Thank God for Grace in Editing!


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This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post for #MFRW. 

This is officially the Week 2 assignment – Sorry Editor! My Common Writing Mistakes.

For my first book – Red Wine & Roses,  my editor had just graduated from Oxford and was between jobs. Since then she has landed a prestigious position with Elsevier and has been dealing with some major health issues between herself and her boyfriend.

Enter GRACE! My editor is Grace Augustine, author of the Acorn Hills Series.  Do any of you believe in divine connections? The day I met Grace seemed to be one of those connections. We were attending Romance Rendezvous in Cedar Falls Iowa. I gambled on being able to arrive in plenty of time by driving there and not staying over. It was close,  but we arrived in time. It was very close! Since then, we’ve become good friends.

Friends aside, Grace is a tough editor. I would expect nothing less! I wonder how much it would cost to have some muffins delivered to her each morning . . . . it might soften the task. If you find yourself in need of an editor, aside from myself because I do have slots available to edit next month and through the summer, I can strongly recommend Grace over at edits with a touch of grace.

Anyway, moving on to my mistakes. There are times when I really hate these prompts and this is one of them. Why is it necessary to air my dirty laundry???  Seriously, this is why we have editors because we all have common mistakes. *SIGH*

Misspelled words: Please let me clarify,  I know how to spell, but my fingers have a different plan when I’m typing.

  • Becasue =because
  • friend=freind
  • teh=the
  • nad=and

The use of semicolons –   it’s like someone spilled a bucket full of them all over my computer files.

Switching tense – one of my pet peeves as an author and as an editor. Yet, I do it myself.

Sentence fragments. We don’t think in complete sentences,  but when writing, we have to at least know the rules before breaking them. If the author is adding a bit for emphasis, sometimes it’s acceptable to use a sentence fragment but not when you are in the middle of a descriptive narrative. Recently, I sent the first part of Roxy to Grace,  she commented: this sentence makes no sense!  NO, it didn’t because I  didn’t complete it. I left off the subject of the sentence.

Recently, I sent the first part of Roxy to Grace,  she commented: this sentence makes no sense!  NO, it didn’t because I  didn’t complete it. I left off the subject of the sentence. I do this a lot, which is one of many reasons why I need an editor! Don’t laugh, you’ll need one too.

I remember getting so upset when my then social media coach read my completed manuscript for Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price and gave it back to me with a few comments. “Well, it doesn’t suck.  Where is the rest of the story? The reader doesn’t know the world you have inside your head. You need to write it down, showing them   everything else that is going on.”

I have loads of details inside my head of my characters, their worlds, the settings, their backstory, their pet peeves, quirks – but I sometimes am so anxious to get them down that I forget to write parts.

Sorry Grace, you’ve really got your work cut out for you! What issues do you have when writing your drafts?

You can catch the previous posts from this series here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess
  3. Binge Watching #MFRWauthor

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

 

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Editorial Comments


I had a long post planned that was all about Penned Con,  all about Bullet journaling, and all about what’s next on the agenda. That is all going to have to wait because:

THIS!

Friendly Neighborhood Friday

Make sure you visit and say HI!

A quick summary of the above:

  • Penned Con is only 6 Days away!
  • I still do not have my books.
  • My bullet journal is flooded with panicked notes, phone numbers,  notes from each call, shipment numbers, and I’m too stressed to add any purties to it.
  • What’s next on the agenda? You’ll have to tune in next week to find that out.

Meanwhile,  my frantic Friday continues.

Write on my friends, write on.

Ellie

What’s Your Perspective?


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The Point of View (POV) in Literature is the perspective the author chooses to tell their story. The story unfolds through narration. Narration is the use of a written or spoken commentary to convey a story to the intended audience.

Narration is how the author presents their story, including:

  • Narrative point of view: the perspective through which a story is communicated
  • Narrative voice: the format through which a story is communicated
  • Narrative time: the  story’s time-frame in the past, present, or the future

narrator is a personal character or a non-personal voice that the creator of the story uses to convey information to the audience, particularly about the plot. The narrator may be a voice devised by the author as an anonymous or stand-alone entity; as the author themselves; or as a character within their own story. Narrative point of view or narrative perspective describes the position of the narrator in relation to the story being told. When you are reading a scene in a book and when you are writing a scene, you follow the character almost like a camera on the character’s shoulder or in the character’s head. You are looking at the character performing a specific set of actions or important actions in vivid detail.

There are 3 major kinds of POV. Within these there are variations.  Examples of point of view belong to one of these three major kinds:

  1. First person – this involves the use of either of the two pronouns “I” and “we” and is told from the protagonist’s view.
  2. Second person point of view employs the pronoun “you”. This is the author addressing the audience from their perspective.
  3. Third person point of view uses pronouns like “he”, “she”, “it”, “they” or a name. This is a narrative perspective.

Authors use POV to express effectively what they want to convey to readers.  It is the vehicle to convey  the character’s feelings, emotions, and actions.

First Person

In the first-person narrative, the narration is told from the character’s perspective. The story unfolds through the eyes of the character. This is often used to convey directly the deep internal, otherwise unspoken thoughts of the character.  The story unfolds using “I”, and “we”.  Most often, the story is told from the protagonist, expressing their views to the reader but not to the other characters. This is often a skewed view, causing the reader to sympathize with the protagonist or other character and rally their cause.  Using first person may show a story within a story, or allow the reader to observe the pursuit of some hidden agenda.

The first-person narrator is always told from one of the characters in the story, whether it is the main character or some other character. In some cases, the narrator gives or withholds information based on their own experience often as it unfolds.

Examples:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Dragon Tears by Dean Koontz; Dune by Frank Herbert; The Catcher In the Rye by J.D. Salinger; I Am Legend by Richard Matheson; The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Talented writers often choose to skew their narratives to the character’s bent, to an arbitrary degree, in keeping with the narrator’s character from just a smidge to extreme depending on the character’s bent. Unstable or malevolent narrators can lie and deliberately mislead the reader.

Novice writers might make the mistake of allowing elements of omniscience into a first-person narrative unintentionally and forgetting the limitations of inherent humanness of a character’s involvement.

Writing in first person is intimate, but it is also confining. You cannot explore the feelings or motivations of other characters; your viewpoint character can only guess what they are. You cannot show anything from another character’s perspective.  The entirety is experienced through the one character’s view, which makes the novice want to do head hopping which is strongly discouraged.

Second-person

The second-person narrative mode, in which the narrator refers to him- or herself as ‘you’ in a way that suggests alienation from the events described, or emotional/ironic distance, is less common in fiction. This is often the voice that I use when writing my blog posts.  I refer to you the reader and tell things from my perspective. My blog being nonfiction, the second person works well.

Examples:

Bright lights, Big City by Jay McInerney; An Italian Affiar by Laura Fraser; To Be or Not to Be: A Choosable-Path Adventure by Ryan North/William Shakespeare; If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Cavino

Third-person

Third-person narration provides the greatest flexibility to the author and thus is the most commonly used narrative across multiple genres in literature. In the third-person narrative mode, each and every character is referred to by the narrator as “he”, “she”, “it”, or “they”, but never as “I” or “we” or “you.  In third person narrative, the narrator is observing and relaying the tale, often not involved in the story.

The third-person modes are usually categorized along two axis. The first is the subjectivity/objectivity axis, with “subjective” describing one or more character’s feelings and thoughts, and “objective” not describing the feelings or thoughts of any characters.

The second axis is the omniscient/limited axis, a distinction that refers to the knowledge available to the narrator. An omniscient narrator has knowledge of all times, people, places, and events, including all characters’ thoughts. The trick here is the narrator cannot describe  or reveal things unknown to the focal character until they discover them.

Examples:

Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling; Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; The Mark of Athena by Rick Riourdan; The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien; Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

 How Do You Decide?

Think about your characters in terms of Whose story is this? The answer to this question will lead you to your point-of- view character.

If you’re not sure whose story it is, ask the following questions:

  • Who is facing a difficult challenge?
  • Who has a heartbreaking decision to make or a meaningful goal to reach?
  • Who will struggle against obstacles and complications to meet a challenge, make the best decision, or attain a goal?
  • Who will the reader care about and root for?

When you’ve decided whose story you’re telling, that character will usually be your viewpoint character, the one who lets the reader know what’s going on.  If you are still unsure, read and experiment.  Play around with it.  Write a scene using different POV’s. Share them with your writing group.  Discuss which one works better and why.  Sometimes the logical choice doesn’t flow as well as the less obvious choice. Do what works for you and your story.

Do you have a particular style you enjoy reading? Do you prefer to write in a specific pov? Think about your favorite books or authors, what POV did they use?

Write on my friends, write on!

Virtual Blog Tour – Joe McCoubrey


Today kicks off my first guest blogger as part of the summer virtual blog tour.  Please welcome Mr. Joe McCoubrey! 

 

What got me started on writing? By Joe McCoubrey

I have completed two full-length action novels (each about 100,000 words), a short story of 5,000 words and am now working on my third full-lengther. So how did I get to this point?

For a long time, much too long as it turned out, I thought I would probably never complete the first book, let alone any follow-ups. I started the first one during my time as a working journalist in the midst of the worst of the so-called ‘Troubles’ of Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s.

Here we are, thirty-odd years later and the project has finally come to fruition! The fact that ‘Someone Has To Pay’ is about to climb into the light of day, to be followed by a second – ‘Absence of Rules’ – makes me wonder what could have been accomplished, literary-wise, during all those lost years of excuse-making and procrastination. Would more titles bearing my name now be gracing the electronic and physical bookshelves?

I would have to think so, not least because the very act of completing the process first time around taught me not only that can it be done but also how it was done. I started book number two a mere few days after the final proofing and editing of book number one. It has also been completed to the first full draft stage and I’ve started work on the third offering, the plot for which is beginning unfortunately to blur into the final chapters of my current venture!

In between I penned a short story of 5,000 words which was included in an Action anthology ebook with the works of 35 other authors. It was published last month.

Writing has been a huge part of my life. I could never, for example, understand why classmates struggled to fill a prerequisite A4 essay page while I handed in anything up to ten pages on the same subject, albeit with flowery add-ons that probably bore absolutely no resemblance to what was asked for, and usually got me into trouble with a teacher unwilling to see beyond the parameters of the particular assignment.

After schooldays I found a great outlet for writing through my local newspaper where I was later to become Editor. Those first days, when I reported on my own football team’s activities before progressing to a general sports role, and eventually into college to learn the art of journalism, were the best I can remember. What strikes me most about those days is that this mad urge to write needed to be tempered by my need to learn how to do it in a way that would touch a chord with readers. Thanks to the skill and patience of tutors, sub-editors, editors and colleagues, the raw edges were knocked into a shape that I could feel more comfortable with. Not unnaturally therefore my horizons began to broaden beyond the limited scope of newspapers.

It was around 1978 or 1979 when I began thinking about the plotline for ‘Someone Has To Pay’. I can’t tie it down any better than that, if only because there wasn’t some momentous event or epiphany to convince me of the need to write a novel. I remember thinking that the almost daily diet of bombings and shootings – tragic and senseless though they were – offered fertile ground for the imagination of the thriller author, something I was now convinced I would become. Using my old portable typewriter I began to churn out pages until the milestone of the first one hundred was reached. I paused to read over what had been achieved, realising, perhaps for the first time, the enormity of what lay ahead. Rewrite followed rewrite as I tried to find a style to suit the story I wanted to tell. It just wouldn’t click into place, and I found the gaps between my ‘book’ days beginning to lengthen until finally, the sheets were consigned to a desk drawer where they gathered dust for quite a few years.

I recall later making a conscious decision to transfer the typed pages to the new-fangled word processors, if only to store them for posterity. As things turned out, it was that act of retyping which rekindled the fire and made me want to complete what I had started out to do. I guess the break also gave me time to sort through the original plotline, and agree the research needed to make the story informative and credible. I found I was throwing myself into the work with the same enthusiasm as a decade previously, though this time I found that being a little older – and a lot more patient – helped to get the book over the finishing line.

It’s now with Tri Destiny Publishing and is due to be published soon.

FOOTNOTE: Joe McCoubrey is an action thriller writer. You’ll find more info about him over at his site: http://joemccoubrey1.com/