Books and Affiliated, From Writing to Publishing

New Year; New Novel

dedication-copy.jpg
(C) FanTCBooks; All rights reserved

Me: I can totally finish editing this book by tonight!

*Glances down at page bar. Pages read out of total page count – 53/147.*

Also me: I’m never going to finish…


 

 

 

 

 


A WORD ON EDITING

Editing is when a writer becomes inundated with her own work. The read-through, rereading, excessive reading, looking-up/looking-back/looking-through, not to mention shipping it off to an editor who will instruct you to go through his edits carefully, after which you really should follow up with a polish read, then send off to a beta reader (or two or three – not all at once, mind you. You really should only send to one beta at a time in order to keep all edits concise.) Once they’re through, you’ll find yourself going over their edits, which means more reading.

Does it ever end?

This part can be discouraging for writers. It’s a well-known truth that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. You might find yourself getting bored with your own work. Certain scenes may sound useless and trivial. The ending might feel muddled, confusing, or just plain bad. It’s tempting to give up sometimes. But sometimes, this is where the rubber meets the road and you’re faced with the awe-inspiring realization that you have created something spectacular.

This is the moment every writer lives for. Acknowledgment for oneself that the work is indeed good. You might think the “moment every writer lives for” is when readers first get their hands on a copy of the book, but I say that’s an inaccurate statement. In order to believe what others might say about us, we must first believe it for ourselves.

A hundred people can call you pretty/handsome, but until you look in the mirror and believe it for yourself, those compliments fall on deaf ears.

Your parents may call you brave and stalwart, but until you face down your own fears and see the hero within, you will simply think “they’re being nice.”

A teacher might say that you’re intelligent, creative, but until you review the work of your hands and see the product for what it is – intelligent, creative – you will say, “They’re just trying to be encouraging. They don’t believe it.”

See? If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t believe in others either.


Because this book I’m working on is the sequel in a two-part series, I reread the first book to refresh my memory on the characters and working of the plot. It has been perhaps two years since I published the first book, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I had forgotten. It took me three days to read it.

Maybe that’s a small book. Or maybe I simply couldn’t put it down.

Arrogant? I think not. There’s nothing wrong with getting excited about your own work. If you don’t, no one else will. There’s a difference between bragging excessively and wanting to share something you are passionate about.

Forgetting and rereading the first book cemented in my mind that, yes, I had created something spectacular. You see, after publication, I revert to this overwhelming phobia that my work wasn’t polished up to par, or that I didn’t describe the world well. Sometimes I fret that the characters aren’t true to themselves, or that readers will discover all my plot holes. I become paranoid. My work isn’t good. My writing is terrible. Now everyone will see it.

(Admittedly I would like to polish up the first book more, just because I’ve learned so much about editing in the past two years, and I would like to fix the esthetic appeal of the read.)

In my rediscovery, I found the story flowed exceedingly well. I was impressed with my own characters. I cheered for their growth and successes. My heart began to pound everytime they encountered danger, and the horror of the cliffhanger left my palms sweaty and my hands shaking.

This was everything I dreamed it would be.

Now I’m 53 pages into the second installment. I have been meticulously editing, molding, reshaping the words so that they are their clearest, so that they speak their best, describe their best, and read their easiest. I have been merciless, cutting out anything that detracts from the story. And the most surprising realization is that there is no pain in editing.

People like to say that editing feels like your heart being torn out, but I’ve never experienced that – thank the Maker. My purpose in writing is to tell a story and introduce these characters – these delightful little people I’ve imagined – to the world. I want them to look their best, so I wipe off their smudges, scrub the dirt off them, polish and shine them, and proudly look on as they make their way across the stage.

Editing should not be all painful.

Editing should be the proudest moments of your project. When you can honestly look down at the work and say, “Yeah. This is really good. And it can be better.”

I want to encourage you – whatever you’re working on – that this can be an exciting and rewarding time. If you enter the editing mode with grudging and fear, you will experience grudging and fear. But if you enter with positivity, excitement, and hope, then you will experience those feelings instead.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Advertisements
Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Three

Good morning, readers, writers, and adventurers! Today we dive into our third incredibly deadly habit and disover what spelling errors, run-on on sentences, or lack of explanations we might find there. Let’s remember to check our spelling, site our sources, and write in clear, concise sentences. Shall we begin?


(…) = add word/s

Strike = delete words

3. Avoid using a laptop or mobile phone

(Some) People often have a habit of to check(ing) their social network accounts on their laptops or mobile phones before going to bed, but that moment he (can) take much longer (than expected, keeping you awake past bedtime.) and you fall asleep late. So avoid using them in the bedroom.

Some people have a habit of checking their social network accounts on their laptops or mobile phones before going to bed, but little do people realize how harmful the effects of our technology have on our brains. This sleep study by the Sound Sleep Institute revealed that the blue lights from smartphone, tablet, and laptop screens reduce melatonin (the natural occurring hormone which puts our body to sleep) and tells our brain to stay awake. Continued use can have a lasting affect on melatonin levels, prohibiting sound sleep even when we aren’t using our devises. Furthermore, dings and pings from email and game notifications can disturb our slumber without our realizing it, so it is recommended to keep all electronics, even the TV, out of the bedroom.


Okay, while this still may not be deadly, it is certainly harmful. Even I fall into the bad habit of using my phone at night, because I keep my charging station in the bedroom. Today, I make a change. I’m going to set up a nice, little charge station in the living room and go back to using a tradition alarm clock. Just as soon as I acquire one…

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Two

Hello again! 10 Deadly Habits is an ongoing series of editing tips. My pet project is an unfortunate blog post I stumbled upon which shall remain nameless since the author did not ask to be critiqued. I’m shameless, I know.

Let us begin!

The blog post lists ten habits people might have before retiring to bed. I, like many other readers before me, was intrigued to see what I was doing which could be so deadly that I should stop these habits immediately. What I discovered were a few harmless things most people do which may or may not affect their sleep patterns, and a few other things which would be good to consider at least curbing. They were not as “deadly” as the post made them seem.

Honestly, the fact that bloggers and magazines can knowingly lie, exaggerate, and exploit the truth of a matter all for the sake of sales and reads irritates me to no end. It’s utterly asinine! But this is a soap box for another post.

Part two of this series will take a look at the second Deadly Habit.

(…) = Edit/add word/s

Strike = Remove word/s

2. Don’t nap during the day

Some people have a habit of napping (during the day), but this should be avoided because it will interrupt the natural cycle of the body and you won’t be able to get (prevent) a decent to (night’s) sleep. at night. This will affect your health and sleeping habits.

Perhaps my biggest pet peeve is the lack of information and research in these posts. As I edit, I will also present positive and negative comments for the sake of argument.

Some people have a habit of napping during the day. While this can be beneficial when prescribed in sleep medicine treatments (as sited: Sleep Medicine Reviews, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp 227±235, 2003,) many people nap in a manner which can negatively effect their natural sleep cycle. For example, taking an hour or more nap puts the body into deep, non-rapid eye movement (sleep,) whereas a nap of 30 minutes or less allows the mind and body to relax for a short time without negative side effects. It should be noted that napping two to three hours before bedtime is not recommended, as it may cause you to be too much awake when it’s time to sleep. Also remember, napping isn’t for everyone. Read more at Napping Do’s and Don’ts.

Here you have it, readers. If you are going to be so bold as to offer advise or criticism in your writing, it is always a good idea to back it up with one or more agreeing sources. If your intention is to truly educate, then educate yourself first and be willing to give your readers sound advice.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part One

Hello, dears! Guess what my boyfriend did. No, you really should guess. The headline says it all…

Late last night, I received a message titled “10 Deadly Habits We All Do Before Bedtime,” ironic since it was “late last night” and using your phone was one of the “10 Deadly Habits.” Yes, my dear, darling boyfriend gets suckered by the cheap, unsited, floating statistics that haunt our internet surfs. Normally, I read them for funsies or jokes. I don’t particularly put any stock in them. Anyway, the short story is, I read it and even at midnight, it was surprisingly atrocious. The spelling errors! The grammar! The monotonous writing voice! I MUST interfere!

So my summer pet project is to work this blog post beginning to end with editing critiques and rewriting. Join me on another adventure – to boldly scratch the surface with red ink and provoking thoughts, to seek out sited sources, to rip first drafts to shreds and uncover the amazing verbiage beneath!

DAY ONE! LET US COMMENCE!

(…) = replace word with a better/more descriptive word

abc = remove word/s

Okay, I’m not going to reveal the publisher of this blog because that is just rude and thoughtless. They did not ask for this critique, they’re just trying to save the world one sleepful night at a time. And I’m just trying to save bad writing…

First on our list is the title. Now, we all know a catchy title is imperative to getting read in this world. However, there are some rules I feel are necessary. For one, you must not lie. I do not approve of lying. Secondly, the title must be quick and concise. Too many words in a title bog down the reader. This one breaks both of those rules.

TITLE:

10 (Deadly) Habits We All Do Before Bed Even Though They Seriously DAMAGE Our Health

“Deadly” is an extreme adjective. Yes, sleep is important, but not ALL of these habits would be considered “deadly.” Take napping (which we will focus on in a later segment.) My great-grandfather napped every day of his life, and he lived to be 101. My great-uncle naps every day of his life, and he’s 82 and still kicking. My mom naps – okay, yes, you get the picture.

“10 Unhealthy Habits We All Do Before Bed”

There. By changing “deadly” to “unhealthy,” we automatically eliminate the need for the wordy second half of the title. Besides, the second half also goes against my first rule about lying. Most of these habits do not “seriously DAMAGE” your health.

INTRODUCTION:

Sleeping is a process that provides energy for our body for the next day. Therefore, it is good to have a healthy sleep (habits) (and not) wakeing up before it’s time to wake up or have some harming habits. Here are some things you (need to) stop doing in order to have better sleep.

There are a few typos and some places in this paragraph that do not read smoothly. It is important to write sentences which are easy to read. You don’t want to trip up your readers with unnecessary words or confusing sentence structure.

Sleeping is a process that provides energy for our body. Therefore, it is good to have healthy sleep habits without waking up before it is time. Here are some things you should consider stopping in order to have better sleep.

Editorial Notes:

  • Sleeping is a process that provides energy. We don’t need to know it provides energy for the next day. We already assume it provides energy everyday.
  • “Without waking” offers a smoother transition rather than “and not wake.”
  • While “it‘s time” is technically correct, when read in the sentence, it almost sounds like “it’s” is taking possession of “time.” To avoid confusion, I  recommend using “it is time” instead.
  • “…to wake up or have some harming habits…” Eliminate unnecessary wordage when possible. This isn’t NaNoWriMo. You don’t get points for high word counts.
  • Need to” – don’t tell your readers what to do. Period. Just don’t do it. I’m serious. Don’t.

BODY

Moving on to the first segment of the blog, we will go through all 10 habits in a 10-part segment over the course of the summer. Updates will be posted every two weeks as usual, so it will take five months to finish the project. Whip out your red pens…we’re in for a bumpy ride.

1. Do not drink the water

Water is essential for the body to maintain normal functioning and to lubricate the joints as you move. But if you drink water just before bedtime, you will wake up not just once, but several times to urinate, interrupting your sleep.

I don’t have much of an issue with this one. I would appreciate a lengthier explanation and maybe some links to sources and scientific study results. The one issue I DO have, is in the second sentence. How does this blogger know water affects EVERYONE that way? How can the blogger know you’ll be up MULTIPLE times? Is the blogger STALKING us?

1. Do Not Drink the Water

Water is essential for the body, since your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature, as sourced by our very own WebMD. However, drinking too much water before bedtime can cause you to wake up and have to urinate, which will interrupt your sleep. For such people, it is best to drop drinking water 2 hours before bedtime. For more information, you can read directly from New Health Advisor.


 

And that concludes this week’s segment! Come back for more “ripping on helpless bloggers for the sake of my blog” – and boredom. Mostly for boredom.

Cheerio!

Fanny T. Crispin

From Writing to Publishing

Grammar – Run-On Sentences

RUN-ON SENTENCES! You know the ones! Let’s talk.

When you were in school, you learned all this. Funny how we forget or never quite master these techniques. It’s okay. I’m right with you on this. We can work together to conquer the dreaded run-ons.

What is a run-on sentence?

Just as the name suggests, run-ons are sentences that have no punctuation. It would be like listening to someone thinking out loud and never taking a breath. Exhausting. And confusing. Here are a few examples:

1:  Samantha jumped on the couch she fell and hit her head.
2:  We went to the store it was closed.
3:  Trever picked up the bag it ripped groceries fell everywhere.

You can feel something wrong with those sentences, but if you’re not clear what it could be, let’s dive into the lesson. A run-on sentence is two sentences combined without proper punctuation. A period, a semicolon, or a connecting word must be added. Sounds complicated, right? It’s not, I assure you. Watch this:

1:  Samantha jumped on the couch. She fell and hit her head.
(You just made two sentences instead of one using a period. Super easy. Doesn’t it make it easier to read?)
2:  We went to the store, but it was closed.
(This is an example of a connecting word. Connecting words can be and, or, but, or then. You usually, but not always, add a comma before these words to connect the sentences.)
3:  Trever picked up the bag; it ripped and groceries fell everywhere.
(Here we used a semicolon and a connecting word such as and.)

Practice on a few sentences of your own. Pick up your old writing and analyze it a little. See if you can find places to put a period, a semicolon, or a connecting word to fix any long, endless sentences.

Want a few other options to spice up your writing? Here are three more ways to fix run-on sentences:

Comma and conjunction (connecting word):
The debate is over, and now it is time to vote.

Dash:
The debate is over – now it is time to vote.

Subordinating conjunction:
Since the debate is over, it is time to vote.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin