Oh the joys of editing. I’ve been doing that all week. In between all of that I have been self editing a new book that I am preparing to send into a new publisher. The easiet thing or me is writing the book. Self editing is torture, shoving splineters underneath my fingernails, pulling out teeth with a spoon, and other manners of horrible ways to cause a horrible death.
Well it’s not that bad, but sometimes it seems that way.
I’m sure all authors have their certain words that are the bane of their existence. Mine are as, like, hard, and, but. So the first thing I do is scour my manuscript for these words and try to delete as many as I can. I figure if I have at least half of the amount word per pages, then I’m doing good.
The next thing I make sure is all the puncutation and formatting is correct. I work between two laptops, my phone, and my I-pad so it can get kinda crazy. Once that is done, then I work on to the main body of the manuscript. That is always the fun part because after the first draft then you have to refine it. I normally end up deleting about 3-5k words from the first draft that I have. It all depends on the lenght of the book. Everyone has their on system on what they do, but I can only imagine that self-editing is torture of everyone.
Just another perk of being an author.
The English language never ceases to amaze me. Recently, I was browsing through the television channels, hoping to find something interesting to watch while I was writing. Instead, I was hit with the same commercial on two stations. It was nothing more than a store advertising different electronics, but they made a comparison to the word jam, one in the sense of the jelly you spread on toast and another meaning in regards to music. And it yet it also means to wedge something tightly between two surfaces.
There are many other words that have dual or multiple meanings that are spelled the same and others that are slightly different spelling, but still sound the same. Think of all those words. Then think of the poor author who has to use the right word, with the correct meaning, and hopefully the property spelling. Do you feel bad for us now? 🙂
As a reader, I take in what an author puts down on the page and hope to maybe pick up a word or two. As a writer, I find myself writing a sentence with the word that I desire to use, but I most of the time it never comes out. Think of it as having the word on the tip your tongue when you want to speak and just doesn’t work. Then, during the editing process, I am likely to find that perfect word. But sometimes, it evades me so I have to choose another that means the same. And then the editor gets involved, and finds another word to use for you. It can all be very frustrating.
But that is the way of words.
It’s getting close to Christmas. Snow has blanketed part of the country, but in my neck of the woods, all we are getting is rain. It’s fifty degrees outside and balmy. It just doesn’t feel like the holidays are upon us. Lights twinkle in windows and wreathes adorn doors. Some cars sport antlers and displays of lights are numerous around neighborhoods. The next town over from me lights up all of main street and shuts down the main road by my house because they get so many visitors every year. Stores are in full swing for the holidays and families are hearing up to travel or make plans for their holiday plans.
I’ve done all my shopping and wrapped all my presents. My small purple tree is up and decorated with Looney Tune characters ornaments. Hubby has started to get into the spirit. For him that is a huge step. The dogs have already poked their noses into my tree searching for food or something they find appetizing. Of course their presents are stowed away where they can’t find them until the big day.
With all the holidays, come holiday books. The publishers as well as the stores start early putting them out before Thanksgiving. I don’t normally write the holiday stuff, but this year I had a great idea that centered around making meatballs. And behold, a book had evolved that I had no idea where it would come from. But that happens a lot. I plan one thing and then something else pops up. That seems to be the way with life. You never know what you’re going to get. Tis the season to share and bring holiday cheer where you can. Whether you get there by making meatballs, being with your friends, or finding yourself delving into an intriguing story.
How do the holidays play a role in your life? Do you celebrate? Do you cook or go over a friend’s house?
Where has the month gone?
I keep looking at the calendar and saying that to myself. However, the calendar doesn’t give me an answer. Instead, it shows me that I only have twenty-five shopping days until the day here the man in the red suit comes and delivers presents with all of his reindeer. Between my husband and myself, I’m the only one getting into the spirit of the holidays, but he finds it hard being away from his family and all, but I digress.
So looking back at the calendar, I can say this month saw me finish two books, one novella and another short. And I have had edits for three books this month too. In between that, I cooked a 14lb turkey for Thanksgiving and the assorted condiments that went along with it. Between all that, I balance the day job, which has been getting busier and that is a great thing. Before that, I had a birthday and turned thirty-three. That kinda put things into perspective. So I took a long, hard look at my life and said well I gotta do something to turn my life around so that’s what I’ve been striving for. And that also means playing Playstation and killing things to pull me away from the worlds that are in my head. I like to think that my muses enjoy me playing video games because it gives them some wonderful inspiration (insert evil laugh here).
Life, in general, isn’t a thing to easily grab by the horns and turn around. It always has pitfalls and sudden twists you never expect. So far I’m on the upswing and riding life pretty good for the moment and I’m thankful for that. However, that could change sooner rather than later. It kinda reminds of a good plot of a novel that I’m writing… no wait. Not writing that one, but I’m sure that someone or something considers my life part of the big book of life so maybe I’m a chapter or a page. Either way, I decided to become the pen at least for a little while and write my own fate.
by Crymsyn Hart
With today being the day before Thanksgiving, it’s time to take a moment, step back, and give thanks. I’m thankful for the people in my life who are there for me and love me unconditionally even if I get angry and sometimes say things I don’t mean. I’m thankful for my family who has always encouraged me to keep on writing and pursuing my dream no matter what obstacles get in my way. I’m thankful for the awesome husband I have to puts up with me when I’m sick and bug him to do the dishes and the housework for me.
I’m thankful for life in general and how precious a thing it is. I could be snarky and say I’m grateful for the muses who implode my head with ideas all the time and for the characters who drive me crazy all the time and never really stop talking to me.
But what I’m thankful for the most is that I can get up everyday and live the life I want to live.
Plus all the people who take a moment and buy one of my books. You are all awesome. Thank you for taking a moment to look me up.
Tomorrow I’ll have a couple of friends and my mother join me around the table and we’ll eat. But that doesn’t stop the longing for me to be back home with my family. Living away from them for a decade now has taken its toll, but that’s okay because I’m with the in spirit. The same with my husband. He misses his family too and he’s been away from them longer. My husband is a man of few words, but when he does talk he people normally listen. And I’m glad that we have been together for so long
So hopefully everyone will have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Because after that the countdown to Christmas begins and store will lure you in to buy. Those shiny sales papers will entrance you and your mind will slip away and belong to them. So be careful and guard your wallets because the Christmas monster is lurking right around the corner.
The world as I know it is surrounded by the people who care about me, the pets who use me for pillows and give me the brown eyed stare that tries to hack into my will and force me to take them out and stop writing, and the hundreds of books that make up the universe in which I plow through every day. I have a coffin that has become a character in my head named Jerry, who is turning out to have an affinity for eighties horror movies. My collection of bookcases house the volumes I use to escape the world that I live in.
The universe I survive in lingers in my mind, divided into separate and yet blurring realms where heroes and heroines traipse hoping to catch me off guard when I have nothing going on or might be in between worlds. Sometimes I traverse two or three realms, balancing several at a time. People ask me how I can keep everything straight with all the different projects I have going. The answer is I’m insane.
I have three different devices I work in and each of them I have a different book going on. Others ask how I keep from the worlds not crossing over. Well the ideas are kinda compartmentalized in my head the characters don’t seem to socialize with one another. I guess they don’t want to ruffle any feathers especially when you might have a vampire talking to an angel or a werewolf noshing on imp. They are busy living in their own minds maybe carrying on their own inner monologues with people in their minds. So there are worlds within worlds, universes within universes and now I am starting to sound like Men In Black Two.
But this is the world I live in, working on the day job, slaving in the house and making dinner for the hubby. I write to relieve the screaming in my head and create more realms with monsters and hot hunks who have fangs or tales. It keeps me busy and makes me wonder who is writing me.
by Crymsyn Hart
Have you ever sat down and said, yup I know what I am going to do today? Then you get started on it and something comes up. Or the unexpected happens. That was me this morning when I turned my phone on and it wouldn’t turn on. It just kept rebooting. So at this point I start to panic because without my phone I can’t do anything because its my link to the Internet and since I have no home Internet and bounce my computer off the phone as a hot spot the first thing I had to do was get the phone fixed. The Sprint guy looked at the phone and also had no idea what was wrong with it so they fiddled with it and got it back to factory settings, but they ordered me a new phone and told me not to turn off my current one in case it happens again.
After the heart stopping moment of the day, I looked to see if there was any work from the day job and there wasn’t. So I was back on schedule. I could write for the rest of the day and work on the three books that I have going at the moment.
While I was writing, I got a great email from someone who had read one of my books and she said that it had made her cry. But in a good way because she had identified with the characters so much. Reading that made the rest of the frustration of my morning and the day fall away. It’s emails or short acknowledgments like that which help me get through the rough times in my day.
So I wanted to take a moment to say thanks to all those readers who acknowledge us authors. You are the reason why I pick up my pen every day or pound away at my keyboard or argue with my characters because they are not cooperating.
Thanks for reading whatever authors or genre you read. We really do appreciate it.
by Crymsyn Hart
Have you ever had something start off as a funny, passing idea, and then before you know it, that idea has greatly taken over your brain and infected you. I’m sure it happens to everyone even those who are not writers. Something small nitpicks at you until you have to give it some attention. And then when you do, it snowballs and takes over a great portion of your mind as if it is controlling you and not the other way around. That’s what happened to me when I was hanging out with some author friends at Authors After Dark. I had made the offhand comment about writing about the coffin in my dining room. Yes I know. I really do have a coffin in my dining room.
So I introduced him to the world a couple of weeks and he has taken my brain by storm. He calls himself Jerry and wants to be the spotlight of my thoughts. As a character, I honestly never assumed I would be writing about a coffin. But then again that is how character development normally works for me. I never plot out a book. I’m a panster. I write and write and the characters and the plot reveal more of themselves to me as I write.
It can get very frustrating at times. Because I want the characters and the plot to go one way, but oh no. They veer off in a completely other direction and I normally have to catch up. Sometimes, it is a long jog to get back on track. The times I have tried to plot haven’t gone very well. The characters usually end up hating me when I do and rewrites ensue.
So what are you? Do you plot or do you go where the characters take you?
Do you ever find it frustrating when it doesn’t go your way?
by Crymsyn Hart
When I first started writing, I never thought beyond the world I was building or the characters I was creating. Eventually, I would have to do edits on the book. Of course, first I had to find an agent and then pray that the agent would find a home for the book they had accepted. Granted, this was fifteen years ago when I started writing in college and was sending out my query letters. With all the rejection letters I received, I soon lost interest in even writing and figured that it didn’t matter. I was going to stop writing altogether.
Then a friend of mine told me about e-books and trying to e-publish. That was in 2006. I found a start up e-publisher, that eventually folded, but my dream had come true and I was going to be a published author. Then the fun began.
Here I was, shy and really wasn’t about getting myself out there. But I signed up for the yahoo groups, discovered Facebook, and eventually jumped on Twitter. I’m still not perfect at self promotion. It’s the thorn in my side, but I do hope to get better at it. I’ve been doing more conventions and even tweeting more, hoping that people will find my posts interesting.
This past weekend I was in Philadelphia at the Authors After Dark convention where I was thrown way out of my comfort zone and forced to socialize with people. Oh the horror! LOL. But it was very cool to get out from behind my computer and mingle with other authors and readers. It was an awesome experience and I plan on doing it again next year. I think the coolest thing was just meeting people who you see online or readers that said ‘hey I read your book and liked it.’
But overall, it was a lesson that as writers we have to move outside of our writing box and promote because how else are people going to know about you. So for any first time writers, let me say that it may not be something you’re good at, and I’m not perfect, but once you can force yourself to do it, it is a good thing. And good things will come of it.
by Crymsyn Hart
It’s been over ten years since I’ve first started to seriously look to get involved with the publishing world. I had graduated college with BFA in writing, had a complete novel that had been critiqued by a few of my teachers, and I was looked for an agent. I’d gone to the book store gotten the latest edition of Writer’s Market and started perusing through it. At this point I didn’t know anything about how to go about anything except from what my teachers and other writers at school had told me. And they all recommended Writer’s Market, which is a great book that now has a great website. But I wasn’t very Internet savvy at that point.
So I perused the pages that listed agents, went on line here and got some information on agents. After following the guidelines: sending in a query letter, synopsis of the work, first three chapters, whatever the agent called for, in the mail, I got many rejections. Most were form letters, but there were a couple with small notes saying the book wasn’t for them, but keep trying. Those were always encouraging .I amassed enough rejection notices to wallpaper my bathroom I think. Then I received an acceptance letter.
At this point, I was ecstatic. This guy was going to help me get published. But I had to send him some money first to help him cover the costs of shipping, copying, etc. Sigh… That was where he got me. Well my grandparents were happy to put up the money for me, but still. Words of wisdom, if anyone ever asks you for money up front, it’s too good to be true.