Tag Archives: editing

Got Questions?

Got questions about writing?
Got questions about editing?
Got questions about the publishing world?
Wanna pitch your book to a publisher looking for new authors?
Do you have questions about book covers?
Ebooks and e-publishing?
A fan of our books?
Bored and have an hour to waste?
Just enjoy talking on your phone?

Well, come join us this Saturday (tomorrow), for a question and answer period of about one hour. It’s a free conference call to ask us here at Seventh Wave Books any questions you might have. We might just have the answer.

We’ll start at 11 am central time. Here is the number to call – 4 zero nine- 777- nine thousand or the alternate number at 916- two zero nine- 4534. It will ask for a pin number and here it is… 218 four 987 That’s all you need.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Stay tuned….

Angela Abderhalden
Acquiring Editor, Seventh Wave Books, LLC
Author of the Mel Addison Mystery Series
http://www.seventhwavebooks.com
seventhwavebooks@gmail.com

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Confession on Exposition

I have to confess to the world the hardest part of writing to me… exposition. Description of places, buildings, areas, anything that doesn’t deal directly with the plot of characters. I just don’t like doing it. Why? I have no idea. I understand that it has to be there. I’ve read tons of books and sat in on lots of lectures at conferences about it. It just doesn’t come easy for me.

I don’t even like to read a lot of description. I remember the first time I actually recognized my ‘non-love’ of exposition. I was already several years in to being a beginning writer and my inner editor was occasionally appearing when I would read other author’s books. I was reading a Sue Grafton book, one of her alphabet series murder mysteries. Kinsey was travelling through the desert in her VW. For two pages or more, Grafton described the desert. I was so bored and wondered why she had spent so much time on this description. I skimmed the pages and later wondered why. So I reread it. To me, it was over kill. Tell me she is in the desert. Give me a short description of it if necessary or if anything is needed for the plot or will make a statement on the character. Tell me it’s hot. I know what the desert is… and move on.

I realize that in some genres, the setting is a character itself. Like paranormal. Using description sets the stage and gets the reader in the spooky mood. Horror and science fiction are the same way. I get it. But in other genre’s, like murder mysteries, some of the descriptions of places are not as necessary to draw out, for instance an interrogation room in a police station. Everyone knows what they look like from watching TV. And yes, usually TV doesn’t get it right. (That’s true for a lot of things in Law and Order type shows… and the cops are happy about it too. Makes the criminals make stupid mistakes!) Anyway, a few sentences is all it takes to describe the room. Boom. Done. Move on.

Is description necessary? Absolutely! Of course it is necessary. Stories would be really stupid without it. But too much is … well, just too much. Here is how I write it. (And again, remember this is not my favorite thing to write.)

My first draft contains very little description. Maybe a line that says … they walked into an interrogation room. I move on. The second draft I will add a little more but I am still concentrating on plot, character development, red herrings (murder mysteries, remember), etc. On the third or later drafts I actually begin thinking of how my description needs to fit into the story. This is where I do the work of fleshing out the description. After that I usually hear from my editor that I need to add more. So I do so then. Finally it’s done.

Now this is how it goes for me. You may be the complete opposite. I have a writer friend that writes excellent exposition. I mean awesome description. She writers paranormal and we usually have to pare her stuff down a little bit (not much but some). The bottom line here is you need to find the best way to write for you. Each and every writer writes differently. Just remember to not use so much description that it pulls the reader away from the story. It’s a balancing act and that is what makes writing an art!

Stay tuned.

Check out our newest author—Guy Gertsch and his book A Mississippi Immortal in Europe. When the Grouch, who lives in a cottage behind his daughter’s house, wakes up one morning, he believes he’s Tom Sawyer. There is a renewed excitement in his life as he discovers Europe through Mark Twain’s eyes, following in the same path that Twain took while writing The Innocents Abroad. Each step is one of self discovery and adventure believing those he runs into are straight out of the fun filled characters like Becky, Huck, Aunt Polly and more. On his travels, he begins to question his ‘immortality’ as a story book character. Can ‘Tom’ remain immortal? Or will ‘Tom’ find something during his adventures that will allow him to return to his normal life, now happy and content?

Angela Abderhalden
Author of the Mel Addison Mystery Series
Acquiring Editor, Seventh Wave Books, LLC
http://www.seventhwavebooks.com
seventhwavebooks@gmail.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Read It!

I recently was editing a manuscript and came across some dialog that just didn’t work. It was written well and correct but something was nagging at me that it felt wrong. So what I did was to print it out on paper. I try to always edit everything in at least two different formats. I’ll see things on paper that I didn’t see when I was editing on the computer. Yes, I run through a lot of paper that way, but I find it the best way to edit. (And I get a lot of scrap paper that way too. Come to think of it… way too much scrap paper. But that is another topic.)

After letting it sit a day or two, I went back to the piece of dialog and read it again. Something was still bothering me about this part of the manuscript. So I next did something that I would suggest all beginning writers do. I read it out loud.

The written word and the spoken word are two whole different monsters. But in this instance the spoken word, simulated dialog in the manuscript, was the best way to edit the scene. You see in my mind’s eye, and in that of the reader’s, the dialog has to be real. After I read the dialog out loud, it was very obvious what was wrong. In this case it was just two words. When I re-read the part out loud with the fix it sounded smoother… more normal. Real.

I actually read a lot of my manuscripts out loud. It seems weird to sit in a room by yourself reading out loud, but it works. My family has gotten so used to it that they ignore me now, but it wasn’t that way a long time ago. So you might have to warn the people in your family or even better yet, make it a fun family event. Read the whole story to them. As you read if you find places that don’t read well or have issues mark them as you read. Then come back to them later and fix them. Not only will your writing improve but it will bring the family together.

Oh, and don’t forget the free conference call we do the last Saturday of each month. It last around an hour. We do a short presentation of about ten minutes, then we answer questions. This month we’ll have two editors, three authors and our cover artist. Come join us and pick our brains, what little of them is left! Just email at the address below for the phone # and access pin #.

Stay tuned…

Angela Abderhalden
Author of the Mel Addison Mystery Series
Acquiring Editor, Seventh Wave Books, LLC
http://www.seventhwavebooks.com
seventhwavebooks@gmail.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Change Energizes Us

Okay, so it’s been a while since I blogged. Here are the facts (not excuses), the holidays, moved half way across the country, the holidays again, and new job. Now that you’re caught up…

Lots of changes this year. And yes, I do feel energized. I’m writing again and it feels good. I’ve started on the sequel to Desperate Situations, called Evasive Maneuvers. It’s moving along at a slow but steady pace. I’m re-editing the fourth book in the Mel Addison Mystery Series, Nefarious Deeds, that will come out in the late summer/early fall. And I’m also re-editing a coming of age story set in WWII. No possible date on its release but soon.

We here are Seventh Wave Books are also energized. We’re in the midst of launching two new authors. The first is Guy Gertsch. He wrote this awesome book that brought out the geeky classical book lover in me. If you love Mark Twain, or at least just like him, you have to read The Mississippi Immortal in Europe. His book is the story of a grouchy man who wakes one morning thinking he is Tom Sawyer. He takes a trip to Europe to follow in Mark Twain’s footsteps when he wrote The Innocents Abroad. During his trip ‘Tom’ discovers a lot about himself, besides meeting many of Twain’s best characters, he begins to question his ‘immortality’. I’m very excited about this book and this new author. Check it out on the website http://www.seventhwavebooks.com

Our second new author is Alicia Sheehy. Her book will be coming out later in the spring. It’s a fantasy that is a terrific story of a young girl’s growth and learning. This YA book is great reading for the teen readers, although I enjoyed it as an adult. So don’t think that you have to be a teenager to read it. No way! It’s that good. But more on her and her book later.

Lastly, Jason and I at Seventh Wave are promoting writing by holding monthly free conference calls. It’s free! All you have to do is have questions or just an interest in writing, email us so we can give you the phone # and access code and call in. It doesn’t last long, around an hour or less. We will answer as many questions as we can, and if we don’t know the answer, we’ll find out and let you know. And did I mention, it’s free. (We aren’t collecting info on anyone either. So don’t worry we won’t sell or give away or anything with your email address. I hate it when people do that with my information!) So if you’re interested email me at the address below. Oh yeah, it’s on the last Saturday of each month, around 10 a.m. Mountain time. (11 a.m. central time, etc.)

Enough of the commercials. This just goes to show you that we/I am energized and ready to continue where I left off last year. I’m going to try my hardest to blog twice a week again, barring any of life’s nasty happenings.

Write. Energize. Write. Stay tuned!

Angela Abderhalden
Author and Acquiring Editor
Seventh Wave Books, LLC
http://www.seventhwavebooks.com
seventhwavebooks@gmail.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Book Review (A little late)

Every time I do a book signing or speak at a conference, there is always one question that is asked. What advice do you have for a beginning writer? This is a hard question to answer in a short time. There are so many rules and things that beginning writers need to know. However, I always fall back on one item when asked this question.

Read, read, read.

Read everything you can get your hands on. I mean it. Everything. This serves several purposes. It helps you identify good writing from bad. It helps you learn sentence structure (and we all continually need to learn that). It helps you learn cadence. And it helps you increase your vocabulary. There are lots of other things it does too, but I think you get the picture.

I do have to confess one thing though. I was always told, by experienced authors giving the same advice, to read tons of stuff in the genre that you write. My confession is this… I almost never read anything in my own genre. When I do read mysteries, I tend to read it more as to picking it apart and finding fault with the work. Maybe it’s just me but I read everything I can get my hands on in other genres but not my own. I know its going against all of the advice I received but there you have it.

I especially like to read classical literature. Not that I really enjoy it, although I sometimes do. But it allows me to see how other people in other centuries wrote, but together sentences, created suspense, etc. The main caveat with reading older classics is that you have to realize that back when these were written the people didn’t move at the pace we do today. They didn’t have so many different things tugging at our attentions like we do today. They could actually take the time to explore parts of character interaction that would be quickly edited out by today’s standards. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m unsure since I’ve only grown up in today’s society. I tend to skip exposition in the classics due to the total boringness of how much detail they go into. However, when I’m feeling especially energetic and patient, I will actually analysis how they do it.

With all of that being said, here are some of the best classics that I’ve read recently. (I miss my book groups in Boise, Id. They made me read one classic a month, one mystery a month, and one newer book a month.) These are the classics that I’ve studied… The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Silas Marner by George Elliot, anything by Edgar Allen Poe, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, anything by Alexandre Dumas, Dracula by Bram Stoker, and many more. But these will get you started.

I won’t actually do a book review of the above other than to say I’ve read all of them and learned from all of them. So can you.

Stay tuned.

Angela Abderhalden is the author of the Mel Addison Mystery Series and is an Acquiring Editor for Seventh Wave Books, LLC.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Letting ‘Em Go

This past week I took my oldest child on a 1300 mile trip to deliver him to college. Although we had been preparing ourselves and him for this trip for almost a year, it was a hard trip for all of us. This was my first ‘baby’ to leave the nest. Boy do they grow fast.

What does this have to do with writing? As with all things, change is not only necessary, it is important. When you finish that manuscript, you’ve edited it and polished it to an inch of its life, it is ready to graduate high school and move on to college. Then comes the hardest part, sending your ‘baby’ out in the world to the publishing world.

As with your child in college, will they stumble and regain their feet on their own? Will your manuscript find the right editor/publisher? Have you given your child the necessary tools to make their own way in life? Is your manuscript perfect and ready to be received by the public? Will your child survive in the world and make the right choices? Will your manuscript succeed and make lots of fans for you?

And as with you new college student, you will know when it’s time to send them off on their own. When it’s time to let them make their own decisions and, yes, even fall on their face and learn to pick themselves up, brush themselves off and make you proud. You’ll know when it’s time to send out that manuscript. When it’s time to make the story work for the public and be a successful story.

As with both it is a painful time, a time of doubt and worry. And it will be a time of happiness and joy when it all turns out great. Change. Painful but necessary for life.

FYI- My son is doing great. He’s making new friends and learning to be completely self- reliant. I’m proud of him and know that he is turning in the man I knew he would be.

Stay tuned.

Angela Abderhalden is the author of the Mel Addison Mystery Series and Acquiring Editor for Seventh Wave Books, LLC.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Free Advice (Continued) or Rules for Critique Groups

So as I promised in my last blog…. Here are some of the things I found that were important to having a face-to-face critique group.

*Determine what your critique group is for. Are you only critiquing in one genre? (It really depends on you. I’ve found that multi-genres worked best good for us. But everyone is different.) How many people will be in your group? (I’ve found that three to four is the best, less and there are not enough different ideas. More and it gets real confusing.)

*How often will you meet? This again depends on the schedule of the other people in the group. Once a month worked best for us, but it depends on how much time the members have available to spend, including giving the members enough time to give a deserving critique of the work.

*How much will be critiqued? This again depends on how many times you will meet and how big the group is. At first we worked on full novels. However, it became too much work in one month to do that and still write on our own manuscripts. Finally we settled on one or two chapters per critique session. This allowed the above conditions to be met.

*How will you determine who will be critiqued? We worked out our schedule on a rotation basis. Each of us took a month and stuck to it. The person’s who turn it was the next month to ‘be on the hot seat’, would send everyone else their work via the internet. Then when we met for the monthly critique, we were all ready to go.

*How will the actually critique session go? We would each give our suggestions in turn or ask questions of the person in turn. Usually we all opened our laptops and read down the work together, each interjecting suggestions or things the felt wrong to us. This is probably where I ought to interject that of course put-downs and other was of making each other feel bad is not allowed. We all went into the group knowing that what we brought to the table (literally, we always met in a coffee shop) were just our opinions and suggestions. The writer didn’t have to justify anything to the other writers and didn’t have to take any of our suggestions if they didn’t want to. This will only work if all of the members are professional and mature. Not always possible with some people. Other ways to do this would be to have the critique done only via emails or have the person ‘on the hot seat’ read their work out loud and then the others give their ideas. We found that when problems cropped up, say the scene wasn’t working, as we discussed the scene the group brainstormed and usually could find a solution. But how you do it ultimately must be worked out by the entire group.

*Set a time limit. This was the biggest problem we had. We would meet officially for two hours once a month. We would normally spend three hours or even longer sometimes because we were passionate and wanting to learn from each other. Our spouses didn’t always see it that way!

These are just a few of the rules that worked for us. You may find others work better for you. You have to find your own way. The biggest thing to stress it that everyone must be professional.

Stay tuned.

Angela Abderhalden is the author of the Mel Addison Mystery Series and Acquiring Editor for Seventh Wave Books, LLC

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized