It takes time

I got the next set of edits back from my editor. Most of the work was simple mistakes I made so it was easy just to make the changes she suggested. However, there were two sections that needed significant rewrites. One is part of an emotional scene. I have spent the last three weeks correcting and recreating this scene. Today I’m celebrating because I finally got it. It sounds right now.

Now on to the next scene. Hopefully it won’t be as difficult to fix.

F is for Focus

Deadlines, Energy and Focus are all connected for me. When I come up against a deadline it increases my energy and focus to finish and made that deadline. Focus has been difficult for me lately because of life is getting in the way of what I have been trying to get done.

The pressure of a deadline gives me energy and that increases my focus. The deadline for the edits on my manuscript is coming up fast. And I am excited to see my focus is improving so I can get more editing completed. It is important do to what is necessary to find the focus necessary to do a good job on anything.

E is for Energy

I’m often asked when I am writing and editing whether or not deadlines help me. And the answer for me is yes, they do. In my blog on Saturday, I talked about Dawdling and Deadlines. I have a tendency to dawdle when I don’t have a deadline.

Deadlines give me energy and help my focus. That energy gives me the drive to get my work done, regardless what part of my life I am talking about. My problem is there is a thin line between counting on the energy and deadline to get a job done and the time things actually take to get done.

D is for Dawdle and Deadline

I know people who have deadlines they have completed that are days and weeks away. Some days I wish I was one of them, but I’m not. I don’t feel like I dawdle because I am constantly working on things. But it seems like I am always having to push at the last minute to get the project completed.

Right now, I am working on the edits for my manuscript and despite working on it every day, I still feel like I am running behind. I am determined to get this edit done on time. Therefore, no more dawdling by writing blogs. Time to work on edits so I will meet my deadline.

C is for Change

When I tell people about the book I am writing, they frequently ask how long I have been working on it. I hate to say it, but the answer is around fifteen years. That seems like a very long time.

Now, that seems like a really long time, but the truth is that is not the only thing I was doing during that time. Ignoring all the time I spent on life—family, day-job, health, housekeeping, etc.—I also wrote six other novels which are in various stages of editing so I can submit them. But what I want to talk about here is the work on this specific book.

B is for Bubbles

Editing my manuscript can get discouraging. My wonderful editor found a lot of things I need to review and consider. Note, I don’t have to change everything, but I do have to consider quite a lot. Just glancing at the manuscript is enough to make me run and hide.

However, I have found a way to keep working. My editor color-coded all the things I need to consider making some pages quite colorful.

Now I am a person who loves to watch bubbles floating through the air. When I look at a page with a lot of color, I am mentally turning them into bubbles and watch them float over the page.

A is for annoyance

I decided on this year’s A to Z Challenge, I would write about my writing journey getting my manuscript ready to be published. I have passed the hurdles of writing and having my book accepted for publication by the Prism Book Group. I am now in the process of editing the book.

One would think I am annoyed by all the things the editor told me to change. But I am not. I am annoyed because I keep running into things I did wrong. And I know I did them wrong. It is a perfect example of the fact it is almost impossible for an author to edit her own work.

Editing for an Editor

I’m still thinking about what I learned from Erin Healey at the Peak Writing Conference. My editor’s mind is still struggling she said with which I had a mixed reaction. She said authors should not be too concerned with copy editing (punctuation, grammar, etc.) and to be more focused on things like characterization, plot, sequence – basically structure issues. She very briefly mentioned making sure the copy issues were addressed but didn’t elaborate.

I agree structure issues are the most important. Copy problems are easy fixes for the editor.

Dash or Ellipsis

Since Monday is my day to blog as an editor, I decided to talk about something I’ve seen a lot of lately and which is frustrating me. When is it proper to use a dash or an ellipsis? What is the difference?

To make the answer more frustrating for me, I was recently at a presentation by a well-known, multi-published author who gave a partially wrong answer to this question. So here is what I know. Feel free to argue with me if you disagree.

A dash indicates a sudden or harsh interruption, especially in dialogue. An ellipsis indicates words left out of a quotation or a soft pause.

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