The Page a Day Writers Group

Archive for the ‘editing’ Category

pexels-photo-88703_1Hello everyone! Announcing the launch of my new venture, the Magic Word Editing Co.​ My team of experts and I offer a full range of editorial and e-book design services for fiction and nonfiction authors, science and academic writers, and small businesses.

You can find us on LinkedIn and Facebook, too. There we’ll share news features, services, developments and announcements as the business grows. We’re happy to answer your questions and take suggestions on how best to fulfill your editorial and writing service needs. Projects in progress: a welcome video and a quick quiz to help our clients choose which of our services best meet their needs.

Do take a few moments to check out the site. Remember, we offer reduced-price service packages, and a 10% discount for referral clients. http://www.magicwordeditingco.com

legal-seduction-book-coverCongratulations to Page-a-Day Writer, Sharon C. Cooper, weaver of romance extraordinaire! Her newest book, Legal Seduction, will be released June 1 by Kimani Romance, a subsidiary of Harlequin, but you can preorder a paperback or e-book at this very moment! Get a sneak peek at the storyline on her blog, “Just Thinking…”.

A couple years ago, Sharon decided to take the self-publishing route, so she started “Just Thinking…” and began to build a following. She posted regularly, giving insights about her life experiences. Once she developed a routine, she began hosting interviews with other writers, doing blog-hops with writers in the same genre, holding contests and offering giveaways.  In the meantime, she finished her first novel, revised like crazy with feedback from other Page-A-Day writers, and got a professional content and line editor to help her fine tune the manuscript to get it ready for publication.

Something New, a sweet romance, came out in April, 2012 and became a bestseller on Amazon! Whoot! Whoot!  It’s a great story that totally deserved to sell a lot of copies and receive recognition – and this is coming from someone (me) who doesn’t generally read romance. I’m always up for authentic exchanges between three-dimensional characters, plot twists, and a satisfying ending, though.

Since then, Sharon has been busy. She’s published Blue Roses (July, 2012), Rendezvous with Danger (April, 2013), and Still the Best Woman for the Job (2013), all of which have enjoyed great reviews and sales. Is it a wonder how an editor with Kimani Romance contacted Sharon to offer her a contract with a traditional publisher?

We’re all waiting for Sharon to tell us about the differences between self and traditional publishing after Legal Seduction comes out in June, so stay tuned to get the inside scoop from one Page-A-Day author’s perspective.

Until then, we’d love to hear your thoughts on self vs. traditional publishing.

Wow! Here I am, rolling into week three of Kathie Giorgio’s 12-week Book-Writing Workshop (www.allwriters.org/on_line_classes.asp#BOOK-WRITING WORKSHOP).

The class has lit a fire under my chair to polish my weekly submission allotment of 15 pages, which we discuss and critique in an online chat each Monday night. No class tonight, due to Memorial Day.

At my last blog post, my big task after my first 15-page section was to solidify point-of-view (POV). I honed and reworked my second section. I re-read each sentence, pondering, am I walking in Agave’s shoes? (Agave is my main character.) Not just observing her walking in the shoes, but actually walking in them? Can I feel each step? Okay- not in a psychotic way. But you know what I mean! I can truly say I immersed myself in each page. The cliché “blood, sweat, and tears…” Yup! That was me. And if you had read my second section, you’d know I’m not kidding. Blood. Check! Tears. Check! Sweat. Mmmhmm!

So, I eagerly awaited the chat last Monday, perhaps even more nervous than I’d been the first Monday. I am wearing a very cheesy grin now when I tell you, according to Ms. Giorgio, I nailed POV! She didn’t have to take out her POV paddle once! Woo hoo!

But, do you hear that pop? That’s the sound of a momentarily inflated ego popping. I somehow neglected to illuminate the reader with a couple of entire scenes, crucial to the plot. Other scenes need to be filled in with more detail. Still other scenes were confusing in spots.

My ego, though, has matured. After it pops, I patch it and it re-inflates, determined, even if a bit nervous. I’ve also become skilled in chucking my harsh superego out the window during the writing process itself. This allows me to be wobbly, awkward, and very rough in my first drafts. Such freedom! I have faith in the revision process, a faith strengthened by the experience of this class.

I submitted my third section today. This time I rewrote my pages in first-person, as an exercise in POV. I’m not sure I would want to write the entire novel this way, but I would consider it. I look forward to class next Monday.

Write on,

Ondine Brooks Kuraoka

I’m now in the second week of a twelve-week online Book-Writing Workshop (www.allwriters.org/on_line_classes.asp#BOOK-WRITING) with Kathie Giorgio, author of The Home for Wayward Clocks (Mainstreet Rag Publishing, 2010). I’m using the course to revise my novel-in-progress, with the working title of “Sisters of Aguamiel.”

Each student (so far, six are participating this session) may submit up to 15 double-spaced pages per week for critique from the other students, and also receives a line-by-line edit from Ms. Giorgio.

We gathered for our first online chat last Monday to discuss each student’s work. I must admit, my heart was pumping nervous adrenaline; would it be a shark fest? Or worse, a rose-colored glasses yawn? But I’m delighted to report the chat was a satisfying blend of on-point critique and positive strokes. The cherry on top was Ms. Giorgio’s thoughtful edit and critique.

Of course, I was thrilled to pieces with every crumb of “nicely done.” But I was also depending on input as to what isn’t working. So, when Ms. Giorgio wielded her POV (point of view) paddle, I got my fair share of whacks. What of my blog post title, you ask? Did I promptly treat myself to a new pair of Nikes to soothe the pain? Not a bad idea, but no.

I’m following my sage instructor’s advice and stepping into my main character Agave’s shoes. In order to nail POV, the reader has to feel like she’s right with your character, inside her skin, seeing and experiencing what she experiences, walking in her shoes. This sounds obvious, but for me, easier said than done. I’m writing in third person, but from Agave’s perspective. So the challenge is not to feel removed from Agave’s experience, while using the third person throughout.

To help get into her shoes, Ms. Giorgio suggested I try a section in first person, as Agave. I can switch it back to third person once I feel more in sync with her. I’ve achieved glimpses of resonant Agave-ness, but chunks of my first section lack the immediacy I’m striving for. So, my task is set: put on Agave’s shoes for POV immersion.

Have you struggled with point of view issues? Have you written a story or novel in first-person perspective? Perhaps since this is my first novel, the thought of that feels overwhelming to me, but I’m about to try rewriting my third 15-page section that way, as an exercise- I didn’t have time to completely rework my second class submission.

I’m looking forward to the class chat tonight, when we’ll discuss our second submission. More adventures in revision to come!

Ondine Brooks Kuraoka

Tonight is the first meeting of a new online class I’ve enrolled in with the goal of revising my novel draft. Our fearless instructor, published author Kathy Giorgio, will lead seven of us, all with novels-in-progress, through the swampy mire of revision for 12 weeks. She can’t promise any miracles but I intend to learn as much as possible, and to keep an open mind to changes necessary to improve my story.

Each participant can submit up to 15 pages per week for critique. We commit to providing feedback to each student (I feel fortunate there are only seven of us), and receive a more intensive edit from Ms. Giorgio. Tonight we meet in a chatroom to discuss our first submissions.

I debated another in-person class, but decided to try an online forum. I took an in-person class about 1 1/2 years ago, when I was at a much rougher stage with my novel. I decided online was a practical choice for me this time, as it saves me from having to drive to the class once a week in the evening. The online arena has the added bonus of being able to cry in my pajamas in front of my computer as my work is poked and kicked over the next three months.

So, I look forward to sharing the tears and joys. I’d love to hear your revision stories, too. What is your process?

Here’s a link to the class information: http://www.allwriters.org/on_line_classes.asp#BOOK-WRITING WORKSHOP.

Write on,

Ondine Brooks Kuraoka

In the past few months, several people have contacted me with editing assignments. At first, I figured I’d just do a couple of editing projects for some extra cash. But I found I enjoyed the work and am now spreading the word that I’m available for more editing assignments. I’ve learned so much during the several projects I’ve completed; the experience has helped me grow as a writer and has sharpened my internal editor for my own work.

All writers need editors, as Claire Fadden mentioned in her November 16th 2010 post, “Every Writer- Even Jane Austen- Needs a Good Editor.” By the way, Claire was my first editor, and I will always be grateful to her for giving me such a nurturing and constructive start in the publishing world.

My husband, John, an advertising copywriter, and I request edits from each other regularly. It’s a gift when someone can read your work and see what’s needed to clarify and tighten each sentence.

I’m now a member of SD/PEN, San Diego Professional Editors Network. SD/PEN’s bimonthly newsletter, “Delete,” is abuzz with helpful information, as is www.sdpen.com. For all the latest on working with an editor, editing stages, and reference tools, visit http://www.sdpen.com/edit/editorial.php.

Maybe you smiled like I did at the savvy newsletter title, “Delete.” That word says more about the process of writing and editing than any other.

What do you find most helpful in editing your or others’ work?

Happy writing- and editing,

Ondine Brooks Kuraoka

www.sandiegofreelancewriter.com


Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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