Thursday, June 25, 2009

Editing is hard work

Editing is hard work. I think harder work than writing the darn thing in the first place. And sometimes I do wonder if it is really an art form in and of itself. Course then I think, well, it can't be totally apart from writing, since you have to have Something To Edit! But they do need to go together. Hopefully in a harmonious relationship, but that's not always - or maybe even usually the case.

I think you learn it by watching how the people around you work with authors, and it happens almost by osmosis. There are many different styles of editing, too. It's an apprenticeship. There are courses you can take to learn the mechanics of the business, like the Radcliffe course, but I don't think they teach you how to edit. Editing is more by-the-hip.

You look at a text and ask yourself how it can be improved.

And this from Writers They also have their 2009 - 101 Best Sites for Writers up. So while you are there to look at the best sites check out some of the other neat stuff there too. Like this one on editing that I'd never heard before and I thought was Really good/interesting….

Tip of the Day

Mistake 44: Overediting and Removing Subconscious Seeds

Source: 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer's Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: There are writers who overedit what they write during the process of completing their work. Why is it a mistake
to polish a work-in-progress?

First, you are polishing writing that you might need to cut later on. This means that you are not only wasting time editorially, but making it that much harder to cut the material when so much time has been invested.

Second, you plant subconscious seeds in your early drafts. You put in things that sometimes seem to not quite belong. Yet. And if you overedit, you take them out too soon. Because later on, when you get stuck in chapter twenty-eight, if you go back and re-read what you wrote earlier,
you’ll discover you need that seed, that your subconscious put it in way back when, “knowing” you would need it.

Third, you end up spending a lot of time editing and not getting to the end of your work.

The solution:
Don’t overedit your early drafts of your work, no matter how tempted you are. Move forward in the project. Don’t worry about those weird things in the early drafts that nag you. The nagging is good; you just might need those weird things later on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I think as writers that probably applies to all of us. But this reference is for a book I read recently by Erica Kirov.

I thought it a very good book, and I enjoyed it a lot even though it is technically not marketed as an adult book. But that also makes it a quick read too. ;) Always a nice thing when technically you are supposed to be working on writing your own books instead of sneaking off to read someone else's. ;)

I'm not sure I am blog-proficient enough to actually paste in the book picture, like my friend Katharine of Eat Cookies Be Quiet blog fame, so I pasted the link to Erica's site at the bottom so you can go over and see it.
Okay, so yeah that's lame. But hey, see above comment about sneaking off to read. There's only so much sneaking off to do other things that the writing-prod-within will let you take you know.
And in keeping with that prod-within I'm not going to do a whole review thing, again probably like my friend Katharine, E-C-B-Q blog fame does, but maybe she'll do one soon. In meantime I'm sure most of you out there are a Whole lot more proficient at all this stuff than I am anyway, so can search out reviews on your own. I will say Most are very favorable. There are a couple that mentioned there were couple things they didn't like. Which rather prompted my previous blog post. But everybody's different, has different tastes, expectations, and I liked this book, and am glad I bought it and had it signed, and have it available to read again. And that's saying a Lot given the state of my bookshelves and the constant sighing of husband that wants me to sort thro' the books burdening all those shelves and read and release ones that aren't worth keeping and rereading.

I can see people likening this book to the likes of Harry Potter. But there are enough differences for this first book in the series to stand on its own. I think those that miss Harry and his friends and adventures can find some new friends here, and new exciting adventures. I'm looking forward to their next adventure!!

And really, come to think of it, it is an even bigger statement about this book that even though couple people found couple things they didn't like about it, they were going to eagerly await the next book in the series!
So obviously they liked it better than maybe what their review really reflected.

And with books, or everything really I guess, as I mentioned in previous post, we each bring to every book, whether writing or reading, who and what we are.
To the Magickeepers in all of us! Go Erica!!!

Book I: The Eternal Hourglass

Books, Readers and Writers

It is interesting how as writers we all have a unique view, a unique voice, but it really came to me recently how different we all are as readers also. I mean, I Know that not Everybody likes the same books I do, and vice versa believe me! But it is really interesting the different things people pick out of books to notice, or even fixate on, that sometimes leaves me going, Huh? I can see, sometimes anyway, some of what people are saying but sometimes it leaves me going huh? Did you even read the same book I did? And then it came to me, as we bring who we are to ourselves and where we've come from to our writing voice, people do the same thing when they read. They read through the filter of the life they've had, the life they live, their life experiences. And sometimes from places of envy or jealousy that they don't even acknowledge to themselves.

And another interesting thing I've realized recently that what people say doesn't really say anything about the object they are talking about, book for example, but it says volumes about who and what the person is saying about themselves.
Hmmmm, so maybe I should be quiet and go off and read now. ;) ;)

So what kind of reader are you?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lacking Confidence?

Anyone lacking confidence out there? Put your hand up.

About your writing, about your weight, about your life, about Anything. Anyone? Put them up a little higher please. Yes, that's it. A little higher.

Just recognizing you have the problem can help you work on it and change it. Right? If you believe it can, you can. I know sounds a lot easier when someone else says it. And when someone else says it better -- Darn it!!! AND more memorable / humorous! Double Darn it!!!

So go over and read the complete thought provoking, humor involved, post that Maggie has on it - you'll be Really glad you did. Especially if you read the comments too. Her post touched a Lot of strings that people responded to.

And I thought this was a great thing to think on that she put in her post. Since I know it applies to when people Don't believe in you and don't believe / expect you to amount to much - It's so Great when you show them wrong. It's even better when you show yourself.

.....because you will always rise to the meet the expectations of the people around you .....

Go over and read it in the whole context of Maggie's post now -

You'll be so glad you did. Really. Truly. Like this is finished so go over there now and read it. And feel free to come back here and post about it of course. ;)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Word Wrangling

I'm the new Word Wrangler in town pardner. :::ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching [is that what spurs sound like when they are written???]

Okay so I'm not exactly 'new' around the Richmond writing area scene. And I've never worn spurs. Or a cowboy hat. Although I do like the way 'they' pull it down over their eyes and pull their hand across it threateningly.

But I am a Word Wrangler - what about you?

I was 'talking' to my writer friend Denise -- - who is doing all things Writers Wednesday for James River Writers now, so come on by and talk to us!
And I told her I just couldn't write Writers Wed. abbrev. as WW. Reminding me too much of wrestling for some reason. Then it came to me, we do wrestle with words, plots, and characters an Awful lot!!!
I still can't do wrestling tho' - all that body-slamming on the floor! :::shudder:::

I'd much rather hear the ching of spurs than the whack-slam of a body on canvas. More civilized for some reason. ;) [or maybe just my reasoning? Not that I have anything against those that Like wrestling!!! Not at all! I used to work with an accountant that Loved All things wrestling. But then on the whole don't you think accountants are a wee bit strange sometimes? ;) Not that I have anything against accountants either! ..... I think I'll stop while I'm ahead. Er, still in one piece and not offending somebody or other.

Anyway - any Word Wranglers ... or Word Wrestlers ... out there, join the rest of the WW's [your pick ;) ] at Writers Wednesday - the 2nd Wednesday of Every month. And just so happens to be coming up This Wed. as in tomorrow!

For more particulars go over to the James River Writers site -

Writers Wednesdays

Writers Wednesdays is a casual meet and greet for writers in every genre on the second Wednesday of every month at Richbrau's TapHouse Grill, 1212 E. Cary St., 5:30-7:30 PM.

Coming up: June 10, July 8, August 12

See ya later, pardner. ;)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Checking out books and all things bookstore

Shoot. No, don't do it literally! Although I should really know better than to go over and read Maggie's blog before I decide to post something here. She's witty and cute, And she has pictures! I'm picture challenged. I hate having my picture taken. So that's why I have no pictures posted anywhere. Just these weird guy looking icon things everywhere. That is disturbing. Maybe I should take time to do a drawing of self. ;)
Course then it'd mean I'd finally have to take time to upload the thing. Uh, that's another reason there's just disturbing weird guy icons representing me places. On line at least. ;) That I know of!
Sigh. Another thing on the to-do list. I Really am trying to focus on writing! Really! Uh, on my novels, not here. In case there should be some clarification or something.

But the piles of the notes for my various to be completed novels - adult, young adult, children, - I am an equal opportunity writer! [There's even poetry thrown in there.]
The stacks were getting so unruly. And I didn't want them mingling with the James River Writers volunteer notes and getting ideas or notions, so I've spent some time trying to tame the 'paper tiger' that I assume all writers have.

But that's not what this post was going to be about! [And people wonder why I have such a hard time sitting down to actually write!]

I was going to write a nice shout-out to Kelly Justice at Fountain Bookstore.
And to her great staff of course!
I've picked up and read things I never would have read if not for them and their recommendations. [no actual arm twisting is involved I swear! even though I would like to claim such to ease my bookshelf-overload-woes.]

Fountain Books brings books to every James River Writing Show each month. Which I really appreciate. Well, mostly. It is a bit of a challenge to show restraint.
But it is nice to have one-stop-convenience. Writing Show provides authors to listen to, and gain wisdom from, and Fountain Books provides books so can have author sign it right there.
Pretty nifty if you ask me.
And if you happen to see Kelly manning the table behind the books, well, she's got to be one of the coolest gals that ever hangs around writers!!
You should definitely come check her out. ;) As well as the books of course. And James River Writing Show. As well as all things James River Writers in Richmond, Virginia.