Friday, March 9, 2018

February Progress Report

February’s goals:
  1. Finish Book 2, The Demon’s in the Details, and send it out to my beta readers.
Status: Book completed. Due to some changing priorities around when my editor wanted to see the manuscript, I was only able to get it in front of one beta reader, who is reading it now.
2. Get a proof copy of the cover.
Status: Completed–and I love it. I’ll be sharing it here at when we get a little closer to the release date, September 1.
3. Send Book 1, The Demon Always Wins, to my copy editor.
Status: Sent and returned with 2500 recommended changes.
Yes, you read that right–two thousand five hundred edits. They fall into several broad categories:
  • Missing commas
  • Improper capitalization (in both directions)
  • Improper hyphenating of words (and failure to hyphenate)
  • Use of pronouns vs. proper names (e.g. “She” vs. “Dara”). One of the techniques for deepening point-of-view is to stick with the third person pronoun as much as possible, but if you have two people of the same gender in a scene, this can create reader confusion. So I”m going through and deciding, in each of the cases Arran marked, whether I need to call out the character by name. Mostly, I’ve decided I do.
  • Using an em-dash (—) instead of four period for dialogue (internal or external) that dies away before the character completes their sentence. There are only a handful of these, but I like the idea of having a style rule to follow.
  • Inserting the word “that” into a sentence. Example: Kelsey filled her cup so quickly she slopped coffee on the counter. This is an area where my copy editor and I disagree. I think “that” is a dead word that is unnecessary most of the time, so I rejected most of those edits.
4. Brainstorm the acts, turning points and scenes for Book 3, The Demon Wore Stilettos.
Sunset at the Salt Marsh
Status: In mid-February, I was invited to join a writer’s retreat down on Kiawah Island for a week. It was in the upper 70’s/low 80’s and sunny every day in that part of South Carolina, while it rained non-stop in Ohio while I was gone. That makes the trip a win regardless of what I got done.
Right?
The other writers at the retreat were terrific about helping me brainstorm, so I made some solid progress. I’m still a little iffy on everything after the first act, but I do have a solid understanding of my characters and their motivations. So, as usual, I’m behind but satisfied with my progress.
Goals for March:
  1. Get The Demon’s in the Details through developmental edit.
  2. Get a draft of the cover for The Demon’s in the Details.
  3. Complete the scene list for The Demon Wore Stilettos.
  4. Complete 15,000 words on The Demon Wore Stilettos.

5 comments:

  1. 15,000 words in one month? You're better than me. :)

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  2. 2500 changes...that will keep you busy a day or three. Sounds like you are moving right along:)

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  3. Great March goals. Write, Jeanne, write! (and copy editor shari has to agree with your copy editor--I find that in most of those instances the word brings clarity to my reading)

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    Replies
    1. Given that I had hundreds of them, my default position is to agree with you. :-) For years, I've had this absolutely incredible critique partner who has single-handedly improved the quality of my prose by about a zillion percent. She has a bugaboo about the word "that," and marks it every time she sees it. From her, I've learned to be a lot more sparing with its use. If I read the sentence aloud and it flows without the extra "that," I remove it.

      Delete

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