My Editing Process

redpenWhen you think about editing, I’m sure you imagine the proverbial red pen, bleeding all over the page. Right?

Although the red pen still, undoubtedly, has its place, things have changed quite a bit. I would say 99% of my editing is done on the computer.

I use a PC, so I use Microsoft Word. When I finish the draft of a manuscript, I let it sit for up to a week. (Honestly, usually it doesn’t sit that long, just a few days.) When I open the file to edit, I use the Track Changes feature.

For fiction and nonfiction, I start with the little things: spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Then I move on to continuity. I look at things like flow and transitions. For fiction, I look at character development, dialog, and story progression. I look for plot holes. (Sometimes I don’t see them, so I use beta readers to help me find those.)

I go over it more than once before I send it to either an editor if I’m self-publishing or an agent/publisher if I want to go a different route. Typically, I go over it at least four rounds. Each round consists of multiple passes checking everything I mentioned above. On my current novel that I’m working on with The Wild Rose Press, I have about five passes for each round. I’m on the second round with them, which is really about the sixth round for me.

If you want to count each pass as its own editing round, then you could say RealmWalker: New Beginnings is undergoing its 30th editing pass. Is this too much?

No.

Each pass, each round is making the story better and the characters more developed and stronger. This is particularly important where BethAnne is concerned. She’s my primary point-of-view character. I don’t want her to come across as someone who needs to be saved by a hero.

When it’s time to get to work, I sit down at the computer, turn on some music, and open the file of the moment. It can’t be just any music, though. I get too caught up in the lyrics of contemporary music and traditional classical music doesn’t help. I listen to electronic music that specifically says it’s good for studying or concentrating. It has a good beat, good tempo, and very little or no lyrics.

It keeps me on track and I get into a good work flow with that kind of music playing in my headphones. (Earbuds. Whatever.)

Here’s my question for you: What does your editing process look like? Do you listen to any music or do you work in silence?

Am I Published?

Jen Nipps @ Open Mic
(c) 2017 Richard R. Barron Used with permission

If you’ve been on this blog any at all, you know the answer to this.

The short answer: Yes.

The long answer: Yes, and I have 10 books (including 2 novels and a book of poems), 3 short ebooks, and 3 short stories available under Jen Nipps (nonfiction) and Kat O’Reilly (fiction). I have another book in the editing process with a publisher and at least two more in that series. (One in progress, one in planning stages.)

I’ve had multiple articles and other short pieces published in WritingforDollars, Ada Magazine, the Ada News, Writers’ Journal, World of Myth Magazine, and 4Health Magazine. This doesn’t include various anthologies and other websites and blogs.

Some of the articles that were published in WritingforDollars have been republished in short ebooks through JEN Enterprises Presents and are: Bop Your Way Through Writer’s Block, 3 Keys to the Kingdom, and Why You Need a Writing Practice.

The short stories I currently have available are “They Call Me Malak,” “Sex, Politics, & Vampires,” and “This Is Your Karma.”

I’m keeping track of other things I want to write, so this is not all that you’ll see from me.

My Credentials

jen1It has been implied recently that I am not a “real” writer because I am not “serious” about my career. I’m not naming names or anything like it. That is counterproductive to what I am doing here.

It is true that I don’t brag and send out press releases every time I have something going on. That’s my fault. And that will change. But for now, here is a list of–well–a lot.

I have over 20 years of experience in writing for publication. My work has appeared in WritingforDollars.com (unfortunately now out of publication), Writers JOURNAL, Ada Evening News in the main paper (series on meth in Ada) and in the annual Progress Edition, Ada Hub Magazine, Ada Magazine, 4HEALTH Magazine, World Of Myth Magazine, and the OWFI Report (a column of website reviews and Internet-based tools for writers that ran for five years). Articles have also appeared on eHow.com and Demand Studios.

I am a hybrid author, meaning I have been traditionally and independently published. I have two novels and three short stories out under the pen name Kat O’Reilly. I have a series of short ebooks (currently three titles have been released with more to come), a book of devotions, a book about Twitter, books about creativity, and books about planning. Currently, I am working with The Wild Rose Press toward the publication of a paranormal/mystery novel, which is the first in a trilogy.

The complete list of my titles is:

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone (currently out of print)
Get “Twitter”pated: A Writer’s Handbook to Twitter
Windsong & Other Poems
80 Creativity Tips
Create Your Own DIY Planner
Project Planner for Creatives
8 Patterns to Crochet
Journal Your Way to Creativity

JEN Enterprises Presents:
Why You Need a Writing Practice
BOP Your Way Through Writer’s Block
3 Keys to the Kingdom

Written as Kat O’Reilly:
Navajo Rose
Kiernan’s Curse
“They Call Me Malak”
“This Is Your Karma”
“Sex, Politics, & Vampires”

My articles, novels, and poems have won various awards. I have been a writer-in-residence on several occasions at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs. I have presented at conferences, civic organizations, and even this group. I have served as a contest judge for OKRWA (the Oklahoma chapter of RWA – Romance Writers of America) and OWFI. I have served in numerous volunteer positions within OWFI, including as 1st and 2nd Vice-President. If you are unfamiliar with the OWFI organization, the 1st VP is the person in charge of the contest.

I do not present any of this to put-down or disparage anyone. I mention it only to correct the implication that I am not “serious” about my career.

Spotlight on Kiernan’s Curse (Kat O’Reilly)

515FgiX7kWLWe’re going from nonfiction to fiction. Romance, actually. And it does get steamy.

Kiernan’s Curse started with a dream I had. The first past of the dream is used in the beginning. The second part of the dream is in the middle.

Set in central Ireland in the early-mid Middle Ages, this is the book where I decided on my pen name. I wanted something that sounded Irish.

BLURB:

Can a heart be unsealed and allowed to love again after being closed as tightly as the west tower?

Kiernan Maguire fends off attacks on the village of Beinn but Maeb Faly is determined she won’t be so easily turned away. With battles waging on his health, his keep, and his heart, something has to give.

This is book 1 of the Maguire Men. Others in the series are in various stages of completion. I’ll let you know when they are available.

It will be free on Kindle from Friday, October 19, 2018, to October 23, 2018.

Introducing Book Spotlights

Creative Commons via catchingcourage.com

In a recent post (A Few Items of Interest), I mentioned that Amazon was merging CreateSpace and KDP. I didn’t know a time frame, but I knew it was happening soon.

It’s happened.

I talked about having re-release/launch dates and events as I converted my books from CreateSpace to KDP. Let’s just say that the process of moving them over went quite a bit smoother than I expected. They’re all moved.

I’m not going to do re-releases. I am, however, going to spotlight them here and do some promos on all of my books between now and Christmas.

You heard right.

Christmas.

It’s surprising to me that it’s already time to be thinking about Christmas.

The first book I’ll be spotlighting will be a Kat O’Reilly release. It will be up next Tuesday.

In the meantime, I have more writing to do, so I’ll see you back here with another post on Friday.

A Few Items of Interest

reportersnotebook_black
Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

There are a few things I’ve been thinking about. Some relate directly to this blog and others are about my writing and books in general. Let’s start with the blog-related stuff.

Schedule

I have been aiming for two posts a week. There have been some weeks I’ve had three and some I’ve had one. I don’t think there have been any weeks that I’ve had none since I started this. (I could be wrong.)

My upload days have been Tuesday and Thursday.

That is going to be changing somewhat. I will still upload on Tuesday, but the second day will be Friday from here on out. Bonus posts will go up whenever they go up. That’s why they’re bonuses.

Books

Many of you know the majority of my books have been indie-published. I’ve used CreateSpace for this. However, Amazon appears to be merging CreateSpace and KDP, so in the very near future,

I will be migrating everything over to KDP. When I do that, I will have re-release dates/events for all the titles. I will announce those here and on my Facebook author page (not my profile, though they will be shared there too).

RealmWalker: New Beginnings

I finished the passive voice editing pass tonight. Tomorrow, I will start using Word’s “find” feature to look for some specific things. I think it’s close to being ready to send back to my editor, though.

RealmWalker: Anchor

I can’t mention New Beginnings without talking about Anchor, can I? Well, I guess I could, but I won’t.

Progress on Anchor has been slow because of editing New Beginnings. However, with this round of edits nearing completion, I will soon be back to work on writing this second book. On the plus side? In one pivotal scene in New Beginnings, I put a hint of what is to come in book two. That was fun.

Personally

There are a couple other reasons why progress has been slow on Anchor. I thought about not sharing them, but I decided to. Not because I feel like I owe anyone an explanation, but because we’re all human. We all have problems that keep us from what we want to do sometimes and I want you to know you’re not alone in whatever you have going on.

I have had problems requiring visits to Wound Care. Because of that, I have to keep my foot elevated more than not. It’s not easy to do computer work like that. So I’ve limited myself to an hour to an hour and a half in the evenings. Today’s visit was good, though. One area is completely resolved and the other is close. Maybe I’ll be done with Wound Care (again) very soon. (Don’t get me wrong. There are wonderful people there and I’ve made some good friends through the times I’ve had to be there.)

I have been having problems with my left wrist, too. At first I thought it was just arthritis. Then I noticed that there is an area that stays swollen. I mentioned it to my doctor a few months ago. He pressed down on my thumb and I just about came up out of the chair, the pain from that surprised me so much. We both laughed about it. He said it was a “positive Finklestein’s test” and I have tenosynovitis, or tendonitis of the tendon that goes from my wrist up into my thumb. He gave me a prescription steroid ointment and told me to wear a brace for a month. I did. It didn’t help. I started sleeping in the brace. I mentioned it again this week when I saw him. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication and said to wear the brace during the day but don’t sleep in it. That’s where I’m at now.

I can type with the brace, but not at my usual speed. I’m seriously thinking about using voice-to-text when I start back to work on Anchor.

At any rate, those are the relevant updates I’ve been thinking about here. Have a great weekend.