Tag Archives: Editing

Weekly writing check-in: that’s a lot of words

For the most part, I am making sense of all my squiggles.

I’m currently working in Word with Grammarly opened in the side panel. This is something new. In the past, I’ve completed my edits and then would open Grammarly to pick up on anything I might have missed.

Note: this is not the way I draft anything. When I draft, spellcheck, grammar checks, everything is off, off, off.

But I find Grammarly a bit tedious. There are any number of things I simply skip (and you should too). And I wasn’t looking forward to running a check after I was all done with the edits. So? Two for one!

It seems to be working. The edits may be a bit slower, but that’s not a bad thing.

Also, I’m pretty sure the only reason Grammarly has “checked” +300,000 words is it runs the check each time I open the manuscript or wake my desktop. I look far more productive than I actually am.

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Weekly writing check-in: It’s not going to edit itself

Oh, look at me doing two check-ins in a row. I know. It’s crazy.

This week, I made it through all the hand edits. I ran out of blue tabs, so I had to use yellow for episode two. Then I ran out of pink for the chapters, and episode three is in purple and green. And I used all the green tabs as well (episode three is the longest).

But the thing with hand editing like this? The updates aren’t going to magic themselves into the manuscript.

That’s my task for today and this coming week (I’m hoping the long US holiday will help with that).

So, I’m going to dive into all those tabs and squiggles I’ve created. We’ll see if they make sense.

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Weekly writing check-in: done and then some

Yes, I know.

I should probably call these posts monthly writing check-in. I’m not going to make any promises about posting more often, except I want to blog more about my new Little Free Library, books, and writing in general. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed, okay?

So, not only have I finished the draft of Coffee and Ghosts, Season Four, I’m well into the revision. In fact, I’m through episode one, the short story, and started on episode two this weekend. 

When I draft, I write in block format. I use Cambria typeface (the default for Microsoft Word on Mac), and I only use scene breaks, no chapters. Also? Spell and grammar checks are off.

For the first round of edits, I first do a quick spell and grammar check. Just the big stuff, so the mistakes don’t annoy or distract me. Then, I change the font to Times New Roman, bump it up to 14, and then put it into standard manuscript formatting. 

Honestly, I think making it look different does wonders for adding emotional distance (as does time–I haven’t peeked at episode one since I finished it). 

I go through the entire manuscript and mark it up by hand. This is also when I figure out where I want the chapters to be. 

New for this edit: I decided to mark where all the scenes are (blue) and where I think the chapters should fall (pink). This gives me a good visual for where the chapters should be. Also? I highly recommend a header with page numbers, at the very least. You drop this thing? And the papers scatter all over the floor?

It’s nothing but wailing and crying and gnashing of teeth after that. 

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Weekly writing check-in: polar vortex and editing

The only way to deal with the polar vortex

Oh, it was cold here this week. I think it got down to -29, without the windchill. And, yes, the only way to handle the polar vortex is to bundle up and nap.

In writing news this week, I have the edits back for The Trouble with Necromancers. So I’m switching gears to work on that because the changes I make in the first book will naturally spill into the second.

The changes I need to make? Ahem. I need to make sure the story in my head is actually on the page. To solve this issue, I asked myself: What if Poppy (the main character) knew something about the antagonist from the very start of the story?

The single question opened up not only this novel but the entire series. I’m so excited to dig in and make those changes. In related news, I now have a post-it note next to my computer that says:

Stop being sneaky.

Here’s the thing about getting an edit. You don’t necessarily need to take the editor’s suggestions (although you may want to). You do need to look at the issues and address them in some way. Maybe that way is not to delete or change but amplify. A good edit helps you see your blind spots.

In audio news, I think I’m a step closer to securing the narrator I want for Coffee & Ghosts. More on that when it’s official.

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Editing cat is editing

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Editing cat finds your words … wanting.

Also? That’s no ordinary pen. That’s a Uni-ball Vision Elite, black ink infused with color (in this case, red). That’s right. It’s infused. With color. And it is awesome.

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Filed under The cat, Writing, YA