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.
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.


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

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

  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)

    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.


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