My Editing Process

Writing Life

As I’m winding down the final edits for Moon Shine (goes live in 12 days) I thought I’d compile a list of steps my draft goes through when it becomes “done.”

1. Draft/Edit: it can feel frustrating at times but really it’s the most fun part of the process.

2. Finish Draft: then put it down for a week to let it simmer.

3. Proof-read + make notes of repetitive words.

4. Make corrections

5. Copy edit #1

6. Proof-read again + fix dialogue

7. Read draft aloud + Copy edit #2

8. Proof-read #3 + find continuity issues

9. Add to fill plot holes

10. Read aloud again

11. Take list from step 3 and use thesaurus. Use the fuck out of thesaurus.

12. Proof-read #4 fixing problems from notes taken during steps 1-11

13. Read aloud #3 + Copy edit #3

14. Give manuscript to final beta reader (Mr. J)

15. Re-read manuscript specifically focusing on using correct names/descriptions/actions/mechanics of firearms (if applicable).

16. Final read aloud

17. DONE

Note: Reading your draft aloud is the best thing you can do for editing, in my opinion. I catch so many grammatical errors and passive voice issues when I read my work aloud.

Note 2: Throughout the editing process I look for A) filter words, B) repetition, and C) passive voice

Note 3: Throughout the editing process I make notes every time I re-read the manuscript. I write down questions I have about setting changes and character development. I also write down/highlight all plot holes and anything I think is boring.

Note 4: I do not spend money on a freelance editor and copy editor. I have an MFA in Creative Writing. I do all my edits myself because I know how (feel free to argue with me in the comments if you’ve read my work) but I do use beta readers to gauge plot pacing, character development, and identify possible sensitivity issues.

Note 5: As important as it is to work consistently on your manuscript (especially if you have a deadline) it is equally important to give your book some down time. I try to take days off whenever I feel myself getting frustrated with a scene or when I feel myself over-editing. Remember, writing is supposed to be fun. You’re doing something you love, don’t burn yourself out. Also, taking breaks lets new ideas emerge and distance allows you a fresh perspective.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2019

NaNoWriMo

It’s the second week of camp and I’ve had a pretty rocky start…but I’ve also finished the final draft of Moon Shine, the next Slaughter Chronicles Novella!

If only that was the project I wanted to work on *sigh* but I am by no means ungrateful.

Moon Shine was a spontaneous side project that came out of the 3rd draft of Havoc’s Moon (book one of the SC). I was brainstorming with Mr. J and needed to come up with more backstory for Regina’s pack, the Gluttons, and I was writing loads and loads of “info dumps” that were slowing down the story.

So I decided to do what I did with Dead Girl Moon. Dead Girl Moon was originally the prologue for Havoc’s Moon but Regina’s backstory was too intense for me to cut down into a short introduction. Since Moon Shine was turning into its own entity, I decided to give it room to grow and make it into a novella.

Moon Shine was originally supposed to be only 20,000 words maximum and all of those words were supposed to focus on the daily lives of all of the human monster hunters who turned werewolf in the line of duty. The story, before the final edits, is now sitting at 36,000 words. (If only those words went to Here and Away! *cries*)

But now that the final draft of Moon Shine is finished I can devote more attention to finalizing the final draft of Here and Away.

My goal for camp was to write 70,000 words. That’s a lot, and I won’t lie, 34,000-ish of those words are already written. I want to use my word count to add to the existing manuscript and build it until the end.

I don’t like to edit and write at the same time, I don’t write as much when I do but that’s what I’m doing with Here and Away because, when I finished the last round of drafting I realized I needed to make drastic changes to the beginning of the book. It is still eluding me but I am confident I will be on the right track by the end of the month.

So really, I won’t be editing so much as I will be hacking at the existing chapters with a pair of hedge trimmers until everything flows together in one cohesive dreamscape.

Yeah, good luck to that.

I’ve taken to writing both at home and at the library. Since I’m currently not working, I’m taking a page out of Ray Bradbury’s book and treating writing like my day job. I get up, shower, brush my teeth, tame my hair into something that looks semi-respectable, and go out into the world like all the other humans in my neighborhood. I spend 4 or 5 hours at the library and then I go home and work on my mom’s house and clean anything that needs cleaning. I run errands for my mom and take care of general maintenance things while she grades or preps her classes (mom teaches college level political science). And then after dinner I write a little bit more. It’s a pretty good life.

So that’s how my camp experience is going so far. I’d love to hear how things are going with you. What’s working? What’s killing you?

If things are tough, know that I’m rooting for you and you are not alone!

Keep writing!

Meet Vermin!

NEWS

I’m super excited to announce my collaboration with Little Fears went live today 🙂

Conquest is the story of a tiny monster with big dreams.

It was so much fun watching the art and my story come to life, I am beyond grateful for the opportunity 🙂

For more Little Fears spooky goodness click HERE 🙂

Birthday Present!

Fiction, NEWS

Ok so today is my birthday, I am 33 years old.

So I’d like to give everybody a gift 🙂

Follow this link and you will be taken to my Prolific Works Special Birthday Giveaway and get your copy of…

A new sci-fi/horror short story!

The tunnels are deep and full of poisonous fog.

There is no exit, at least not for the very first or the very next.

Would you survive the end of the world? For Pyre and her friends that is a very serious question; she may not want to know the answer.

For fans of Garth Nix’s Shade’s Children and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.

Disclaimer: This story contains descriptions of gore and the death of a child. Reader discretion is advised.

With this giveaway you can choose either a mobi (for Kindle), ePub (iBooks, Kobo, nook, etc), or a PDF file. If you don’t have a Prolific Works account, all you have to do is enter your name and your email. Check out my disclaimer page for a link to their privacy policy. If you don’t want to make a Prolific Works account send me a message HERE and I’ll email it to you.

And, as always, IT’S FREE 🙂

Happy reading and thank you for celebrating my birthday with me 🙂

Demon Moon is LIVE!

Fiction, NEWS

The year is 2003 and Caleb Grimmet, high school senior and football superstar, is going to make all his dreams come true. Or so he thinks. All he has to do is catch and  tame a demon.

When Caleb and his friends gather together to open up the abyss, they learn a painful lesson: dreams don’t always manifest the way you want them to. 

And the abyss, once looked into, does more than look back out at you.

Disclaimer: This story contains mature language, mild sexual situations and detailed descriptions of violence and gore. Reader discretion is advised.

Coming Soon! A Slaughter Chronicles Short Story AND Another Slaughter Chronicles Novella!

NEWS

The Slaughter Chronicles is my horror/supernatural series involving various members of the Slaughter family and how I make their lives miserable.

Regina Slaughter is the protagonist and first person narrator of most of the books, however, some of my other characters, her friends, are too loud to ignore so they get their own stories.

To give you all a preview of the yumminess to come in the upcoming months, I am releasing the first Slaughter Chronicles short story on my and Mr. J’s 4th anniversary, February 13.

(OMG I can’t believe we’ve been married for 4 years now SQUEEE)

I wanted to give it to y’all on my birthday (later in Feb.) because I love giving presents as much as I love getting them but I decided I didn’t want to wait that long.

Free, of course, this story is my gift to you 🙂

It is set a few years before the start of Havoc’s Moon (book one, forthcoming October 2019) and you do not need to know anything about this universe to enjoy it.

This tiny publication will also include a sneak peek of Havoc’s Moon, the next book in the series.

So, without further ado, I present to you..

DEMON MOON!!!

A SLAUGHTER CHRONICLES SHORT STORY

The year is 2003 and Caleb Grimmet, high school senior and football superstar, is going to make all his dreams come true. Or so he thinks. All he has to do is catch and tame a demon.

When Caleb and his friends gather together to open up the abyss, they learn a painful lesson: dreams don’t always manifest the way you want them to.

And the abyss, once looked into, does more than look back out at you.

Isn’t the jellyfish demon adorable? Mr. J. made it. I just want to squeeze all the stuffing out 🙂 It’s SO CUTE!!!

Dead Girl Moon, Regina Slaughter’s backstory and A Slaughter Chronicles Novella, is available for free download in these various places.

Now, because I am an extreme masochist and whenever the muse strikes me I must respond, you will be getting not one but two cover reveals today.

I have the extreme pleasure of also presenting you with…

MOON SHINE!!!

ANOTHER SLAUGHTER CHRONICLES NOVELLA

What happens when the hunters become the hunted?

They make MOONSHINE!

Welcome to Silver Wolf Stills.

A fine distillery home to the best gin, whiskey, and white lightning this side of Cox Springs. Also home to the Gluttons, a werewolf pack made up of former vampire and werewolf hunters. All formerly employed by HADES, a supernatural extermination agency.

If you’re human, you’re welcome to stop by (if you can find us way out in the woods), enjoy a rustic tasting, and even take a few bottles home with you.

If you’re not human, the bar is open 24/7 and you are always welcome to unburden your soul—for a price. Just because the Gluttons aren’t hunters anymore doesn’t mean they’ve hung up their guns and melted down their silver bullets.

But sometimes danger doesn’t come from the outside.

One day the Glutton’s Alpha, Atlas, brings home an eleven-year-old refugee from a HADES supernatural prison camp and throws the whole pack into turmoil.

Between those who see the little girl as an innocent victim and the ones who see her as a major security risk, Atlas and his Beta, Tom, must decide whether or not to give her a home or, quite literally throw her to the wolves.

And if they decide to keep her, can they deal with the consequences?

*

This novella came into existence when Mr. J and I were talking about the Gluttons’ backstory and there was this one character who appears in “flashbacks” in Havoc’s Moon who just wouldn’t shut up in my head. So I had to give him his own story. Silver Wolf Stills is just one of the Gluttons’ many backstories and no doubt there will be many more to come.

Moon Shine will be published some time in the summer, stay tuned for that and a few other publications this year.

Thank you so much for reading! Have an awesome day!