Tag Archives: revisions

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


Writing:

Well what can I say but that our road trip resulted in some spectacular revisions, editing and increased word count 72,674 for The Twesome Loop. We left just after work on Friday and made our way to Red Deer, got checked in and made the room our own! This actually means setting up laptops on the table/desks, selecting beds (usually Linda has the one near the window) and then we went for supper. Delicious meal with the chef’s specialty Bulgogi, amazing flavor.

The word Bulgogi literally means fire meat in Korean, and is derived from the Pyongan dialect. It refers to marinated meat, (generally beef if used without a qualifier), cooked using traditional grilling techniques such as gridirons or perforated dome griddles that sit on braziers, unlike deep frying or boiling in water.

15073509_10207622558337301_1573629241843353787_nThe Twesome Loop

Saturday morning after a leisurely breakfast we spent the morning writing in quite companionship for the most part. Then as the sunshine was too glorious to miss, set off for a drive to enjoy the afternoon and surrounding scenery. Back for wine and salad and more writing. As we have a late check out at 1 pm we utilized the time to write after breakfast and set off on a tour of the historical sites in Red Deer. At one site where old buildings have been sited we delighted at two surprise guests – a buck & doe walked in through the gate and calmly grazed just feet away from us.

Our trip home was of course the longer route (common practice for us) and took us to Sylvan Lake, through Lacombe and Clearwater counties up to Rocky Mountain House through Wetaskiwin  and Braznea counties and to Leduc and home.

Linda (as my publisher) kindly completed the update of my fantasy romance, The Rython Kingdom with its new cover and ordered proof copies. So it will be soon. I had the idea of having slip covers made for the editions I have at home so the new cover can be attached. I am so pleased with how the new cover looks.

rythonfinaltitletext

Have you changed a book cover?

Did you write over the weekend?

Do you escape to write? Where do you go?

Books:

uninvited guests

I finished The Uninvited Guests – my Goodreads review:

What a delightful and surprising book. I had an inkling about the visitors (I will not reveal) three quarters the way through the book but it was skillfully written, wonderful prose and immersed me in Edwardian life.
Sadie has a remarkable story telling talent and I recommend you read this story. Love lost, love gained and love thwarted with touch of revenge served cold.

The beginning of The Faraday Girls gripped me from the start – a great first sentence! The story is endearing, surprising and intriguing so far.

faraday

Writing Tips:

Diana Athill: Read it aloud to yourself because that’s the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out – they can be got right only by ear).

Margaret Atwood: If you’re using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick. (I know this from experience after loosing over 5K in the midst of NaNoWriMo – not funny!)

What are your writing tips?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

LifeinSlakePatch 001

As I told you all earlier, I submitted part of my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch to our current Writer in Residence – Richard van Camp. He answered with:

I’ve had a read of your intro and it seems to me that you find your rhythm in Chapter 4. I found the first three chapters to go so quickly, too quickly, that I couldn’t get a lock on any of the characters or their back stories.  Perhaps a rewrite of your intro?  My advice is slow down; take your time. Have fun with each scene. Sights, smells, etc. Give us setting; give us tone; set the mood.

Now for new or seasoned writers, critique is a double edged sword, some is favorable, some not but all should be taken as constructive rather than destructive. Several rewrites previously I took another writer in residence advice and ‘info dumped’ at the beginning of this story to ‘set the scene’.

So do I change it or not? Do I follow my gut and revise to balance the slightly conflicting advice from these two marvelous authors? Or do I rewrite a completely different introduction? This is something I will ponder and decide after careful consideration.

Have you experienced conflicting critique?

How did you resolve the matter? Did you change it or not?

Books: My review of The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

hope

The story was a neat concept but fell short, unlike Claire’s previous two books. The character was complex, the story arc well constructed but the use of numerous synonyms of words detracted from the flow of the story – taking me out of the narrative. I understand as a fellow author that these descriptions were an explanation of the main character’s inner most thoughts but they were too much of a distraction for me.

However, it will in no way put me off reading another of Claire’s books – her ability to engage a reader is wonderful in The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August & Touch.

I have just started reading – I Can See You by Joss Landry.

I was engaged from the first page!

i-can-see-you

Writing Tip: Chuck Sambuchino

Remember the Three “P’s”:  Patience, Perseverance, and maintaining your sense of Purpose.

Do you have a writing tip to share?

What book can you recommend?

Packing Tips for Writers – What To Take…


I found this article and thought it was apt as my friend, Linda and I are always escaping on road trips and a few can be applied even if not traveling on an airplane.

http://thewritelife.com/packing-tips-for-writers/

travel-tips

1. Be realistic about how much work you’ll do

Before you go on your trip, make a plan for what you’ll actually do while you’re traveling. Be realistic about how much time you’ll actually have to work.

2. Bring the essentials

Condensing an office’s worth of gear, equipment and supplies into a carry-on sized bag. First, start with the most important things.

Laptop: If you have an alternative lightweight portable laptop/tablet take that instead. Remember your charger!

Reference materials: Take the most relevant materials for your planned project.

Notebook and pen: Always have a small notebook and a pen. Ideas for a novel or character can spring up at any time.

3. Back it up

Make sure you back up your work – a flash drive, emailing to yourself or a data saving source.

4.Go digital

Take digital copies instead of resource material with you instead of hard copies.

5. Bring travel-writing essentials

Even though you’re traveling light, be sure to bring anything you’ll need to transform your trip into a story including a way to take photos. Having photos can also help when you’re trying to recollect specific details and set a scene when you’re writing later on.

6. Safeguard your gear

Make sure you carry your most important items (like your laptop and backups) with you. Consider travel insurance or checking your current insurance policies (such as homeowner’s, renter’s, or automobile) to see if they’ll cover your valuables.

This is my traveling list:

My laptop & charger

A hard drive to back up

Notebook – which includes notes on my current project (these are in addition to my file folders on my laptop. I also use it for revision notes & narrative additions, page numbers of where I am in the process etc.

Pens and a pencil

Cell phone for photos & charger

Comfortable clothes and warm socks, eye glasses, a bottle of wine & snacks and tea bags (Okay I’m English teabags are a must!)

We normally request a desk & two chairs when we book a room to ensure we both have comfortable areas in which to write. Luckily neither of us needs noise so silence reigns unless we are discussing our day or writing. (No TV required either!)

index

 

Another Albertan Road Trip…Jasper


15073509_10207622558337301_1573629241843353787_n

Our road trip this weekend actually started early on Thursday morning, 7 am to be precise. We stopped to grab breakfast and made our way to Jasper in the Rocky mountains. A place we have visited before but still has the ability to inspire awe at the magnificence of the mountains. Their ever changing faces in sunshine, cloud, rain or snow make each visit unique.On the road through Jasper National Park we saw these sheep in the middle of the road licking salt, they were not deterred by large trucks honking horns, driving so close we thought they might hit them or these huge vehicles driving around them.

Arriving just after 12.30 pm we set up our table to promote and sell books published by Dream Write Publishing. With so many books already published we could only bring a selection and hoped our choices were relevant for the venue and time of year. Our first sale came only minutes after we had completed our display. A good start to the day! Which concluded with several books being purchased for the Jasper Community Habitat for the Arts gift shop.

habitat-for-the-arts-nov-2016

Once everything was packed up at 5 pm, we went for supper and to check into our hotel. An added bonus was an upgrade to a beautifully appointed and cozy room.

The next morning after breakfast we set up in a most unusual venue, a laundromat and cafe. A first for us. The SnowDome cafe’s friendly staff and customers made our time there enjoyable, connecting, answering questions and a potential client.

snowdome-jasper-nov-18-2016

A celebratory supper at the hotel’s restaurant followed and an added bonus a herd of elk laying on the lawn of the hotel as we walked back to our room. Unfortunately, my cellphone is not good when it comes to taking photos at night. Can you see the bull, his antlers were spectacular and two of the doe’s had tracking collars on them.

The rest of our weekend was ours to do with as we wished. Saturday morning was a leisurely start, takeaway breakfast and a drive to Patricia and Pyramid Lakes. A walk onto the island at Pyramid where the dusting of overnight snow glistened and the water lapped gently. There was ice forming in thin layers on the shore edges and the air was still. Silence prevailed and we stood reveling in the peace of the mountain air as large snowflakes began to fall. It was Christmas card perfect.

Back into Jasper and a browse around a clothing store and then purchases for supper. Then seven hours of writing – a writer’s joy! I edited, revised and added 1000 words to my WIP, The Twesome Loop. With a brief excursion to refresh body and mind mid-afternoon. Once supper was consumed back to writing for a few more hours.

Sunday morning was begun with a leisurely brunch, then a trip to Athabasca Falls. The roar of water, the ice blue of the flow and the cavern walls decorated with huge icicles made this visit a wonderful experience.

It was difficult to leave but leave we did. Back to Jasper for a local crafts fair and then on the road home. We encountered several herds of elk & mountain sheep.

Our trip was successful on so many levels – books sold, connections made, extensive writing completed and nature enjoyed. Can’t wait for the next one!

Social Media Pros and Cons for Writers…


global-social

This post was created due to the fact I was worrying about what to write for today’s post while perusing my Facebook and finally noticing two hours had ‘disappeared’ – without me really understanding where that time went! As this study shows it is not an uncommon problem.

sites

So how do we market, connect and sell our books without being sucked into the social media vacuum? We all know we should be writing not viewing cute videos or scrolling down page after page of posts. Yes, we need to interact and promote but how can we balance our time?

Many sites promote keeping to a schedule – even putting a timer on to force a switch off time or using an app that shuts down the media page. We can be overwhelmed with too many sites – but if we choose carefully and link the actions to the most relevant ones to our specific theme we can save time. A blog post can automatically be shared to Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. this saves us precious writing time.So also setting our social media sites with sharing options cuts down our physical interaction time without reducing its effectiveness. The trick is to identify which sites work best for your particular message and keep to them.

Here’s a great link about that very subject :  http://www.webdesignrelief.com/social-networking-sites-for-writers/

I tend to burst on social media early morning and late afternoon (interspersed during the day when possible). My ‘bad’ time is weekend mornings when I am catching up. This is my danger time and the one I have to forcibly limit myself. If not, I am berating myself for ‘lost’ time writing. Avoiding the lure of social media results in a project started, revised or finished and that is worth any writers time.

When is your ‘danger’ time or times? 

How do you limit your social media time?

media icons

 

Reincarnation Series Beginning…


Today I start the year’s second series on reincarnation to coincide with the revision of my romance, The Twesome Loop, which has several character’s meeting their soul mates. However, as my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch has just undergone a radical change of thought, I will be working on it for the month of June. Writers out there will understand this particular predicament only too well.

old to young

I have always been fascinated with reincarnation, life after death, ‘tunnel’ experiences and so on, since working as a nurse (many moons ago!). Geriatric wards at night are a plethora of sights and sounds relived by the patients. I even had an experience with my grandfather, which I will relay at some point. Some posts will be general, while others will be personal experiences.

There are many religions that believe in the return of souls so we will explore them together.

One last lost word from http://phrontistery.info/clw.html – which I thought apt for the start of this series.

eternitarian         1746 -1746
one who believes in the eternity of the soul
Though she held to no particular faith, she remained a hopeful eternitarian.

eye

 

Lost Words of a Writing Retreat…


strawberry-creek-lodge

This post was created prior to my escaping for four days on a writing retreat. As you can imagine the excitement was tangible for the weeks coming up to this event. It will be the fourth time I have joined other writing friends on such a retreat in the fabulous Strawberry Creek Lodge. Hidden away along a long track, shrouded by trees and with a creek babbling beside it, the large log cabin is perfect for inspiration, contemplation and for allowing the writing Muse to whisper unhindered.

I will be revising several ‘work in progress’ manuscripts – Life in Slake Patch, Willow Tree Tears and The Giving Thief. All are in different genres so my mind will be full of multiple characters all vying for attention.

With the most delicious meals cooked for us and several bottles of wine to consume, there is no better place to be.

aeipathy n 1847 -1853
continued passion; an unyielding disease
Her aeipathy for stamp collecting bordered at times on the pathological.

apanthropinization n 1880 -1880
withdrawal from human concerns or the human world
His life as a hermit in the woods was characterized by apanthropinization.

boscaresque adj 1734 -1734
picturesque; scenically wooded
Despite northern England’s industrial pollution, parts of it remain boscaresque.

incabinate v 1672 -1672
to enclose in a cabin; to confine
The solution to her writer’s block was to incabinate herself at her country villa.

sodalitious adj 1656 -1730
of or belonging to society or to fellowship
Sodalitious camaraderie is the basis for gentlemanly life in this civilized era.

Please visit http://phrontistery.info/clw.html for more lost words.

My sentence: Our sodalitious will once again enjoy the boscaresque surroundings while incabinated at Strawberry Creek, allowing apanthropinization from our daily lives allowing us to focus on our aeipathy of writing in good company.

006_strawberry-creek-lodge

Excerpt #1 – Willow Tree Tears


As writers we all know the struggle of editing and revision once the first draft is completed. I am continuing to ‘polish’ my western romance, Willow Tree Tears. Today’s excerpt centers around my protagonist, Madison. She is thrilled about seeing the delicious Italian again but also discovers something is wrong with her father. I would welcome comments regarding how this excerpt relates her relationships and if it gives you an idea of her personality.

Madison’s excitement kept her awake. Today, Lucio would be revisiting. She admonished herself, trying to sleep. You will look absolutely awful tomorrow with great big bags under my eyes and sallow skin. Fall asleep, damn it. Eventually, she gave in and took half a sleeping tablet fearing a whole one would have her sleep in. The crash of a pan downstairs frightened her awake at seven o’clock. Was that Pops? She hurriedly grabbed her rope and ran down the stairs into the kitchen. She found her father scooping scrambled eggs off the mat and swearing under his breath.

“Frightened me half to death, Pops. What happened?”

“Damn thing slipped right out of my hand. Darndest thing.”

“Sit down, I’ll clean up the rest, Pops, if there’s anything to clear up Bandit seems to have managed most of it. Are you sure you are okay?”

“No need to fuss, girl. It just slipped.”

Madison bent down to mop up the grease off the tiles. From the corner of her eye she could see her father rub his left arm and then smack it as if it were numb. He’s keeping something from me. Maybe Doc wasn’t out this way for someone else the day I passed him on the road.

             With the floor clean, Madison made a new batch of scrambled eggs while her father began to make a pot of coffee. Bandit slumped down under the kitchen table satisfied with his early morning treat but kept one eye on Madison just in case there was another spill.

“Pops, how about using only two scoops this morning?”

“It’ll have no taste, girl.”

“It certainly will, Pops, and my heart won’t be racing afterwards and neither will yours.”

Her father didn’t argue. There is something wrong. He would have fought for the usual four scoops any other time. I’m going to talk to Doc the first chance I get, patient confidentially or not. I need to know what’s going on. Breakfast was served and eaten almost in silence apart from the scraping of cutlery on plates, as father and daughter were lost in their own thoughts. Madison carefully watched her father ascend the stairs. He’s leaning to his left and favoring his right arm, I hadn’t noticed until now.

             On her way to her room, Madison peered into her father’s room. He was sitting on the bed rubbing his arm again. Does it hurt? Should I say something? I’ll talk to Doc first then I’ll know what I need to do. In the meantime I need to take more notice of what he’s doing.

Copyright 2015 – Mandy Eve-Barnett  – Willow Tree Tears.

Hidden Stories Found and Friday Fun…


I read this article concerning ‘lost’ stories from Truman Capote with interest.   http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/books/lost-stories-by-capote-are-published.html?_r=0
Truman_Capote

I wonder how many other authors or poets have work stuffed into the back of drawers, filed away in dusty archives or were discarded into the garbage? As modern writers we have the ability to store our writing on memory sticks or within computer files. They can be recovered (or not) at our leisure or wiped clean if we feel the compulsion to do so.

Would you want your work to be ‘discovered’ at a later date?

Would it reflect your current writing style or be completely different?

I have a couple of novels saved on my hard drive that were my initial foray into this writing life. My experience and skill has increased since and I know that they would need a lot of editing to bring them up to par. I return to them from time to time and ponder re-writing them so cannot delete them. They show me how far I have come and for that they are precious. Maybe one day they will see the light of day and be published. I just need to get all the other projects bouncing around inside my head on paper first!

Have you re-written a project?

What did you learn from the experience?

Quotes

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” – Arthur Plotnik

You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences. ~  Anatole France

Today’s prompt : Re-write the first line of your first story.FunDay

Share it here with the original.

Excerpt from Willow Tree Tears – WIP: Name changes and setting described:

Original: Willow rode past Shanna Deeks into the rodeo arena. I’m goin’ to beat you, bitch. You might have stolen Ryan from me but you’re not getting’ this championship.

Revision: Madison rode toward the rodeo arena entrance, shifting in her saddle to ensure Amber Fire’s girth was tight as she weaved through the crowd of people and horses, attending the year’s final rodeo.

A Necessary Chore…Editing


As writers we love to be immersed in our own creations -weaving plots, planning and following story arcs, creating character profiles as well as their trials and tribulations. Our minds are full of questions : What happens next? How would my character react? Is that plausible or believable? Can I improve on that scene? Have I shown not told? Is there too much exposition? Would the reader have enough description to envisage the scene?

Freytags_pyramid_svgGraph – speedofcreativity.com

All these questions need to be answered but not when we are writing the first draft. This initial phase is the most enjoyable part of creating a story. Remember to give your inner editor time off enabling you to create freely and get the basic story line written. Once you have finished, the ‘real’ work starts. Continuity, grammar, spelling, character development, revisions to scenes etc. the list is long and sometimes overwhelming. Where should you start?

Once the story is complete put it to one side and go onto new projects. Leave it for a month or more (I’ve left two projects for nearly 6 months). When you go back to re-read you have fresh eyes giving you new insights. Your revision process may be to correct everything above as you read each page or you could concentrate on one item at a time, re-reading each time giving you a particular focus. This second method does lean itself to sharpening the process as you are not trying to ‘spot’ numerous revision types at the same time. With your editing done let your favored readers have it. Take note of their suggestions and correct any  errors they may find. No matter how many times you or your beta readers go through the manuscript there will always be a word missed, misspelt or a continuity slip up. How do you make your manuscript as good as it can be?

editorImage – Library of Poetry

A professional editor – if you can afford one – is a good investment. However, one trick that may work for you in finding those elusive errors is to read the book from back to front page by page. Another is to read it out aloud to yourself or a understanding friend (a glass or two of wine helps with this one!) A missed word is very obvious with this technique.

When editing there may be sentences or even whole paragraphs that you know need to be revised or even omitted from the manuscript to help with the flow of the story line or scene.  Deleting these is hard – it is your creation and your words were written through hard work. There are different opinions on what to do with these revisions but I think they should be saved in a separate document until you are absolutely sure you do want to delete them and even then you may keep them as a record of how the scene developed.  They are a writer’s jetsam so to speak, which is my link to today’s calendar word. I had to squeeze it in somewhere!

Jetsam  Definition: unwanted material or goods that have been thrown overboard from a ship and washed ashore.

3187181309_63dba81a50_z Photo by Verity Cridland

These ejected words from our ‘ship’ may float on our hard drives or become washed up in a document folder but wherever they end up they are part of our creative soul and never truly lost. We may pick them up from the shore in the future to use in another piece of writing or they may stay hidden in the depths of our files. No matter which scenario occurs, they are born of you and precious all the same.

As writers we endeavor to produce the very best manuscript or article we can and that is why we endure the editing process. Without this method of correcting and improving, our creations will not be polished and worthy of reading and that is the one thing we all want – our work to be read and enjoyed.

I wish you fortitude in your process to make your work excel and delight your readers.