Posts Tagged ‘Urban Fantasy’

I am only a few chapters from the end of this the final round of edits — well, the final round before I send it to my publisher — and I discovered something. I’m a scatterbrained, sponge-headed, ninny.

I have somehow got random versions all mixed about, despite carefully trying not to. The chapters I’m working with are not necessarily the ones I should be, the manuscript I was going off, may not be the latest version and I have one version which may be the latest (pre this edit round) but I can’t find the proof of it.

Last time I was going through this – and had been sending chapters to my beta-reader I came to a point where I stopped. Life happened, but also I had a thought, a creative blurp that I didn’t know if I could actually follow. There would be good things to it, but it may interfere with the flow of the novel. I paused, waiting for more chapters to return and to deal with whatever it was life was using to beat me down.

Time passed

When I returned to this novel, to finish a final edit /read through before passing on to my editor at Xchyler, I had assumed I could follow this side track. I got the inspiration from my Muse and wrote a half chapter and then a new ending to tack on to the one already there. Based on these additions I wove in a tertiary plot line, because it worked and would enrich the tale just that little bit.

Now I know I have pasted the place where this new chapter would come in. I realized that I had been adding chapters to a manuscript that just stopped – assuming this was the right one because it stopped when I stopped adding the edited version to it. However, it should have stopped at this point of possible revelation…which it didn’t.

I have already tried combing through the knots in all the different versions of chapters, and manuscripts trying to find that place – that moment captured in words. I have yet to find to find it. Thus I have to widen my search and get a finer toothed comb as well.

If I can’t find the right place, I will have to cruise through and see if I can find a place it should go – or more importantly can go. I have to see if I can actually fuse this new chapter into the manuscript. I want it there, I think it helps – but if there isn’t a true place waiting for it’s inclusion… forcing it may just result in further work all along the writing that will simply be cut out again once my editor reads it.

I finished up with the last chapter edits from my beta-reader. I have four or fine chapters left to edit. I will leave it as it is for now. I am getting my Scadian on this week, and going to a five day camping event leaving Wednesday morning. Tuesday will be final run around and packing up – and so the issue of guessing which is the right manuscript will wait. I will attack the puzzle fresh when I return next week and try not to stress about it until then.

In case you are wondering what this post is about – it is about cute baby animals
baby duck

No, you’re right – it’s not

I just thought it would help to distract you from the title for a second. I’ve been making  the final edits to my next novel ‘Bindings & Spines’ – and of coarse by final I mean final before I send it to my publisher and start the multiple rounds of edits associated with that. So here I am editing the manuscript that has gone past me twice, then to my personal editor, then past me again, then to my beta reader- then through me. Whew!

Only…. I just reached the spot where I stopped editing the chapters sent back to me by my beta reader.

Bad writer – no coffe . . . nah, can’t even type it.

So I had to go through my files and document in the B&S folder to find where exactly I had stored these, ‘from beta reader but not past me’ chapters. Managed that and, of course, because of rewrites and restructuring the entire beginning the chapters numbers are discombobulated but the store lines up, so that’s good. So now I get to edit through my beta readers comments as well as try to maintain an extra high level of alertness so that the last chapters of the novel go to Xchyler as well polished as the first ones.

I also need to insert the one new chapter ( and actually write a bit more of it to fit smoothly into the plot… once I discover where it goes exactly). I theory I still have plenty of time – unfortunately it is saying things like ‘ I still have plenty of time ‘, that leave you in a panic, stressed out, and beating your head trying to make a dead line.

Creative challenge unlocked – ready for more edits . . . if only I could remember where I put down my coffee

I have been trying to edit a minimum of one chapter a day in the next White Dragon Black novel, ‘Bindings and Spines’. I am secretly aiming at two a day, but not beating myself up if I only get one done.

Bindings and Spines1

The release date from Xchyler Publishing for ‘Bindings & Spines’ is in October – not a bad month to release a paranormal novel about magic books and the undead – and so there really is a decent amount of time to work on the edits. I like to get all my responsibilities regarding getting the novel ready for print completed, as early as I can though. I know my editor feels the same as I do, so the sooner I get through these last few chapters, the sooner we can start working together to do the final polish on the novel so it can be published.

Speaking of publishing and books, I got a nice little surprise this morning . . .

5 stars “This anthology is the first book I have read in the White Dragon Black series. I instantly liked the main character Jonathan Alvey and soon became fascinated in his extraordinary life.”

BB&B banner

Yup, another positive review of ‘Blondes, Books & Bourbon’ . That is just the sort of inspiration I like while I’m editing. It gives me the confidence to believe that this work will just as well received.

The next thing I need to work on the truck. Poor Vera has glow plug issues, so I ‘m replacing  all the plugs and the entire relay system. It is a bit pricey but I will know everything is working the way it should. We are travelling a lot more now that we are in the ‘Society for Creative Anachronism’ once again and without working glow plugs were are shortening the life of the starter (all ready a ‘weak point’ in the trucks system) by having to crank it longer than it should be to turn over. So I go get the part today – and probably put it in tomorrow.

Speaking of the S.C.A., I’m going to start carving into the rings I’m making today. I’ve felt real hesitation on doing so because the image I want to create (in triplicate around the surface) is a bit complicated and will be tricky on such a small surface. I won’t have much room for correcting errors, so I’ve been very leery of committing, but I want these rings made so…
I also have almost wrapped up making my copper interpretation of an extant piece.

Latchet copper

It is known as a ‘latchet’ and found only in early period Ireland. The ‘fun’ thing is that no one seems to quite know how they were used. So I will be giving it to my friend who does early Irish in the SCA and she can fiddle about trying to understand how they were used. It will give her a shiny, pretty, thing to wear, and give her hands on research into understanding her adopted culture–not just the piece but the clothes. Figuring out how this was used, could tell her a lot about the garments worn with it. I really think I need to make her at least one more though for her to really play. All in good time, I guess.

So there’s my world in a nutshell – Not too much to complain about and more than one thing to feel good about. I hope your day is much the same.

I am editing my way through Bindings & Spines, the next White Dragon Black novel. These are the final edits before I send the manuscript to my publisher…so we can start on the edits. Being a writer is a fun and silly game.

There are a few words that should always try to be minimized in one’s writing. While I was doing the edits for Tomorrow Wendell, my editor sent me a list of the ones that seemed to be a stumbling block for me, so that I could do a hunt for them and try to eliminate the majority from the text. Freeing her from having to worry over them in the future. The word I use far too much in my writing is ‘was’ – so while I am going through each chapter, I am tasking myself to remove them. This isn’t easy but it needs to be done, so I might as well do it now.

It can be too easy to just leave your writing at a certain state, and let the editors catch the mistakes. A writer ca deal with only what is pointed out, when it is pointed out – but not only is that unfair to the editor, it is unfair to to the writer.

I need to train myself to work at a higher level – constantly shifting up my game. By removing some of the stumbling blocks, before I sent it to my publisher, that frees up my editor to make me focus of finer details. It allows my editor to not have to exhaust herself on catching individual words which frees her up to look at larger concerns and help me gain a deeper writing ability.

Editors are not grade school teacher marking an exam, they really shouldn’t have to worry over the small stuff. They are guides to a higher level of writing. They are craftsman teaching refinement and how to bring out the best shine in the gem of your writing. How can they do this if they are spending all their time knocking the rough corners off your precious stone?

Every story, every ‘dialogue’ with your editor should be a learning experience. It doesn’t have to be a revelation or epiphany, nor more than it has to be a full semester of advanced English Lit. – but you should come away from it with at least one nugget of understanding that can be applied to the next story. It is these tiny pieces, slowly gathered over time, that build a great writer who can produce beautiful gems spun of words.

I realized this morning that I was not necessarily editing the right chapters of Binding & Spines. I gave the beginning a serious overhaul during the last rounds of edits, making a better read without doubt. These newly organized chapters were sent to my beta-reader and, from them, I compiled a new manuscript. What I had been working off of was the returned, and corrected, chapters from my beta-reader (may the gods bless her).

The flaw in this? When I recompiled these chapters into the new manuscript, I made more changes as was fitting for chapter length, and natural breaks. I also did further edits, as I can’t seem to read my words without having to tweak them yet again.

So this morning, I started the process of re-re-reediting. Opening the chapters I just edited, and the completed manuscripts, side by side. Then I worked through line by line. There were differences between the two, not counting the edits I had just made. I’m not talking about a slew of radical disparities, but they were there.

Why bother? Well, taking the best from both, means I am making the best, strongest, story I can. On a more practical level – the changes I made in the manuscript also affect chapter break. So chapter six, in the individual chapters I was going from, doesn’t match with the manuscript version, which is the newer, better version–the last version I decided on.

So I have a bit extra on my plate, a going back over, for a few chapters. I’ll catch up soon enough and then can just go from the manuscript. Ain’t edits fun!