Posts Tagged ‘editing’

Love Locks

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Redbuds in flower on Brooklyn side of the famous bridge.

I’ve been across the Brooklyn Bridge a time or two but noticed something new on this trip. “Love-Locks” have taken over many of the clip-worthy spots on the bridge. According to a quick web search, the tradition of fastening a padlock to a bridge began in Europe. These locks are usually a visible tribute to the endurance of a couples love and, when possible, the key is chucked into the river.


Do you think Monty still brings Pippi flowers?

There are now thousands of these little tokens all thoughtfully locked onto public property. They are fixed to the bridge like remora to a shark. I am certain the love of the couples will endure, but the locks….maybe not. I’m seeing work crews with bolt cutters in their future. Some of the locks are etched. Many have initials and dates scribbled on them with a black sharpie. Some are carefully etched. Some confused couples have inexplicably clipped their locks to a chain-link fence at the ferry pier.

Love locks fastened to every available cable.

Love locks fastened to every available cable.

I’m glad to know what these little curiosities are and why they are popping up like the onion grass in my yard. How many locks can those cables hold, do you think?

Shovel, Write, Shovel, Write, repeat…

Friday, February 14th, 2014

I feel like I’m reenacting scenes from my stories WINTER WOMAN and/or OUTLAW BRIDE.  It seems my world has frozen and I have spent much time and energy chopping, scraping and shoveling snow, ice, sleet and more snow.

This lovely snow scene is actually my driveway. It’s under there somewhere.

Between bouts with the snow shovel, I finished my copy edits for THE VAMPIRE’S WOLF, a paranormal Nocturne that will appear in JULY 2014, with my driveway, I’d imagine.

Finally saw the sun and the blue sky today and the snow quickly dissolved from the branches of my red maple.

I also sent my editor a Valentine’s present, the revised version of my Christmas novella, coming in October 2014 in the Anthology titled, WILD WEST CHRISTMAS.  My story is titled, A FAMILY FOR THE RANCHER.  I just love this story and hope my readers will too.

I’ve put an excerpt up on my website for THE VAMPIRE’S WOLF, in my eNews page, so please do have a look and let me know what you think.



Memorial Day

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

I like these ecards from:

My Memorial Day began by avoiding traveling over the NY area bridge on Friday afternoon.  I could make faster progress riding a tricycle backwards than trying to drive over any metro area egress on a rainy Friday before a three-day weekend.

But not to worry, as soon as the traffic congestion slows the State Police will be out on every highway causing drivers to brake unexpectedly and swerve back in to the right lane.

I heard that something like 34 million of us will be on the highways this weekend.  I have done my part by driving from wet, rainy, cold northeastern city to another wet, rainy, cold northeastern city.  But this is all good news for fans of my writing.  If I can’t go to a parade, the beach, a barbeque or a picnic, I wonder what I will do?

Perhaps finish the revisions on my next Nocturne?

Below is a little of what I wrote today on a WIP (Work In Progress) paranormal romance.  My hero is grappling with the realization that his transformation to a werewolf has changed more than his body.

“I never take over Dad’s business.  I won’t drive that rig with my name painted in gold on the door.  No big house filled with kids and dog and rabbits and…”  Mac looked away and cleared his throat.  “And a wife.”  He swallowed hard.  “Things change.  Plans change.”

She placed a hand over his.  “I’m sorry.”

He stood, withdrawing as he scrubbed his face with his palms.

“It’s like I died over there.  You know?  I went in one way and came out another.” 

I hope you enjoyed this mini-excerpt and that your Memorial day is full of family, fun and gratitude for those who have honorably served our country.

Using my eReader as a Writing Tool

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

My Notes & Marks includes notes labeled, ‘too much backstory’ and ‘do I need this scene?’

I have been using my eReader for some time to read stories to me. I really don’t mind the electronic voice if it allows me to experience more novels than I could otherwise squeeze into my crazy schedule. But lately I’ve been using my eReader to help me with my works in progress.

Here’s How:  I email my story as a document to my eReader address and open it as a document.  Then I use the Read Aloud function to listen to my second draft.

Here’s Why: Despite cringing at missing words and incorrect verb tense and a myriad of other minutiae, the Read Aloud function lets me hear some big picture items without getting sidetracked with fixing trivialities

Here’s What:

The False Start – While listening, I can more easily spot where the story or chapter or scene really begins, in other words, where the writing gets interesting. I often unintentionally do some “throat clearing” before I get rolling, especially on a new story as I get to know the setting, characters and conflict.  There can be a pile of backstory in these pages and all of that has to go.  Nobody cares about backstory until they are vested in the characters.  So spotting these information dumps and making a note to myself regarding their elimination helps me create a fast read.

I’m Boring Myself – If my mind wanders or worse still, if I fall asleep while listening, I have a waving red flag that the reader will check out as well. My eReader helps me find those places.

Setting – It’s easier for me to notice when I have too many scenes set in the same location while listening and also to discover places where I have not done enough to help the reader experience the setting.

Weak Openings, Feeble Hooks – Did my opening grab me and do my hooks drag me into the next chapter?

Repeats of Ideas, Backstory or other things – Readers are smart and they have very good memories, so once is enough.

Unnatural Dialogue – Hearing the characters helps me see if their conversations sound natural or forced and if the characters have different styles of speech.

Timeline:  It’s always nice to notice if your story has a week has no Wednesday and no weekend or if you have the characters eating second breakfast like hobbits. Listening helps me here as well.

Here’s Help: I mark places that need addressing with the Notes function which does stop the Read Aloud function, so I only use it for big things, which again keeps me from miring in details.  I’m in the middle of such a read right now for a draft of a paranormal romance for Nocturne, but I took a little break to share something that works for me.

Happy writing!

Writing is Easy, Editing is Hard

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

An older cowboy sits on horseback beside a young buck and quickly estimates the number of cows passing by. Impressed, the younger cowboy asks how the older man calculated the number so quickly.

“Easy. Just count the hooves and divide by four.”

That’s how easy it is to write a novel. You just write four times the material you need. You take down research, character sketches and backstory, write the first draft and by the time you finish, you have a better idea what the story is about, what the theme might be and what should be included in the character’s story arc.

Then you just have to divide by four and cut out all the writing that doesn’t support what you’ve discovered. Oh, and then you have to add what is missing based on the knowledge you gleaned from writing the first draft.

Like the older cowboy said, “Easy.”