Alligators Overhead Trailer

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Miscellany and Sudden Secrets Cover

I'm still in shock. It rained all day Thursday and Friday still had some of that luscious, moist stuff. Doesn't the sky know this is California and it never rains here?  But I have proof. Click below and applaud for us water-deprived folk. You can't see the forest. Even the nearest ridge has disappeared in the foggy misty downpour. Those trees are loving it.


I've announced that I won't be blogging on Fridays anymore, so just wanted to say it again in case you didn't stop by on Friday. I'll stick with Mondays only for a while and a few special blog days that might pop up. I'll still post on IWSG Wednesday. Also if you're participating in the Deja Vu Hop, my post goes up on Monday, but I'll be by to say hi to those posting on Friday.

A special thanks to J.L.Campbell for the prize. I won her splendid Who's Your Hero contest. 

Evernight Teen sent me my cover for Sudden Secrets, so I'm sharing it here because I like it. It has the feeling of my young character who's managing a lot family issues in this story and a terrible secret. The rundown Victorian house is a key story element, so I was really glad to see it lurking in the background and being just a bit spooky.

Again, if you have some space on your blog and would like to give me a shout out, leave that in your comment and I'll get in touch with you. It's the holiday season, so I know how busy everyone is. If you can't help me in December and can in the new year, I'd really appreciate it.

Now here's my Ta Da moment. SUDDEN SECRETS unveiled.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Things I Celebrate Finale.

So this is my last Friday post. I've decided to take more time to work on my writing and enjoy my family before they've all moved to other parts of the world. My nieces have already left California. One to England and one to Spain. Maybe I can bank some of these Friday hours and pay them a visit.

I have loved Celebrating Small Things and I will continue to do so, just not here and just not on Fridays.

Today I'm visiting a wonderful writer, Kirby Larson. She has let me talk about this thing we call writing and publishing. If you have a moment, stop in and say hi. She's a wonderful person to meet.

On this last Friday, I'm celebrating the launch of another Young Adult novel. Sudden Secrets (Evernight Teen) will be born 19 Dec 2014. As always I'm excited to see another book out and terrified at the same time. Guess what I'll post about on the first Wednesday in January?

I hope to have my cover soon, and if anyone has space on their blogs and time to post something, I'd love to share what this book's about with your readers. You can let me know if you're up for helping me spread the word by telling me so in your comment. I'll get in touch and work out the details individually. 

Adios Fridays. It's been fun. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Self-Editing Tips and Hat's Off to Angela Brown

Self-editing Tips

I’ve read a lot of articles on the editing process. They have a lot in common, but each writer has his or her own system. Here’s mine. I usually work from the big picture (things like character consistency) down to the details (punctuation). I have a checklist, and this really helps me to focus on specific parts of my manuscript, one step at a time. 

I’m not an “organized” writer, but I am an organized editor. I try. 

Here’s my checklist:

Plot: engaging, complex enough, hits the ground running, starts in right place, keeps moving forward, logical, no coincidence that should not be there.

Character: MC clearly established at the beginning, MC wants or needs something immediately, markers for characters clear and consistent, not one-dimensional has good and bad qualities, makes reader care, motivations clear and right for the story

Setting: appropriate for the story, described sufficiently, but not too much 

Dialogue: advances the story, appropriate for the characters, increases conflict, always clear who’s talking

Scenes: there are various kinds of scenes, all further the plot or reveal more about characters  or build tension

Point of View: Consistent, the right choice for telling this story 

Pacing: Any scenes that drag and might need to be deleted, places dialogue could be changed to increase pace, heighten tension

Tone: Consistent for story, consistent with each character

Conflict: Sufficient to keep story interesting, does it increase throughout the story until the climax

Balance: Description, dialogue, narration, scenes and chapters. 

I don’t worry about getting everything during each editing session. Sometimes I make a note to go back to something later, then move on with the editing part I’m focused on during that session. 

Sometimes I stop and do that edit, even though I’m focusing on another aspect of the story. In other words, I’m flexible about moving around the story to fix things that come up while I’m in the process.


Stock up on survival supplies. Mine include nuts and water. No wine. I sometimes write with wine, but I never edit with it

Try for an uninterrupted time. I find that the more I can stick with the story during editing, the better I am at catching problems.

Don’t feel that you’re the only writer who has wanted to throw out their book at this point, but don’t do that. Take a break, then come back to the job when you’re a bit calmer.

Be prepared for several sessions with that manuscript. You’re going to have to edit it a few times. Be thankful when you’re down to those details of punctuation, grammar, word choice, and repeated or words or phrases. That means you’re almost finished. Relax.

Hat's Off Corner

For seventeen-year-old Macie Breen, life in The Colony is a daily norm of being the odd girl out, that is, until everyday predictable slams to a screeching halt. Forced to the capital city of Bliss, Macie's life becomes a horrific unraveling as she confronts daunting truths about The Colony as well as who, or what, she really is. 

Buy links: Evernight | Amazon
Angela Brown in the Pursuit of Publishness blog: