>I love Cobblestone Publishing…they are a great outfit. But I have five stories with them (4 waiting to come out, and one submitted) and got to thinking, girl, you need to spread out some or you’re gonna bug the crap out of Deanna.
So, I submitted a story to Samhain about 30 days ago and got a letter from Heidi Moore (no relation) yesterday. She said she’d like to see a few editing changes then wants me to resubmit the story. Sounds easy enough, right? And good, right?
Only I’ve gotten some kind of attack of “forgot how to write-itis.” I’ve rewritten the first page now about twelve times, and it’s getting worse, not better. Oye. What started as a simple directives:
1. Don’t start too many sentences with character name/verb.
2. Cut down on the adverbs.
3. Cut down on the dialogue tags.
1. Figure out how to write the same sentence (still in English) to fix one problem without causing another problem.
Example? The original version:
Julia bent over directly[h1] in front of Harris. She knew that her legs looked good today [h2] in the sheer stockings and short, black skirt she’d chosen for work. Maybe this would be the turning point, and Harris would finally notice her.
Eric stepped around the desk. “What’d you drop?”
[h1]Watch out for using too many ‘ly’ words – it can often ‘tell’ more than show and also slows the pace
[h2]Could delete the time expression – bit redundant
Has now become:
This is it. He can’t help but notice me this time.
Julia Witt bent over in front of Harris. Her short black skirt rode up her sheer stockings and exposed more leg than she’d seen on some naked mannequins.
“What’d you drop?” Eric stepped around the desk as Julia grabbed her pencil and checked to see if Harris had observed her obvious come-on. Never even looking up, Harris continued searching through the pile of papers in his hands.
OKAY, that’s no better. It’s just different. Well, maybe a little better? ARGH! Now comes the time when you don’t know if you’re making it better or worse, if you’re causing more problems than you’re creating solutions.
I’d had all I could take of it yesterday. I fixed the first page the best I could…then I made the mistake of running it through autocrit. Ever heard of that? http://www.autocrit.com/ is the website.
Well, NOW I have all new problems. I was griping about it to Shannon who said something to the effect of “Use autocrit–don’t be used BY it.” Now that made me want to slap her. LOL
Now she’s going out of town for a few days, and I’ve been given the directive to BREATHE while she’s gone. While that WILL help keep me alive, I’m not sure it’s going to fix this manuscript.
Luckily, this story is only 17k or I would have no hair left in my head.