On Editing

A while back, I posted a call to all writers who wanted to share their editing tips, and Kristina Stanley volunteered.  If you don’t already follow Kristina’s blog, you’re missing a real treat.  So without further ado, here’s Kristina:

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Please share one to three tips or tricks that you use when editing your work, how specifically you use them, and why they work for you.

I have the computer read the words out loud to me. You can also do this with your eReader. I use this method to find where I tend to repeat words. When I read, I don’t hear the words as well. This also works for finding small words that are incorrect. It’s hard to see ‘if ‘versus  ‘of’ but I can hear the difference. The computer also doesn’t allow you to skim, so you have to focus on every word.

I keep a large spreadsheet, so I can check off each area of concern per scene. For example, one column I use is called scene entry. I note whether the scene starts with dialogue,  thought, action or narrative. Having each scene start in the same way could be boring for the reader and this makes me put in variety.

While editing, I check each scene to determine if it is an empty stage. I ask myself are the senses covered. Smell? Taste? Hearing? Touch? Sight? Then I ask myself does the reader know where the characters are physically. When describing the scene, I ask is the description relevant to the plot? If it’s not, maybe some of the description can be cut.

What was your biggest repeated mistake when you first started writing? What is your weakest point of editing and why?

As I mentioned above, starting a scene the same way. In the first draft of my first novel, my husband asked why each scene started in a doorway. You know the scene, when one character is coming to meet another.   He thought it was pretty funny. I had a lot of reworking to do.

My weakest part of editing is finding my own errors. A second pair of eyes is invaluable.

Have you used any editing methods previously that just didn’t work for you? If so, what were they and why didn’t they work?

I’ve read the advice to read your work backward. This never worked for me. I tend to nod off at the boredom.

Please tell us something about your current work in progress or your most recent completed work (or both), and tell us where we can purchase your book(s).

I just released DESCENT (Imajin Books, July 2015). DESCENT is the first in the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. BLAZE the second in the series is due out this fall. Below is a short description of DESCENT. If you’re interested you can buy it at: myBook.to/Descent 

When Kalin Thompson is promoted to Director of Security at Stone Mountain Resort, she soon becomes entangled in the high-profile murder investigation of an up-and-coming Olympic-caliber skier. There are more suspects with motives than there are gates on the super-G course, and danger mounts with every turn.

Kalin’s boss orders her to investigate. Her boyfriend wants her to stay safe and let the cops do their job. Torn between loyalty to friends and professional duty, Kalin must look within her isolated community to unearth the killer’s identity.

Rachel, thank you for hosting this blog. I look forward to getting and collecting other editing ideas from your readers. There is always more to learn.

Kristina Stanley

You can find me at: Blog | @StanleyKMS | Facebook | LinkedIn | Google+

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Thank you, Kristina, for such awesome tips!  Now, who’s up next?  If you’re game, please contact me at:

A Picture’s Worth…

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words…  I hope that’s true, because for today’s Throwback Thursday, I’ve got nothin’!  Actually, I’m so busy at work, I’ve barely had time to breathe, much less do anything fun.  If any of you have noticed me missing on the Blogfront, that’s why.  (I promise to be back soon and catch up reading and commenting on all of your blogs, as well as my own.)  But in the meantime, for today’s TBT, presented for your approval are some old and not-so-old photos I took with the thought of doing something with them someday…  I guess today’s that day, and this is the something…

Time to talk:  Which photo do you like the best and why?

On Editing

A while back, I posted a call to all writers who wanted to share their editing tips, and Sarah Carlson volunteered.  If you don’t already follow Sarah’s blog, you’re missing a real treat.  So without further ado, here’s Sarah:

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Please share one to three tips or tricks that you use when editing your work, how specifically you use them, and why they work for you.

The more you write, the better you get. Especially if you spend the money to hire a professional editor, as you can learn so much from them and apply later. Critiquing and editing others’ works helps practice and develop your own skills as well.

I tend to edit as I go, but then do a final read-through line edit. The best way for me to do this is to actually print it out and take a pen to it. My brain just processes things differently on paper.

What was your biggest repeated mistake when you first started writing? What is your weakest point of editing and why?

I’m not sure if this is editing per say, but my biggest mistake was overwriting, which slows down pacing, saps tension, and just makes things boring. I still generally end up doing multiple reads of the full MS, cutting and trimming and condensing as I go. I would also say slipping into passive tense.

My weakest point in editing at this point is probably rushing through because I want to get done quickly. I need to force myself to take breaks and slow down.

Have you used any editing methods previously that just didn’t work for you? If so, what were they and why didn’t they work?

My process has evolved naturally over the years. I’d say early on I thought I was better at self-editing than I actually was, but working with professional editors and other skilled writers helped me improve.

Please tell us something about your current work in progress or your most recent completed work (or both), and tell us where we can purchase your book(s).

I just finished a major re-write and edit of Hooligans in Shining Armour! It took five months and a lot of blood and sweat, but no tears ;) I sent it to my agent a few days ago. You can learn more about it on my blog. https://sjoycarlson.wordpress.com/

Hope this helps!

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Thank you, Sarah, for such great tips!  Now, who’s up next?  If you’re game, please contact me at:

Another Commercial

In June, I told you how the first TV commercial I wrote, directed, and produced was finally approved by The Florida Bar, and had made it to the airwaves.  Since then, we’ve shot several more, and the second one was approved.

A cool thing about this one is that it’s based on reading.  Would you like to see it?  If so, please click on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqdlnbfbdIk

I added the link rather than embedding the video so that you can click on it and go to our YouTube page… and hopefully, you’ll “Like” the video on YouTube so that my boss will keep me around.  (Hint, hint, and thank you very much!)

P.S. Once again, my Proud Mama Moment is that my son was the audio engineer for the music and the voiceover.

Time to talk:  Did you watch the video?  Do you prefer attorney commercials where the lawyer speaks?