first. Don’t edit the little things first. It’s like choosing paint while you still haven’t finished the roof.

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/2014/03/19/the-joy-and-necessity-of-editing-7-in-line-revision/— little edits. When the big guys are done, check out those little things. They add up, so get a good cup of coffee and your eagle eye.

http://elizabethspanncraig.com/1559/approaching-messy-first-drafts/–when you don’t know where to start, start here.

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/06/how-i-self-edit-my-novels-15-steps-from.htmlIPPY Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as the  western A Man Called Outlaw, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, and the epic fantasy DreamlanderK.M. Weiland certainly knows writing. This is how she edits.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/09/07/five-things-to-consider-during-revisions-with-loucinda-mcgary/–five things to look for while you’re editing by author Loucinda McGary.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/03/09/the-best-way-to-edit-by-tracy-sumner/–If the traditional ways don’t work for you, try this post!

http://www.profkrg.com/11-tips-for-editing-your-own-writing–eleven clear steps anyone can follow.

Do you have a way to edit that works for you? Share it! I’d certainly love any tips you can send my way.

A to Z Day 18: Revision

Another amazing post by Gene’O. I particularly loved how he broke down the editing process. I’m in the middle of it right now and this was so helpful. A big thanks to Gene’O for the great post!

My Former Blog

I think the three most important parts of the writing process are:

Click for A to Z blog list. Click for A to Z blog list.

1. Actually finishing a draft.

2. Revising the draft (which is different than editing).

3. Finding someone else to read it and give you feedback.

I talked about the importance of finishing drafts on Saturday. Today’s post is all about revision. Understanding the writing process in a general way is important, but understanding what works for you is even more important. Once we get down to details, every writer’s process is unique. I suggest finding a writing process that allows you to play to your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.

I outlined my own writing process in detail not long after I started this blog (apologies for the awfulness of the graphic). The first thing I do to a draft before I even think about real revision is cut words…

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27 ways you may be (unknowingly!) misusing words

Okay, some of these I knew…some totally stumped me. What a great post by Stephanie Huesler and Timothy Pike! Thank you so much for the post, guys!

Editing help

I hate editing. Somehow, the writing I once thought was made up of pearls of wisdom, has turned into an undecipherable mess. Getting through that first draft of Amy’s Choice and making sense of it all is humbling, embarrassing and hard, hard work.

Must be done, only gets me going so far. So…here is an amazing post by The Procrastiwriter with help.

She’s got 6 ways to enjoy editing (I couldn’t believe enjoyment and editing could even go together in a sentence, let alone become a post). And an uplifting post by Bryan Hutchinson on the first draft.

I love those six ways to enjoy editing because I do some of them already. I have a go-to piece of writing that I think is good and gives me hope that I can actually  do it and avoid making any more of these…

http://12most.com/2014/03/19/unforgivable-writing-mistakes/🙂

 

On editing

I’m editing. And it’s hell. I don’t think I’m alone when I curse and grumble about it. But, really, let’s just say it. Editing sucks.

All those wonderful chapters that seemed written by Shakespeare only days ago, have magically turned into a mess. I blame my brain. Back when I wrote them, I had my Creative Brain on and I thought the stuff was pretty good. Now, with my critical Editorial Cap on, it’s just awful. 

I have to re-read it, change words, then ask myself what the sweet heavens I was trying to say in that convoluted, unending, tongue-twister of a paragraph. Somehow, I have to transform that soup of words into actual English so people will want to read it and not burst into tears. I curse, grumble, pray for inspiration and write away. I cut things, add words, change adverbs and add plurals when needed until I can read it. Until it flows and it says what it was supposed to say. With pizzaz.

Then, I go to the next one.

Today I chomped my way through an entire chapter. But most days it’s one scene at a time. The worst is coming though. I know I’ll have to go through this process a couple of times before the book is remotely to my standards. Perfectionism sucks.

Then I had a thought: What would it be like to write perfectly? What if we could write without having to edit? Do the Greats manage that? Does Nora Roberts type flawlessly on her computer in one endless, grammatically-perfect, flowing example of immaculate fiction? Wouldn’t it be wonderful? Just imagine…no editing…Ahhh.