9th Free Issue of Cinnamon Serialization
Hi! For those of you who are into this, you can find the newest serialized issue of The Truth About Cinnamon at: http://www.filedby.com/author/cheri_laser/2721580/documents/27340707/.
Usually, I’m pretty mechanical about preparing each of the chapters for this process. But this time I found myself getting distracted by actually reading my own book. Even if you haven’t read any of the other chapters up to this point, you might want to take a look at this one.
Also, since my next step in “the plan” is to do a reduction edit on Cinnamon as soon as this seemingly interminable editing process for Separation of Faith is complete, I doubt I’ll be cutting much from Chapter 9. Let me know what you think, if you happen to drop in there.
Speaking of Separation of Faith …
At some point last week (I forget which day), I finished the hard copy edit where I read and marked stuff up with a red pen, just like the old days. Now I’m a little over half-way through keying all of those edits into the computer–the process that makes us all tend to do our editing directly into the computer, bypassing paper altogether, because of the time savings.
But I have to tell you that actually reading the book on a page is very different than editing on a computer monitor. As many times as I’ve edited this manuscript over the last four months, you would not believe how many things jumped right up in my face from the printed document. Some of those were sections that I wanted to change or tweak further. Others were sentences where a single word I’d used didn’t “feel” right and thus sent me to The Synonym Finder. And still others were actual errors–typos, punctuation marks in the wrong place, etc. And, upon the discovery of every single issue, I said to myself, “I cannot believe I missed that before!”
So, if you’re someone like me, who writes and edits almost exclusively on your computer, I strongly recommend that you print out a copy of your manuscript, fix yourself a cup (or glass) of your favorite beverage, and then snuggle into a comfortable chair or sofa where you usually sit for a good read. You absolutely will not believe the things you’ll find in a hard copy edit!
Let me know how the process goes, if you give this a try.
Although my first choice for bedtime reading is a great novel (someone else’s, of course :-)), lately I’ve been using that time to catch up on all the reading that’s been funneled to me through various blogs I’m following. And since I’m in the middle of an edit (hopefully my last on this book), I’ve been drawn to a couple of points that sort of remind me of my own habits a bit.
One of those was in an article titled “Tangled Passages,” by Philip B. Corbett ( http://topics.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/tangled-passages-4/). In the article’s first paragraph, Mr. Corbett says, “… Sentences of 40, 50, or 60 words are awfully hard to make readable. When you get up to four or five commas, think again. A half-dozen verbs usually mean trouble …” After reading this piece, I started noticing a few spots in Separation of Faith where my sentences were getting close to meeting those descriptions. Those sentences have now been broken into two, or they’ve been completely reworked.
Again, I might not have been as aware of those issues if I hadn’t been editing a hard copy. But whether on paper or a computer monitor, the points Mr. Corbett makes are excellent (and well-timed, for me at least). Let me know what you think.
Along those same lines, I’ve been forwarded to a couple of other articles that focus on similar issues:
- Overwriters Anonymous (http://editorialass.blogspot.com/2009/01/overwriters-anonymous.html)
- Writing: Sentence Structure (http://annellealtman.blogspot.com/2010/02/writing-sentence-structure.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AllWriteWithCoffee+%28All+write+with+coffee…%29&utm_content=Google+Reader)
Both of those showed me at least one thing I was either doing or have a tendency to do. Hopefully, there will be something useful in there for you as well.
Plan Update and Stats
My goal is to have the red-pen edits keyed in by the time I go to bed tonight. Then (and I know this is going to sound like self-flagellation) I’m going to do one more hard copy read-through, which should move quickly. If I’m doing my job correctly, anything I find at that point should be a minor typo (she said, her heart rushing with inflated expectations …)
When I last spoke with the publisher, I told them I’d have the edited manuscript back in their hands within three weeks. That deadline is one week from tomorrow, which I hope to beat by a day or two. Then we’ll have to wait while they do another editorial evaluation before we learn if I’m going to receive the Editor’s Choice designation. (Come to think of it, I must be certifiable.)
Here are the latest stats:
- Hits on this blog: 1171 (1131 last week). This has slowed down, I believe, because I haven’t been tag surfing. That activity will pick up again as soon as I finish the edit.
- Hits on my website: 35,658 (35,383 two weeks ago) This is more than twice the increase from the last posting, which is quite encouraging.
- Amazong ranking: Yuk. I don’t even want to type the number because it’s way higher than two weeks ago (and remember that this number is supposed to go lower, not higher). But it starts with a “3” and is followed by six more numbers. I haven’t been expecting this one to improve until I get further into “the plan,” but I really don’t like watching it get worse. Patience, Cheri. Patience.
Well, I need to get back to work. I’ll try to pop in between now and next Monday. But meanwhile, I hope you all have a terrific week!