19 Self-Editing Tips For Your Writing

pencils-self-editing-help

Re-posted from the ‘A Writer’s Path‘ blog – even though it does probably mean a complete redraft of ‘Evhen & Uurth.’

by Jacqui Murray Now that I’ve published my first novel, To Hunt a Sub, I can say from experience that writing it and editing it took equally long periods of time (and marketing is just as i…

Source: 19 Self-Editing Tips For Your Writing

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Dead Men Walking

Cartoon zombie isolated on whiteDEAD MEN WALKING

The path was well worn, for they came in numbers.

To many, the journey had taken the form of almost religious homage. But for the majority, the subjugated, it was a feared and tortuous trek into the unknown.

Penance or penalty – who could tell? It mattered not.

Even those forced to accompany their masters on frequent trips were fearful of stumbling upon unexpected terrors. For this was an unforgiving land – a strange, soulless wood land, fraught with dread and trepidation around every turn. A land inhabited by a species of beings, shy by nature, who would gather in small groups but scamper into the darkened recesses when approached by outsiders. For it would seem they too were tormented by the unknown.

Colin had been here before, of course. Most of the village’s menfolk had.
But this particular command to saddle up the iron horse and prepare for a new venture into the living, breathing nightmare took him by surprise. Surely his master had laid sufficient sacrifices at the altar of Ingvar to last until the year end at least? Had their dues not been fully satisfied? What more could be required of them?

Colin’s hands were visibly shaking as he prepared for the journey. A survival pack was hastily replenished with revitalising fluids, spectacles, a mobile communicator and most importantly, cash. The god, Ingvar rewarded the offering of cash. This Colin knew only too well.

The short trip to the edge of the mysterious wood land passed quietly and the iron horse was securely stored in a place that would later become as difficult to find as the end of a rainbow.

Colin’s master led the way towards, and through the rotating gates to the place of nightmares. Colin took a deep breath and closed his eyes as, from somewhere deep within, he found the courage to follow.

Instantly, his heart sank. His knees trembled. His head felt as if it were being squeezed by a contracting band of steel. Experience, however, reassured him.

“Focus on the positive. Always the positive,” he told himself. If his master was in benevolent mood, there may be a reward at the end of the trek. Assuming he made it through unscathed, that was.

Trailing a discreet distance behind his master, Colin joined the sluggard masses. Eye contact with the other subjugates proved difficult, but when by chance glances were exchanged, he could see into the very souls of the others. They were neither dead, nor undead. They were caught in a twilight world where all emotion had been thwarted. Until they made it to the other side (if they made it to the other side) their minds belonged to their masters. Only the naïve or plain stupid would offer up opinions of negativity. Even those who opined what they considered a neutral indecisiveness would be ruthlessly smote down in a volley of retribution.

As they wandered deeper and deeper into the petrifying forest, their masters would casually pick up items for brief inspection, pat them, then cast them aside once again. Colin and the other subjugates, however, would become disorientated and nauseous. Their very existence lay in the hands of the masters. So long as they remained no more than a few steps behind, and didn’t let them slip out of sight, they knew it would all have to end. Eventually.

Focus. Envisage the end. How good will it feel when it’s all over?

And then it was.

Suddenly, the trail opened up. No longer was it a random path meandering throughout the heavily wooded area. It was now a straight, direct walkway through a deep valley, dwarfed on both sides by mountainous blocks erected in temple-like fashion – a place for final worship before leaving the kingdom of Ingvar.

The mood of Colin and the numerous other subjugates visibly brightened. Their pace increased. Their gait lightened. They were nearly home. All that remained was to wade through the wide, but traversable rapids.

It had been done before. This was do-able.

And there, in the near distance, the reward. Colin’s master gave that look. Simply translated, it meant: ‘Yes. Ok. You’ve been good. Go on.’

And Colin ran and Colin skipped over to the reward. Now – ice cream or hot dog? Or maybe some meatballs to take-away? Or some cinnamon rolls?

Decisions. Decisions.

Weekend visits to Ikea were sometimes worth the grief.

 

_______________________

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SEE A SAMPLE OF ‘SOUL SURVIVOR.’

cartoon-god

‘The Summons’ and ‘Thought Shower,’ the first two chapters of  ‘SOUL SURVIVOR‘ (working title) my latest attempt to write a hundred-seller, are free-to-read on Booksie.com

THE BLURB:
A rather incompetent junior god and his beautiful minder; a bad tempered, cantankerous crow, and a psychopomp with a troubled past – why would anyone put the fate of the planet in the hands of this motley crew? Dux Shrevas may just be having second thoughts.

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psychopomp

 

 

 

 

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AMAZING REVIEW!

Amazon.com logo -500Since I stopped promoting ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee’ about a month ago, it has virtually flat-lined as far as sales go. But the time had come to give more attention to drafting my new book, ‘Soul Survivor,’ (working title.)

It seemed the kindest thing to do was to take ‘D&RW’ down that sad, one-way trip to the local book-vet, for …. well, sssshhh – you know.

But then last night, came THIS – an absolute belter of a review from a reader in USA.

The book has also been included in the ‘I Recommend …’ Top 10 Humor books on Lia London’s excellent blog.

Maybe there’s life in the old (damp) dogs, yet.

amazon-us-review-brilliant

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THE WORST MAN ON MARS – unleashed at last.

TWMOM - advert

You can buy from here ….. or here.

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#1 INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLER, BABY!

Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee - 200That’s right – ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,’ can now legitimately be classed as a #1, International Best Seller.

OK, it’s kinda stretching things a tad, but following a wee promotional push on the USA, Amazon.com site this week, ‘D&RW’ rose from an overall ranking of 1,127,973 to 15,902. (I believe there are over three million titles available on that platform.)

Not only that, but, wait for it …. it reached the #1 slot in the ‘Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Pet & Animal Care > Rabbits.

It also reached a ranking high of #3 on Amazon UK – Kindle Store > Books > Home & Garden > Animal Care & Pets . Essays.

Yeah, they’re rather niche classifications, I know. It’s all good fun, though.

So that’s now a year since its release. It’s sold reasonably well and has served its purpose as an experiment in writing and finding my way around the publication / marketing landscape.

The latter really is most time consuming and is a necessary evil for indie publishers. Keep on top of it, and the book will steadily climb / maintain its position in the rankings. Stop, and unless you are an established writer with a substantial fan base, the title will drop like a stone to settle somewhere amongst the silt and dust that forms beneath the virtual shelves at Amazon.

But proactive marketing is a big distraction from new projects. So ‘stop,’ I must.

Maybe now’s the time to take ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee’ on that sad, last journey to the book vet. I mean, there’s no point staggering on trying to flog a dead, erm … well – you know.

Anyhows! Right now I have a rather bad tempered, cantankerous crow (or rook – I haven’t yet decided) and a psychopomp banging on the inside of my head, desperate for an introduction to y’all in the next few months.

You’ll know them when you see them.

Rook 300

SOUL SURVIVOR - working cover

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NAMING THE BITS BETWEEN.

Naming The Bits BetweenNaming The Bits Between by Jessica M. Collette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I stumbled across this book from visiting the author’s blog, and having enjoyed Jessica’s poetry, decided to check out her book. Now, I have to say I’m a bit of a crusty old punk, and books that deal with sensitive issues such as grief wouldn’t normally attract me. But when I scanned through the positive, life-changing experiences undertaken by the main character, Eric, I noticed several that I could relate to – and would like to check out for myself, for that matter.

The more I read, I could see that this was a book more about life than death. It’s a very positive story, and delivered in a manner that is neither ‘preachy’ nor over sentimental. Sure, it has plenty touching moments, but there are also some lovely light moments.

The book is very well written and Jessica’s strengths are definitely in her descriptive writing. ‘Show, don’t tell’ is the mantra of all authors – and Jessica does this very well indeed, leaving the reader with a very clear image of the characters and happenings.

And the title? Yeah – it bugged me too. It makes sense now ….. though you’re going to have to read virtually all the way through until the penny drops and the phrase is actually used.

(Or maybe you’re a lot more intelligent than a crusty old punk.) 😉

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