Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Tips for Good Editing & Proofreading – Author ToolBox Blog Hop

June 18, 2020
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A good editor is worth their weight in gold. They not only fix your grammar and find and correct major and minor errors , but also improve your book’s content and structure in a way that preserves your style. There are two main processes a manuscript has to go through prior to publication. Both require a systematic approach.

Use these as a guideline to edit and proofread your manuscript before sending it to an editor. Expect a red-lined manuscript back and learn from the experience.

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Editing

This process concentrates on:

Paragraph structure and clear transitions between paragraphs.There is a flow of the story – whether character development or plot.

Highlighting any repetition of words, sentence structure, and the correct use of any technical, historical or factual elements.

Helps to condense and improve the efficiency of your writing.

Questions your flow of the narrative.

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Proofreading

A more focused approach to find common errors and the ones missed during editing. Here are a couple of tips to help you:

Read the manuscript out loud or divide it into sections. TIP Read from last chapter to first.

Rewrite structure if required, such as plot, story line, consistency and continuity. TIP Create a general outline 1 – 3 pages maximum to track the story line.

Scene outline. Read each scene to determine if they require editing or deletion TIP Do they push the story forward? If not delete them. TIP Create a check list for each step of proofreading. Then concentrate on that particular one at a time.

Print out your manuscript – it may seem odd to do this in the computer age but we perceive information differently between screen and paper. TIP Read it out loud. On hearing the flow of the language you will understand your strong and weak points.

TIP from the King!

We can be too wordy in our writing, Stephen King learned: “2nd Draft = 1st draft – 10%”. An average manuscript requires at least three rounds of editing and at each round try to shorten your draft for 10% of its original length.

Linear Edit. This is the point you deal with the minor issues such as rewriting sentences, exchanging with words, and fix grammar, punctuation, proofread for misspellings and typos.

Do you have a particular system or tip you use while editing & proofreading?

I have read about one author who prints the manuscript on different coloured paper for each step but this seems a bit excessive! 

Ask A Question Thursday

July 25, 2019
mandyevebarnett


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This week’s question:  Do you incorporate politics and/or religion into your stories? What is the reason?

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I have used a matriarchal society in my novel, Life in Slake Patch as the background to a young man’s life in that regime. It was interesting to write about the influences and attitudes of a different society. In contrast my novel, The Twesome Loop, which covers two time periods, shows the patriarchal suppression in the 1800’s.

Last week’s question:  How did you find your particular writing style? A creative writing class, a teacher, a format or something else? Do you write differently for different genres?

  pamelaallegretto

Well, your recent research is certainly more unique and interesting than mine. I think my writing style, whatever that may be,remains the same no matter what I write. However, my “voice” changes with each work, depending on the era, location, and age of my characters. The personality of my twenty-something Italian protagonist in my WW2 novel is a far cry from the thirty-something American artist in my current WIP.

Mandy Eve-Barnett

I have researched medieval physician’s healing techniques, the circumstances of how a body can dry out and become a husk, natural substances that prevent pregnancy or induce sterility.

 

Signs of Panic – NaNoWriMo 2013…

November 26, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Clamant – definition: 1. clamorous; noisy; 2. compelling, or pressing; urgent

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With only five days left to achieve the magical fifty thousand words of the National Novel Writing Month challenge, many participants are now feeling the pressure.

If you are fearing the 30th November link up here for some pep talks:

http://nanowrimo.org/pep-talks

My own experience this time around in NaNo, I found I ‘lost’ motivation when I tried to keep to my plot model. Having the story mapped out before me, hindered my creativity and I lagged behind dreadfully. Trying a new genre – cowboy romance – has added to the struggle but I am determined to make that goal. I may not sleep for the rest of this week but it will be worth it.

My word count today is 45,844, leaving a tantalizing 4,156 words left to create. I have to squeeze them in between a conference planning meeting tonight, an orthodontist appointment for my daughter on Thursday and organizing and packing books on Friday evening for an all day event on Saturday. Will I make it? I hope so. To be so close and not succeed would seriously suck!

How are you coping with these last few days?

Have you already achieved the target 50,000? Or surpassed it?

Do you have any words of wisdom to achieve the total?

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Creating a Villain…

July 25, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Impassive – definition: showing no sign of emotion or feeling

English: A stereotypical caricature of a villa...

English: A stereotypical caricature of a villain (i.e. generic melodrama villain stock character, with handlebar moustache and black top-hat). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Impassiveness is a great way to portray a villain. I found a great link, which is worth visiting:

http://onyxsturm.deviantart.com/art/On-Writing-Villains-268717064

What characteristics have you used in creating a villain?

My character, William in The Twesome Loop, revolted his young wife with his mannerisms but also indulged his sadistic tendencies. His lack of empathy with his victims made him a hated character, which of course was my intent.

Related Links: http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Credible-Villain-in-Fiction

http://flavorwire.com/391478/the-50-greatest-movie-villains-of-all-time

Absorbing Your Villain? (mstarksauthor.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

Sunday Snippets…

February 10, 2013
mandyevebarnett


sunday_snippets2Continuing with the snippets I have decided to highlight the opening of another WIP. The title for the novel is The Twesome Loop. It is a romance with a reincarnation twist.

Brett gave Dawn a wink as he passed her desk. Her eyes smiled back as he took in her deep cleavage and musky perfume, a memory flashed into his mind of how her full breasts bounced when she was astride him.

“Good morning, Mr. Shaw. Do you need me to take dictation?”

“Not quite yet, thank you, Dawn – Mr. Collin has asked me to sort his files before ten o’clock but later I will want you. For now, just a coffee would be great.”

The innuendo hung in the air as Brett opened his office door to find a large pile of documents on his desk. He’d really have to push to get them all done in time. As he surveyed the bundles of legal documents, he glanced at the probates to see how much each estate was worth and how many heirs were entitled to it.

In the past two years, as Mr. Collin’s assistant, he had seen several large estates, but all were divided into paltry amounts, as far as Brett was concerned. He was waiting for the ‘big one’; the one that would change his life.

After an hour, only a few more bundles were left to sort and that’s when he saw it – the one. He reread the probate sum to be sure. It was worth over four million pounds and to only one heir, a daughter. Even better, she was a spinster. Ensuring he was not observed, he wrote down the daughter’s particulars and put the slip of paper in his top pocket.

This character is the scoundrel of the story. Do you dislike him?

Thank you for any comments.

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