Tag Archives: editing

The Theory of Relative Normality Must not be Confused with the Normality Relative Theory or the Other One from that Einstein Guy

I find when I write, there are times the way I phrase a sentence seems to be correct, then turns out unacceptable when read a second time.a91bb8fdaecab525bfdb3e446b36f25f

For example: I’d eat lobster every day if I could afford to.

The proper way: If I could afford lobster, I’d eat it every day.

I catch a lot of these mistakes when doing edits and rewrites. I call it, “backward dyslexia in reverse.”

In order to understand this phenomenon, we must first realize that everyone is different. At the same time, we must not forget the similarities we find in each another. These situations are based on normality and since what we are referring to is normal, it becomes relative. Since relative can mean anything from tooth picks to steamships, we find ourselves confused, disoriented and just plain out of sorts.

So watch those sentence structures and you’ll be that much closer to a published author…relatively speaking.

 

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Just Cause It Says to do What It Says, Don’t Mean to do What it Said. Notice the Play on Words? Well, There Ain’t None!!!

JFSPunctuateOnce you finish your manuscript and begin rewrites and edits, are you adept with the grammatical aspects of what you’ve written? Or are you unsure of the difference between a period and parentheses?

I’ve learned a lot over the years of struggling through hundred thousand word manuscripts. That being said there’s a lot I should have learned struggling through hundred thousand word manuscripts but somehow failed to do so.

For instance: A comma is used to denote a pause. You think this would be an objective comment until people commence to slinging commas throughout a paragraph; then, it becomes very subjective.

I haven’t been able to find two people that would agree on the placement of commas; of course, some of them would argue the color of clear.

My next nemesis is the semi-colon. If I’m ignorant enough to ask, I’ll receive different answers that I don’t understand anyway so I might as well keep my mouth shut.

And finally, anything that dangles sends me running and screaming like a banshee bearing down on its next meal.

Maybe I’m not as bad as I’ve portrayed myself to be, but if the truth be known, I would just as soon drink from a mud puddle and eat rocks than edit a manuscript.

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Just Because you Think You’re Right, Doesn’t Mean you are…Then Again, it Doesn’t Mean you Aren’t, Just That you Have Some Real Problems, Man

frustrated-kitIf you read my blog last week, I was firmly in the midst of beating an unruly manuscript into submission. I was mistakenly lulled into believing that this was a factual thought on my part.

Being an optimist, I am frequently pulled into situations that leave me believing that things are going to be alright. Boy, when am I going to learn?

Now as far as being an optimist goes, I think that’s something I’ll hold on to. Thinking everything is going to be alright has its merits and disappointments.

Case in point: Manuscripts you have tricked yourself into believing you have conquered; as if there were such a thing.

My editor and I had crossed wires and we were both speeding the opposite direction down different highways. Things became more misconstrued as we continued to travel.

Finally, we slammed on brakes realizing our conundrum. We jumped on board the same vehicle and I can now tentatively say, we’re on the same page.

This book, just like last week, is my latest offering, “Terminal Core,” which is headed to the printer even as we speak.

I feel as though I have read this book in its many forms 30 times or more. In fact, I just completed the novel last week, the week before and probably the week before that.

The one shining star in the middle of this bedlam is after the proof comes from the printer, I get to read it one more time.

As crazy as this seems, it’s all a part of the process known as…ah…well…I’m not sure whatcha call spending months to pen a novel, months to rewrite and edit said novel, send to a publisher, then spend large amounts of time with an editor thrashing out the final details.

I guess the best way to describe it would be blocks of fun, with intermittent periods of horror.  Remember, the underpinning and solid foundation of  success (at least in my case) leads me to rely on prayer.

Give it a try sometime if you take a mind to; it just may surprise you.

Don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet, it’s really not as bad as I described. Actually, it’s a lot of fun and I feel fortunate God gave me this task to contend with each day.

Now, where’d I leave that fountain pen?

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Bang, Bang, Bang; That’s all I Ever Hear is Bang, Bang, Bang; When are Things Ever Going to Quiet Down.

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If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning. I’d hammer in the noonday. I’d hammer in the evening and late into the night.

If you’ve taken to wondering why and what I’m beating on well let me tell you. It is none other than the manuscript from the bowels of the earth slithering its way up to thwart my attempts to corral it between two pieces of cardboard.

For instance, I spent the latter half of one day, continuing the first half the next day, searching for a grievous mistake that didn’t exist.

My editor rearranged choppy parts to smooth them out. I have found that his advice is invaluable, but in this case, I was a white psychotic mouse in an ever changing maze, with a peach pit for a reward instead of cheese.

After what seemed like an eon I finally thrashed the brazen manuscript down, destroying two wooden and one aluminum bats.

I always enjoy a challenge woven within my writing, but I draw the line at a beat down. At any rate, in most instances, learn to agree with your editor. They’re worth their weight in calladium.

You’ll have to read my new science fiction novel, “Terminal Core,” to figure that one out. Coming soon, I’ll keep you apprised of the release date.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my musings of a sometimes mad, sometimes sane, but always a little off center man, who loves to write.

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Terminal Core: To be Released Soon.

TERMINALCORE FCIn “Terminal Core” I’ve taken a break from the “Rising Tide” series and produced a stand alone sci-fi adventure. It was a pleasure and a real bear to write, but so rewarding to watch the pieces fall into place with the painstaking work of my editor and publisher Soul Fire Press. I will re-post  as soon as the  release date becomes available.

Aon, a solid core planet made from the priceless and most dense element in the galaxy (caladium) is under silent attack. Plans are made by off-worlders to dissolve the unbreakable core using crude oil obtained from 19th century earth. Once the oil is refined the byproduct, gasoline will soften the caladium, allowing it to be collected. It is soon discovered the core is made from living beings created from caladium itself. The off-worlders employ a band of corrupt inhabitant’s to carry on this work. They find themselves in a constant struggle with a small coalition of Aonians bent on saving their home world. Both factions clash with the indestructible core creatures. With horrendous beast’s one step behind and deadly pitfalls ahead, the coalition struggle to finish their journey insuring their races survival.

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Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Trod, and I Ain’t Kidding

marketing

I wrote a book not knowing why or who,

It’s something I thought I’d never do.

After sixty thousand words and twelve months of time

I finally had a manuscript that I could call mine.

I jumped up and down with joy in my heart,

I did it! I did it! I began to impart.

I’m finally an author, a writer you see

and then someone shook a wise finger at me.

Slow down, young one, what you’ve done is quite good,

but allow me to tell you the vile truth if you would.

Penning your book is ten percent of the mix

but we mustn’t stop there til we’re deep in the fix.

Edit, yes edit, I say it again,

edit’s the next thing you’ll tackle in vain.

Do it like this without nary a change,

once you’re complete you’ll do it again.

You’ll do it and do it, no reason or rhyme

and after you’ve done it… do it one more time.

That noun don’t go here, that verb don’t go there

in fact they’re forbidden to go anywhere.

The only grammar allowed in this book

is dangling participles and regurgitated looks.

I wrote and I wrote till my body was sore

and then I was told, “I must do a bit more.”

The edits aren’t right beginning page one

and the further I check these rewrites ain’t done.

You’ll have to redo

the preface to start;

if the book’s incorrect where it begins

we’ll redo this book from beginning to end.

After three short years the rewrites were done,

my publisher’s happy it’s now time for fun.

The day of release is coming up quick;

it requires a knife the excitements so thick.

And now that the book sets high on a shelf,

available online and everywhere else

I noticed I’ve sold one copy to myself.

And then the wise finger that stopped me before,

said hold on young author there’s still so much more.

Before you sell thousands of books you must learn

there’s a word you’ll engrain in your head like a worm.

Marketing is what you must tackle next,

it’s not really hard it just takes a knack.

This knack will cause you to pull out your hair

only after it’s gray, but it shan’t stop there.

Multiple computers will meet untimely demise

as you sift through the wreckage of ideas unrealized.

How do I bring my book before those

who would purchase and read it leaving stellar reviews.

Then suddenly it came to me with a bound

the answer I knew I had finally found.

Yes that was it, it would work and not fall

I would take over a bookstore with weapons and all.

Then folks would buy, they’d be happy to you see,

for the encouragement needed is a bullet and me.

I would sell and sell and sell even more

for the buyers would gladly empty the store.

As I sit in my cell doing my time

I learn that my book is doing real fine.

Because of my antics the interest piqued

and I sold millions of copies in a couple of weeks.

I’m writing a sequel that I hope will be done

by the time I exit this institution.

The food ain’t too bad and the hours are good,

I’m getting more than enough sleep than I should.

The writing is fun and the editing I’ll do,

but when the marketing comes up I’m leaving that to you!

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Monkey See; Monkey Do. Monkey Has the Sense to Run Away Screaming

Let’s say you’ve just completed reading the latest and greatest best-selling novel. What are you going to do now? You have several choices. Realize how bad your work is, writer_1369645drop into the depths of depression, burn all your manuscripts and/or never write again.

Use the excellence you have just experienced to inspire your own writing ability and pen a novel to rival the masters. What would this masterpiece contain? If we look back to your last read (the latest and greatest best seller) we find that it was written crossing several genre lines. Starting with mystery, plunging through steam-punk romance, taking a slight detour into the world of sci-fi and fantasy, and finally finishing with a bunny rabbit named Boo hopping through the pages of a children’s book.

First, you must decide which direction your plot will lead your protagonist and characters. Perhaps you will take your manuscript along a different course, one never seen in the literary world. How about three protagonists, four antagonists, two sets of Siamese twins, one male, one female and a mule named Scorch?

I can see the climax now. Just picture the final showdown…

The three protagonists unable to decide who is in charge form a blue-ribbon, fact-finding commission to rectify the situation. Four antagonists with no one to antagonize meet for drinks awaiting the commission’s decision. The Siamese twins left with nothing to do, decide to marry, the ceremony officiated by a cactus and witnessed by the mule. The four newlyweds and mule ride into the sunset having absconded with a sleigh and a pack of reindeer.

Of course, this is only a suggestion; it’s your novel so creative control falls upon your shoulders.

Now, if I was a bettin man, I’d wager that you might feel more comfortable writing within your genre. Since we have no clue as to what your genre may be, we’ll choose for you. We want something adventurous and heart pounding, but nothing that will keep you awake at night. It must be sensitive; yet, not enough to think the characters a cast of sissies; suspenseful with horror incorporated lovingly; and romantic without hugging, kissing or any other public displays of affection. And finally, who can resist a great “who done it?” That’s correct; a murder mystery with no one actually dead.

Once you choose your genre; you may begin your masterpiece.

Now, not to dissuade you in any way or hack into your enthusiasm about writing this amazing book, there are several things I would like you to know.

Once you complete the rough manuscript, you will spend months writing, rewriting, rewriting, editing, rewriting, editing and eventually proofread while rewriting and editing.

Then, you will spend enormous amounts of time and energy trying to interest an agent or publisher in your work. This isn’t very difficult, if your name happens to be Stephen King. You see, about a thousand new titles are released each day. Now, if you divide the number of agents and publishers by the number of authors attempting to garner their attention, the odds end up being a bazillion to one.

If you manage to catch someone’s eye and become published, you will once again spend enormous amounts of time and energy to market your book to the world. You will be vying for attention with well over a quarter of a million books released each year.

I’m glad I was able to share with you the delightful and positive aspects of becoming a published author. If there are any other ways I may lift your spirits or interject inspiration into your world of writing, please contact me through this site.

Good luck and happy writing.

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