Month: March 2013

The Importance of Content Editing

Posted March 31, 2013 by Victoria in Author Ramblings / 0 Comments

I love my pink marker
I love my pink marker

After I got my manuscript back from my editor, I noticed that most of his corrections were my inconsistencies of when to spell out numbers. There is no fixed rule about this, I think it is largely dependent on the standards of a publishing house. For a self-published author, it is important to establish that guideline early on and stick to it. From the corrections of my editor, he spelled out numbers twenty and below. For time of day, I have always used PM and AM, so using the number equivalent was fine like 3 PM. I’m still deciding whether I should use 9mm or nine-millimeter regarding the weapons used in the book, it looked like either form was acceptable. The impact of the former was better in my opinion.

Oh, about content editing. As a new author whose desire was to write the novel that has been percolating in my head, there were some new phrases I had to learn. Content editing was one, suspension of disbelief was another. As a beginning author, I guess I had the tendency to explain every scene or the thoughts and motivations of a character that it had left nothing to a reader’s imagination. With this in mind, content editing comes into play. A main part of content editing is to remove repetitive information from the manuscript.

I noticed in later chapters, paragraph sections were crossed out, and at first I was dismayed, but then I realized that the information had more of an impact when given in another part of the book.

There were other scenes in which I did a total rewrite or had to cut them out completely. This was to remove the dreaded wash-rinse-repeat cycle which I did not know I had been doing, but I totally got the point my editor was making.

I’m very happy with the end-result. The extra work had tightened the plot and moved the action smoothly forward.

Here is an excerpt from the editorial review of “Fire and Ice”:

In terms of the engaging, gripping nature of the book, a significant factor is the fact that you get your reader to like and invest in the characters very quickly. All of the characters are very vividly drawn, and you are able to impart a distinct personality and aura to them with a few deft strokes. One thing to bear in mind in this respect would be what I mentioned in my previous letter about showing rather than telling: it seems to be the case that an important aspect of the suspension of disbelief is a lightness of touch on the writer’s part when spinning the illusion, and any hint of coercion or forcefulness (“This is what X means / This is what you are meant to think”) tends to interrupt the reader’s absorption by drawing attention to / making them aware of the presence of the writer trying to engender exactly that.

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Favorite New Adult/Young Ad..

When reading New Adult and Young Adult novels, I had to put myself in a frame of mind of how I had behaved when I was that age. That’s why I had to go back and change some ratings. Anyway … Is it any surprise that  Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is on my list. At first, I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads before i bumped it up to 4.5 after I went back and read a couple of the scenes and pondered them through. I love that Travis Maddox is so intense about his Pidge. Travis is the ultimate bad boy—tattooed, a bare-knuckle fighter, and the resident man-whore. But he is also smart and when he falls for Abby, he falls hard. Sigh, I do have a weakness for this type of story. The reason they stay apart kind of dragged and the whole bet thing is ludicrous but other than that I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed Slammed and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. A LOT. I nearly did not read Slammed. I had a string of bad young adult reads that I was leery to read another one … and about poetry … no thanks. But I […]

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Favorite Contemporary/Histo..

I’m a big fan of Lisa Kleypas Historicals, but I loved her contemporary romance, Smooth Talking Stranger. Also she had shifted to the 1st POV in this one. I loved the banter between Jack and Ella. With lines like: “No more Dane,” he eventually said with unnerving finality.  I tried to be funny. “I can’t decide if that means you don’t want me to see him again or if you’re planning to kill him.”  “It means if the first thing happens, the second thing is likely to follow.” I wasn’t really sure who was the smooth-talking stranger here, Ella or Jack. Oh, one thing I could almost hear was Jack Travis’s sexy Texan drawl. It was one smooth reading book! Kristen Ashley I was taking a break from paranormal and urban fantasy reads and I wanted to look for more books with Controlling/Alpha Males. Kristen Ashley’s books kept coming up on the list. I was fresh from reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and would have rated those books 5 stars if it was maybe shaved into two books. Anyway, I digress. I liked Christian Grey and I wanted to find similar books. Enter Kristen Ashley. I almost did not read […]

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Five-Star reads

Ever since my reading binge began in May 2012, I have not seen any signs of it abating. I have amassed 186 entries on Goodreads since I discovered that website—not including some books I couldn’t finish. It has become my source for researching a new book to read and I encourage you all to check it out. I thought it’ll be great to highlight some the best books I have read so far, so I’ve started this series of my 5-star reads which is really based on the Goodreads scale. I frequently get asked  about book recommendations, so I have divided my books into categories. I’m starting with the popular Paranormal/Urban Fantasy books.  I have started this as a page on the menu bar   as well and will add to it as I add more books to the list. Check out also my favorite Contemporary/Historical Romances  and New Adult/Young Adult list. Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Fever Series  by Karen Marie Moning I came across Karen Marie Moning’s books through her Highlander series. I was very intrigued with the Paranormal aspect that she had incorporated especially starting with the books of the twins Drustan and Daegus, Kiss of the Highlander  and Dark Highlander respectively. […]

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Murder and Silk

To download Murder and Silk as a PDF:  Murder and Silk You can also read it here. This short story contains adult content. By clicking “Continue reading ” below or reading past this line, you agree that you are 18 and older.

Posted March 24, 2013
Fire and Ice
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Details, Details …

As a reader, I’m not much for endless details or filler chapters, but I do realize that sometimes they are needed pace the story. I do not like to read about pages and pages about a character’s clothes or a certain location. This triggers my automatic skimming. However, I do appreciate specific details and this is one skill I want to develop, writing a setting and keeping the flow interesting. I came across the February 2013 issue of  Writer’s digest and am impressed with the wealth of information contained within. It’s a great magazine for a new writer like me to navigate ways of improving my writing. A short article that caught my eye and tickled my interest was : “Getting the Details Right” ~ Write it real by knowing your high heels. My current heroine, Maia Pierce has a shoe fetish. 🙂 Here is an excerpt. This article was written by Tiffany Luckey. There were 9 types of shoes mentioned here but the top three are the most commonly used: Pump : A slip-on with a low-cut front. Heel length varies (typical 2-4 inches). who would wear it: the working woman who is both stylish and practical. Stiletto: A […]

Posted March 22, 2013
Author Ramblings, Uncategorized
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Use the best word

When I become interested in something, it almost becomes an obsession. I read/buy books, I buy the best tools—everything needs to be top-notch—I try to go to classes when I could. Fortunately, in novel writing, you just need your writing tool—this could be your computer or if you are still old-style … a typewriter. The internet is also a wealth of information, but use it wisely. My husband has always thought that I was the queen of the internet because I was quick to find the answers I needed. But there’s nothing like a good old reliable book. I’m sure most writers are familiar with it— but to those not in the United States (I know I’ve never heard of it when I was in school)—this book has been my bible: The Elements of Style by William Strunk JR. and E.B. White Unfortunately, like most textbooks, retention is bad unless I find real-life applications of the rules in the book. I have the illustrated version, but I’ve bought the e-book version as well for a quick reference since I always have my e-reader with me. So what are some commonly misused words? which/that – Usually, I can tell which one to use […]

Posted March 16, 2013
Author Ramblings
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The Writing Process

I had dabbled in writing since maintaining a food blog for over six years. Tackling a novel is a whole new ballgame. Wait, let me backtrack a little. I’ve always been a dreamer. I remembered my early childhood when my father always scolded me for being absent-minded. Even then I would think up scenarios in my head and appear to be lost in my own world. In high school, I even started on a science fiction novel which I, unfortunately, abandoned. I grew up learning and speaking three languages. You can just imagine how confusing that can be when it came to writing. Fortunately, I only had to do composition in two of them. I did well in my English courses in high school, but when I headed off to college and took up an Engineering degree, I got rusty in composition. When I started writing a food blog, I realized that I had a habit of shifting subject-pronoun agreement, and mixing up verb tenses. I was able to get a writing coach to help me be more mindful of this. When I switched to fiction writing, I told my friend who was a beta-reader to excuse my dangling modifiers […]

Posted March 13, 2013
Author Ramblings
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Fire and Ice – Previe..

Ready to meet Jack and Maia? Here are the teaser chapters for Fire and Ice. {Requires Adobe Reader} Fire and Ice – Chapters 1 & 2 Synopsis: Maia Pierce, a top agent for Artemis Guardian Services (AGS) and a widely known rule breaker, was good at her job. In her last mission, her risk-taking had finally caught up with her and she had now incurred the wrath of a Russian drug lord bent on destroying her. With assassins after her, one man had offered her his protection. But Jack McCord may be an other kind of danger, a danger to her heart. Jack McCord had everything: a thriving defense company, sinful good looks and no shortage of beautiful women. But what he coveted the most didn’t want anything to do with him. Maia Pierce, his brother’s bodyguard, was the most exquisite creature he had ever laid eyes on and he wanted her. And when Maia got into trouble he saw an opportunity to finally seduce her and he is not taking no for an answer. As they face-off with Russian mercenaries from the North Carolina coast to the depths of the Russian wilderness, they also finally face what may be […]

Posted March 10, 2013
Fire and Ice
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