Tag Archives: rewrites

Inline, Outline, Sideline, Offline, Online, Reline, Byline, Battle line, Underline, Over line, Thin line, Center line, Line, Line, Line. Just Write the Book.

should-you-outline-your-novelEveryone writes differently. Some outline each chapter so they’ll have a decisive path to follow. Others will have a loose outline from beginning to end in order to retain a little wiggle room for plot changes as they write. There is no right or wrong, it’s whichever method you choose that makes you comfortable. Me, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, letting the wind dictate my direction. I still retain the right to override any decision and maintain first rights to dismiss the wind and any other nondescript faction that would send said manuscript awry.

If you write like I do (staring at a blank page while an idea ferments and then presents itself), I have a question. Have you ever started a manuscript and within the first two chapters the ultimate ending pops into your head? The only problems are the particulars necessary to round out the climax to an unforgettable event. Hopefully, you can discern all the particulars by the time you hit the last chapter. If not, you’ll certainly have them by the time you finish your multiple edits and rewrites…just saying.

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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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I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block, I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block, I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block, I’ve Never Experienced Writer’s Block…

Imagine acquiring a literary agent. This agent quickly finds a publisher for your first book. You’re given deadlines to complete various parts of your manuscript. Things are going fine until your well-oiled machine slams into a concrete wall. Sound familiar?

Oh no! You’ve run into that immovablewriters_block_400 force known as writer’s block. This will send the average author screaming toward the hills.

Are you picking up what I am carefully placing down for you…?…Okay, good, let us continue.

What once was on schedule has now begun to slip behind. No big worries so far, but pandemonium may lie in the future if this problem is not corrected…sound familiar yet?

Guess what kids?  We’re now in the future which has been carefully renamed the present. Your publisher with much foreboding is insisting you complete the remaining pieces of your manuscript. You assure said publisher the remaining chapters are complete and will be sent next week after your final edits.

Your next move is to write the remaining few chapters.

Next week has come and gone and your publisher is threatening to cancel your contract. Your agent is also threatening cancellation and possible law suites to follow. Now, I ask again, does this sound familiar? If it does, you’re in a world of trouble and should have paid more attention to your deadlines.

As for me, I’ve been unable to coerce an agent so far. I have come close, but we know that close and three dollars will get you a cup of coffee. Until that day I’ll rely on small presses; they’re wonderful to work with.

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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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I Told You When You Wrote It You Would Have to Change It, but Do You Ever Listen to Me? Noooo. It’s a Good Thing You Have This new Fangled Writing Machine

1909_McCool_typewriter_no._2_25_ad_detailDo you appreciate the things you have that make life easier? We all get upset if we happen to suffer a flat tire, even though it’s really a small thing. Instead we should be thankful that we have a car to put it on.

How about that pesky paper cut on your thumb that’s beginning to become infected and keeping you from doing many simple tasks

Do you appreciate the things you have that make life easier? We all get upset if we happen to suffer a flat tire, even though it’s really a small thing. Instead we should be thankful that we have a car to put it on.

How about that pesky paper cut on your thumb, that’s beginning to become infected and keeping you from doing many simple tasks? We complain even though all we need to do is squeeze an antibacterial ointment from a tube and wrap it with a band aid. Not so many years ago this tiny wound could have been fatal.

The same goes for writing. We become infuriated as mistakes pile up during rewrites and edits, when all we have to do is delete and add in the correct text or punctuation.

A hundred years ago imagine working on an archaic typewriter and having to change just one word on a single page. Kinda makes ya want to throw a sideways head nod and thanks toward that computer we complain so much about.

Imagine having to write your manuscript by hand using an implement known as the pencil. It was a slightly different process when you begin to rewrite these oldies but goodies. The first erasers used were bread.

That kinda brings it home, don’t ya think? So the next time you (and I’m including myself) grumble about having to change a gummed up manuscript, think about having to erase those mistakes with your lunch.

 

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It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Manuscript Screams, “Its Over!”

'Can you redo this manuscript, John, and make it less stupid?'

‘Can you redo this manuscript, Lynn, and make it less stupid?’

If you read my blog last week and the week before, you’ll know I’ve been hashing out a novel back and forth with my editor trying to get it to the printer.

As I have mentioned, I thought we were done and the last copy I sent the publisher would be it. Now, one more thing I said, tongue in cheek, was having to read the manuscript another time.

Another thought that comes to mind (one also brought forth in my last blog) is I’ve read the book probably thirty times, including last week, the week before and probably the week before that.

Well, wonder of wonders, I received an email from my publisher saying the manuscript has been sent to the printer and now we have a proof.

Guess what? I get to read the proof (just another name for a finished manuscript), one more time.

Once I have completed this task (as long as nothing goes awry), we will actually go to print.

I cautiously say, “Hallelujah! I’m done and ready for the next!”

I hope I haven’t bored you to tears with this never-ending story but I felt it was something I needed to scrap off my chest…you know, cathartic.

Of course, this is determined by what the proof says.

Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Until next week, happy trails and whip them cantankerous manuscripts into shape.

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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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