Six Easy Tips for Self-Editing Your Fiction

Calling all writers – great post on self-editing your work of fiction

Kristen Lamb's Blog

There are a lot of hurdles to writing great fiction, which is why it’s always important to keep reading and writing. We only get better by DOING. Today we’re going to talk about some self-editing tips to help you clean up your book before you hire an editor.

When I worked as an editor, I found it frustrating when I couldn’t even GET to the story because I was too distracted by these all too common oopses.

There are many editors who charge by the hour. If they’re spending their time fixing blunders you could’ve easily repaired yourself? You’re burning cash and time. Yet, correct these problems, and editors can more easily get to the MEAT of your novel. This means you will spend less money and get far higher value.

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What are you doing to celebrate the Winter Solstice? I’m writing…

Today is officially the first day of winter, also known as the Winter Solstice. This is when the sun is at its lowest point above the horizon. Happy Solstice!

16a Most of us have plenty to eat to make it through the winter (harsh or not depending on where you’re located). So donate some canned goods to your local food pantry or shelter. Or drop off a bag of cat food or dog food to your local animal shelter. They can always use old towels for the critters.

My agenda for today: finish the book I started reading last night, help my nieces make sugar cookies, and work on book 2 in the Shadow Walker series. I know who the main characters are but am still working on what they are all doing and moving the overall plot along.008

I usually do a rough outline – in my head and then as a couple of pages written in Word. Afterwards, I set up a grid in excel with each chapter, who’s in it, what’s happening and the date/time of day if it’s relevant – it is in this one. I also set up a tab with my character profiles – handy when you’re trying to remember if he has blue or green eyes <grin. And finally, I have a tab for schedule…what is the schedule tab? It’s where I track my daily writing goals. I don’t know about you but I need a deadline to keep me going so I set them myself. I’ve posted images so you can see these below.

Are you ready for the holidays? Have you finished your preparations or are you running around to frantically get it all done? I highly recommend a gift to yourself of a massage – your body and mind will thank you!

This is a great time of year to reflect on the year and plan for the next. What did you accomplish this year? What are your goals for 2013?

Happy Winter!

Schedule tab:

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Character grid:

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And the character profile:

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Cheers!

 

An iPad, a Kindle and an iPhone all walk into…

Nope, it’s not a corny joke though if it made you think of one, please share it!iphone

I’ve noticed something among friends and strangers lately…they are carrying multiple devices. Here’s what I hear most: I love my iPhone but not for reading, the screen  is too small. It works in a pinch but I’d rather read on my Kindle. Wait a minute – you have an iPad as well right? Yep, but I love reading on my Kindle and I use my iPad for email, surfing the web, other stuff I used to use my laptop for. The Surface may become a player – I know critics hate it but lots of folks I’ve talked to think it’s pretty nifty and are considering it as a laptop replacement and first tablet so we’ll see. Yesterday at The Streets of Southpoint mall, I took a gander. I liked it – I would replace my laptop with the Surface though let me say, I’d keep my iPhone, my Kindle and iPad – just call me the mule – carrying all my devices!kindle

Anyway, I love the iPhone and iPad and Kindle but also find I prefer reading on my Kindle. Side note – I ordered the new Paperwhite Kindle (sold my old one) and whoo-hoo Santa came early, got it yesterday. I found I will use my iPhone to read sometimes but my iPad – well I will read on it but outside in bright light, I prefer the Kindle. I’ve heard from a few guys who are carrying their iPhone, iPad, laptop and Kindles in what I sweetly call a “man bag”. Timbuk2 makes a fantastic messenger bag for that special man in your life! A few of them have said if Microsoft Office was on the iPad they’d get rid of the laptop altogether.bag

Do you find yourself carrying a larger purse to accommodate your devices? Psst…the Coach diaper bag is perfect. It’s like a tote and the padded changing pad works great to wrap around your tablet, laptop, Kindle, etc.coach

So – do you use one device for everything or do you use multiple devices? If so, which ones for what?

P.S. If you don’t have one, it’s not too late to put it on your holiday wish list!

Cheers!ipad

Debut Book – Shadow Dance – Coming Soon

I’ve been working on my first novel. NaNoWriMo really helped me with my productivity. It’s been a journey and I can hardly describe the joy I felt in writing “the end”.Shadow Dance Website Size 72 dpi 600 x 900

Book One – Shadow Dance is now complete and in the revision phase. I hope to have it available in February 2013. I’ll update everyone when it goes live. It’s a dark, edgy, paranormal romance and it’s going to be a series. I’ve got the ideas for the next several books. I’ll start on book two as soon as the edit process is complete on book one.

Shadow Dance  – Ghosts are not the gauzy white shapes, harmlessly floating around us as we’ve been led to believe – they are ancient warriors with the power to drain a human’s energy, instantly aging and killing them. A war has been brewing for centuries between light and shadow…shadow walker pitted against day walker, threatening to send the world into darkness, unless the shadow walkers save humanity before time runs out.

This is Colin’s story – Prowling the streets of Edinburgh, watching over, protecting humanity, Colin was a ghost – immortal – a deadly, lethal, predator reveling in eviscerating those who preyed on humanity. Losing hope centuries ago for a chance at redemption, he embraced the Shadow Walker life – until he crosses paths with Emily who changes his fate, intervening to save his life, igniting his long-buried desires. With a week to break the curse before Colin turns wraith, lost to darkness for eternity…time is running out as they are locked in a deadly fight with forces who will stop at nothing to destroy them before they succeed.

What are you working on? It doesn’t have to be a book – a new decorating project, craft, etc. How do you stay motivated?

Cheers!

Books 2012 – It was a very good year

As 2012 comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about which books and/or authors I’ve most enjoyed this year. With the proliferation of e-readers and free Amazon Kindle apps for your phone and PC, if you haven’t already – expand your horizons, read a book today.

Never thought I’d say how much I love my Kindle and yes, it’s overtaken my love for a printed book. It’s super easy now to take a small e-reader to the beach, on vacation, work, etc. and have all my books at my fingertips not to mention instant gratification to get a new one after trying a free sample by clicking a button. I can stay in my jammies and never leave the house at midnight because I just have to have that next book in the series.

Below in no particular order are my faves for this year:

JR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood series

Deborah E Harkness Discovery of Witches and sequel

George RR Martin Game of Thrones series

Kim Harrison Hollow series

Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunter and Born series

Diana Gabaldon Outlander series

Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy

Elizabeth Hoyt Maiden Lane Series

Patricia Briggs River Marked

Margret Maron Deborah Knott series and way too many more to mention…

So I have to wonder, do you still read paper books? Do you have an e-reader or Kindle app? Plan to ask for one for the Holidays? If you do read e-books, do you only get from the library? Yes, you can get e-books from the library for your e-reader. If you buy e-books, what’s your price point for e-books? .99 – 5.99? What do you want to see from authors and who is your favorite?  I know, a lot of questions but I’m a curious sort…

Cheers!