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.

April Stats

Lists

Days I didn’t write:

3

How many words?

48,035

Projects I worked on:

Moon Shine

Here and Away

Morning and Evening

Havoc’s Moon

What I actually wanted to work on:

Here and Away

Goals for next month:

Publish Moon Shine

Work on Havoc’s Moon

Submissions sent out:

1

Submissions accepted:

1

Submissions rejected:

N/A

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). 🙂

Series Update: The Heart of the Forest Cycle

Writing Life

Series…Serieses? Is that a word? My spell check says no and suggests Series’. But it’s not the series(es) possession. It’s plural. You get the idea.

Anyway. I am currently writing two story arcs: The Slaughter Chronicles and The Heart of the Forest Cycle. The Slaughter Chronicles is about my main character Regina Slaughter and all her adventures and mistakes. The Heart of the Forest Cycle is about several different faeries, or fair folk, or fey, depending on how you see them.

The Slaughter Chronicles are mainly written in first person limited point of view. I am writing a few novellas that focus on the supporting characters and those are written in third person slightly limited, slightly omniscient depending on how I feel.

The books in The Heart of the Forest Cycle are third person limited and the perspective flows across multiple characters (if you hate character jumping I sincerely apologize).

What I enjoy immensely about writing two different stories at once is that if I get burned out on one I can switch to the other. In a perfect world that kind of transition is seamless and productive. In reality, it’s more often jarring and annoying, mainly because I want to keep to my self-imposed deadlines and when the story doesn’t flow I can’t meet my deadline.

So, my plan was to finish the final draft of the first book in The Heart of the Forest Cycle this month, during Camp Nanowrimo, and work on editing the manuscript over the summer and self-publish it in August.

The story isn’t’ ready.

I have to re-work the magic system. I have to re-write all the things! (Well, not really all the things but it sure feels like it!)

And all while those thoughts are going on Regina is clawing at the back of my brain and screaming, “Tell my story, bitch!”

So after about a week of thinking about how to solve all my problems and two days of not writing (sometimes you just need a break) I have decided that I’m going to put The Heart of the Forest Cycle on the back burner AGAIN and write Regina because her plot holes are WAY easier to fill and smooth over than all my fey drama.

(They wouldn’t be real fey if there wasn’t any drama.)

The thing that I’ve learned/realized that I need to do in order to be a successful writer is to write whatever wants to come out of my brain regardless of what project it fits into. If I had listened to my brain and wrote that one scene when I first thought about it I would probably not have as hard a time solidifying my characters for The Heart of the Forest Cycle but I said, “No! I need to think about this other thing now.” And then the problem got bigger and bigger even though the other thing got done.

My hope still is to publish the first book of The Heart of the Forest Cycle this year but if I don’t, I’m not going to cry over it. I’d rather have a good story than a rushed story. I still love both my stories and all my characters even when they argue with me. Eventually both will be out in the world in full force but Here and Away probably won’t be ready until 2020.

Who else is working on more than one project? More than one project with different genres?

I’d love to hear how y’all do it 🙂

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!

New Download Links Coming Soon

NEWS

Not really a big deal news wise but just letting you know that I have new download links for you guys coming soon.

I previously used Draft2Digital to distribute my books to iTunes and Barnes and Noble along with Kobo and all the others because it was easy and convenient.

And also because I had to use an actual Mac to upload books to iBooks because there was no iPad/iPhone app that did the same things as iTunes Producer.

BUT NOW Pages will upload your ebooks to iBooks for you! I AM WAY TOO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.

So I’m doing it myself so that I can list my self as the publisher/distributor/mastermind.

And I decided to distribute through Barnes and Noble myself so that I can take advantage of more marketing stuff some day and get more books out to more readers 🙂

So stay tuned for new download links.

March Stats

Lists, Writing Life

Days I didn’t write

6

How many words

35,274

Projects I worked on

Morning and Evening

Roadkill: a Slaughter Chronicles short story

Changeling: a Heart of the Forest short story

The Firebird’s Daughter: a Heart of the Forest short story

Moon Shine

What I actually wanted to work on

Just Moon Shine

Goals for next month

Finish final draft and edit Moon Shine

Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo and finish the final draft of Here and Away

Submissions sent out

2

Submissions accepted/rejected

1 accepted 🙂

Notes

So the daily micro poem thing was severely impacted by traveling in March. I’m hoping to continue it but as the launch date for Moon Shine draws near and more traveling/moving on the horizon for May and June (nothing exciting, I promise, just time consuming) I’m going to be a lot less strict about missing days than I would like to be but right now the fiction has to come first. Writing good micro poems is harder than it looks and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve now been writing fiction non stop for over a year now or something else but poetry isn’t coming as easily to me as it was back in 2014. Go figure. But those will keep happening one way or another, they’re good mental exercises.