I hope everyone had a wonderful and warm holiday season, and you have thawed out.
As you can see, we’ve had our share of cold already. So we are welcoming a little warming spell right now. But we’re not easily fooled down here. We know winter will return, but maybe not as harsh as a week or so ago.
Did anyone make resolutions this New Year? Not me. Since last year’s didn’t make it to fruition, I’ll just hit the REPEAT button. I’m good at that.
2017 wasn’t a terrible year. It wasn’t an outstanding year either. I’d say just an OK year, progress wise. Regarding my second novel, Relative Consequences, I’m repeating the editing process.
I would honestly love to say that I’m done with this novel, but every time I think I’m close, something happens . . . life happens . . . to stall my progress. Here it is 2018, and I am still editing.
Believe me, I know that life is short, and that time is literally running out on the amount of writing I will be able to accomplish. I have so many ideas, so many stories swirling around in my little brain. But reality says, “Whoa, Nellie!” Husband, children, grandchildren, bronchitis, holidays, the dog, the cat, etc. I blame my unfinished manuscript or rather my UNPOLISHED manuscript on all of the above. Especially, the dog. There, I’ve said it.
That actually feels pretty good to blame someone or something other than myself. (I’m smirking while I type this.)
So, here I go again. REPEAT button pushed. I’ve given myself a deadline March 1, 2018.
There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of books, websites, and blogs giving help to writers on how to do it correctly, how to avoid mistakes, how to create better characters, better dialogue, more conflict, etc. If I read them all I’d be too busy to write. So I do it backwards. I write the book, have someone else read it, edit it, and then I read someone’s (a smarter person than me) book. REPEAT.
Went to a conference over the summer, where an agent critiqued the first 20 pages of my novel. Now this is a good thing to do. Writers receive unbiased opinions, which are either accepted or rebuffed. I have a very hard time rebuffing.
This agent, who shall forever be nameless, took her red pencil and circled every personal pronoun that I used. My first page looked like it had a skin rash.
The funny thing was a nameless editor once told me not to use character names repeatedly in a paragraph unless there was character confusion for the reader. Now you see my dilemma. I believe everyone.
REPEAT. Now, I’m almost through. One hundred pages to go. I take out a pronoun here and there, add or delete a character name. I’m using the “how does it sound to me right now” method of editing, and I think it’s going to work. I’ll let you know. I will print out the entire book and read it aloud – ONE MORE TIME, fix any mistakes. It will be March 1 by then.
Wish me luck!
Happy New Year!