Showing posts with label manuscript. Show all posts
Showing posts with label manuscript. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Read it to me...

As if I didn't have enough to do...  My BF was telling me just last week that she was going to purchase a voice-to-text program (very affordable) to allow her to dictate her book.  (We're supposed to be co-authors, but she needs a fire lit under...  oh well, that's another subject.)  It sounded like a good idea... for her - not me.  I like writing my ms.  I type almost as fast as I think.  I don't know that I could focus as well by dictation.

I never gave a minutes thought to the flip side of this possibility...  At least, not until I read a blog just now on QueryTracker.  Even though I keep vowing to stop editing and get finished with the writing, I have read portions of my ms aloud as an editing tool.  It is effective to a point.  We do tend to read it the way we meant it, and not necessarily the way it truly reads.  So what if a computer read it to you?

Check out today's post:  Was Blind But Now I See-- Text-to-Voice: An Underappreciated Editing Tool

Monday, August 31, 2009

Progress report, and plans for the future:

Finally! I got back to the book today. Health issues have had my mind a little off. I tried writing some the past couple of weeks, but when I read it today, I had to laugh! Every other word was not just misspelled... it was flat the wrong word! For example, did you know I had a character called 'and Sher'. Oh wait, that's supposed to be Aunt Sher. Well, you get the picture. I ended up deleting blocks of it. There were sentences that didn't even make sense to me. What was I trying to say? Hope it wasn't a great idea, because it's sure as heck gone now!

After deleting the evidence of the brain farts, and fixing the keeper parts, I refreshed my memory and began to proceed. I finished the chapter! Yea,me! Word count: 48,819. Yeah, long way to go... but at least I'm going!

I have made a resolution... Well, I made it long ago, but never paid it any mind. I dug it up and dusted it off... I must limit the time I spend in Blogville. Many of you may not know... I'm still reading your blogs, but not leaving so many comments. I simply can't keep up with it. I now realize how much my blogging has interfered with my writing pace. It used to be something I did in between writing. Somehow it became something I did, and if time permitted, I wrote.

I will still be visiting all the blogs I follow, but not on a daily basis. I will not, I repeat, NOT, catch up on everything I miss. That's my downfall. When I skip reading and just write, I come back to Blogville and read everything I missed! How is that working for me? Uh... not.

I am serious about my writing. I want so much to finish this book. I have ideas already for the next several manuscripts. I've got to get them out of my head and into my laptop.

Please don't forget me while I'm gone. I will miss you all...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Self-Publishing... Is it right for you?

Let me start out by stating that if I choose to go the route of a standard publisher, I will certainly do so only with agent representation. Even though I've only been following the blogs for a short period of time, I have learned that it's well worth it to have an agent do the hard work. Yes, writing and editing seem to be the easy parts. It's work, but it's on your time at your pace. Once you're ready to submit, it's a whole other ball game!

However, I still have not ruled out self-publishing. When I've finished my manuscript and received professional critiques that tell me I'm the next Dan Brown, I will seek an agent. What if I'm not? What if it's just a good book. I've done very little research into self-publishing. I checked some sites back when I first started my WIP. I had never read an agent's or editor's blog. I didn't even know about blogspot then; but now I do. I spend so much time reading and learning, writing notes, copying links, that I've not gone back to researching the self-pub route... until now.

Morgan Mandel at The Blood-Red Pencil just posted her seventh post of a seven-part series on self-publishing. If you have even the tiniest inkling that self-publishing might be for you, I encourage you to read the seven-part series. Morgan laid out clearly every step of her process, from the legal aspect to selling the books. She also included links to the sources she used in her journey. She shared details of how she used Word to format her ms for the print size, plus disclosed the other software she used.

You will note in her comments that she does respond to questions. I left a comment inquiring about her cost, which she promptly answered and openly revealed. I urge you to visit her sites; and hey! How about buying her book? I read the excerpt and I'm going to get my copy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wisdom for Writing

While reading my morning mail, I came across this in my daily devotional message from the Presidential Prayer Team:

"One definition for wisdom is “the skill of navigating toward a goal with precision.”" Even though the message was pointed to the leadership of this country, I quickly associated it with my writing practices.

Am I using wisdom with my writing? I'm not speaking of the text of my novel, but rather my own personal habits regarding when and how I write. To answer my own question, no; I do not navigate toward the goal with precision. The goal of course being FINISH the book!

Do I possess the skill or wisdom? Yes, I believe I have the skill to push ahead on schedule. The bigger question is, why don't I employ the skill? Hmm... Good question.

I am, by nature, a procrastinator. I've just never been a hurry-up-and-get-it-done type of person. Don't get me wrong. I'm never late! I never turned in assignments late. I've always been punctual with my work. One of my favorite examples concerns my best friend's wedding gown. I made it for her. I remember her coming over the day before the wedding asking about the dress. I calmly told her, it was almost done; all I had left was the sleeves and the hem. Yes, the dress was finished in plenty of time. She would have preferred a little wiggle room on the time-line. We laugh about it now, but seriously, if she had told me to have it ready a week before... it would have been ready a week before. Not eight days, mind you, but a week.

The problem with my book is that I don't have a due date. I just realized this! If I had a written-in-stone date that I had to meet, I'd meet it. I don't have a set number of hours per day designated for writing my book. If I did, I would fit it in. See, I have the knowledge. I know what's wrong with my habits and what I have to do to change it. I guess the wisdom part comes in when I decide to do what I know.

Are you using wisdom in your writing habits? Do you have a clear goal you are pursuing?

Friday, August 14, 2009

helpful sites and my tips for organizing

I hate to break a promise, but I didn't really promise, did I? I did say that I would occasionally update my sidebar links with the new sites I found to be helpful, but I didn't promise... I started following a half-dozen new sites today! I can see my sidebar running off the screen and across the keyboard. (I'm a bit under-the-weather and I haven't been able to focus on my writing, so I'm using the time to surf Blogville. However, I'm getting better so I might not hook up with any new ones for a while.) As soon as I get a chance, I will edit my list to the ones I find most helpful for the beginner. Yeah, like me.

Just now I added a blog that talked about hiring a tax guy and how to handle your earnings. I took notes from another on book signings. Well, if you're like me, you've got a ways to go before worrying about that. I plan to have the links on my sidebar focus on the blogs that pertain to writing, editing, querying, and things like that. One step at a time. If you are beyond that point in your journey, chances are you've already discovered helpful blogs for your circumstances.

On another note, I thought I'd share my thoughts on Microsoft Office One Note. I know a couple of people that have the program (it came installed on their PC) but have never used it. I was that person for a long while. One day I checked it out... wish I'd have done that a long time ago. It's the best for being organized with outlines, etc. It has books, tabs, sub-tabs, pages... and the best part? The search. You can search your entire One Note, or just a tab or book.

For example: My One Note is broken up into many books, such as recipes, author (bet you know what goes in that one), and one for Hubby's stuff I'm responsible for remembering. Within the 'author' book are section tabs: publisher, free-lance, agent, tips, promotion, after the check (the tax guy stuff), and a section for each book/series I am developing. Under the section for agent, I copy info on querying, choosing an agent; anything dealing with that step of the way.

The section for my current ms contains tabs for outline, locations and New York City. (Read the book - you'll understand.) Under outline, I have many pages: chapter outline, characters, time-line, Liz, Nick, Bill & Natalie, story layout, and of course, misc. I always need a miscellaneous spot! On each page, I group notes for that particular. Bill & Natalie's page is for notes about their relationship. Things I need to remember for later chapters. (When & where did he see her?) The time-line page is a must for me! If someone has a kid at fifteen, they must age at the same rate. In other words, she can't be thirty with a ten-year-old running around.

In the early stages of writing this ms, I found that I had given Liz one child, but later talked about her getting pregnant again. Oops. Don't worry... I found a way to make it work even better! Since I've discovered One Note, that will not happen again. If she has a kid, it goes in there! Most importantly, I make sure to use short notes; just enough info to refresh my memory. My time-line is a chart for easy reference. Don't overwhelm yourself with writing notes with a word count bigger than your ms! BTW... word count is in there.

Now for that search feature... You know all those lengthy e-mails that list a gazillion helpful hints that you'd like to remember when you needed them? Copy and paste it into your One Note. Dog gets skunked? I go to my Lily book (my e-junk drawer) and search skunk. Lipstick on carpet? Carpet. Vinegar, WD40, whatever... If there's a tip for it, I can find it lots quicker than you can Google!

I think I've praised this MS program enough. There may be similar programs out there that work just as well. My point is, FIND ONE AND USE IT! Having organized notes will not only speed up the writing process, but hopefully shorten the editing time.

There! Does your brain hurt?