Posts Tagged ‘Harper Security series’

A major shout out: I finished editing my first manuscript!

In April, I signed up for “Beginnings: Your Submissions” an online workshop. Janice, a freelance editor at http://www.documentdriven.com/, helped me put together an excellent query letter and synopsis. She also read the first three chapters of my romantic mystery suspense called Seeing Double. She offered excellent feedback and between her insight and Angela James instruction, I completely threw out the first two chapters (info dumps). The story starts where the action takes place, thus making it more interesting.

My eagerness to start editing was thwarted by a ski accident on Mt. Baker. Other than complete embarrassment falling face first into three feet of powder under the chair lift, I felt fine and knew I’d feel the aftermath later. The next night my muscles stiffened up while curled in my cozy reading chair. No big deal, right? Just take some ibuprofen and go to bed. I felt better in the morning until I made the mistake of standing up. That’s when the dizziness and nausea took over. I came out of the hospital that evening diagnosed with a mild concussion. The absolute worst part for me was losing my long-term memory. I couldn’t even remember the name of a woman who has worked for me for eight years. Talk about scary! I now have great respect for anyone who suffers from Alzheimer’s and knows they are losing their precious memories. It was the most frightening experience I’ve ever been through. Thankfully, the trauma to my head receded after three very long weeks. Hey, what happened to the month of May?

Once I started editing again, I added layers to my characters and setting, deeper POV, and hacked away much unneeded dialog and storyline that doesn’t propel the story forward. This is the “kill your darling” phase of editing. I loved it and hated it at the same time. The word count dropped from 95k to 82k. I’d say that’s a bit of editing.

Now, I’m done enough to take it to the next level. Critique partners, here I come… but first I need to celebrate and prepare myself for the next wave of editing with a Brandy Alexander and dark chocolate!

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Body parts gone wild!  Have I got your attention  now?  This was one of my favorite sessions in the online editing workshop Before You Hit Send.

Angela James is the Executive Editor of Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-first press, and offers her insights into common editing mistakes.  If you’ve never worked with an editor or publisher before, this workshop is extremely insightful. I met Angela at the Emerald City Writers Conference when I won an early bird pitch for my romantic suspense, Seeing Double, a Harper Security novel.

I enjoyed Angela’s humor throughout the course and she is honest when you post examples from your manuscript.  What was once considered good writing style or grammar back when we were in school is not the case today.

The course is self-paced over a three-week period. You can register for the next workshop at  http://nicemommy-evileditor.com/before-you-hit-send/

So, what am I doing now?  Why editing of course.  I’ve already removed the first chapter (info dump) and hacked away another 3000 words.  I’m converting passive to active, getting rid of unneeded adverbs and adjectives, making sure my dialogue tags are correct… there’s so much more.  I’m loving every minute of it!

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