Category Archives: March 2011

And The Red Continues….

I’d like to give an update on the editing and revising that I’ve been tackling over the last couple of weeks. The process has been eye-opening to say the least. For some reason, I didn’t think that I would want or need to revise to the extent that I have. I knew there would be things I would need to fix in terms of punctuation, misspelled words, phrasing, etc… But I have taken paragraphs out and added new ones, or left them out completely. I’ve changed names, attributes, and actions of characters. None of the revisions have compromised the story line; I’ve made sure of that. It’s a matter of improving the end result, not changing it completely.

There’s a lot more to this part of the journey that I won’t bore you with, but I will tell you that editing is a brutal process. As I read the manuscript, I feel like I question everything I’ve written. “Should I keep the sentence? Should I keep or change that paragraph? Is the story flowing nicely? Is the chapter transitions too choppy?” It’s like grading your own paper, and hoping when you’re done, you can give yourself an “A”.

I’ve realized that I can’t honestly say when I’ll cap the red pen and move on to the step. The last time I posted, I thought I could.  However, I think I owe it to myself and the future readers, to spend the appropriate amount of time making sure the finished product is where I want it to be.  I’ve put almost 3 years into writing the book, so I think it’s respectable to spend more than three weeks editing and revising it.

I will leave quick updates on Facebook and Twitter, and hopefully it won’t be too much longer when I can blog about moving on to the next part of this wonderful, winding, writing  journey!

Until next time….

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Marks of Red to Make it Right

Red Marks. Highlights. Neon flagged pages.  Add-ins and take-aways. These are the things that my writing world has been full of lately. I am reading my book from beginning to end with my red, V5 pen in hand. There’s one thing that stands out to me more than anything else while I’m going through this part of the process; I can see how my writing has changed since I first started. As I worked through the first ten chapters, there was red all over the pages and I saw where my writing was a little immature and not well-developed. Then as I moved forward, the red wasn’t as prevalent and I saw where my style had hit a good stride. I can see where I’m  more comfortable and my writing style has come into its own.  I have a lot more to go, and I know there will be many more changes, but seeing the growth in my writing is the most exciting part!

Editing is more that red marks and highlights. It’s about growing and learning as a writer.  My goal is to go through this with as much precision as possible, yet open-mindedness, to allow for the growth and change that I need to become the best author I can be.  People want me to finish, and so do I, but I want to do it right. This is a first for me, and I want to take it all in and do each step to the fullest.

I hope to finish the editing process by the end of next week. I will be updating Twitter and Facebook on the process, but this will be the last blog until then. I have to stay focused.  I’m sure I’ll be firing up the blog more often once I begin the unknown world of self-publishing!

Thanks to all of you for reading and staying interested as I venture through the tedious process of editing!! It means a lot and I promise to keep you posted!

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.”  ~  Arthur Plotnik

Until next time….

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Started in Scotland, Ended in Rome

Back in 2008 I remember my husband and I sitting at a table in a very, very small restaurant in Scotland with three other couples. It probably had no more than ten tables and you could see the very intimate kitchen that would prepare each dish. It was dark and romantic and the food was fabulous, but the table conversation was even better. One of men that was joining us always starts great conversations by asking a thought provoking or challenging question. That night he asked, “What’s the one personal thing you would like to accomplish this year?”  He’s very good at making sure each person gives an answer just as thoughtful as he had asked the question. When it came my turn, I had my answer ready to go, “I want to start writing my book”.

From that trip on, I did just that. I had no clue what I was doing. I just picked up the pen and began writing. I thought the first sentence would be hard, but it came to me easily. The middle parts came harder. Keeping the story going, keeping it interesting, making sure the characters stay alive, those were things that would make me feel like I was going crazy. My real life would be going on, and yet inside my head I was writing my book.  There would be months that would go by and I felt like I couldn’t keep it going, but I would stay persistent and eventually it would come together. Sometimes stepping back and letting the characters come to me was the best way to get the story told, versus forces them somewhere they didn’t want to go. Getting past a writer’s block from hell, was and still is, the best feeling.

While in Rome I knew I wanted to race to the finish line, but when I saw the end of the book coming, the anxiety was overwhelming. How in the world do you write the last sentence of a book? How do you make sure the reader is satisfied? All I could do was listen to Amelia and let her tell the ending.  It was amazing once I sat down, cleared my head, and went for it, the ending flew through my fingertips. On our last day in Rome, I was sitting in the lobby of the St. Regis, head phone on, and I was on a mission.  When I  hit the last “.”, I felt emotional. I felt elated. I felt like standing up and screaming, “I’m finished!!! I did it!!!”, but I doubt the people enjoying their quiet cup of coffee and tea would have appreciated that too much. Instead, I picked up my phone and called my husband who was in the room getting ready for last, fun-filled day, and I said “It’s done”. That was the best, amazing, and gratifying feeling. I will never forget that moment, and I look forward to the day I can go back to that hotel and point to the small table in the lobby and say, “That’s where I finished writing my first book”.

So this part of my journey started in Scotland and ended in Rome. Now, another journey begins. I have to edit and begin the process of self-publishing. I have no clue what to expect, but I look forward to learning. I know that it’s inevitable that I will take a wrong turn or two, but this long and writing road is all about growing as a writer, and becoming better all along the way. Let the next trip begin. I’m ready.

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” ~ Winston Churchill

Until next time…

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The Countdown Begins!

I wanted to leave a very quick post to say that I will be leaving for Italy today. It’s time for beautiful scenery, wonderful food, Italian wines, and lots of laughter. I love the memories that traveling creates and I know this trip will have many special moments that will stay with me forever.  I hope that one of those is the moment of finishing my book. I will be working hard and writing as much as possible, and at the same time,  soaking in the Italian scenery and the vibrant life of Florence and Rome (a side trip to Tuscany is in there too).  A writer’s inspiration at it’s best!

I am so ready to begin the next phase of the this writing journey. So let the countdown begin!!

Arrivederci!!

Fino alla prossima volta…..

 

 

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