While organizing in my office this weekend, I unearthed the manuscript I had been editing.  My first thought was to just put it in the bin with the others for that overall story.  I couldn’t quite bring myself to do that.  I picked it up to move it to the bin and couldn’t so set it back down – in the way of course.  After doing this a couple of times I realized – I need to put this back in my purse and take it with me. 

Editing is a part of writing.  A good editor is worth their weight in gold.  There is nothing more irritating when you are reading a book than to edit it as you go.  If the manuscript hasn’t been edited thoroughly almost anything can slip through from a grammatical issue to a typographical issue to even a story inconsistency. 

The biggest complaint about self-published books is that they are poorly edited.  Part of the problem is that writers often cannot afford a professional editor and/or think they are good enough to not need one.  The thing is no matter how good you are – you need an editor even if you are your own editor. 

It is better to have other eyes on the manuscript because after the third or fourth round of edits you stop seeing what is on the page and start seeing what you think is supposed to be there.  A good editor should catch those things.  A good editor will tell you where your story lags or is inconsistent or doesn’t make sense. 

Editing is a tough job because authors (this one included) don’t like to hear criticisms of their baby.  Believe me their manuscripts have the authors blood, sweat, and tears in them.  The hardest thing as an author is to take a step back and say – what doesn’t work, what does, and why are you keeping something someone else says should go. 

As an author and editor, it is usually pretty easy for me to say add or delete (though deleting is hard for me) even when it is my own work.  However, I have people who will kick me in the bum if I don’t follow my instinct. 

For my current manuscript, I wanted to try out a different beginning so I rewrote it based on people’s criticism.  I like the second opening to the story but it didn’t pop and sort of slowed the action.  When I presented it to two of my readers, one liked it and one didn’t.  The one who liked it said it read more like a movie script than a book.  As I’m writing a book, I am sticking with the original opening. 

Having reworked it doesn’t mean I’m tossing out the opening.  If I ever get to a point where the book is popular enough to be a tv series or movie, I would do the other opening I wrote – maybe.  I listened to my critics and considered an alternative but ultimately made my own decision about how to rework (or not) the section of writing. 

Editor fees can run anywhere from $25 – $100 per hour.  Some editors won’t even look at your work for under a certain dollar amount.  Most editors want payment up front.  This sounds very demanding but I can tell you from personal experience it is hard to do work and then have the author not pay you – especially when it gets into bigger figures.
An editor is an advisor who will offer suggestions on how to make a manuscript better.  The author has to decide if they trust the editor’s experience and advice as well as whether the changes suggested are good for the manuscript.  It is your choice as the author – make it a wise one.

Writing Progress

Finally time to work on my writing.  Yesterday I worked on prepping my manuscript for publishing.  I got part way through it.  I was easily distracted though.  I found out I got A’s in both my classes officially as my grades posted.  I also had to deal with some work issues and running errands with Vicki.

Today though I’m up when no one else is around and I’m hoping to get some good work done.  First I have to pay bills which won’t take long I hope.  Then I will turn back to prepping my manuscript. I have some questions about ISBN numbers and a few other things.  Once I get those answered I’m hoping the process won’t take too long and I’ll be having a book available on kindle shortly. 
Alternatively, if the process does get too complicated I will turn to a company that comes highly recommended and isn’t horribly expensive to help me out with it.  So I have alternatives to consider as I’m working through the process.
I’ve also gotten some submissions done so I’ll probably work on those as well today.  I still have a large stack of places I can submit to.  One submission package went out in the mail yesterday but mostly I do them online.  They just take time to find the right pieces for the publications and getting it prepped the way the publication wants them.

Before my to-do list gets any longer I’m going to move on to one of the items on it and get busy.


For a long while I’ve been working on editing a manuscript.  I’ve spent a lot of time just rereading and tightening up the story.  Tonight (or should I say this morning really) I spent an hour putting those edits into the file.  I got four chapters done. 

It felt like no time passed at all.  How can something so simple be so enjoyable?  I know this makes me a geek.  I’m embracing my geek.

When I finished off the editing part, I said now I just have to put it in the electronic version and make a chapter summary.  Well I’m doing both at once.  I have my spreadsheet open to summarize the chapters, including keeping a word count. 

The romance genre publishers look for manuscripts about 50,000 – 75,000 words long.  Mine manuscript was at 100,000 plus.  I’ve got it below 94,000.  I have a long way to go.  However, I decided I wasn’t going to dump large chunks before I did the chapter summary. 

I’ve only worked through 4 chapters but there may be a whole chapter I can get rid of.  This will be about 650 words.  If I’m looking for big chunks than this might be one place to do it.  I’m hoping this weekend I can get a lot of this editing and summarizing done. 

The next step – at least in my mind – is to save the longer version.  With a copy of it take and hack the heck out of it.  When I’m done, see how the story tells itself.  If it still makes sense then get rid of it and hope I’m more in the range for the genre.  I’ll have to see how it goes….

Writing Momentum

I’ve been working on a manuscript since Thanksgiving weekend.  I’ve got 500 pages double spaced done.  I’m not done with the story though.  I’ve not written since January and have been frustrated with my progress (or lack of really).
I have friends who read for me.  You all know who you are so first THANK YOU!!  They often yank me back on track, encourage me, and offer an honest critique. One of the friends I sent this manuscript to has been sending me her thoughts on it as she progresses through the manuscript.  This has been great on this project for me. 
Since I’ve not written much in the past two months, it has made me go back to reread what I’ve got done.  I started reading again and low and behold – I didn’t want to stop.  I just wanted to read through this book.  It grabbed me and enthralled me.  Now I know that may sound conceited and that isn’t how I mean it.
The story captures so many of the things I’ve been coping with lately.  Some of it really resonates with me right now with the political issues we are dealing with. 
Aside from that though, these characters are familiar to me.  They seem almost more familiar than some of my family members.  It is like sitting down with old friends to say “Hey what’s going on in your life.”   Then I read some more and wow I know. 
I’m hoping to get back to writing soon.  I can see the next chapter in my head.  I know where I’ll be going and what I’ll be having these characters doing.  (No spoilers though so keep reading.)  I just need the time to sit down to the computer and work.
Interestingly enough, at my work they are doing some repairs which will involve lack of access to the elevator and asbestos removal on another floor.  Since I have asthma I don’t want to be in the building for the removal – yes I know they seal up the space but I still don’t want to be around.  So I will be having some unexpected free time at home. 
Now I just have to pray to the Goddess of Inspiration and hope she blesses me….