Monday, October 28, 2019

Editing? What’s That? - C. Lee McKenzie

Good question. My answer is “Darned hard!” My system for doing it has come after several years of practice, so I’ll share it, but I’m sure it’s not unique, and I’m sure everyone who writes a lot has his own “best” way to do it.

Anyway, here goes.

When I’m ready to edit a manuscript, I don’t. By that I mean I tuck it away to age for a few days before I start that process. I’ve found I’m more likely to pick up on mistakes and typos if I haven’t just been deeply involved in the story.

When I’m ready to come back fresh to it, I do a printout of the whole book, turn off my computer, and even go someplace besides where I usually write.

I do a complete read-through out loud and with a pencil in hand, I make a quick check mark if I see or hear a problem--any kind--but I don’t stop to fix that error yet.

Once I’ve read the story in this manner, I go back and look at all of the check-marked places and fix them. These errors are everything from double spaces, to missing words, to bad phrasing and stilted dialogue, to descriptions that aren’t right for the character or the setting. Then I do another print out and start again.

This time I don’t read aloud (the theory being that I’ve caught the bad phrasing and stilted dialogue), but I focus on the technical stuff (a broad, but essential category that includes those gremlins, like, double or missing words, comma splices, unintentional run-on sentences, and--heaven forbid--dangling modifiers).

Then I send that well-edited, well-polished manuscript to my critique group and wait. When they get back to me, I discover I’ve missed a few items and my manuscript isn’t quite as perfect as I’d imagined. More editing.

In the end, if I’m flushed with coin of the realm, I send a book to a professional editor, before I submit it for consideration.

As I’m so often reminded, “The devil’s in the details,” and I cringe when I still find an error after all of my work. However, I’ve seen some missed edits in books published by the big houses, so I know I’m not the only human being who doesn’t catch all of her mistakes.

Thank you for this chance to share your great blog space today, Diane. I loved my visit, and I hope some of what I shared will be of interest to your readers.

For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on:
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Website

The author’s other young adult books include:
Sliding On the Edge
Princess of Las Pulgas
Double Negative
Sudden Secrets
(Plus she’s the author of a great middle grade book from Dancing Lemur Press - Some Very Messy Medieval Magic!)

NOT GUILTY is available at:
Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

There is also a giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your editing like? What is your process?

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Journey Down the Trail of Tears

Dancing Lemur Press is proud to present its latest release:

Stone Man
And the Trail of Tears

By Charles Suddeth

Driven to Stone Man’s trail...

After U.S. soldiers attack twelve-year-old Tsatsi’s Cherokee village, his family flees to the Smokey Mountains. Facing storms, flood, and hunger, they’re forced to go where Stone Man, a monstrous giant, is rumored to live.

His family seeks shelter in an abandoned village, but soldiers hunt them down. Tsatsi and his sister Sali escape, but Sali falls ill and is kidnapped by Stone Man. Tsatsi gives chase and confronts the giant, only to learn this monster isn’t what he seems.

Their journey is a dangerous one. Will Tsatsi find the strength to become a Cherokee warrior? And will they ever find their family?

6x9 trade paperback, 164 pages
Print ISBN 9781939844620 - $12.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844637 - $3.99
Juvenile Fiction: Boys & Men/Legends, Myths, Fables-Native American/Historical-United States-General

“The scenery was wonderful and I loved the action-packed scenes. As sad as the story was, I liked how all the characters were still hopeful and did not give up. We should all have the mentality of these characters. I adored the ending and it warmed my heart! 5 stars.” – Pages for Thoughts reviews

"The story starts off at a frantic pace and doesn't let up, sure to pull in readers who normally don't read historical fiction. The ending is perfectly executed.” - Greg Pattridge, Always in the Middle reviews

“This is a historical adventure which draws in and allows the reader to feel as if they are really there.” – Tonja Drecker, author of Music Boxes

“I found this story enjoyable, educational, and inspiring. It inspired me to reach out to others and help people in need, even if they’re strangers” – The Wood Between the World reviews

Charles Suddeth loves to tell stories of all sizes and shapes and flavors. He has published picture books, middle readers’ books, young adult thrillers, and adult mysteries. Of Cherokee heritage, he draws inspiration from hiking Tom Sawyer State Park and teaches in Louisville, Kentucky.

Buy it at Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Amazon / Kobo / Dancing Lemur Press

The author is also doing a blog tour, talking about many aspects of the Trail of Tears and Cherokee Indians:

Oct. 3 - Bookworm For Kids - interview
Oct. 5 - Damien Larkin - guest post
Oct. 7 - June McCrary Jacobs - interview
Oct. 8 - Angela Brown - guest post
Oct. 9 - Jemi Fraser - guest post
Oct. 10 - Sandra Cox - guest post
Oct. 12 - Ellen the Cynical Sailor - interview
Oct. 14 - World of My Imagination - interview
Oct. 15 - Beverly Stowe McClure - guest post
Oct. 16 - Sherry Ellis - interview
Oct. 21 - Dorine White - interview

How much do you know about Cherokee Indians and the Trail of Tears?

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The Insecure Writer's Support Group #IWSG

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s question:
It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

I don’t see how anyone can write who isn’t also a reader. It would be like an artist who hates to look at art or a ball player who never watches a game. How would you learn? Yes, we pick up little bits of other writers. But the more we write, the more our own voice emerges.

This month’s WEP event:

* * *

We finished and released the cover for our late spring release, Lost Helix by Scott Coon:

Our next event is Fayetteville Comic Con in Fayetteville, NC – Oct. 19-20. If you’re in central NC, come get your geek on at the con and stop by our booth.

Finally, the Hampton Roads Writer’s Conference was absolutely wonderful – so well organized and everyone so helpful. They even had vegan food for me.
But a huge treat was meeting author and blogger, Toi Thomas. She had so much energy and a wonderful smile.

What does your October look like? Anyone else going through bags of Mellowcream Pumpkins like there’s no tomorrow?