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.

A Slaughter Chronicles Update

NEWS

Hi there, readers!

I’m doing a few formatting/administrative updates to my Slaughter Chronicles content. If you’ve already downloaded your free copies of either Demon Moon or Dead Girl Moon I want to assure you that there have been no changes to the content (except for, you know, that comma that I kept missing through 12 rounds of editing or that word that was meant to be “cheese” but somehow autocorrect through it should be “wheel barrow.” I fixed that word. Thank you, autocorrect).

Demon Moon has a new cover for font consistency.

The Sneak Peek of Havoc’s Moon that was at the end of Demon Moon has been removed because while I was finishing up Moon Shine a secondary character decided he was going to be more of a main character than I originally thought and now he’s making me change the entire story (exaggeration) so he can get all snuggly and cozy. Typical.

(Note: I guess that is a content change but not really because the story of Demon Moon is still the same and not dependent on the Sneak Peek.)

I have fixed some formatting errors (ePub/mobi page layout stuff) for Dead Girl Moon and a new version of that will go live on MAY 20 with…

PUBLICATION OF MOON SHINE!!!

Save the date! Moon Shine, the next installment of Regina’s story and The Slaughter Chronicles will go live May 20, 2019.

You will be able to download your free copies from:

iTunes/iBooks

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

Google Play

Smashwords

And all other free Draft2Digital distribution platforms

And, of course, Prolific Works, where you will be able to download a mobi file for your Kindle.

Lastly I just want to say THANK YOU for reading my work. Writing isn’t just a “job” or a “hobby,” it’s a true labor of love for me. Writing and self-publishing my stories has greatly improved my quality of life and I hope that you all get as much enjoyment reading them as I do writing them (even if they’re bloody and scary). 🙂

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!

The Slaughter Chronicles is LIVE

NEWS

I am super excited to announce that I have published the first book in my paranormal horror series 🙂

Meet Regina Slaughter. She’s 11 years old and she’s a werewolf. She’s also a prisoner, the property of an organization of supernatural monster hunters called HADES.

Dead Girl Moon is the story of how she breaks free of captivity.

In a world full of unseen demons, a werewolf is just another monster.

When Regina’s father accidentally bites and contaminates his daughter, he starts her down a path very different from the life her mother planned for her.

Life in prison is hard but what do you do when you’re an 11-year-old wolf girl?

Regina Slaughter was, according to police reports, the victim of a brutal murder. In reality she was the property of HADES, a mercurial mercenary company dedicated to wiping out the supernatural menace.

Good always triumphs over evil, right?

Not when evil locks you in a cage and does everything it can to destroy you. When Regina’s best friend Tiffany goes missing, she will do everything she can to find her.

Dead Girl Moon is currently up for free download on Kobo, Prolific Works, Smashwords, and Google Play. It will be up soon on iBooks and Nook, I’m just waiting for all of the download deliveries and processing goblins/gremlins/internet fiends to do all the processing.

Click here to get your free copy 🙂

This is technically Book Zero of the Slaughter Chronicles, as the events within take place when Regina is just a child. The real start of Regina’s story, Book One, will be published in October 2019.

Looking for more awesomeness?

Check out my friend Kathy’s short story and novel teaser here 🙂

Buy Whiskey-Niner-Kilo at Amazon

Buy Whiskey-Niner-Kilo at Barnes&Noble

And check out her blog here 🙂

NaNoWriMo (2018): Book Synopsis(es)

NaNoWriMo

Instead of working on 1 project I’m going to work on 3. Because 2 of them are small and near completion and the other NEEDS TO BE WORKED ON. So I’m trying to kill 3 birds with 1 stone this year.

Ramshackle Houses and Southern Parables Found Poem

NEWS, Poetry

My awesome friend Kathy released not one but TWO poetry collections recently, and a piece of speculative fiction with an excerpt from her forthcoming novella, The Reaping. Grab your copy here!

I wrote a found poem using the end words of Kathy’s poem “Marriage” from Ramshackle Houses & Southern Parables.

Why I can’t write Part 2

Writing Life

So I just had an epiphany.

I was writing an email to a friend, I like to let her know what I’m working on even though sometimes I feel quite intrusive because she’s made of awesome and does all the awesome things (more on confidence and conversations with other creatives later). I wrote sometimes I get discouraged or find things hard because a project feels too big for me to handle. And then I thought about that.

Havoc’s Moon, my work in progress, feels too big for me to handle.

In a way, that’s kinda cool. I feel like I just got a positive diagnosis or something because I’ve identified something I can work with.

I’m not going to shorten my book. One of the things that made writing Past Life, my sci-fi novella, fun was its smallness. So I just need to figure out how to translate that into a longer thing.

I’ve got way more characters in The Slaughter Chronicles and many plot lines. Whenever I think about my story I feel like I’m looking at a huge world map, my scope is so wide I can’t see any of the topography clearly.

So now I’m going to work on zooming in.