yaaas

…I didn’t mark up that much. The newbie that I am took those words to mean there just wasn’t that much to critique. So, naturally, I open the story to see the “final” round of edits to be done, and there are revisions EVERYWHERE, lol. I don’t think there was one page without notes, strike-through’s, or RW. They were all great and I made the necessary changes, but if that is an editor’s version of not marking much, I’d hate to see them mark a lot! 😀

I would get off from work and stay up late into the night and then wake up early the next morning to do more. The first 100 pages were tedious, but it got easier after I fell into the flow of things. But then I started noticing something wonky with MS Word. When you are in “review” mode and turn the pane on to view comments and revisions, the program moves slower than dial-up. (Oh yes, I am showing my age right now. I know all about dial-up.) And don’t try to add a comment; the whole file would freeze. When that happened, I prayed that MS Word would eventually start working again, because I usually hadn’t saved the last few pages. I had to redo so many revisions.

I did finish it all tonight and shipped the revised document back to the publisher. I hope I don’t get labeled as a “slow” author, lol. I always take a few weeks to return full-story edits. It would help if I didn’t need a full time job to do things like pay bills and eat and stuff. And it would also help if I wasn’t preparing to move to a new place and taking care of business. This month has been busy. Maybe April will be a little more chill.

Well, I really only came on to say: WOOHOO! I FINISHED MY REVISIONS AND SENT THEM AWAY! And now it’s late, so I’m going to say goodnight. I am so tired.

Until next time!

plateau point

A writing plateau, I mean. A month ago, my fingers were flying over the keys. The flow of my sequel was non-stop. I couldn’t spend enough time writing. Then, I took a break to do some editing, and the flow stopped. I was very smart–because I know myself–and got the sequel to a good plot point before I stopped to edit. I did it mainly because I knew this would happen. I still have a goal of finishing before my birthday, but I am much farther behind than I’d planned to be.

I’ve got about 10 new pages now, but it’s not the flow I had before. I started scheduling writing marathons and such, wanting to meet up with people and write. I’m going to start kidnapping myself after work again and going to cafes to write. I swear my apartment is like a black hole that sucks up all energy when I arrive. I open my laptop and end up surfing the web. On a high note,  I did finish a fan fiction chapter for a story that’s been dead in the water for 6 months :D. Happy about that? Yes, I am. But is it what I’m supposed to be doing? No, lol.

I think my problem with the sequel is, as I’ve said before, that I’ve never gotten this far in the story I’m telling. I’ve always had the plan for The Fourth Piece in mind. There are so many drafts of it. But making it to Book II and knowing all the ground I have to cover? Maybe I’m intimidated. I don’t know. I really like what I have. I think it’s exciting, and I think it has the potential to be better than The Fourth Piece, but I have to deliver. It does make me nervous. I slurp in all the feedback I can get as I write The Third Gambit (Book II). I want to know how it’s doing, if it’s losing people, if I’m drowning the audience in backstory or leaving them too thirsty for knowledge.

I miss having deadlines. When I was in grad school, once a month, I had to have 25 pages of something to submit. I’m a member of multiple writers groups, but I’m cheating. I have so much of The Third Gambit already written that I have materials for two months worth of meetings. So, there’s no pressure there. But you know what, I should respect my personal deadlines the same way I’d respect an assignment’s deadline. I’m really going to shape up and do this. I will write something on my book everyday, even if it’s only a few words. Who knows, those few words might be what turns the flow back on. I still have another round of editing to do on The Fourth Piece, but this time I won’t stop writing new stuff while I’m going through edits.

New news (hah!) for The Fourth Piece. I got to do some sketching. I haven’t sketched in years, but I’m not terrible at it. My main characters, the Ladreth brothers, have strange markings on their spines that end up being very important to the story. I describe the marks, and then was asked to draw them because they might look cool on the cover. I sent over a rough sketch, which will be redesigned, and I might get to see a version of it on the new cover mock-ups. What else? Networking is awesome. I know some fabulous people and authors who are imparting me with their knowledge…and connections for promotion. It’s all so exciting!

New news (haha!) for me? I just got Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Somebody did spoil a little of it for me, but I’m still looking forward to reading it. I’m not quite ready to leave the world of the Shadow Hunters just yet. Do I hope to read some cameos of Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood? Yes! Do I want to see Jem and Tessa wander into the plot and never leave? YES. But I’m also happy for a new story too. So, I’m sure I’ll love it. Other news? I’m moving to a new place! Totally renovated, which is what I like. Maybe a new space will spark some creativity (here’s for hoping!)

So, back to writing… and reading!… and editing. Until next time! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

e. ardell

I’m on a mission to get on everyone’s nerves. I can’t help it. I want to show off. Everything that’s going on right now is so amazing. Editing, discussing cover art and tag-lines and back-cover summaries. Also, if you follow this link you can visit the publisher’s site to see ME at: https://48fourteen.com/profile/E.+Ardell/

So let me tell you how much it is to discuss cover art. First, I got to find a bunch of covers of other books in my genre that I really like and think could translate well to the series. Then I got to think about concepts like what scene or image do I want on the cover, and do I want cover models, a symbol, and what not. Of course I want cover models. 😀 I love books with realistic looking people on the cover. So then I got to send in pictures of actors and models who look like my characters to give the cover artist ideas. Surfing the web for cutie pies that fit my characters’ descriptions was awesome sauce. I even got my sister involved. Next thing I know, it turned into a project to find models and actors for ALL of the characters in the series. I only sent in images of the main characters, so four guys (all cutie pies), but it was a blast finding all those other pictures and making graphics and name plates for them. I think Pinterest and I are going to be best buddies from here on out :D. I can’t wait to see some drafts of what this book cover is going to look like.

The other thing I did was come up with tag-lines. Tag-lines are hook phrases on the front of your book. I made a list of different phrases, some funny, some serious, some cute, and paraded them around my social circles, letting people vote on their favorites. I ranked the tag-lines according to popularity and shipped them out to the publisher. She liked a lot of them.

Now we’re just working on the summary for the back of the book (which I tell you is harder than writing a book itself), and I’m coming up on another round of editing for the manuscript. This has really been a learning process and I love being so involved with everything.

I’m going to close this by saying, if you’re not a Facebook buddy of mine (you should be, jk), the image above is what you missed out on seeing! Click the image and get taken to the link! I appreciate any visits and participation I can get :).

 

 

 

We_Can_Edit

The publishing house’s edits came last Tuesday. Yes, last Tuesday. I read the e-mail from the publisher which gave general directions on how to proceed in the editing process and then gave praise. The editor said: “Wow… this author is freakin’ fabulous!” Made my morning. I went to work in the best mood.

Then, I had to decide when to look at the edits. I have been on such a roll writing the sequel that I didn’t want to switch gears right away. I decided to get book 2 to a good stopping point. I didn’t want to stop in the middle of an action sequence or while I was building tension. I didn’t want to come back and have to reread to try to find that inspiration again. So, I gave myself a deadline. I said that I would write either 25 pages more or complete the current chapter because the story would totally change pace after the occurring events.

But let me tell you how tempting it was to break open those edits. I kept gazing at the e-mail all week, like hmm… just a little peek. But I resisted, because I know me. I would open the attachments and be a No Limit Editing Soldier on book 1 for the next week or so and lose my stride on book 2.

So today, I got to my perfect stopping place in book 2 and cracked open my edits. The first attachment was just a generalized one-pager with overall notes about being careful of word repetitions and overuse of ellipses, em-dashes and dialect. However, there was a special emphasis on the dialect suggestion to let me know that it was only an opinion. So, then I had to think about just how much dialect to change if it isn’t crucial.

So, after I let all that sink in, I opened the actual story with the track changes in it. The notes in the suggestion column are easy to follow, and there are even some compliments tossed in there. The editor offers suggestions for word repetitions and does a good job eliminating unnecessary words.

I look over and see that while my document’s 94,000 words there are only like 1700 revisions throughout the whole piece. So, I’m like okay, that’s really cool.  I’ve heard stories where people say an editor ripped their work to shreds, but here it’s not so. I like the usage of overall suggestions and I love the grammatical advice. Sometimes you just don’t notice lazy habits until someone points them out.

I want to give a shout out to everyone who has ever critiqued or just read through The Fourth Piece. It was a clean manuscript before submission and it’s all because of my unpaid friends and editors. That being said, no matter how clean you think your work is, there’s always stuff that can be better… and always a typo.

Going through the edits and accepting or revising changes and justifying leaving something the same is fun. The only pain now is Microsoft Word. The more comments that are left in a document, the slower the program moves. Grrr…

But it’s okay. I’m making pretty good progress. I think I can have this done in a week, and then I’ll wait and see what happens next!

Oh, and as for the sequel, I reached 115 pages in a month. Hopefully I can get this draft done before my birthday in April. How awesome would that be? Then I’d start… book 3. That’s kind of scary to think about. Book 3 is the end of the main story–a story I’ve wanted to tell since 6th grade.

Sniff, sniff, my baby is growing up.

Thanks for reading my rambles. Until next time!