Once upon a time, this author despised the editing process. Grueling, boring, time-consuming hours of reading and rereading the same material. Ugh.
And then this author decided to self-publish and realized the editing process would require even more grueling, boring, time-consuming hours of reading and rereading the same material. Ugh.
Now my outlook has changed! I found an online program called Autocrit. Previously, I used features in Word to find specific words, highlight them, print out the pages, and edit. The main problem with doing so is overlooking words and phrases I tended to use over and over and not realize. This program showed me word habits I overused along with pacing problems and so much more. I’m becoming more aware of my personal weaknesses and finding stronger ways to write.
This isn’t a fail proof program, so I don’t want to mislead anyone. I use a lot of dialogue in my writing. The program does not exclude dialogue when processing, so the author’s judgment must come into play. However, working chapter by chapter, I’m learning more about my writing, tightening my prose, and gaining confidence.
The next manuscript I write will be much better because I’ll be conscious of the writing trends I need to avoid. New habits will come into play and the draft will be cleaner and require less “picky” editing.
With that said, editing is more intense than what I’ve talked about above. There is editing for plot structure, characterization, pacing, hooks, setting, dialogue…the list goes on.
Taking the time to edit thoroughly is critical to how the reader will experience the story. Keeping this in mind has given this author joy in the editing process.
And she lives happily ever after!
Coming May 2014
IN GOD’S TIME
Chase Douglas, a rancher who lost his leg while serving in Afghanistan, no longer believes in a caring God. When he receives a phone call that his sister has died leaving him guardian of his four-year-old twin nieces, he leaves his comfort zone and travels to Havens Creek, Tennessee. There he meets Becca Middleton, a beautiful, kind-hearted woman who has been caring for the girls. His plan to take the twins to Montana is stalled when he learns his sister was murdered and her daughters are witnesses. Then his heart is further conflicted when he realizes Becca’s husband is the soldier who died after giving Chase a letter to deliver to his wife and child. The letter, long-forgotten, is buried in a duffel bag along with the devastating nightmares of war. Chase agonizes over fulfilling a promise made years ago which will inflict pain on a woman who has made peace with her past. As mutual attraction flares between Becca and Chase, he struggles in his relationship with God and with a decision that might end any chance of happiness.