Sunday, April 3, 2011

Here's a tip...




I'm writing this blog in our sunny apartment in Zurich. Which should equate to an awesome start to the day. Except that's not exactly the first word that comes to mind.

A couple things you think I'd have learned from my previous travels: bring Pepcid AC--or anything that comes close, because it's a guarantee I'll get heartburn. You'd think that getting sedated on air plane for freaking out because I thought I was having a heart attack on my way back home from Greece was a lesson learned--idiot. But honestly, I thought that had been some kind of fluke. Even though, I did tell myself that from that day forward, I would never leave home without my antacids. It's day two in Zurich, and I've had heartburn 3 times already. TMI? Fine. I've had four hours of sleep and I'm on my second cup of coffee, because my brain decided that 3am was a perfectly superb time to be wide awake. Chris wasn't thrilled, and I could tell by his grumbling that he wanted to smack me with his phone the minute it told him he'd never willingly been up at this time before. (Here's where I miss my three story house, where I can escape somewhere without having to worry I'll wake somebody with my clanging utensils--I mean, booklight.)

Let's make this short and sweet then. I've finished my novel, Violet Storm. Woohoo! Except that doesn't really mean that I'm finished. It means the story has been told but now it's on to the fine-tuning, the make-it or break-it precision editing. I spent the better part of last week jotting down all sorts of tips on how to maximize my editing so that the final copy will be in its absolute best shape for the viewing pleasure of an agent (if it even gets that far). So I started thinking about my query letter. (For those who are curious, a query letter is a one page pitch to an agent asking them to read your manuscript.) Let me give an awesome, special thanks to my cousin, Chanelle for not laughing in my face when she read the opening hook for my query letter. Okay, clearly, I have lots of work left to do.

First tip you should employ when it comes to final edits, is to give you and the manuscript, two weeks of much needed space. It puts just enough distance to allow you to look at the work objectively, though it's still not as effective as having a trusted third party reviewing it. Note the word trusted. Because really, the last thing you need is to have the kind of person reading your work who enjoys nothing more than kicking you in the face with an insult--passive or not, no one deserves to be insulted after the kind of dedication and hours spent on a project such as writing a full length novel.

Another invaluable tip that comes close to making first: when you start the editing process, stay away from lighters and bins. There's no progress made burning your manuscript--and trust me, you'll be tempted. Yes...it sure would feel good--but the frustration that puts you on the precipice of employing this tip, usually comes while you're editing. Hence, it doesn't make it as the number one tip for final editing. Well when you get there, fight the temptation!

I'm still at week one. And that's why I'm blogging. Trying to keep my mind busy, thinking of something else other than heartburn, and the dizzying desire to get started on the editing.

More on this later.

Loving Zurich, but missing home and cuddly cat.

Do you have a tip you'd like to share when it comes to final edits?

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