Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Editing Process: Starting Sensory Check
Favorite Book of the Month: Pictures of Hollis Wood By: Patricia Reilly Giff

Everytime I travel I love to stare out the window, be it plane or car, and check out the scenery. I especially like to look at trees, the way the branches twist upward and the color of the leaves. I suppose my mom is the influence behind that. Whenever we were in the car she would often exclaim over the trees as we passed. I used to roll my eyes and go back to my book, but there were times when I would sneak a look up as we passed under them. Our own private tunnel of trees would surround the road like a blanket on a rainy day.

Right now I am in Phoenix Arizona and the trees here are so different from my trees back home. There seem to be two extremes. The tall grey-green trees and the short, shriveled trees. There are also the palm trees, but I like to put them in a category of their own since I am still discovering how many different types there are.

I am amazed at how a different scenery can give a different sense to a story. Here the land does not know what to do with water. Everything is dry. It rained a few days ago and the streets flooded. Small ponds formed in low spots; if I didn't know better I would have expected to see fish swimming in them or at least a duck. The thing that surprised me the most is that the land is covered with small rocks and sand. According to my earth science class, water should be able to sink through that fairly quickly and yet something kept that from happening. I don't know what, but I like the concept of a place that needs water being unable to accept it once the water comes. It makes for a very interesting character trait.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Edit

Editing Stage: 1st Edit in progress
Favorite Book of the Month: Pictures of Hollis Wood By: Patricia Reilly Giff

Editing is something I am learning on the go. Not only is the process new to me, but I also don't know what will work best, so I'm trying everything. I'm also making up some ideas of my own.

My Process So Far:
I waited, leaving my book on a shelf, at least a week after typing 'The End'. My fingers itched the whole time. When the week was done I read through the whole book and refrained from correcting anything. Which was really hard. Finally by the last forty pages I gave in and allowed myself to correct typos. Then I went through the whole book again: fixing typos, correcting grammar, deleting words that end in 'ly', cutting scenes that weren't needed, and making sure all the thread/dates/info were consistant throughout the book. Now I am in the midst of tracking the major character plots and subplots, followed by underlining and color coding all the sensory detail I used in each chapter.

That is the end of what I know to do without needing to make the appropriate changes and printing out a new copy. As it is, this copy is distracting enough without adding color to it. Despiration will win out and I will once again start relying on my computer. Hopefully, all the bugs and viruses will be gone; I'd even take dormant. Having all these corrections waiting is like having a three course dinner ready and the table needs to be set. I can practically smell a completed first edit and it smells surprisingly like turkey.

Have you learned any editing tricks? What works best for you?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Computer Virus

I am back after a holiday break and a month full of computer viruses. I'm becoming paranoid and having a hard time believing they are gone and I am safe once more. I never realized how dependant I am on technology. After two scares where I feared all my work would be lost I have avoided working on the digital copy of my book. I have since done about all a person can do with a hard copy and desperately need my computer back to make the proper changes. I need to type on a keyboard!