Monday, March 24, 2014

What Do You Do When You Have Finished?

Sandra here on Monday instead of Tuesday. Pam was a dear friend and traded with me since I'll be on the road tomorrow. So today I'm here with a hot pot of chocolate velvet coffee and on the sideboard we have a variety of teas and hot chocolate with whipped cream.

I also have a crystal dish filled with Sees Candy for a chocolate pick-me-up.



Please join me while we get down to brass tacks with our Speedbo project.


Sandra signing books at the
Tucson Festival of Books
March 16, 2014
My Speedbo interuption


One week to go and we hit the finish line.

What are your plans when you finish that rough draft manuscript???

Here are some of my recommendations and some helpful hints from past Seekerville posts.

1. Set that baby aside. Put your manuscript into a file folder and don't open it. If it is printed, hide it under the bed or in the closet.

Anyone want to venture a guess as to why this is number one on the list???

It helps to let the story sit and rest.

Most of us don't have the luxury of doing that because of deadlines.  If you do have a deadline, the ideal scenario is to finish the rough draft early so you do have time to let the manuscript sit.

The reason we do this is so we have fresh eyes and a clear head when we read over the first draft. I don't know about you, but when I write, the characters are so real in my head that I think what is there in my head goes down on the paper.  Well it often doesn't.  If I've let the manuscript sit for awhile and the characters have gone home, then I see the problems.

2. Give the manuscript to a critique partner. If you have a critique partner that has been working with this all along, then you might want to find another critique partner or beta reader that has fresh eyes.

Click here for some past posts with some great tips for working with critique partners.

You can also have the manuscript professionally critiqued.  Our own Tina does this.  Check out her website page My Critique Partner.



3. Self-edit.  While your critique partner is reading over the manuscript, you can start to edit the manuscript yourself.

Looking in the archives I found several articles on self-editing. Click here to find all nine articles.

Last December Tina wrote The Unauthorized Cheat Sheet of Self-Editing Tips for Writers.







Ruthy and Mia Ross teamed up to post Trim Your Novel Like You Trim Your Tree.


Last April, Glynna Kaye wrote an excellent post Deep Cleaning Your Manuscript.  I really paid attention to this article because Glynna writes some of the cleanest manuscripts I've ever critiqued. She really knows how to self edit.  I am sure that is why her editors love her.




Be sure and check out the other articles and learn more ways to self-edit that finished gem. Because when you are done with that project we go to the next step.

4. Pay a professional editor.  This is an option if you want to impress a traditional publisher's editor, but it is an absolute necessity if you want to self-publish.  There is nothing worse than a poorly constructed book and there is simply no excuse for one--not with the excellent resources we have available to us.  Be sure and find one that is recommended by some person or organization that you trust.  Audra invited Sandi Rog to write about finding freelance editors here.

You can find professional editors listed in most writer organizations. If you can recommend any, please feel free to do so in the comment section.  I personally hire Amber Stokes of Editing Through The Seasons.



Amber Stokes of Editing Through The Seasons


5. Have your manuscript copy-edited.  Do you know the difference between story edits and copy edits?  A story editor will read through the story for inconsistencies, plot problems, word usage, character development, etc.  A copy editor mainly looks at the final draft for punctuation, spelling and technical formatting glitches.  A copy editor is not reading the story. A copy editor is strictly reading for technical accuracy.

We have several articles written by the Grammar Queen that can help you with copy editing.

We all know who the Grammar Queen is don't we???







5.  Ready to publish.

When you have completed all of these steps your "baby" is ready to publish.  How exciting is that??


Sure hope these recommendations and past posts help you refine that "baby" you finished during Speedbo.

If you have any other recommendations and or helpful suggestions please share them and  your name will be put in the puppy dish for a drawing.

Winner will receive an e-copy of my new release LOVE'S PROMISES  and  a paid for professional edit by Amber Stokes of the first ten pages of your new manuscript.




For Monica Scott, building her late father’s house at Lake Tahoe isn’t an option—it’s a necessary distraction from confusing memories and an uncertain future. But a handsome planner working for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is keeping Monica from moving forward with the project. Never mind that he’s young and charming with a great sense of humor. No one is going to stop Monica from making her father’s dream—and her own—a reality.

All Greg Linsey wants is for his work to mean something. His job at TRPA gives him the opportunity to fight for the environment he loves and make a difference in his small corner of the world. But with the sophisticated Monica Scott’s arrival, his dedication is tested as never before, especially when Monica turns to his unscrupulous nemesis for assistance.

As Greg and Monica’s animosity turns into something far sweeter, can they learn to appreciate each other’s goals and avoid the growing danger to their lives and hearts?




GO SPEEDBO
GO, GO, GO 
FINISH, FINISH, FINISH
HOORAY!!







136 comments:

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well, Sandra, aren't you sweet to share the love.

I also have a brand new copy editor I am using that I can hook authors up with.

Terrific post as we head for the finish line!!!

Marianne Barkman said...

Way to go, Sandra! As an avid reader and reviewer I wish I had a subtle and kind way to let some authors who are not publishing savvy know how they could make their books better. I don't usually leave a book before I'm done, but sure am tempted to many times, and spend time thinking of what I can say about the novel....love yours, and am looking forward to this one! Coffee is good!

Jenny Blake said...

will pass on the coffee (and please dont hate me but I really dont like see's chocolate the ones I tasted last year were nasty and I felt I a real disappointment after everyone raving about them).
Oh I am off chocolate, easy when all I think when I see it is pain.

LOve the post and the different things that need to be done. Last year someone online said I finished writing a book and then 5 days later published it. I have read part of the sample on kindle and thought Yes I can see you finished it without getting it editted. It was so jarring I couldn't even finish the sample.
It makes me appreciate authors even self published ones who take the time to make sure there book is the best it can be for the reader.
(off to try and wake up after a nap, counting down the hours till I can take a new med and hope it works without side effects, right now i have that feeling of you knwo you had a nap cos you cant seem to wake up feeling)

Wilani Wahl said...

What a great Post! This will be very helpful. I doubt I will have it finished by the end of the book, but I plan to keep on writing every day in my new habit just like I have been all month.

How long do you usually put it away after you finish before taking it out to edit?

I don't have a critique partner so will need to find someone;

I am now about 14,200 words

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jenny, what a great insight

Editing, editing, editing.

Revise, chop, slice, dice, edit, layer, edit again.

Without those steps, nothing reads like a published novel. And most authors I know can't "see" the little things wrong in their own work. And that's when a service like Tina's comes in handy.

I use a local gal on my indie novels, but she also reads through my Love Inspired novels before they go to NYC to help find little mistakes. If you read/write/edit a book several times, your eyes actually fill in the blanks and you miss things.

So this is a huge help to me. If I can send in a book that needs no revision, I've gained two-to-three weeks of writing time!!!

That's well worth paying someone to do a read-through for me!

Sandra, great post! I'm right on target with my Speedbo goals, this week is being spent polishing/editing/re-writing my current project, my Christmas Love Inspired has been sent to NYC, and I'm working hard to get this proposal done and polished this week!!!! Seven days of work (nightly church retreat will be a blessing of calm...) and I think I'm on track to FINISH.

Happy!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

COFFEE IS HERE!!!!! IT'S MONDAY AND I BROUGHT SOME DELIGHTFUL FLAVORED CREAMERS, AND I HAVE MY MR. COFFEE LATTE MAKER SO I CAN BUILD YOU A COFFEE... BARISTA RUTHY!!!

Jackie said...

Good morning! Sandra what a great post.

Set it aside may be hard because I'm taking Tina's class in April. Maybe I should try to finish by Friday? Although I'm sure you mean to set is aside much longer than three days.

Thanks again for the tips and links!

Mary Curry said...

Great points, Sandra. I actually set aside the rough draft of a different manuscript to do the Speedbo one. I know I was too close to the story because I actually painfully missed my characters when I had to let them go.

I've been so guilty of missing things in manuscripts - and sometimes they're big enough to sock you in the eye. I remember pulling out a really old idea from my file and dusting it off to play with. I sent it to my critique partner to read and her response was that no one could be so out of touch with cell phones.

What a DUH moment. I'd had the idea before cell phones were so commonplace and had the heroine coming home to news that she had missed while being away. Of course someone could have reached her on her phone now. That one goes back to the drafting table. But I was so caught up in the characters, that I misses something so obvious.

Apologies in advance for anything that doesn't make sense here. Auto-correct is on with a vengeance and I can't seem to scroll back up.

Thanks for the wonderful prizes, Sandra. Please put my name in the dish.

And in case I don't make it back here later, safe travels tomorrow.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning TINA, That's great that you have a copy editor. Good to know.

Many people don't realize what different skills are involved in the different types of editing.

Have a great day.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks MARIANNE, Your reviews are always helpful. And we all have been through the stage where we received the truth. Most of us here at Seekerville entered contests to get that info rather than have it public and permanent on a published work. Whew. Thank you.

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI JENNY, So sorry you had a bad piece of chocolate. Can't even imagine but we all have different tastes. I will offer you some slices of fresh oranges. We still have some on the tree but right now it is smelling heavently with all the blossoms for next year's crop.

Glad you're feeling better.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi WILANI, Congrats on getting all that writing done. You're off and running. And that is the purpose of Speedbo so great going.

Do you belong to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) They have a program where you can hook up with a critique partner. That is how I met Ruthy btw

My ideal time is a month, but that rarely happens. Hopefully a couple weeks.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi RUTHY, Thanks for adding the latte's to the sideboard. Not everyone likes my chocolate velvet coffee. I like mine black so forgot the creamers. And I forget some of you need sweetening up. smiling

Congrats on getting all those projects finished. I know that is a great feeling. Way to go

And you're right --again-- sigh. At this point of being published already, we can afford and should just pay someone to edit. The advantage of that is the editor we hire will get to know your style and will work at preserving it. And I agree, I want mine to look that great when I send it to a traditional editor. Like you said, it saves time on both ends.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hey JACKIE, Three days is good. Better than none. Take those three days and really rest, do other projects, anything to clear your head of this story so you can "see" it.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks MARY Curry, What a great idea to put aside the manuscript and work on another. That is terrific.

And I so know what you mean when you miss those characters. They become such a part of you, don't they?

I have to laugh about the cell phones. I had to change one where I was dialing the phone. LOL Now you punch the numbers and even that is changing with smart phones.

My funniest boo boo was a scene where the heroine encounters a bear and HE stood on hind legs and swung HIS paws and then HIS cubs showed up and my crit partner says "Oh did we have a sex change operation in the middle of this scene" Oh that was so funny to me.

Audra Harders said...

Such a necessary post, Sandra. We all get drawn into the excitement of Speedbo and sometimes don't have a game plan to take us to the finish line.

I agree with you about letting the rough draft sit for a bit. So much goes on in my head while I'm trying to get the story out that unfortunately, it doesn't all get down on paper. Funny thing when I read it afterwards and think -- wait, something is missing!

Great advice!

I love, love, love the coffee you serve, sweets! It makes my day : )

Courtney Phillips said...

So looking forward to completely finishing mine. Great post. Thanks for the links to editing posts.
I'm definitely up for the giveaway today :)

DebH said...

i love all the links to the already written self-editing Seekerville has provided. i know so well the necessity of setting something aside to look at later with fresh eyes. my job requires a QA person because otherwise really stupid mistakes get missed. fresh eyes catch a whole ton of errors.

as always, in for the draw because any Seekerville offer is worth it weight in gold.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi AUDRA, Thanks girlfriend. It is funny how we think it is all on paper, isn't it?

Have another cup. smile

Eileen said...

Sandra, I always thought I was the only one who thought I wrote something left out. And, I agree, you read a scene for the third time, you just don't see the mistakes.

A critique partner IS the best thing that ever happened to me. As part of Seekerville, I receive some awesome critiquing from Tina and BAM, she helped my courage shift into gear and I took off past the first 8 chapters! I highly recommend those services.

'Resting' your characters' is something I am occasionally forced to due because of overloaded schedules, but then,when I get back,the characters all wake up and say, "Hey, while you were gone, we came decided you forgot an important attribute."

Put me in for professional edit.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks COURTNEY, Your name is in the puppy dish. Ruthy has the cat dish, but my dish is puppy. Just because its cleaner as my cats are feral and bring all kinds of things in. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Awww DEB H. That is sweet to say. Our Seekerville friends are worth their weight in gold tool

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning EILEEN, So happy to hear the editing services helped. It is awesome what another pair of eyes can see that we don't. Funny too, sometimes.

Have a great day and your name is in the dish too.

Walt Mussell said...

My Japan novels will likely need editing as I figure I will be self-publishing at some point.

Saving the money for it.

Walt Mussell said...

My Japan novels will likely need editing as I figure I will be self-publishing at some point.

Saving the money for it.

Connie Queen said...

Very informative post.

So let me get this straight. If I were to self-publish, I would first use a free-lance editor and then a beta reader?

Right now I'm not wanting to self publish right now, but I might in the future.

So how many Seekerville gals used editors or beta readers before their first sale?

Janet Dean said...

Excellent, timely post, Sandra! That first draft, even my tweak as I go draft, needs revising! I rarely can let the manuscript sit, so fresh eyes are such a help. Yay for critique partners!

I don't use a Beta reader. Sandra, care to explain the benefits?

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Connie, I didn't use a professional editor before my first sale, but did revise a ton with the help of my cp.

Janet

Melanie Dickerson said...

Great guidelines, Sandra!!!
I am trying to get done with this ms. so I can have time to edit it before sending it in, but letting it sit? I doubt I will be able to do that. But that is a good thing! I always think of things I need to add or change when I'm thinking about my book, after it's finished. I usually do have time to do this before all the edits are complete, so that is helpful!

I have not written as much as I'd hoped I would this Speedbo. In fact, I'm woefully behind schedule. Still, that's okay. I have a great foundation, so I'm good. I'll probably fly through it once I get these first few chapters done. I'm only at 9,300 words, but I am starting to pick up momentum, and really excited to see how this story turns out!!!

Have fun on the road tomorrow, Sandra! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Sandra, that's funny about the male bear having cubs! Hahaha! That sounds like a mistake I would make. Thank goodness for CPs and editors! And we catch our own mistakes when we can let it sit and then go back to it.

Janet Dean said...

Jenny, you are a smart reader! Thanks for the excellent reminder to all of us who self-pub to make sure the story is well-edited and ready to go.

I remember as a newbie that I thought my story was ready. But I was wrong. :-) I had reason to be proud that I'd completed a book. But had a lot to learn before it was publishable.

Janet

Piper Huguley said...

Glad to read these editing tips, Sandra thanks! I want to be like Glynna and get an organized process together for editing.

I send off to beta readers first, and then an editor. Sally will get my prequel novella sometime today. I'll put it out in June and the novel in August.

And glad to be part of breaking news here in Seekerville as well! Yay Walt! Congrats to you!

Mary Hicks said...

A most timely post for me, thank you Sandra!

I've hired an editor to work with me. I send her two chapters at a time. She's great at keeping me on track as far as plot and story flow, plus catching my grammar mistakes.

I can't imagine publishing anything without professional editing help.

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, Sandra, what a great and timely blog, my friend -- I'm going to send it to a friend who didn't do Speedbo, but just finished her ms., so THANK YOU!!

Have a great trip and God bless!

Hugs,
Julie

Crystal Ridgway said...

Great post, Sandra, and may I wish you safe travels tomorrow! Please toss my name in for the edit. I'd love to have the book, but I don't have a e-reader.
Happy Monday all!

Myra Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Grammar Queen said...

Be still, my heart! Sandra, I'm so deeply honored that you included a link to my erudite grammar posts! You are truly a dear, and I promise to give you extra credit when I post my next assignment.

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI WALT, I think your idea to self-pub your Japan story is a good one. It is a great story as you know from winning so many contests with it. I'm sure the problem with traditional publishers is where to put it. They aren't willing to go out on a limb for a new idea.

That is the advantage of self-pubbing. And there are readers out there for your book. But be sure you get it edited just because you want it to look and be professional.

Another thought is to keep writing other manuscripts and when you finally do get traditional published, they might want your backlist of manuscripts. Other Seekers have done that. So be mindful about your decisions. You're a terrific writer.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CONNIE QUEEN, Not everyone gets a beta reader, but some really rely on those new eyes on their work.

The freelance editor is a must if you are self-pubbing. Many of us didn't have the justification or funds for paying for a freelance editor before we published so relied on critique partners. You may or may not have a critique partner that is skilled in editing.

As you read our testimonies throughout Seekerville you will see that the journey is different for each of us. We give out recommendations, but when it comes down to it, we all do what works best for us. And each one of us is different. Not helpful I know.

Carol Moncado said...

I'm dancin' today [I may not be by later ;)]. But I had a good weekend. 12K Sat/Sun and up to 54K total.

When this manuscript is done, I'm going on a reading frenzy. I have Katie Ganshert's new book waiting for me along with a bunch of others and some more coming soon [like Becky Wade's and Beth Vogt's among others]. Then I'll go back to editing this one [or another, not sure yet] and writing a new one on a writer's retreat in May. Not sure which on there either.

I was talking with someone about indie pub the other day and how I'd been seriously considering it before signing with my agent [man I love saying that ;)!] and likely will consider it again in the future. I said something about getting a line editor [one of my critters *is* a content editor so that's covered] and doing it right and we got into that same discussion like Jenny said - it's not just tossing it up on Amazon a few days after finishing. That's so key to doing well as an indie.

Back to work. I still have 20K to go and finish this sucker.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JANET, I suspect your beta reader was your crit partner. I think someone new coming to the story is a benefit because they see the whole picture. You and your crit partner have been looking at and working with the parts so sometimes miss something that ties the parts together to make the whole. Does that make sense?

My betas are simply readers and not writers. I want to know the overall impact of the story and they can give me that without picking at the writing craft.

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI MELANIE, Hang in there. You are making progress even when you think you aren't. And yes, we sometimes don't have the luxury of letting a manuscript sit. That is good though that you can use your editing time to let things gel.

Missy Tippens said...

Great reminders, Sandra! Thanks for sharing the links. I'll be sure to go back and review them.

I can't think of anything to add to your list! I do think the letting the mss rest is HUGE. We can get some distance and be way more objective.

Missy Tippens said...

RUTHY! I've found our Italian Sweet Cream creamer in a sugar free version in a nice big bottle! I'm loving it once again!

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI PIPER, Do you have some news about Walt? Tell us please.

And I know you have news to share also. Do you want to? I didn't post it without asking first, but everyone PIPER does have news too.

Happy writing.

Annie Rains said...

I had no idea Tina was doing professional critiques. I'll have to check that out.

Wonderful post, especially since I've been looking into hiring an editor to help me take my books to the next level. Right now I have my CP and beta readers, which I don't think you mentioned. So maybe my suggestion would be to have a few good beta readers to tell you their initial thoughts on your story.

Happy Monday, Seekerville!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Way to go MARY H. So glad you have that editorial help.

All of my published works were made better by the editors. They so find things we totally miss because we are too close.

Go girl go.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JULIE, Thanks for sharing the post. We do have some great info in our archives including many by YOU.

Happy writing and thanks for the well wishes. Always good to have prayers while on the road.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CRYSTAL, Your name is in the dish and fyi if you or anyone wins who doesn't have an e-reader, I can give you a hard copy of one of my other books. Its just that LOVE'S PROMISES is not in print yet. It will be in April. smile

Thanks for the well wishes too.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi GRAMMAR QUEEN, I have so been watching my grammar and punctuation today because I know you are out there. sigh. My editor has been red-lining my lack of commas. I so need a lesson about commas.

Sandra Leesmith said...

YAY CAROL, Congrats on geting all those word counts. Great going. You are one go-getter. Hang in there and enjoy all those books when you are ready. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi MISSY, Thanks for the kudos and good going on finding that creamer. Like I said, some of us need sweetening up and some of us don't. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi ANNIE and thanks for the tips. Yes, I think beta readers are huge.

Can you explain why you like them? One of our readers wanted to know and I'm not sure I gave a good answer.

Happy Monday to you also. smile

Glynna Kaye said...

Great suggestions, Sandra! The "set that baby aside" and "hand it off to a critique partner" are so valuable if you can fit it into your timetable. I don't know what I'd do without my two beta readers!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks GLYNNA, Those readers are so important.

Happy writing and have a great week.

Piper Huguley said...

No, Sandra, I say let's leave a little mystery. A little mystery allows the readers to keep turning the pages, right? :)

I was referring to Walt saying here that he's looking to self-publish his Japan stories! I hadn't heard that before. Yay! Walt, I'll treat you to GRW admission if it will help you save faster....:)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks PIPER, I agree.

And yes... Yay Walt.

Chill N said...

>>> If you have a critique partner that has been working with this all along, then you might want to find another critique partner or beta reader that has fresh eyes. <<<

The entire post was helpful, Sandra (thanks for providing links to the previous posts) but the above words especially so. "Love's Promises" sounds so good, and what a gorgeous setting for a story! Don't enter me in the drawing ... I still have some credit on an Amazon card I won from Ruthy :-)

Wishing you many, many readers for your latest!

Nancy C

Tina Pinson said...

Thanks Sandra,

Have to go check those links and get to work on some of that lovely editing. Yay.

I've had a couple critique partners and we disbanded. I tried to join with others but it always falls through, mainly because no one else was ready to send out manuscripts. Or maybe just not to me.

So I just plug away. Although can honestly say, as of late, I've been more away than plugging.

thank you for more ideas.

Checked out Tina's page and am considering the class.

Annie Rains said...

Hi Sandra!

That's kind of a tough question, lol. I just started using a few beta readers this year, and I like them because they're an extra set of eyes for me. Until now, I've only had one CP ever read my stories, no one else. So to have two more people reading for me and telling me if they *like/love* the story helps. It's such a big deal to me to have anyone read my story for free :)I can't imagine how estatic I'll be when people actually want to pay me to read my stories. That'll be a good day :)

Myra Johnson said...

Sandra, I am a big proponent of letting the ms. "chill" for a couple of weeks before revising. Sometimes (if I have time--and I try to build that time into my personal deadlines) I will go through two or three cycles of edit-chill-edit.

I'm not currently working with a critique partner, but my husband usually reads my final draft and marks any typos he sees. Sometimes he also gives me a little help with the male POV or sports or car terms that are foreign to me.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi TINA P. Hang in there and keep on plugging. It has been my experience that when I needed a crit partner, one showed up. So when you are ready, just put it out there and see what happens.

I'm sure you will enjoy Tina's class.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi NANCY, (CHillN) So glad you found the post helpful. That makes my day. smile

Lucky you to win that card.

Happy reading.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks ANNIE for the helpful advice. And yes, it is a blessing to have someone actually buy a book. Always fun. smile

Your day will come. Yay

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi MYRA, Great tip to get that male pov. I try to do that also. I've learned so much from doing that because hey, do we think like men???? LOL

Yes, I try to work in a rest time too in my deadlines. Sure does help.

Say "hi" to hubby.

Debby Giusti said...

Great advice, Sandra! Excellent!!!

Can't believe we're counting down to the end of Speedbo. Where has March gone? Oh my gosh! We've got flowering trees and azaleas blooming in Georgia. Of course, tonight's temp will be in the 20s. Crazy!

Love your advice to let the manuscript "chill," although we don't always have the luxury, as you mentioned. Like Myra, my hubby is my beta reader who provides insight into the male mind. He also provides tips on fight scenes and weapons. Cars too. :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DEBBY, I agree. Where has this month gone? I can't believe it is spring already. Where did winter go? Not that I mind it going. lol

Glad your hubby is your beta reader. That must be why your male characters are so wonderful. smile

Say "hi" to hubby for me.

Happy writing.

Meghan Carver said...

I don't have any suggestions, but I do agree totally with setting the ms aside. When I come back to it with fresh eyes, then, some parts I thought were horrible aren't so bad and other parts that I thought were brilliant are only fit for the deleted file. Such is life. :-) Thanks for a great post and great ideas!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi MEGHAN, You really made me chuckle. Yep, sometimes we aren't as brilliant as we think we are. lol

Then again sometimes the work we struggled the most with and it seems so labored turns out to be our best. Go figure.

Happy writing.

Debby Giusti said...

I'm always amazed at the typos I catch when I've been away from the manuscript for a period of time. You'd think after reviewing the pages gazillions of times, I would have caught all the errors. Not so! But taking that pause from the work helps me SEE the problems on the fresh read.

Jan Drexler said...

Great post, Sandra!

There's a lot to think about as we reach the end of a story, and you've organized the "to-do's" for us! I have some ideas of where I need to go next....

And I especially agree with your advice to hire a good editor if you're going to publish independently. I've read way too many poorly edited independent novels - it's the first thing I tell anyone when they tell me they're thinking of going indie.

Have a great trip! I know you always do :)

Debby Giusti said...

Can't wait to hear Piper's good news.

Can we bribe you to tell, Piper?

Chocolate perhaps? :)

Debby Giusti said...

Walt, self-pubbing your Japanese romances is a good long-term plan, although I'm still hoping you can find a publisher!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DEBBY, Yep, those typos are tough to find because fast readers read what they know it says, not what it actually says. sigh

And I already tried. Don't know if Piper will talk. smile

But I bet its good.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks JAN, You are so right. I can't believe anyone would even think of pubbing without an editor. But then I have to remember we are experienced and some of those people have never published anything before. Oh well. Live and learn. smile

We are so blessed.

Jeanne T said...

SANDRA, I love all these tips. I tend to get tripped up after the first draft is written. The articles you linked to look great. Your suggestions are also helpful. :)

One thing I've been thinking about that I'll add to the conversation is reading it out loud to hear the flow. This helps me with some of my dialogue glitches. I can't remember, it may be in one of the posts you linked. :)

I'm definitely coming back to this post, Sandra! It's chock full of great information. And thanks for the coffee. I NEED it today. :)

Olivia said...

Thank you for the point by point list of suggestions, Sandra. The only point I may make by a fledgling writer is that if you choose a beta reader, it should not be one of your close friends! I have several friends who are following my progress but don't want to strain the bonds of friendship on the reading of my first effort. That said, take Tina's self editing course before you do anything!

Mary Curry said...

Sandra, I love your story about the bear. I did something similar when my girls were little. We were being taunted by a squirrel who kept building a nest in my laundry room window. Each day I would knock it out and the next day he would build it back. He won the battle when we went to visit my mother for 2 days. I came back to find the nest filling half the window and the squirrel inside it along with a nest full of hotdogs with legs.
I screamed, "He had babies!"
I heard a wee voice from my daughter's room call, "I guess it's not a he, Mommy."

Smart aleck kid!

Olivia said...

Please put my name in the puppy dish for both wonderful prizes. If you put anything in my corgi's dish, however, it would be be eaten, paper and all.

Janet Dean said...

Sandra, I can easily find a Beta reader though doubt it'll be my dh. He prefers reading the printed book.

Janet

Pat W said...

Sandra, today's post is solid gold. Thank you. So many good things to remember. I'm not even close to finishing my ms but am printing this out.

I've been able to mostly keep up with my speedbo goal till last week. I was MIA all week. We were helping our D and SIL remodel their house and babysit. I chose not to try and write at night. I am now 2500 behind schedule with 1037 words written Sunday evening. Total so far is 12, 780. I will make it up this week.

Missy...I love Italian Sweet Creamer but am pre-diabetic. Would you mind sharing where you found the sugar free version? Thanks :))

Sandra Leesmith said...

JEANNE T. Yes, yes yes. I forgot to mention reading it out loud. I brought that up in an earlier post and it is so true. You really get to find those grammar and spelling mistakes when you do that.

Thanks for reminding us.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi OLIVIA, Great advice. I know about close friends. My mom would read my books and think everything was WONDerFUL. Well she was MOM smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

MARY C. Tooooo funny

Sandra Leesmith said...

OLIVIA - Alas, puppy does the same thing. I will draw names before feeding lol

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hang in there PAT W. It is always great to be available to help family.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

JANET, Say hi to dh for me.

Happy writing and reading. smile

Kav said...

I was right with you until you mentioned Grammar Queen. Then I was cowering under my desk!!!!!!! :-)

This is timely and so full of great advice. It makes me excited to get to the editing stage, but I must keep pressing forward!!!! Speedbo isn't over yet.

I am finding that as I progress my hero and heroine are definitely evolving so I know I'll have to backtrack and add bits to flesh them out and cast foreshadowing in the beginning chapters. For the time being I've just got a jumple of notes.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Janet's hubby reads her books....

I must go SMACK Dave.

Sandra, I forgot to say earlier that this is why I always, always always have two projects going. When I need to walk away from one for any reason, I can jump right into the other one... and vice versa.

So clutch for me with limited time. Or maybe crazy frenetic New Yorker!!! Probably more likely!!!

I need grass, er... food. I need food, no carb food. My gift to myself this Easter is fitting into my dress. :)

And it's hard when you're sitting to type so much of the day. Dancing with babies helps, but not shoving food into my mouth all the time????

That helps more, LOL!

4 Birthdays this week. Two last week.

I have avoided cake. But I might kill someone.

That is all.

Jeanne T said...

RUTHY—I'm eating grain free. It's hard, but it does get easier. Especially if you can find other good options to make food tasty. :)

Wilani Wahl said...

Tina, I picked up a copy of Woman's World today and I am looking forward to reading your story.

I am back at my home after being gone for a week. Next on the agenda after a nap is to unpack and then back to Gleeanna's Journal my story.

Amber Stokes said...

Great post, Sandra - practical and helpful advice! :) And thank you so much for the mention! It's been wonderful working with you on your last three projects. Huge thanks to Seekerville for bringing Sandra and I together via my guest post last spring! :)

~Amber

P.S. Good luck to all those entering for the critique! Looking forward to chatting with one of you soon. :)

Jenny Blake said...

Thanks for the comments. The book I mentioned the author had her sister edit it and she told her it was great. I think the idea is to get a more unbiased person to edit it.

Readers will know quality books and will follow authors but we are also know bad books and it will stop us reading these authors. I tend to read self published books by authors I know (like Ruthy, Jillian Hart etc) Or ones people I trust recommend.

I have started a new med side effect dizziness I have it even lying down I was so dizzy. it is easing with the compression bandages but could be an interesting few days. Just praying it helps.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hey KAV did you find room under the desk? That's where I hide from her. chuckle.

And yes, stay focused on finishing and then you can get to those characters.

Have some chocolate.

Haven Brown said...

Thanks for the post. I just picked my finished story up after a "resting" period. My aunt is trying to read it and help me publish (but she keeps getting distracted.) I might see if my friend can help, she's not afraid to hurt my feelings. :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh mercy RUTHY, I might go back under that desk with KAV. Please have some cake. Or at least some chocolate. smile

And yes, you have a winner of an idea. I do that also and go work on something else while one sits. That way I don't waste time.

And yes , Very New Yorker of you. chuckle



Sandra Leesmith said...

JEANNE T and RUTHY, I have some really really sweet oranges. Those do satisfy and are healthy besides. yum

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh WILANI, lucky you. I need to get to the store.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi AMBER, Yes, I am thankful for that post also because you have been a life saver. smile. It is wonderful working with you and one of these folks will be so blessed to win that critique.

That puppy dish is getting full. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hang in there JENNY and thanks for trusting us. We have some wonderful authors here in Seekerville. We are really blessed and we love our readers too.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi HAVEN, I'm glad you have a friend to look at your manuscript. Its best to find another writer who really knows what to look for. Do you belong to any writing groups in your area? You can ask at your library or get online. There are some great groups online too. In fact, when RUTHY and I critiqued together we did it all online because we lived clear across the U.S. from each other.

Best wishes.

Cara Lynn James said...

Great advice, Sandra! I've learned that editors are invaluable.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CARA, Editors are wonderful.

Happy writing.

Pam Hillman said...

I need this (the edits AND the chocolate)!

Just sent my novella to my CPs to get some feedback.

Yay!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi PAMMERS, Congrats on getting that novella finished.

And have plenty of chocolate. I just brought out another platter and opened another box.

Terri said...

Pam finished her novella. Guess that means I'd better get in gear and finish mine!

Congrats Pam!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yay TERRI, You girls rock!!!!!

Christina said...

This was a great post today. Since I'm a new author I have a question and I think this is the perfect place to ask it. Regarding editing, what is the difference between story editing and content editing? My story is currently being looked at for content editing and I was told after that it would go to line edits (which I think are pretty self explanatory - I guess). Again, great post and I did go back and read Mia and Ruthy's post comparing writing a novel to decorating a tree. Another good one!

LoRee Peery said...

Great reminders, thanks Sandra. I believe critique is vital, and miss it right now. But I'm loving the rough draft writing without editing. It may be my process from now on! I'm a few words shy of 27,000 so I'm still meeting my goals. Best wishes to all who are sticking with this.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CHRISTINA, What context are you hearing about story editing? Is it from this post? If so, i think your content editing you have now is probably the same thing. Story editing as I know it and interpret it (this is my opinion only and can be challenged or improved upon)-feel free anyone out there) is when you are looking at the story for plot arcs, character arcs, do you have goals, motivation and conflict? They also look at holes in the story line such as did you give clear explanation of why the characters are doing what they are doing, etc.
From what I'm guessing-another opinion is welcome- is about the same thing. Line editing is strictly grammar, spelling, etc.

I hope this answers your question. Where you found Ruth's blog post, scroll on down as there are nine articles on self-editing which might give you more detailed explanations.

Sandra Leesmith said...

LOREE. congratulations. That is awesome. I'm so delighted that you have written that many words. I'm like you, I write more if I can turn off that internal editor. Great going.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Wilani and thanks to Olivia for the class plug.

Seriously, if you need a copy editor I found a great one among our village friends. A published author.

Sandra Leesmith said...

TINA, glad you're here. Did I answer Christina's question? You might have a better answer. Thanks

Piper Huguley said...

Put away your chocolate bribe, Debby Guisti. My good news is not of the publishing type--unless you count my book coming out in the summer by me. It's contest good news which I tend not to like to reveal until it is all over. :)

Meanwhile, I'm praying for Seekers and Seekervillagers alike to hear some really good news this Wednesday. :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Great idea PIPER. Mums the word.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Substantive Editing and Developmental Editing, Content Editing, Substantive Copy Editing are all pretty much the same thing.

This is like when your editor reads your story and sends you a revision letter.

Copy editor, proofreader, line editor is the person who is checking grammar, typos, best word choice, missing words and punctuation.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks TINA, CHRISTINA I hope this helps you. Tina our expert. smile

Dianna Shuford said...

Hi Sandra! Thanks for all the great advice.

I'll also chime in my agreement with setting your pages aside for a time. There's nothing like a little distance to help put our words in perspective and to help read the pages as a reader would. Laying it down for even a few days helps me on my own revision/editing read through.

I also try to do a quick read of the pages I wrote the day before, not only to get back into my character's mindset, but also to help me catch significant mistakes or badly worded sentences. However, I do try to keep that to 20 minutes or less. I've found that keeps me from winding up with a hot mess at the very end.

Congrats on your new book coming out! I'm looking forward to reading it.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DIANNA, Thanks for your input. I so agree and I too look at previous pages but mainly to get back into the story. smile

Thanks for sharing.

Happy writing.

CatMom said...

Great post and tips, Sandra - - thank you!! And you look so cute at the Book Festival (when I think of you, I visualize you SMILING!).

I think what always helps me is letting the manuscript set a while, then coming back with fresh eyes to read it. Sometimes I'll read a section and be pleased, other times I'll think: YIKES! WHY did I write THAT?! LOL!

Can't believe how quickly this month (and SPEEDBO!) is zipping! I need to work really hard this week.
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi PATTI JO, I smile whenever I think of you too. Thanks for your input. Great ideas. And so funny when we wonder what we were thinking. LOL

Yes, March is marching along. Really fast.

Happy writing.

Go speedbo

Natalie Monk said...

Thanks for these tips, Sandra!! I've filled my browser with tabs, ready to peruse these goodies you've linked to!!

LOOVE your new book cover.

Pat W said...

Just finished the night's word count with 1282. Thought I would come back and read the rest of the comments. Most days the comments are full of extra information! Love it.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi NATALIE, Thanks for the compliment. I really like the cover also. Amber and Lena do such a great job.

Enjoy the articles and have a great week.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks PAT W for coming back. We did get a lot of great info today from the comments.

Have a great week.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks all of you for making this day so fun and full of great comments.

Happy reading

Happy Speedbo

Happy writing

Happy spring

LeAnne Bristow said...

Good morning, Sandy. First things first. Chocolate velvet coffee!!!! Never heard of it, but I must have it! Thanks for your post. I wish I could add something...but nope...still too new at this. Luckily, Tina hooked me up with some awesome critique partners a while back and until then I had no idea how much I didn't know. Between my cp and awesome posts like these here on Seekerville I've learned so much more than I ever learned in college, hee hee. Please sign me up for the drawing and I'm sorry I missed you at the TFOB. 30 minutes between awesome workshops just wasn't enough time to fight the crowds to find the booths I wanted to visit (that and my amazingly bad sense of direction would've gotten me lost).

Jackie Smith said...

Hi, Sandra,
Hope I am not too late to get my name in the "dish"......yesterday was busy with doctor appointments.
I have your other books on my Kindle and want this one, too....lol

Thanks and have a safe trip.

Christina said...

Thanks Tina and Sandra, you have both helped me get a better understanding of editing. While I think most writers think the hardest part is writing the book, I'm thinking the work just begins AFTER you get that acceptance. Thanks again for the great post and all your help!

Mark Abel said...

Hey Sandra,

Thanks so much for your posting. The content is a practical check list which is very helpful, especially to others like myself who are writing their first book. I will save it and reference it once my first draft is complete.

Regarding other finishing approaches: I read Steven King's book about writing which was very good. Steven also recommends setting it aside to rest, then printing it out and doing one good self edit. He then prints the edited manuscript and gives it to five readers who critique it from different perspectives. Steven then takes their comments and integrates what he sees as helpful.

I think he then sends it to his agent but not sure. As far as how this approach would work for any of us, self publishing vs. traditional publishing would certainly come in to play.

I would be interested to hear thoughts from more experienced authors on the Steven King finishing approach.

In response to the tray of chocolates, I strongly recommend dark. Mark

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

SO late to the pawty, but here!

GREAT info and See's chocolates too?! Wawzah...
And Tina AND Amber?

This is a wonderful Monday post!

Good advice about laying it aside. When I take the time to do that, it's amazing what pops out! Really amazing. Like, you idiot. How could you not have SEEN that?!

/sigh/

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI LEANN, So sorry I missed seeing you at TFOB but you were wise to stick to the workshops. There were some awesome offerings. Its always good to take advantage of those.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Glad you were able to join us JACKIE, Never too late. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi MARK, Good to hear from you. HOw is your speedbo project coming along? Hope you are making progress.

I think Stephen King gives great advice. I never thought about having each reader look for specific things. That is a great idea.

Best wishes and happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Glad we answered your questions CHRISTINA.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KC, Wow pawesome that you made it. Better late than never is the old adage. Always delighted to see you and May.

Happy writing.