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). 🙂

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.

February Stats

Lists

Days I didn’t write:

8

How many words?

34,368

Project I worked on:

Here and Away

Lupercalia audiobook

The Promise

Resonance

What I actually wanted to work on:

Here and Away (mission accomplished, sort of)

Moon Shine

Goals for next month:

finish Draft 1 of Moon Shine

more Here and Away

more Resonance

more Havoc’s Moon

*

So I wrote 4,000ish more words than last month even though I wrote for less days. One of my goals was to write every day this month but I had a lot of home repair projects that were more time consuming than I originally thought and Mr. J came to visit me and while I thought I could write and spend time with my significant other, I put writing on the back burner to spend more time with him.

For March I plan to write every day.

Writing Advice #10

Writing Advice

LOVE ALL YOUR CHARACTERS

Much of my writing advice comes from years and years of poetry. My thoughts on imagery and diction are fueled by my medium. It is this lyrical perspective that gives my prose writing its unique voice. That and my brain is just weird.

But sometimes you have to learn and discover as you go along, otherwise what’s the point of doing anything. And, as a new writer to the world of genre fiction–specifically horror and the multi-omni-many-things-at-once-paranormal genres–there are things that I don’t actually see or realize until I mess them up and then I have the, “Oh, that’s where that went wrong,” moment.

One thing I learned while writing fiction is you have to love your characters. Not just like them and not just the main characters or even the side characters. You have to love all of them. Because if you don’t they won’t sound or look genuine on the page. They’ll look like cardboard stand-ins for real people and, most importantly, they won’t talk to you and tell you what they are doing in your story.

I learned the hard way that characters, much like poems, have minds of their own. Even though I made up those minds I have no control over what they do. That’s part of my creative process. In one of my works in progress, my protagonist’s love interest has changed 3 times. The first one didn’t really want to be with her. And then she didn’t want to be with the second one. And then the third didn’t want to be with her either. Meanwhile, her real love interest was sitting backstage (yeah, my mind is called backstage) with a cup of coffee and a newspaper saying, “I’ll be right here whenever you’re ready, and if you’ve gone to all the trouble of giving me a newspaper there’d better be comics.”

And just so you know, my protagonist’s lover loves Garfield. Garfield translates across time and space. So does Hagar the Horrible. He likes that one too.

But back to what I was saying; those characters didn’t work out because not only had I not properly fleshed them out, I didn’t listen to what they wanted. I tried to force round pegs into square holes.

And I surrounded them with minor characters that existed just to be in this or that part of the chapter. They didn’t work either. And whole chapters of this book have fallen to pieces because I didn’t care enough about the characters to get them where they needed to be.

So, to sum up:

If you don’t love them, chuck them.

You can always make more. Just make sure you love and listen to them.

Love them even if you’re going to kill them. Love them even if you’re going to break their hearts and destroy everything they love. Love them even if they’re the biggest piece of shit-horrible villain you’ve ever seen. Because they are yours. And they matter. Even if they show up in only one sentence, they matter.

Share any funny or frustrating character shenanigans with me in the comments 🙂

List #3

Lists

Wounds:

Abrasion

Breach

Break

Bruise

Chunk

Cleave/Cleft

Contusion

Coach

Crater

Cut

Damage

Fissure

Fracture

Furrow

Gash

Gorge

Graze

Grief

Hole

Incision

Laceration

Lesion

Mutilation

Nip

Notch

Pain

Rent

Score

Scrape

Scratch

Slash

Slit

Split

Suck/ing

Tear

Trauma

Textures:

Blistered

Dripping

Ragged

Rotten

Wet