Last week I wrote about my empty calendar. And it was. And then it wasn’t. I now have Zoom meetings for church services, for the commission that’s been working for 2 years to get our church moved, for the Presbyterian Women’s Council, for our Circle, for the Outreach Committee, for Session (governing board for local Presbyterian Churches), for my live Pilates classes with my daughter, for my writing chapter, and more meetings are expected to be added in the future. As I said, I lied. 🙂
New boat dock
So besides all of that, I’ve been working on Editing TAINTED, my 8th book to be released early Fall or maybe before.
Last week I did a BIAW (Book In A Week) project with Beverly Bateman. The expectation isn’t that you’d actually write a book in a week, but that you’d commit to something with your writing. I committed to working on the book for a minimum of 2 hours daily, which I did for 7 days in a row. Doesn’t seem like much and after all, what am I doing but sitting at home these days. LOL (See first paragraph)
I did get to write The End on this book. Always a fun event. At that point, the book was shorter than I like, but the story was over. Now I’ve started going through checking my Throw-Away Words list. Those are words like: so, as if, really, very, just to name a few. I have over 75 words or phrases I check for. (The original list of 40 or so words came from Margie Lawson.) With each book, I add words. It’s like with each new book, I discover a word or phrases that I fall in love with, and it/they appear(s) a lot.
If you’d like a copy, let me know & I’ll email it to you.
“A lot” means I had used “so” 181 times. With rewrites I took it down to 37. Now it’s not merely removing the word, well sometimes it is that, but more often I find a better way to write the words.
So far, I’ve completed: “so” 181-37; “as” 199-93; “as if” 19-8; “really” 81-3; “very” 40-3; “just” 150-? and I haven’t yet finished with “just.”
In making these changes, the book has grown from 61,000 words to 63,000 words. The opposite of what you might expect when you remove words. What this process forces me to do is look at bits and pieces of the text from many different perspectives. This is tedious work, but necessary to improve the book. I take comfort from the John Michener quote: I am not a very good writer, but I’m a very good re-writer. “So,” I will do the tedious work.
All of the words on my list of 75 are not words I regularly now use. And even “very” is down to sneaking in only 40 times. As I’ve used this process, I’ve internalized some of the concepts, and those words either don’t show up any more or not as many times as they did at first.
Sailboats out on Wednesday
We are having beautiful weather and the boat dock is calling me outside. The soft breezes are seductive. Every once of stress drains away. Feels great but doesn’t get the book finished.
Recent tuna fish salad lunch
I’m shooting to finish by the end of April, first of May and could use a few more Beta Readers to take a look before I send the manuscript to a professional editor. I have one Beta Reader already. (Thank you, Julie Miers.) If you volunteer, it would be nice if you enjoy reading romantic suspense. I had a sweet volunteer one time who said after reading the book, she didn’t like the murder in the book. With romantic suspense, you can expect to get danger, maybe even murder and some sex on a continuum from suggested to graphic. My sex scenes have grown less graphic as I’ve written. But it depends on the characters and the story. Email me if you’d like to take a look at this book before it’s been fully edited. I’m not asking you to edit. I am asking you: Does it make sense? Is it believable? Do you like the characters? Does anything jar you out of the story? General stuff like that.
How are you surviving the stay at home orders? We’ve got masks now and use them if we go out. Oh, not to walk Charley in the neighborhood, but to pick up groceries or meals. Are you wearing masks? We have member of our church and her family who have the virus. She’s a police officer and is thankfully recovering. Her husband is now down with it. Pray for all medical personnel and first responders of any kind, including the grocery workers.
Stay home. Be safe. Be well. Love to hear from you.
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