Category Archives: editing

What do you do at 3 am when you can’t sleep…

ImageWrite a new blog post!  So, here’s what I’m thinking about at 3 am while the house is quiet and I’m contemplating life because I can’t sleep.

I’m finding different stages of writing novels, now that I have a few under my belt, that I like. I can sort of break it up by word count to describe what I mean.

When I first start a novel and I only have a couple thousand words in, the story is fresh and full of potential. I like that there’s still that blank page there. I need to get more down, more clay on the potter’s wheel. It is very much a new beginning.

I like it when I have 25,000 to 30,000 words in and the story is really starting to develop. I have a certain number of characters and the plot is pretty thick. The definition is starting to show. There’s movement. I know where the story is going because it’s come so far. Generally speaking it is about at the half way point. It’s like riding along the cliff. If I need to change something, this is the time to do it. I like that there’s still so much  adrenaline in the project.

Then, when I’m approaching the 50,000 mark, it’s a different type of excitement, much like finishing a race. Not just any race either, this is a marathon. So, when I see the finish line, my heart is pumping! I know I have to wrap this bad boy up. I generally finish books between 45,000 and 60,000, ideally. They can be longer, but not much. I don’t like them too much shorter either. I think if a book is less than 45,000 words, it isn’t a full novel. So, when I’m approaching that big 5-0 I know it has to come to an end, or at least an end for now.

When I do actually finish the first draft, I feel relief, a huge sense of accomplishment, and fear. Yep, fear. Because what if I didn’t get everything I wanted in there? What if it isn’t good enough? What if I messed it up? I go through a lot of that type of thing. I have to just ignore the damn thing for a while. I need to work on something else, get my mind off of it. Then, when I do get back to it for my first edit, I have fresh eyes. I can see it better, from a distance. When I’m too close, I panic and wonder. The distance between first draft and first edit is a huge help.

Going through these stages is why I think writing novels is the biggest thrill I’ve ever had. To create worlds and people and manipulate them into interesting situations is fabulous. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing this.

 

 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under authors, characters, creative, dreams, e-book, editing, exciting, fiction, fun, genre, inspiration, learning, literature, publishing, success, Uncategorized, working, writing

Beta Reads and Book Reviews

thCA43T8I7I think I’d like to be doing more book reviews and Beta reads. I like the idea of reading for free books… I spend way too much money on books anyway. The thing is that I think I’m pretty qualified for the job. I do have a Master’s degree in English/Creative Writing and I also write. You can read through my archives to see previous reviews. You can go on Amazon, too, but those are much shorter.

The other thing is that I hate giving bad reviews. I don’t have a problem writing constructive feedback for a Beta read, however. I think that’s the appropriate place for it. So, if I read your book and it wasn’t going to get a good review from me, I wouldn’t give it a review, I’d send it back to you as a Beta read – for your eyes only. If it was going to get a good review – I can plaster that bad boy around.

The other thing I have going is that I’ll read almost anything. Seriously! I’m really a book slut and though I have my favorite genres, I will read anything that has interesting characters, dialog, and a plat that moves. If you know me or follow any of my social media and blogs, you know I have my favorites, like paranormal romance, sci-fi, and other twisted shit, but really I’ll ready mystery, horror, adventure, and almost anything else (fiction). I choke a bit on historical romance (unless it has vampires), though….. Just a warning.

So, if you have a book you would like be to Beta/Review, send me a request with the genre and length through a direct message on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/sherri.asble

or Twitter @sljasble

I’ll get back with you right away!

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, characters, creative, editing, fiction, genre, literature, publishing, query, review, tweet, Uncategorized, urban fantasy, vampire, working, writing

I love my editor because….

I’ve been doing a lot more writing lately. It’s been so great! Part of my journey has been hooking up with a super editor who gets me and is great to work with. It has made a great difference in the quality of my writing – even at the rough draft stage… even at the idea generating stage! It’s quickly become a vital relationship for me! I think this is even more important for indie authors that self-publish like myself. I want to be able  to put out the best stories I possibly can.  I chose to go the self publish route primarily because I tend to be a bit anal and I feel like with my dual background (business vs. creative) that I could manage this more comfortably than letting a publishing house just take over everything. Plus, it is so much faster. I only have to wait for my own approval!  Ah… and that of my editor!

With that said, here are my reasons that I love my editor!  Thanks Kathleen – for making so much better!

Image

I LOVE MY EDITOR BECAUSE…

  • She knows what a ‘dirk’ is
  • She knows the significance between a creaky door and slamming it open
  • She is a living breathing Thesaurus
  • She deplores redundancy
  • She deplores redundancy (had to say it twice!)
  • She KNOWS her homophones
  • She is pushy when asking me to explain/describe more
  • She catches it when I use the wrong character name
  • She is never afraid to give me an opinion
  • She compliments my writing style and lets me be me
  • She questions my weirdest word choices
  • She helps me capture the right “attitude” in the words
  • She makes me think about what I’m writing
  • She makes my writing better
  • She digs my vampire bites – vv

 

2 Comments

Filed under agent, authors, characters, creative, e-book, editing, fiction, learning, publishing, success, Uncategorized, vampire, working, writing

There’s No Sex In Your Violence.

ImageI feel blessed to be living in one of the freest flowing times in history. What do I mean by that? Well, honestly, I mean that writers can pretty much write about anything they want. There was a time when sex and violence were taboo, but today it’s almost expected. Not that everything I write is sex and violence, but I have the freedom to write it, publish it, and expect that I’ll have some readers that want to read it. Hell, I want to read it! As long as it’s couched within the plot and is true to the characters – my caveat.

It is a fabulous thing, but it once wasn’t, and I hope that it isn’t taken for granted, especially by those of us who chose to write it. In the Victorian era, sexuality was, if not taboo, than at least a questionable topic.  The 1960’s started to change people’s ideas about sex, but really it hasn’t been until the 80’s and 90’s that we’ve seen a rise in sexuality in print, and only in the past decade have people started reading stories that border on pornographic. Perhaps what is considered acceptable pornography in print has changed? We all know that 50 Shades of Gray would not have been printed, let alone a best seller in earlier years. That success was all about timing and what the public was willing to accept.

But, I submit that 50 Shades was not a breakthrough novel in our sexual genre, but that society was finally willing to let this degree of sexuality hit the mainstream. Surely, BDSM erotic had been building in the world of print (Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Siren, and Hot Ink Press) for years. Beyond mainstream romance, we all know sex sells.

The point of all this is that in today’s market where eBooks, Amazon, and the Internet thrive and allow people anonymity of purchase, authors can expect their sex books to sell. Oh, and violence isn’t any different. In fact, violence is less taboo than sex (unless it’s violent sex). As a society, we want to see violence in our movies, and we want to read about it in our books. The only thing more tantalizing than good sex, is good violence.  Don’t deny it. I’m sure you’ve watched Rocky or an MMA fight or just a scene where someone gets the shit beat out of them or someone is killed violently (CSI much?).

That brings me back around to the freedom of writing and authors taking it or granted. I don’t know if they do and I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is that 100 years ago, 50 Shades of Gray would not have been published. Hell, 9 1/2 weeks wouldn’t have been a movie and neither would Scent of a Woman. What is available today in print and in movies is phenomenal compared to that. Of course, we would expect evolution. Yet, we often don’t stop and appreciate it.

So, whether you buy a sexy book, watch a violent movie, or write about sex and/or violence, just take a moment and appreciate how far we’ve come and just how free we are.Image

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, characters, creative, dark fantasy, e-book, editing, fun, genre, literature, political, success, Uncategorized, writing

Livin’ on the Edge!

Okay folks – So, here’s the latest update on my writing journey!  I’ve been unemployed since January and I’ve been a bit off kilter trying to figure all of this out. I wanted to write full time SOOO BAD and now that I have the opportunity, I’m still not spending enough time writing.  I’m writing a lot more than before, but still not enough. I think it’s just that things haven’t been going as planned and I’m having difficulty keeping a schedule.

I was sick for about 3 weeks in February/March. It really through me off. I spent the entire time doing nothing and feeling like crap. Even when I started feeling better, I was a little depressed and didn’t want to get back to doing anything. So, it took a while to get moving again. I felt a little bit worthless, like I’d let myself down. Every day that went by was a little worse. Eventually, I had too much crap in my head and my characters started demanding that I get busy! I also thought a lot about the fact that while I was still working, all I wanted to do was write, and then when I found myself in the middle of the opportunity, I choked. I wasn’t writing.

So, now the last couple of weeks, I’ve been back to writing. I haven’t been forcing myself to do anything particular, but I’m getting some stuff done. I’m making sure that I put in a few hours every day, no matter what.  Usually, I write from 1 pm to 3 pm without fail. Then, sometimes I start earlier or I write later.  Sometimes, I write until dinner time and then I might come back in and write a little more after dinner.  I’m feeling a lot better about what I’m doing.

AND I’ve graduated!!! I now have a Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing! Woot!! That means no more homework – more time for writing!

I may have to go back to the real world of work soon – have to pay the bills – but until then, I’m taking advantage of the time. I’m writing almost every day! Hopefully, there will be a lot more of my work out there. I think that’s the next step in my journey. I’m just focusing on getting things done and out there!

Thanks to everyone still watching my journey!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, characters, creative, e-book, editing, education, fiction, fun, inspiration, learning, literature, query, school, success, Uncategorized, urban fantasy, working, writing

The Touch Reviewed

Recently, I read The Touch by Louisa Albrect, and published by Hot Ink Press. I fell in love with the concept immediately and just had to read it.  Admittedly, it advertised a few characteristics that I love to use in my own writing, such as music, musicians and magic. So, I was excited to get my hands on it! Oh, not to mention that it is an erotic novel, so yeah… that was exciting too! *snickers inappropriately*

http://www.amazon.com/Touch-Louisa-Albrect-ebook/dp/B00AZOS7GK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394562934&sr=1-1

On the whole, I did enjoy the story. The plot was well done and the characters likable. However, I was somewhat disappointed. I really wanted to love this story, and I didn’t. It’s been several days since I read it, and I’ve been stewing it over in the back of my mind ever since.

I did read it in one sitting, but that had more to do with how short it was rather than my love of it. In fact, it really was too short. There was barely enough time to develop such a complex plot and depth of character. It was sort of like this:  Here are these cool people and their intricate problems. Now, let’s put them together and let sex fix everything. I wanted more in the middle. It gave me a beginning and an end and slushed right over the middle.

The main character is a singer named Benjamine. I loved this guy. But, I didn’t get enough of what made him tick. I expected more music. The descriptions that were there were fabulous, but they left me wanting more.  The lead female similarly left me wanting more. After the coven finds her, she loses her memories, but the plot doesn’t really do anything with this, and leaves her feeling a little hollow. I wanted more about her discovering herself before she could help Benjamine.

The Touch had interesting side characters that were like the icing flowers on a cake; pretty and edible, but generally not necessary and completely interchangeable. Yet, there was the bud of something truly delicious sitting right there. A longer story line would allow the author to weave these extra characters into the story in a way that only that unique person could be there to make things happen. Plus, with more time, you could get to know what drives these others; how they view the main characters (for extra complexity); and what motivates them.

The final thing that had me squirming in my chair as I read was the huge amounts of grammatical errors and typos that imbued the novella. I swear this manuscript was never edited. In most self-published books and even in books published by small to medium presses, I generally do not have a problem overlooking a few errors. It is virtually impossible to get out every single one… you can find typos in books from major authors and publishing houses too. With that said, I could not keep continually overlooking the abundance of issues in this. It was too distracting.

I’m not trying to by hyper-critical. In fact, if I didn’t like the story, I wouldn’t have bothered putting these words on the page. I would have chalked it up to another disappointing failure. But, I did genuinely like this story. For only .99 it isn’t bad. However, Albrect has such a potentially beautiful story here. I wish she would take the time to develop it into a full-fledged (edited) novel.

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, characters, creative, e-book, editing, fiction, fun, genre, para normal, review, success, Uncategorized, urban fantasy, witch, working, writing

Top 10 List

Photo by Visualphotos.com

Photo by Visualphotos.com

So, I’ve been working from home for the past two weeks, and I really like it! I’ve discovered a few things about myself and my habits that are developing, some good and some bad. Of course I wish it paid more – LOL! However, I like being able to do my own thing, and in that light…. I created my own Top 10 List – of…

Why I like working from home:

#10. No traffic jams on the commute.

#9. Totally avoided the Polar Vortex

#8. I can crank my music as loud as I want

#7. I can check and post on FaceBook and Twitter any time I want

#6. THE coolest boss in the world!

#5. There’s plenty of coffee!

#4. Obviously…. I get to set my own schedule, which means staying up late and sleeping until 10 am

#3. Longest lunches in the world!

#2. Sex breaks

And finally, the number 1 thing I like about working from home… One word:

SLIPPERS!

5 Comments

Filed under authors, creative, e-book, editing, education, fun, learning, review, success, technology, Uncategorized, working, writing